Market Street, Listowel in June 2019


Tarbert Bridewell, the Keepers Quarters

The family who looked after the bridewell lived upstairs.

They kept the prisoners locked up except when they were allowed into the exercise yard.

They cooked their meals and swept the floors and kept the jail in good order.

This is a selection of their cooking pots and irons.

A Bath

A settle bed

I think children would really benefit from a visit to Tarbert Bridewell to see for themselves history brought to life and to give them an insight into life as it was long ago.


Memories, Memories

Do you remember the lovely convent chapel?


A Faction Fight

from the Dúchas Schools Folklore Collection

On the 13th of May fair in Listowel some time previous to 1830. some Magheragh men (Ballyduff, Causeway, Ballyheigue, Killanhan, etc) were selling potatoes. A discussion arose as to the comparative merits of the potatoes between the Magheragh men and the cúl-na-lín (Culeen near Listowel) men. The discussion ended in a fight, where the Magheragh men got off the worst as they wouldn’t have the backing in Listowel that the others had. At the Whit Monday fair in Ardfert the fight was renewed. Practically every man in North Kerry took one side or another and for years after whenever people assembled at fair or market on Sunday after mass the fight was renewed.

The biggest fight of all took place at (Ballyduff) Ballyeigh on the 24th June 1834. The North Kerry race meeting was then held in Ballyeigh Strand (opposite the Cashen School) but was eventually transferred to Listowel (1870). The races were held on the right hand side of the River Cashen on the strand where the school is now and when some of the combatants tried to escape by crossing the river in boats and swimming, they were attacked by their opponents with stones, bottles, sticks and so on at the left side of the river. A terrible fight ensued in which about thirteen people were drowned and very many injured.

As far as I know there was only one man arrested for it, a well to do man named Leahy of Ballinorig near Causeway. Many others went on the run but were never arrested. He was tried and sentenced to be transplanted to Freemantle.

For three quarters of a century afterwards the people in this district and in North Kerry generally recorded events from the year the boat was drowned” or from the night of the big wind”. After the tragedy the faction fight slackened and died down and the famine helped to put an end to it altogether.
Even some old people take pride in the fact that their ancestors took one side or the other in the faction.

Murtie Dowling, 


Denis Lawlor, Address, Causeway, Co. Kerry


Listowel Tidy Town People

The trophies are gone back but the good folk of the Tidy town are working as hard as ever to present Listowel’s most beautiful face to the visitor

Photos from Listowel Tidy Town on Facebook of some of the volunteers at last Tuesday’s cleanup on the Tralee Road.