This blog is a personal take on Listowel, Co. Kerry. I am writing for anyone anywhere with a Listowel connection but especially for sons and daughters of Listowel who find themselves far from home. Contact me at

First Post of 2023

Kerry Cow; Photo Mike Flahive


Christmas Mail

While I’ve been absent from here I have been receiving some very interesting emails. The first one I am going to tell you about involves this handsome Kerry cow.

A Dublin lady with a Kerry mother is writing a book about Kerry. Mary Trant is hoping to include a chapter about the Kerry cow and her search for a photograph brought her to Listowel Connection.

The photograph wasn’t mine. It was Mike Flahive’s of Bromore who is dedicated to preserving this breed. I put Mary in touch with Mike. Now we can look forward to her book before too long.

I have other mails as well, a soldier of The Great War whose photo is sought for a project in Belgium, and an American with Moyvane and Athea ancestors looking to connect with her Irish family before her visit. Watch out for these stories in the next few days.


A Sad Farewell

Listowel lost a good few friends over the Christmas break. A big shock to everyone was the untimely passing of Fr. Donal O’Connor.

Fr. Donal passed away at his home in Rathmore on January 4 2023. He was very popular during his stint as a curate in Listowel. Many people have fond memories of him. May he rest in peace.


An Artist of the Future

It is lovely to receive a hand made card. This unique artwork from 6 year old Sadhbh is my favourite Christmas card of 2022. I am keeping it until she becomes famous and I’ll have a rare early example of her work.


Something to Look Forward to


The Legend of Kiltomey

From Dú , the schools folklore collection

A little boy, the only son of a widow, was caught one day picking sticks for fuel (called here brosna) in the earls’ orchard. The earls at this time had large and extensive orchards and fruit gardens around Lixnaw. They made cider of the apples which they stored in vaults (which still exist underneath an old ruins called the Hermitage). When the boy was caught, the earl of the time ordered him to be slung up on a tree and hanged which was done.The poor widow having heard of the death of the boy became frantic with rage and despair for the loss of her only son and proceeded in her rage to curse the earl.

She came before the door of the mansion her hair hanging in disorder down to her waist and the earl seeing her became afraid of her curse, and so came out to placate her as best he could. To do so he was obliged to grant her a whole townland of his property and a rich one at that. This was the townland of Kiltomey, about a mile from Lixnaw, which she finally accepted though it did not, as she said, compensate her for the loss of her son.

The townland of Kiltomey was afterwards sold and was, up to the time of the Land Purchase Acts, in possession of a different landlord. A large portion of this property of the the earls passed over to Lord Listowel at the time of the confiscations, but the townland of Kiltomey though in the midst of this property remained in different hands, a separate property, thus in some measure proving the truth of the legend of the widow and her son.

Ballincloher School, Teacher; Seán Leahy



Christmas Reading


January Blues


  1. Barbara

    To the person looking for a picture of the WWI soldier:

    I have just looked up Private William Culvert Baker 127409. He was born in Listowel, Ontario, Canada not Listowe,l Co Kerry. He signed up in Listowel, Ontario, 18 Oct 1915
    Also, if it helps his information is on a public member tree on Ancestry. Apparently, he is recognised on a headstone in Ontario as well as on Menin Gate – while the family tree says he is buried in Canada the headstone might just be a memorial to him.
    I hope this helps.


    Welcome back Mary, hope your holidays were filled with family, friends and joy.


    Hi Mary, I’ve managed to get back contact and it would be great to hear about the Trant family if possible. My mum’s connection was through a Mary (Mai) Stack who married a Patrick Trant, They lived in Tornageehy House, Listowel. Mary’s parents were Edmund Stack (1878-1957)and Bridget (Bridie) Hanlon.
    Edmund’s parents were my gt gt grandparents William Stack and Margaret Dillon.

    I would also be interested in the Stack gathering in Listowel as and when details are shared. My cousin lives in Asdee just down the road!
    Best wishes,

    • Mary Trant

      Hi Ken,
      While I don’t think we are related, I sure will Email you later.
      Kind regards,

  4. Welcome back Listowel Connection. The festive season wasn’t the same without you.

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