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

Lovely People

Collecting for the hospice on Friday June 7 2024. The amount collected was €11,028

When I called to Carroll’s last week I was served by my lovely smiling past pupil, Máire. She is home and helping her dad in the shop as she builds up her make up artist’s business.

Lovely to see the next generation in this iconic local business.

A Picture of Friendship and Love

This is Kevin Sinfield, carrying the limp body of his friend Rob Burrow over the finish line in the first Rob Burrow Marathon in Leeds.

Kevin and Rob were friends and team mates in their Leeds Rhinos rugby team. When Rob was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019 at the age of 36, he had a wife and three young children. Kevin stepped up to help his friend, encouraging him to write an autobiography, organising fundraising events, writing a children’s pocketbook about friendship and generally being there for him.

Rob passed away on June 2 2024.

At The Flemings

On the Sunday of Writers’ Week, one of the events on the packed schedule was a chat with Derry and Tadhg Fleming. Earlier in the festival, they had been awarded a prize in the new category of digital storytelling.

Peggy and I were a bit surprised to find ourselves awaiting admission alongside Fr. Antony Gaughan.

Mystery solved. Fr. Gaughan is not actually a TikTok fan. He was there to meet Deirdre Walshe who was there to interview the Flemings.

Friends, Noreen and Marylyn were on their way out of the Barbara Scully event as Bridget went in to The Flemings.

Derry and Tadhg were relaxed guests chatting about family, trolls, the growth of their online following, where they get inspiration from (Tadhg’s head). The vibe was just as it comes across in their videos, a close happy family helping each other out in a fun way.

Maureen and Derry posed with me and my friends Bridget and Peggy…lovely people.

From the Papers

New York NY Irish American Advocate 1916-1918 pdf

Mr. James J. O’Neill, Librarian of National University of Ireland, in a series of monthly lectures at the Carnegie Library, Listowel, Co. Kerry, read an interested paper on some distinguished Kerrymen.”

Mr. O’Neill after a rapid survey of Ireland’s ancient scholars, and their merits said that Kerry had just cause to be proud of its place in its countries roll of fame. In view of the fact that Irish born dramatic writers and Irish born players have contributed so largely to English  dramatic literature, and to acting on the English speaking stage is not surprising to find the name of a  Kerryman prominent among the writers of that literature. Hugh Kelly,? the Kerry dramatist was born in Killarney in 1739. At an early age he removed to Dublin with his course he was apprenticed to n stay maker during his apprenticeship the family, and after the usual school made the acquaintance of many of the players who performed In the Old Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin.


Richard Cantillon, the political economist, sprang from a Kerry family He was born at Ballyheigue.

Among the writers in English we have the names of Bartholomew Dowling, Mrs. Mary Downing and Maurice O’Connell. Bartholomew Dowling was born in this town ? emigrated to Canada

 ballad “The Brigade at Fontenoy,” appeared without any signature. In 1848 Dowling went to France and from, thence he sailed to America, where he engaged in farming In 1858 he became editor of the San Francisco Monitor. ——————————————- Died in institution run by Rev. Mother Russell, sister of Lord Russell.- ———————————-

Mrs. Mary Downing was the daughter of Daniel MacCarthy of Kilfadimore, near Kenmare.

Henry O Brien, one of the most celebrated antiquaries of the early 19th Century, was born in Kerry In 1808. He was educated, at Trinity College ——————–

and we find some very scathing references to Moore, and the Royal Irish Academy, who refused to grant O’Brien the price for his essay ——————————-

A Fact

King Charles 111 image is featured on the front of British banknotes since June 5 2024. The back of the notes remains unchanged.

The £5 has Winston Churchill on the back.

The €10 has Jane Austen..

The £20 has the artist JMW Turner

The £50 has Alan Turing, the computer pioneer.





Art, Memoir and Poetry


  1. Tom Gould

    Good people of Listowel! As advertised in emails months ago, the Gould/Delaney family of Barrington Illinois are coming to visit. Noreen Delaney’s grandfather grew up in Listowel and we will be touring the town and the area from July 2 -8. Any suggestions as to places to visit,must sees and or pubs or restaurants in the area will be appreciated. We are renting a home in Ballyheigue. Thanks!

  2. Linda Boyle

    Oh, Mrs. Cogan, i am so terribly disappointed in you. I have subscribed to your blog for a few years now even though my only connection to Listowel is through my husband’s ancestors. Your simple and heartfelt appreciation of life’s beauty has been a must-read for me. But tonight I was shocked to see that you chose to publish “Unhappy birthday to me” by Brian Bilston., a direct, vitriolic and personal attack on an individual. What were you thinking? How could my opinion of you have been so wrong?

    • Tim McCrohan

      Yikes! I have to agree as well … Definitely not a nice poem. We (at least in the U.S.), are tired of listening to both sides of our parties attack each other with defamatory remarks. It’s not what we want our future generations to think of as something that’s “OK” to do. I was always taught, “If you’ve nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. I realize it’s all a part of the political race process, but it’s a tough pill to swallow to listen to other countries defame him as well, whether the claims are true or not. We definitely all agree he, like many who run for political office, is outspoken and egotisical, and not at all the type of person I’d choose for my daughter to marry, but in the role he was elected to do, he did do many good things too. Mr. Bilston’s “poems”, might be better suited to describe the people he actually knows from his own country. We have plenty of these types of “Poets” here already.

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