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

Tim O’Leary R.I.P.

Some musicians and volunteers at North Kerry MS Busking Day in Main Street, Listowel, August 26 2022


+Tim O’Leary R.I.P.+

Listowel’s streets are poorer for the loss of Tim O’Leary who loved Listowel and packed a lot into his life.

Tim was first and foremost a Garda and in that role served our community well. After retirement, Tim continued to serve Listowel in a voluntary role in so many organisations.

with Donal O’Sullivan
with Eleanor Enright

Tim loved the Irish language and everything to do with our Irish heritage. He promoted the Gaelscoil and he was always to the fore when Glór na nGael was organising St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

He was elected to Listowel Town Council. He also worked tirelessly on the Lartigue Monorail.

Tim with volunteers at The Lartigue

Tim served as a volunteer in Listowel Credit Union. In fact anything that benefited Listowel saw Tim put his hand up to help. He was a shining example of what is best in us all.

Tim’s life has touched the lives of many

Who will remember him for evermore.

He leaves the world a better place

Than it had been before.

Guím solas na Flaitheas dá anam uasal dilís.


Pears Soap

From the Capuchin archive

Pears’ Soap used some controversial advertising tactics in the 19th century. There is a huge body of advertisements available to buy online from its various campaigns.

This one is rather strange in that it uses celebrity endorsement for the first time yet there is no sign of Lillie Langtry or any obvious connection between the actress and the image.


Remembering the Famine

Mark Holan in his Irish American blog remembers the land of his ancestors in its darkest days.

This memorial is a short walk from where I live in Cambridge, Mass.

Twenty-five years ago this summer Irish President Mary Robinson dedicated America’s first memorial to An Gorta Mor, the Great Hunger of the mid-19th century. The recognition came at the 150th anniversary of “Black ’47”, the worst year of the Irish famine. A few months earlier Robinson dedicated Ireland’s National Famine Memorial in County Mayo.

“I wish we could say as a people that in a world of plenty there would be no famine,” Robinson told 1,000 onlookers at Cambridge Common, next to the Harvard campus, across the Charles River from Boston.

Two views of the sculpture are seen above and below.

Thus began a boom in artistic representations of the deaths of 1 million Irish and emigration of 1 million others. The Irish Famine Memorial in downtown Boston was unveiled 11 months after the one in Cambridge. Today, there are more than 140 such memorials worldwide, including three more in greater Boston.



John Pierse R.I.P.


MS Busking Day 2022


  1. Seán Healy

    An excellent tribute to one of Listowel’s ‘adopted’ sons. Tim did more for Listowel in his time here than many of us ‘natives’. He was a real community Gárda who loved to walk the beat and after his retirement he put so much time and work into voluntary organisations and the town council that very little happened without his influence. Tim is a loss to the town and to all of us who knew him. May he R.I.P.

  2. Marie Shaw

    Mary, thank you for the tribute to Tim O’Leary. Tim and his wife Tess were true and long friends of ours. I will forever miss Tess and now Tim. May they both RIP together.

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