Listowel Connection

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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

Some of the Old Stock

Photo Credit; Una Murphy, Mallow Camera Club

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Some of Listowel’s Old Stock

This marvellous old snap is one of the great photos shared by Mike Hannon on Facebook.

In the centre of the photo is the late Ned O’Connor of Convent Street.

Ned was the first Listowel man I met on my first visit to town. The year was 1972 or 1973. I was a very young teacher and on my first big assignment. I was to examine the Leaving Cert. class in Presentation Secondary School in oral Irish.

I had never been to Listowel before.

I looked up the Bord Fáilte book for a suitable Bed and Breakfast for the week. (There was no internet in those days)

I think it was the Convent Street address that prompted me to choose Ned O’Connor’s premises. I figured it was surely within walking distance of the school. It was.

I arrived on the Sunday evening, to begin work on Monday. Ned welcomed me and showed me to a very comfortable room. He told me that the week before the “Padre Pio priest” had stayed in that very room.

The next morning after my breakfast, Ned gave me an orange to bring with me to school. He told me that he thought my voice would be sore from all the talking and oranges were great for relieving a sore throat. I had never stayed in a B and B before but I knew that this level of caring couldn’t be the norm.

As an ambassador for Listowel, Ned did an excellent job.

May he rest in peace.

By the way, the Leaving Cert girls did excellently well in their oral exam.

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It’s Done and It’s Lovely

And who are the two men enjoying a chat and admiring the newly unveiled area?

Billy Keane and Aidan ÓMurchú were relaxing in the sunshine in the new facility.

Necessary but a bit unsightly in our lovely new meeting, performing and eating space

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From 2002/03 Pres. Yearbook

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Dáithí Óg

Back in the day Dáithí ÓSé used to be a weatherman on TG4

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Listowel and Ballybunion

Vincent Higgins, Mallow Camera Club. He captioned it Take no Notice

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Old Listowel

This very old image of the Square was shared on line by Dave Curran.

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Stained Glass and Moya

All roads led to Ballybunion on the weekend of May 31 to June 2.

I was in St. John’s for this.

Fr. Hannafin introduced us to 5 of the windows in St. John’s that are rarely seen.

This is the view from the gallery. Behind me as I took this photo are the windows which were the subject of our talk.

The gallery is reached by a narrow dark spiral staircase which has to be used going up and going down. I can see why it is not open to the public.

The saints depicted on the windows all have a connection with Munster in general and North Kerry in particular. They are St. Brendan, St. Ita, St. John the Evangelist, St. Senan and St. Brigid.

The windows are absolutely beautiful. It’s a pity they are hidden away up there.

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A Star Attraction

I’ve got my ticket for Donie and Malachy at Listowel Writers’ Week 2022 but they are selling fast. Wouldn’t it be great if something important turned up and John King, CNN’s chief national correspondent, had to talk to Donie while he is in Listowel.

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Road Works

Listowel Credit Union were in a prime location to take this picture of the recent roadworks on their doorstep.

It looks like Roadworks are a constant in Listowel as this picture from 1986 shared on Facebook by Mike Hannon proves.

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On Saturday May 7 2022 in Kerry Writers’ Museum, Minister Norma Foley launched a exhibition of memorabilia of Kerry’s Amateur Dramatic history.

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Mallow and More

At Scoil Realt na Maidine, April 2022

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In Mallow

Recently I made a brief pit stop in Mallow and I photographed a few landmarks there.

Mallow clock House
The Nation

Mallow is a strange mix of architectural styles.

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Big Changes in Town in 1920

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From the Pres. Yearbook 2002/03

School staff 2002/03

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Moya Festival 2022

Let’s go fly a kite

Up to the highest height.

This was the scene in Ballybunion on the Saturday of the May bank holiday weekend 2022. MOYA goes from strength to strength.

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Danny Hannon’s Shop

This was Hannon’s newsagent’s and book shop back in the day.

It’s now Gamourous.

I told you the other day that I bought my Frances Kennedy cd in that shop.

Mike Hannon is sharing marvellous old photos on Facebook. This is one of those, Eileen and Danny in the shop.

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A Dog Picture, an Old Story or Two and a new one.

Blooming Cherry Tree in Ballincollig, Co. Cork

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Humans with an animal head

I was completely behind the times on this one. I have just discovered that a friend of mine commissioned such a picture for his fiancee for her birthday.

The picture was done by Van Woof. Isn’t it cute?

If you are stuck for a present anytime soon, here’s an idea.

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Browsing through the Newspapers Online

A friend of this blog found these;

THE ST. PAUL GLOBE SUNDAY NOVEMBER 20, 1898

FIVE OF THE MOST SINGULAR RAILWAYS IN THE WORLD

There Is a “single-line railway” now working In Ireland. 

The Listowel & Ballybunion railway sounds like the Invention of some mad humourist;

but such a place as Ballybunion really exists. It is a very popular seaside resort in the southwest of Ireland. The distance between this point and the other terminus at Listowel is ten miles, and there is one Intermediate station—that of Lisselton. The system on which this railway is worked is called the Lartigue single rail elevated railway, and was the invention of a French engineer.

This single rail line, it should be explained at once, is not a single track railway, but actually has only one rail for trains to run on. This rail is supported on iron trestle work at the height of three feet three inches from the ground, and the locomotive and carriages are actually balanced on it.

And

18 Feb 1986

Nyack NY Journal News 1986 01759_1.pdf

By WILLIAM DEMAREST

Staff Writer

A retired New York City police officer from Haverstraw has been named Grand Marshal of the Pearl River St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is to be sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Rockland County.

John Scanlon, 57, will lead the celebration of Irish-American heritage down Central Avenue in Pearl River on Sunday, March 23. Honoured three times for bravery during his 25-year career with the New York Police Department, Scanlon is the treasurer of Division One of the AOH in North Rockland. “He has been a dedicated and faithful member and can always be relied upon to get the job done,” said Thomas Keyy, an AOH Division One spokesman, of Scanlon’s selection as grand marshal. A resident of the village of Haverstraw, Scanlon was born  in Lisselton, County Kerry in Ireland, where he was educated in local schools. He is a graduate of St. Michael College in Listowel. County Kerry, where he was a classmate of popular Irish playwright John B. Keane.

Before moving to the United States in 1949, Scanlon was a farmer. He served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1952 in Korea. Soon after his discharge from the Army, Scanlon joined the NYPD, finally retiring in January 1985.

The father of five children, Scanlon is the husband of the former Mary Browne, and they have three grandchildren. He works in the security department of St. Agatha’s Home in Nanuet.

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People I Met

I met this lovely couple on the street on Saturday April 30 2022. They were in town for a wedding the day before.

They are from Rossmore in Co. Cork. and they were looking for John B. Keane’s pub. They weren’t in need of a drink. They just wanted to see the place where Sive and so many of the playwright’s famous plays were written.

The name Rossmore may not be familiar to you but for lovers of amateur drama it is the location for a very popular drama festival. Year after year one of the entrants is a John B. Keane play. This year it was Sive.

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Pres. Yearbook 1983

Chorus lines were recruited and our gallant first and

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+Niall Stack R.I.P.+

I took this photograph a few years ago at Writers’ Week Opening Night. Niall had just met up with his friend Anthony Gaughan.

Niall Stack Passed away on April 29 2022. May he rest in peace.

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A cd and a Statue

Ann OMeara, Mallow Camera Club

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IWA Shop

Upper William Street

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A Very Talented Lady

I came across this lately.

Will you look at where I bought the cd.

This cd is a treasure. Frances is a storyteller and raconteur as well as a singer. We are lucky to have such a multi talented lady in our midst.

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A Statue

Photo from The Examiner

On the left is the recently unveiled statue of Maureen O’Hara in Glengarriff. On the right is the real Maureen O’Hara.

Now this is the second attempt at sculpting this lady’s likeness. The first statue was rejected as being “a poor likeness”.

Reproducing someone’s likeness in bronze is notoriously difficult. There have been some famous disasters, Princess Diana and Ronaldo among them.

George Best’s statue divided opinion in his native Belfast.

In Listowel we are lucky to have excellent statues of our two most famous literary figures, John B. Keane and Bryan MacMahon.

John B.’s statue was featured recently in The Examiner’s series; Munster in 30 Artworks. The statue is an excellent likeness of the playwright.

This is Seamus Connolly, the artist responsible.

Here is Seamus on the day of the unveiling, June 2 2007.

Both these photos are from The Examiner article. The full article is here;

Munster in 30 artworks; John B. Keane statue in Listowel

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Computing, The Early Days

From 1983 Pres. Yearbook

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Éadaein, Kerry Airport’s Favourite Passenger?

We are tired of hearing of the struggles of travellers in Dublin airport these days. Édaein O’Connell has an answer in her article in The Irish Independent. Look out for her in Peig Sayers Bar.

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A Titanic Fact from Vincent Doyle

Hi Mary, just been reading your story regarding the Titanic and I remember a funny story a friend told me some time ago, he said that when they found the wreckage in 1951 they were amazed that the swimming pool was still full.

🤣

   Best regards,   Vincent  Doyle.

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