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

Live Aid, 1985

Church Street in February 2024

An Spideog

David Kissane’s story continued…


The year 2022 was a bad year for Martin (McEvilly), health-wise. Cancer entered his life and hard training was ruled out. “You need hard work for the world championships and there was no way that could be done” he says. “I had neither the speed nor strength for the course in Torun”. The two hills on the course were the worst! You would want to be doing twenty mile runs to run decent on that!

Martin rates Danny McDaid, Donie Walsh and a young Jerry Kiernan highly in his thoughts of running in days gone by. John Treacy and Eamonn Coghlan are up there in a great era. He remembers the late Pat O’Shea from Kerry as a great man over the track and the road. Martin beat him only once on the road in Adare, “but Pat probably had a bad day that day!” A solid Kerry man was Pat O’Shea and Martin could handle him ok in cross country. They shared many masters international trips together. “We were good friends” he says sadly on the loss of a fellow-athlete.

Martin’s plans are to get fully fit again and compete for the Irish masters as often as possible. He will be 75 in July so he moves up to the next bracket. He can do the long runs on his own but he hopes to do more speed work and he can only do this with groups. It’s easy to get the people to run with “but it’s not too easy for me to keep up with them!” Of course some of his speedy partners are much younger than him.

                                              Age Is Only a Number

“My ambition is to run as fast as I can for as long as I can!”

 If he can do it injury-free, it will be a bonus. Age doesn’t matter anymore. “Why can’t we do it if we want to do it.” Age is only a number, he jokes and adds with respect “The Irish women showed that in Torun. They were super”.

And they were too.

And then Martin McEvilly was off into the plane on his way to Dublin and Galway to continue for a new beginning. Adversity overcome. Secret to life tucked in his heart. 

I made a note to try to run in the dark.

To be continued

A Memory from the 1986 Yearbook

July 13 1985 is a date I’ll never forget for on that day I gave birth to my younger daughter.

The world and his mother was glued to the TV as a massive concert on both sides of the Atlantic was raising funds to save starving babies in Africa. My little mite came in at just under 2 lbs but she was had the benefit of first world medical care and lived to tell the tale.

I was cruelly aware of the difference location makes in your chances of survival.

Here is an account of that day from girls for whom the concert was the highlight of the day.

Shrove Tuesday; Skelliging Night

Today is Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent begins. Traditionally households feast on pancakes, in an effort to use up all the eggs and flour in the house before the austerities of Lent.

Another tradition dates back to the time of the monks on Skellig. When the method of calculating Easter was changed, Ireland stuck with the old method initially but eventually came into line with the rest of the christian world. That is, all of Ireland except Skellig Michael.

Mariages were not celebrated for the 40 days of Lent so anyone who wasn’t married would have to wait until after Easter Sunday to get hitched.

That began this grotesque custom, whereby men and boys were allowed to chase unmarried women, tie them up and pretend to transport them to the remote Kerry Island which was the only place they could marry them.

It was all a bizarre pantomime but a fairly cruel one. I’m told Skelliging, as this custom was called, was practiced in Listowel up to the 1950s.

A postbox in Ballincollig

I looked up the An Post website but I couldn’t find any account of when this branding with the “An” left out came in.

A Fact

Catherine Moylan started this by gifting me a bo0k of facts. Now other blog followers are helping out with this little end piece that has become a popular feature of Listowel Connection, despite having little or no Listowel connection.

Today it’s the turn of Helen Mitchell, formerly Helen Gore of this parish.

Arachibutyrophobia (Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth)

Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. While the phenomenon has happened to everyone at one point or another, people with arachibutyrophobia are extremely afraid of it. The severity of arachibutyrophobia varies from person to person. Some with this condition may be able to eat small amounts of peanut butter, but others will completely avoid eating peanut butter.



A Sunday in Kanturk


Cats and Dogs, Bicycles and Trains

1 Comment

  1. Mary Hanlon

    My God what a practice!!
    I for one will never get that particular Phobia! Can’t stand peanut butter

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