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

Tag: 1916 commemorative garden

Dorans Then and Now, Patrick Keough walks the Kerry Way and a Station Cat

1916 commemorative Garden, July 2018


Crowley’s Corner now Doran’s Pharmacy

Photo: The John Hannon Archive


Hiking The Kerry Way

A friend recently sent me a link to this blog post

Trecking The Kerry Way

Read this account of Patrick Keough’s walk and you will want to “arise and go there”

Here are just a few snippets.

The Kerry Way Trail takes you over some of Ireland’s highest mountains, majestic coastlines, remote valleys, native forests and breathtaking scenic vistas.

The terrain along the Kerry Way is much more extreme and remote than the Camino to Santiago, however the scenic views are magnificent and awe inspiring. I also got myself lost a few times hiking the mountain ridges in dense fog. It was a frightening experience not being able to find the trail markers then looking at my phone and realizing I had no service. Luckily after about 4 km of searching and some praying I found my way back to the trail. It was an introspective trek, in addition to a great personal challenge.

After a week of hiking over rugged deserted terrain I started thinking what it must have been like for the Irish people 200 years ago. No creature comforts, no cars, phones or electricity. I can’t even imagine how hard life must have been just traveling from town to town by foot or horse cart.

It’s difficult doing justice with words describing the majestic beauty of the Kerry landscape. It’s the same as it was thousands of years ago. Towering rocky hillsides, flowing dark rivers and miles and miles of wet boggy grass and yellow gorse. I feel very blessed and a little overwhelmed hiking in this timeless unspoiled environment. Looking upon my surroundings this morning bathed in crisp dawn light I feel Gods presence in nature.

This is just a small taste of this marvellous blogpost. Here is the link again. Read it all and look at Patrick’s marvellous photos. If you don’t have the energy to undertake it, this is the next best thing to being there.

The Kerry Way

All photos and text are copyright  to Patrick Keough


Summer Visitors

When I called in to Listowel Writers’ Week office last week, I found Máire and Eilish entertaining Jim and Liz Dunn and their visiting grandchildren.


This Cat is going nowhere

Member of staff at Tralee railway station

kingfisher, Listowel coursing, and more from the enterprise town event

A Blue Photo

Photographer; Jim McSweeney


In St. Michael’s Graveyard

A wintry sun lit up St. Michael’s last week.

This is the grave of one of Listowel’s great writers and scholars.

The gravestone is understated and tasteful.


Listowel Coursing Committee 1969

Photo published in The Advertiser


The Lartigue Model

Scully’s Corner is now Chic Corner and this Christmas it has a fabulous window display. As well as the cover picture from Olive Stack’s Christmas in Listowel it has a beautiful replica of The Lartigue. This replica is usually on display in Scoil Realta na Maidine.

Judy MacMahon drew my attention to the story of the mosel railway which is displayed in the corner of the window.

The model was made by Micheal Ashe of Church Street and presented to Bryan MacMahon to commemorate to opening of the new school in 1959. Owen MacMahon gave Mary some old photos of the Lartigue to add to the display.


Listowel Enterprise Town 2017

I’ve tried to include the banners in my photos so you will know who they are representing.

Aspects of Listowel Childers’ park, Mike the Pies for Music and Phone box or WiFi hub

Chaffinch photographed by Chris Grayson


Awakening Trees

Our trees in public places are a delight to watch as they change from the dullness of winter into the glorious colours of spring and summer.

These trees in the park were planted by Scoil Realta na Maidine.

This dense copse has grown really quickly.

Magnificent trees on the pitch and putt course will soon bud into leaf.


More Progress on the commemorative garden

This beautiful golden sand adds to the jewelled effect.


Prestigious Award for Mike the Pies


We have Phone Boxes with Working? Phone in Listowel too

On William Street

According to the sign its a WiFi hub. I must test it out.


When You’re making plans for Easter Monday…..

If you’ve overindulged with the Easter eggs or even if you haven’t, Listowel Writers’ Week’s Cruinniú na Cásca event is just the ticket:

Beginning at 11am on
Monday 17th April from The Seanchai Centre in Listowel Square, the morning walk
will take you around the beautiful and resourceful River Feale. You will see
and hear some dramatised stories, poems and excerpts from the plays of
Listowel’s literary giants such as Bryan MacMahon, John B. Keane, Dan Keane,
Maurice Walsh, Gabriel Fitzmaurice, Brendan Kennelly, Billy Keane and many

The walk is free, and
will begin with the opening of an open art exhibition by local artists both
professional and amateur followed by a brief introduction to the walk. Along
the walk we will be entertained with short performances by local actors. After
the walk, we will return to the Seanchai Centre for complimentary tea &

Planting in the Park,Tara Brooch and More Listowel Memories

Giving it Full Blast

This magnificent shot won Jim MacSweeney a bronze medal at a recent photography competition. The photo was taken in Killarney National Park during the rutting season.


This Listowel public house got a new sign while I wasn’t looking.


1916 Commemorative Garden

 I took this photograph of the 1916 installation from the path beside the pitch and putt course. I went into the garden and photographed details of the planting. It’s well worth a visit. It’s lovely.

The design for the garden is in the shape of the famous Tara Brooch.

Here is the story of the Tara Brooch from the Irish Central website:

The Tara Brooch is perhaps Ireland’s greatest piece of
jewelry dating from the 7th century AD. It remains a popular symbol of Ireland
and the country’s rich ancestral

Although the beautiful brooch is
named after theHill of Tara, traditionally seen as the seat of theHigh Kings of Ireland, the Tara Brooch has no connection to either the Hill of Tara
or the High Kings.

The brooch was supposedly found in
August 1850 on the beach at Bettystown, County Meath by a peasant woman. The
story goes that she found it in a box buried in the sand, though many believe
the brooch was actually found inland but the woman’s family altered the facts
to avoid a legal dispute with a landowner.

It was sold to a dealer and then
made its way into the hands of Dublin jeweler George Waterhouse. With a keen
sense of trends, Waterhouse was already producing Celtic Revival jewelry, which
had become immensely fashionable over the previous decade. It was he who
renamed the precious item the “Tara Brooch,” in order to make it more

Waterhouse chose the name Tara in
order to link the brooch to the site associated withthe High Kings of
, “fully aware that this would feed the Irish
middle-class fantasy of being descended from them.” And it worked. The
Tara Brooch was displayed as a standout showpiece at The Great Exhibition in
London in 1851 and the Paris Exposition Universelle, as well as the Dublin
exhibition visited by the Queen in 1853. Prior to this, it had even been
specially sent to Windsor Castle for her inspection.

In 1872, the brooch was added to the
collection of the Royal Irish Academy, which later issued its antiquities to
theNational Museum of
, where the Tara Brooch remains today.

TheNational Museum notesthat “It is made of cast and gilt silver and is elaborately
decorated on both faces. The front is ornamented with a series of exceptionally
fine gold filigree panels depicting animal and abstract motifs that are
separated by studs of glass, enamel, and amber. The back is flatter than the
front, and the decoration is cast. The motifs consist of scrolls and triple
spirals and recall La Tène decoration of the Iron Age.

“A silver chain made of plaited wire
is attached to the brooch by means of a swivel attachment. This feature is
formed of animal heads framing two tiny cast glass human heads.

“Along with such treasures as the
Ardagh Chalice and the Derrynaflan Paten, the Tara Brooch can be considered to
represent the pinnacle of early medieval Irish metalworkers’ achievement. Each
individual element of decoration is executed perfectly and the range of
technique represented on such a small object is astounding.”


Maria Sham’s Memories of Happy Listowel Sundays

The family in Gurtinard

After dinner on
Sunday we would all go to my Grandmother Moloney’s house in Charles Street and
take some jelly and current loaf for her. Mam would meet up with her sisters
there and enjoy a little gossip.  Our
cousins would also meet there and we would all sit on the door step and wait
for our uncle Jimmy to get home. He would give all of us 2p for the cinema.
Sometimes on a Sunday my brother Paddy would go fishing and we would have a
fresh trout for tea.

Moloney kept pigs in a pig sty in the back yard and as she was a bit feeble she
would ask us children to take the pig food and feed them. I was scared stiff of them and would
throw the food on their backs and run. Poor Mud, as we called her, was so glad
thinking I had looked after the pigs and fed them. She was a bit deaf and could
not hear us giggling. It was this grandmother that bought my first suitcase
years later when I was leaving to go to England.

Some Sundays we
would go for walks to the spa and through the woods to pick bluebells. The wood
looked fantastic like a carpet of blue. Then we’d walk home through gurtenard
and up through the graveyard, our arms loaded with bluebells.

The train ran at
the back of our house and we were like the railway children. We would sit on
the big bridge and watch who came off, anyone we knew coming from England just
to see what they were wearing. It was also sad to see people crying as they
were saying goodbye, leaving on the train the first leg of their journey to
England. It was on this train I also left many years later.

The last train came
in about 6.O’clock. Then the railway gates were locked for the night. We could
then go and play there. It was quite safe. We would go to the cattle pens and
have great times.

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