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: Adare Manor

Milk stands, Ladies golf, Adare for Tea and and A New Irish Rose of Tralee

Running in Carrantoohil

Chris Grayson running in The Devil’s Ladder


 Do you Remember the milk stand?

They’ve kind of made a feature of our old milk stand in the yard at home. My brother doesn’t have cows any more so the old stalls have been put to other uses. He found an old milk churn and put it on the milk stand as a reminder of the old days. The idea of the stand was that when the churns were full of milk and therefore heavy to lift, they could be rolled from the stand on to the donkey cart. At milking time this stand would be home to a gaggle of mewling cats, all begging for their ration of the warm milk. This was in the day when my mother milked the cows by hand.


A Famous Ballybunion Golfer

I took this photo of a picture in The Bunker Bar in Ballybunion. This is Mrs Rosalie Venn. She was a Shortis from Ballybunion. She was the first lady captain of Ballybunion Golf Club in 1941. Her daughter, Angela Gilmore, became lady captain on 1971.


Tea for Two

Have you been to Adare Manor since it’s make over?

I haven’t.

But people I know who went rave about the opulence and luxury of the place. This is the little tea caddy my friend brought home. I’m glad she told me that it was special before I drank it or I’d never have guessed, Underwhelmed!

In my humble opinion the cup of tea I had with Judy MacMahon a while ago was far superior.


International Rose of Tralee 2018

Kristen Mate Maher is not your stereotypical Irish colleen. She is a stylish confident accomplished young lady who will be a great representative for Ireland in her year of Rose duties.


Listowel letter in yesterday’s irish Examiner

Afternoon Tea in Adare

Afternoon Tea is the New Lunch

There was a much maligned group of ladies in South Dublin during the years of The Boom who were disparagingly referred to in the media as The Ladies who Lunch. The new breed of lady does not lunch. She takes afternoon tea.

While I would not consider myself in this class of socialite, I did get an invitation to such a repast last week. The tea in question was to be in Adare Manor. Who could refuse?

We decided to make a day of it so we started early with a visit to The Old Creamery. 

Have you ever been? 

No? You should correct that omission asap.

It’s a kind of Alladin’s cave of all things shiny and bright. Think Listowel Garden Centre Christmas shop and multiply that.

Below are a few of the many many displays.

The Old Creamery has a lovely tea room.

It also does afternoon tea but our date was elsewhere.

Adare will be forever associated in the public’s mind with the atrocity that took place there in 1996.

We took a stroll down the street and visited a few of the glamorous shops there. Then it was on to the Manor for our tea.

Adare Manor’s tree was stylishly co ordinated in red and gold and the the whole foyer area was warm , welcoming and Christmassy.

A shaft of sunlight from the floor- to- ceiling window illuminated by dining companions, the ladies who tea, as they studied the menu.

Ta Dah! Afternoon tea for two at Adare Manor.


Somewhere over the rainbow

As I was a walking throughout the small square last week I spotted this rainbow over town. It’s a bit hard to make out, but I assure you, it’s there. A pot of gold awaits us in 2016!


2016 the year of Mercy

14 Charles St.,Listowel, Adare, More than one rosary and the passing of Gus Cremin

Plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose

This photo which I snapped opportunistically on Charles Street last week has proved very popular. Vincent Carmody got in touch with me to remind me that in his book, Listowel, Snapshots of a Market Town, he has a photo taken at the same spot over 100 years ago.


Adare Manor

J.P. McManus has purchased Adare Manor. This photo on Limerick Life shows Queen Victoria arriving there in 1897.


An cloch is lú ar mo phaidrín

My title for my little story comes from an Irish phrase that means, literally, the littlest bead on my rosary or, figuratively, the least of my worries.

Recently I was told a story of a lady who purchased a rosary beads for an elderly relative. When she got the present home, she discovered that it had only 4 decades. She returned it to the shop where the shop assistant discovered that the whole batch of beads had only 4 decades. Everyone presumed that the rosaries were faulty and another example of shoddy workmanship.

I was, however, aware of other sets of beads beside The Holy Rosary as we know it.

I had a very saintly grandmother who, like many of the women of her day was devout and prayerful. After her death I inherited her little purse where she kept her beads. It contained 3 sets of prayer beads.

Conventional, if rather large, rosary beads

These two sets of beads are a mystery to me; one has five “decades”, each of 5 beads; the other has seven “decades” each with 7 beads.  Any ideas?


+   Gus Cremin R.I.P.  +

(photo; Terrace Talk on Facebook)

End of an Era

Gus Cremin of Lisselton, Gaelic football legend, passed away last week.

Gus Cremin born 1921 was Kerry’s oldest living winning All-Ireland

Senior medal holder in Gaelic football.

With his team mate and fellow midfielder, the great Eddie Dowling, Gus

helped the Shannon Rangers win the 1945 Kerry County Championship,

thus putting him in line for the Kerry captaincy the following year.

He was chosen for the Kerry Juniors in 1946 and then went straight

onto the senior side for the All-Ireland semi-final against Antrim.

In the final against Roscommon he captained Kerry and became the

youngest ever to lead the side in an All-Ireland final. It was a

dramatic match and late goals from Paddy Burke and ‘Gega’ O’Connor

helped snatch a draw for the Kingdom. Gus was shouldered high from the

field by supporters after an amazing game. However, Kerry caused a

sensation by relegating their captain to the subs; Gus was

dramatically dropped for the replay.

With fifteen minutes left in the replay the Kerry team were trailing

the Connaught men by two points, and Roscommon showed no sign of

losing their lead. Entering that last quarter Kerry made the move that

won the match by finally allowing the former captain to come on the

field as a sub. He immediately set up Paddy Burke who found the net

and the Kingdom were ahead. With a few minutes to go in the match Gus

scored a magnificent point from 50 yards. This was the decider and

Kerry went on to win. Later it was described as “one of the most

perfect and valuable points ever scored in Croke Park.”

The following year Gus was most unfortunate when a broken leg

sustained in a North Kerry League game prevented him from traveling to

America for the historic 1947 Polo Grounds Final in New York. He

played his last game for Kerry in the 1948 All-Ireland semi-final loss

to Mayo.

Taken from

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