Listowel Drama Group

I went to St. John’s on Friday night last. Arsenic and Old Lace was a triumph on so many fronts. I cannot single out any one performance because they were all excellent. The set is the talk of the town and all the productions values were so high that it will be a hard act to follow. Well done everyone and a huge congratulations to Imelda Dowling Garvey who directed it all like a professional.

This is an old photo from Vincent Carmody’s North Kerry Camera of the Drama Group’s cast of The Playboy of the Western World in 1950.

The following is a potted history of the group from the latest programme notes.

On the 12th January 1944 the group presented its first full length play in The Plaza, The Troubled Bachelors by A.J. Stanley. The play was produced by Bryan MacMahon, one of the founders of the group. Niall Stack is the sole surviving member of that  cast.

Eamon “The Seanchaí’ Kelly joined the group in 1945. He produced Bryan MacMahon’s The Bugle in the Blood which went on to The Abbey in 1949. Eamon met his wife, Maura O’Sullivan when they were both members of Listowel Drama Group.

In 1954 the group won The All Ireland One Act Drama Festival with George Fitzmaurice’s The Magic Glasses. Among the cast was Michael O’Connor, father of our present Canon Declan O’Connor.

In 1959 Brendan Carroll produced John B. Keane’s Sive. Listowel Drama Group’s finest hour had come. They won the All Ireland Drama festival’s top prize in Athlone and Listowel Drama Group achieved the status of legend locally and nationally.

In 1993 The Master performed to packed houses for sixteen nights.

The group has certainly lived up to its motto;

“The Stage shall never Die”.


Jimmy Moloney, Senior, whose family have very close connections with The Listowel Drama Group has given me two photos to share with you.

Back Row: Bill Kearney,    Andy O’Mahoney?   , John Kirby, Brendan Carroll, Thomas O’Connor, Arthur Paige and Hilary Nielson

Front: Joan Paige?, Michael O’Connor, Margaret Moloney, John O’Flaherty and Nora Relihan

(I’ll post the other photo tomorrow)

Andy O’Mahony who went on to fame as a newsreader and broadcaster on RTE radio and television worked in one of the Listowel banks. While in town, he lodged with the Ashe family  of Lawlors Cake shop and subsequently with Máirín MacMahon, sister of the playwright, Bryan MacMahon.

Owen MacMahon is compiling an archive of old programmes and memorabilia relating to Listowel Drama Group. If you have any of this stuff in your attic, Own would love to see it. If you don’t want to part with it , he would be happy just to photocopy it.


A poem for the year that’s in it;  World Cup Year

 (just to put things in perspective)

The Man who invented

by Kit Wright

The man who invented football

He must have been dead

He hadn’t even a football

Or any clothes whatever.

The man who invented soccer,

He hadn’t even a ball

Or boots, but only his horny

And a bison’s skull, that’s

The man who invented

To whom our hats we doff,

Had only the sun for a yellow

And death to send him off.

The cave-mouth was the

The wind was the referee,

When the man who did it did

In 30,000 B.C.!


Sew ‘n’ Pressed have moved shop.

This is where it is now, next to Paddypower in William St. If you lose your shirt, you will not have far to go for a new one.


The shop which was trading in Moriarty’s is moving here, next to Woulfe’s Bookshop, I’m told.