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

Jimmy Hickey today, Moyvane church bell in 1856 and an old cigarette card

Autumn in Childers’ Park, Listowel

photo: Deirdre Lyons


The Dance Continues

Jimmy Hickey has lost none of his enthusiasm for the dance. He is passionate about his craft and he acknowledges his responsibility to pass on the steps to the next generation.

 Jimmy teaching the young boys in Scoil Realta na Maidine recently. This is where his own dancing career began.                                                                                                          (photo: Facebook)

St. Patrick’s day parade some years ago.

St. Patrick’s Day Céilí

Jimmy with Canon Declan O’Connor at last year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade

The link below is to a clip from St. Patrick’s Day 2014 when Jimmy danced with two of his pupils, Patrick and Mairead Brosnan

St. Patrick’s Day 2014

Like all good teachers Jimmy accepts that he can also learn from his pupils. He told me that he often taught a child a step one week, only to have that child come back the following week with a completely different interpretation of the same step. “And it was often better.”

Long may Jimmy Hickey, master dancer and dancing master, continue dancing, teaching and learning.

Now to finish with, Charlie Nolan has prepared a compilation of his videos of Jimmy Hickey and his dancers down through the years from 1985 to 1991. This video includes feiseanna, St. Patrick Day Ceilithe in the boys school, Jimmy dancing with two of his star pupils, the late Mary Murphy and Mary Hartnett and, the icing on the cake, the Liam Dineen Ribbon Dance.

Dancing Down the Years

Jimmy wears his fame lightly. It was my great pleasure to tell his story.


Moyvane; A Bell and a Well

Moyvane’s 160 year old church bell and a recently rediscovered well.

 Below is from The Freemans Journal  20.03.1856

The novel and interesting pontifical ceremony of blessing of a Church

bell was performed in all its solemn forms on Palm Sunday, at the

chapel of Newtownsandes, in the North East of County Kerry, by the

Right Rev. Dr Moriarty. The bell, which was manufactured by Mr John

Murphy, of Dublin, is a very beautiful one. It was placed on a

platform before the altar in the Sanctuary. The local clergy and a

large multitude of people, who seemed to take the deepest interest in

the proceedings, were in attendance on the occasion. The Bishop

addressed the congregation a touching and suitable discourse, which

was listened to with almost breathless attention. It was the first

ceremony of the kind performed in Kerry since the reformation and the

bell is the first Church bell tooled in the parish of Murhur since the

same period.

Dublin’s “freedom bell”, the first Catholic Church bell to ring in

Dublin in breach of the Penal Laws 200 years ago,

Fr Michael Blake defied penal laws by tolling the bell in 1811, 18

years before Catholic emancipation. He faced charges, but was

successfully defended by O’Connell, then a young lawyer.

Legend has it that O’Connell rang the bell to celebrate emancipation

in 1829, creating the crack which remains visible today.

Moyvane is quiet these days


Mike Enright found these great cigarette cards online. He thinks they date from 1924.

Sunday October 30 2016


A New Career Beckons for your Blogger

No, not really …more like a minute of local fame.

My moments in the sun will come courtesy of Radio Kerry. Next week from November 7 to 11th at 7.30a.m. and 12.00 noon I will be bringing you Just a Thought. Next week my “thoughts”  will be available online.


A Sad Old Memory

Does anyone remember a tragic house fire in 1965 when a lady by the name of Kitty Reidy was burned to death?

Junior Griffin remembers it because on that night, in Nurse Chapman’s lying in hospital in William Street, Junior’s late sister, Patsy, was giving birth to her son, Sean Breen. She remembered the commotion and sirens as the house fire was in a house on Charles St. next to Carmody’s corner.


Jimmy Hickey, Poetry in Motion and Knitwits go to Holy Smoke


A Morning walk in The Garden of Europe, Listowel, Co. Kerry

1 Comment

  1. Unknown

    Sean Breen here.. I remember hearing the story over the years but obviously don't remember much from the night myself. Ar dheis de go raibh a h-anam.

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