We’re Still Racing here in Lovely Listowel


Millenium Arch 2015


The Small Square


Thade Gowran…the next generation

This is me with some of Thade Gowran’s descendants in John B.’s during the summer. They all had such a good time that they found themselves connected to the homeland when they returned home. Fran, Thade’s granddaughter, sent me some photos from the family album and she wrote a little poem.

Fran at the plaque to her grandfather in Abbeyfeale

Lost property

Dear Listowel, excuse my writing, there’s a question I must ask

It seems I left my heart some place, when I visited you last

And back in England now, well yes, sure yes it’s all quite quaint

But the buzzing, loving hive of life, I’m afraid it just quite ain’t

I’m a dis-connected jigsaw piece, sharp edges rendered round

Your soft communal laughter’s mute, yet lingers all around

And though I seek connection here, I feel it’s not the same,

I’m dice un-cubed, cards now marked, impassive for this game

So please Listowel, take a peep, your magic’s lovely still

The welcome charm, Gaelic lilt and that stoical Irish will

To soldier on with cheerful strength, thinking of each other

Were these skills seen and loved and kept from a magic Irish Mother?

So my English blockade barriers fell, so much, my heart flew out

And it nestled tight amongst my folks, of that there is no doubt

My folks were walking down your streets, they’d chatter when they stopped

I heard them in your gentle laughs and helpfulness in shops

Yet I can cope with leaving you, my heart will fill again

As you’ve fortified a love for life with much more yet to gain

I hope you keep your lovely ways, to lose them would be sad

My heart is found, now I think on it, from the best time I ever had.

Yes I can cope with leaving you, my life here’s full again.

A man I love and family, and the best of lovely friends

My labours lift me daily, and great work to be done

And finding time, be just fine, fun with a young grandson.

So I thank you Listowel, for lovely days and nights that linger still

And I thank you for reminding me of that magic Irish will

And thankful of a heritage that links me back your way

And I’ll sing your songs and speak your words as I go through my English day

Fran Blyth – daughter of Hannah Teresa Bardsley (nee Flaherty) August 1925 – April 2003


Presentation Sisters, Listowel, Burial Plot

These are the names of all the sisters who served in Listowel and whose remains are buried in St. Michael’s graveyard.



I posted a photo yesterday of these pretty houses on Church St. Since I took yesterday’s snap they have got even prettier. No, not by the addition of the Kerry flag but by the gorgeous front doors. Lovely job!


The apple did not fall far from the tree

Sign at John B.’s yesterday


Up The Kingdom

Giant Kerrry Jersey suspended from a crane over New York