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 Page 1 of 3

Sr. Consolata’s Arizona Story

North County House, Listowel February 2022


Sr. Nuala R.I.P. and Sr. Consolata


Sr. Consolata’s adventures in Arizona (Concluded)

In 1997 Sr. Consolata Bracken spent a year in Arizona. She wrote an account of her time in the U.S. for the school magazine. Here is the final extract from that essay.


Historic Adare


A Lovely Family Occasion

A Baptism is a truly lovely family occasion. Even in times like these, welcoming new life into a parish community is an uplifting event.

Anne Cogan was ten years old when her baby sister was born. She has always had a motherly relationship with Cliona. It is lovely to see her developing the same motherly bond with Clíona’s baby.

Isn’t that the sweetest face ever?


Adare, Ballybunion Street Names and a Look back at Writers Week 2018 and a few photos from the weekend

May 24 and 25 2019

This weekend I was at two Michael D. events, two book launches, MS busking and the Eucharistic procession. I took tons of photos. It will take a while to process them, to tell the story and to drip  feed some of the best of them into blog posts. This week I’m busy with Writers’ Week so please be patient. There will be lean days yet and I’ll post the pictures for you.

VIP visitors, Michael D. and Sabina Higgins with Listowel VIPs, Julie Gleeson and Mary Hanlon.

Hard working Listowel/North Kerry M.S. Society volunteers with Ballybunion musicians and singers at their annual busking day in Listowel on Friday May 24 2019.

Joe Hanlon can’t wait to read his copy of Under the Bed…. Robert Pierse’s autobiographical work launched on Friday May 24 2019.

John Devoy signs his book, Quondam  for Limerick visitors in Woulfe’s bookshop on Saturday May 25 2019.

Annual Eucharistic procession at Convent Cross on Saturday May 25 2019


Picturesque Adare, Co. Limerick

I stopped recently on my way home from Kildare. Adare is such a beautiful little town.

Adare Manor is a no-go area but otherwise the town is charming and welcoming.


Ballybunion Street Names

Remember I told you all about the palaver Listowel had over street names?

Well we could take a leaf out of Ballybunion’s book. They used a very simple method, e.g. if the road leads to a doon call it Doon Road. If it leads to a sandhill, call it sandhill Road

Here are just a few examples I snapped while I was in town last week

All self explanatory but wait……..

A few roads are named after famous Ballybunion people but that’s understandable.



Two More Sleeps to Opening Night Writers Week 2019

A few more from last year.

Adare, London Irish and Dispute resolved in Emly in 1877 and Up the Kingdom lyrics

Photo:  Ita Hannon


Adare, a Picturesque Village

Adare  is a beautiful village of thatched cottages, stylish shops and great restaurants.

These cottages are being rebuilt and will soon be returned to their former glory.

If this sign was in Kerry, people would be citing it as a Kerry joke.

Contrasting new and old thatched roofs.


London Irish Centre 2017

Dermot O’leary is a big star on British TV. He has never forgotten his Irish roots and he visits the London Irish Centre often. He is its patron. They shared these pictures from a recent visit on their Facebook page.


Freeman’s Journal (Australia)  1877

Catholic Archbishop Leahy issued a pastoral denouncing the Three-year-old and the Four-year-old factions in the parish of Emly, County Limerick. Since then it appears there has been a mission of Redemptorist Fathers sent down to the district, followed by a visit from the Archbishop himself, who so worked upon the impressible population that the two factions met in chapel, took the sacrament together, and in a wild burst of enthusiasm clasped each other by the hand, renounced all their ancient feuds, and vowed they would never so much as pronounce the offensive words more. 


The GAA Family

My grandchildren are members of Ballincollig GAA. I have a renewed respect for this organisation. Recently I attended an Under 8 camogie game and it was a lesson in sportsmanship, enjoyment and sheer hard work. I watched the coaches, referees and helpers give freely of their spare time to teach these little girls valuable lessons.

While these under eights have a concept of team, they have no concept of rivalry. My little full back chatted and played with her “marker” whenever the sliotar was at the other end.

No one keeps a score and every half attempt at striking the ball is praised to the heavens.

“Hurley down” was the constant exhortation since only ground hurling is allowed at this level. The coach cum referee, cum mentor cum Daddy was infinitely patient and encouraging.

Here he is giving the team pep talk.

At the end everyone troops by and shakes everyones hand. No one won or lost and they all had a great time in the open air among friends.

Well done the GAA.


Up The Kingdom

In response to a request, here are the words of Up the Kingdom. I can confirm that it was written by Cormac O’Leary, a fact that seems to have been forgotten over time.

Up the kingdom is the cry of every girl and boy,

To every Kerry heart both young and old;

To the kingdom we’ll be true

and to dear old Ireland, too,

Up the kingdom, may God bless

the Green and Gold.

Sons and daughters of
the Gael,

come and listen to my tale,

Of a kingdom that is held in high renown;

It’s the place that they call Kerry,

Where there’s not a care nor worry,

From the highest hilltop to the smallest town.

Up the kingdom is the cry of every girl and boy,

To every Kerry heart both young and old;

To the kingdom we’ll be true

and to dear old Ireland, too,

Up the kingdom, may God bless

the Green and Gold.

There’s a rumour up in

said a scholar of religion,

That a Kerry man composed

the great Lord’s Prayer;

For when he wrote, Thy kingdom come,

His will has well been done,

There’s Kerry men and women everywhere.

Up the kingdom is the cry of every girl and boy,

To every Kerry heart both young and old;

To the kingdom we’ll be true

and to dear old Ireland, too,

Up the kingdom, may God bless

the Green and Gold.

Oh, they say that Sam

he is getting very tired,

Of his yearly trip from Dublin to Listowel;

If you’re after football honour,

Well, the ones you have to conquer,

Will be fifteen men dressed up in Green and Gold.

Up the kingdom is the cry of every girl and boy,

To every Kerry heart both young and old;

To the kingdom we’ll be true

and to dear old Ireland, too,

Up the kingdom, may God bless

the Green and Gold.

Up the kingdom is the cry of every girl and boy,

To every Kerry heart both young and old;

To the kingdom we’ll be true

and to dear old Ireland, too,

Up the kingdom, may God bless

the Green and Gold.

Up the kingdom, may God bless

the Green and Gold.

And if you want to hear it one more time, here are Sarah and Elizabeth Marince giving it welly.

Up the Kingdom


We have a Winner

We may have lost the football but…..

Listowel native, Declan McCarron on the podium. This weekend he won the Dutch Open Pitch and Putt 2017 in Friesland, Holland.

Adare, Ballybunion, a chance meeting on a Dublin bus and some people up for the match

Photo; Ita Hannon


Upper Church Street in Summer 2017



Recently, on my way home from Limerick I decided to stop to stretch my legs in the beautiful village of Adare, County Limerick. Adare is a martyr to traffic congestion. That is perfectly understandable as it is one of the prettiest villages in these parts. I met the two lovely ladies below in the local café. They are volunteer Adare ambassadors. They just chat to visitors and answer any questions you might have. They were very welcoming and friendly. Every town should have ambassadors like these.

I decided to take a stroll through the park which is in the heart of the village.

The site for the park was donated to the people by the Earl of Dunraven. Above, at the end of the path, you can see a gate into the Dunraven estate.

I’d highly advise a stop in Adare if you find yourself with a while to spare on the way to or from Limerick.


Ballybunion Sculptures

This lovely floral boat adorns the Doon Road in Ballybunion. It is the work of the Ballybunion Tidy Town’s Committee

Nearby this sculpture to past Doon families has been unveiled.


Well, be the hokey!

When I went to Dublin for the Horse Show recently I travelled to and from the show by public transport. I took a No. 4 bus from O’Connell Street to Ballsbridge.

On my return journey I again boarded the No. 4. Just to  be sure to be sure I was on the correct bus, I asked the lady beside me if the bus I was on would return me to O’Connell St.

To cut a long story short, this lovely lady turned out to be none other than Betty Given, a lady with a very strong Listowel connection. Truth is often stranger than fiction.


Up for the Match

John Kelliher was in Dublin for the match on Saturday August 26 2017. He wisely took his camera with him and here are a few of the great photos he shared on Facebook

Lovely day for the rematch

The hope before and the desolation afterwards well told in these two pictures.

Will you look who John caught on camera on their way to the match: None other than Jimmy Deenihan with Elizabeth, Sarah and Mary Kay Marince of Florida  AND could that be the Rose of Tralee escort still in attendance on the Rose?

Shortis of Ballybunion, Fleadh 1987, Holy Trinity Church, Adare and Hay and Tae in Bromore

Another great Then and Now from Time Travel Kerry

-Shortis bar Ballybunion-

Located in the middle of the village at the corner of Main St. and Cliff Road, it was a shop in the original picture and is a public house called the ‘Bunker bar’ today. It’s great to see that almost all of it’s original exterior plasterwork has survived in good condition.

William Shortis, owner of the shop at the time of the original photograph was also the manager of the Ballybunion station of the famed Lartigue monorail. He died in 1905. The Lartigue closed down in 1924.

The building was built around 1890 with a renovation in the 1930s which included building the pub and changing the facade slightly to accommodate this. The rear extention and dormer roof lights were added in later years. There is a cut-stone plaque on the building inscribed: “To the memory of Lr Patrick Shortis(Son of William)born here in 1895 killed in action in the Easter Rising, Dublin 1916 erected by The No. 7 Kerry Republican Soldiers Memorial Committee 1966′

The houses to the left of the modern picture were also added after the original picture was taken.

(Original photo – Lawrence early 1900s)

(Modern photo April ’15)

Historical ref – Listowel blogspot, Buildings of Ireland)


Church of the Holy Trinity, Adare, Co. Limerick

This is a copy of a Trinity icon by Andrei Rubiev of Moscow. This ancient Russian icon represents the Trinity as three angels. “The church chose this icon as it most fully expresses the dogma of the Holy Trinity; the three angels are depicted in equal dignity, symbolizing the triunity and equality of all three Persons.”

This beautiful church in Adare has an old fashioned look to it. It still has statues, a pulpit and a railed off sanctuary. It has some beautiful stained glass windows but many very plain ones too. Call in and have a look for yourself if you are passing through Adare.


August 28 1987

Photo of The Fleadh committee 1987 in two halves        (photo from Betty Stack)


The more things change, the more they stay the same.  I found this on the internet. I have no idea of the year referred to but there is clue in that the recruiting agent is Lieut. Charles Friend, His Majesty’s agent for Emigration.


Two postscripts

Adrian McCarron wrote to me about this one. Betty Stack identified most of the people in this photo but Adrian’s name eluded her. So, for the record, the little boy in the blue jumper, third from left in the front row is Adrian McCarron and Adrian reckons the year is 1978 and not 1976 as I stated. He remembers the fleadh in Buncrana in 1976 and this is definitely Listowel.

Adrian, like so many others was delighted to see this old photo and we owe a debt of gratitude to Betty Stack for sharing it. So let me take this opportunity to ask other readers of Listowel Connection to take the time to seek out and share more old photos, a small thing to brighten someone’s day.

Ethel Murphy took the time to email me to tell me that Pearse Street is in fact, William Street. Thereby hangs a tale which I must investigate further.


Hay and Tae in Bromore

On Friday evening, Mike Flahive organized his now annual Hay and Tae festival. This could be called the Meitheal in the Meadow because that is what it is…a group gathered together along Bromore Cliffs to save a meadow of hay the old fashioned way.

Ah, the memories!

The hay in the meadow is cut into swarths, these are long rows of mown hay. Here Mike is gathering the hay into cocks with the wooden tumbling paddy.

There is a huge skill in tumbling this much hay without injuring yourself. I remember my father operating this implement but then he also had a horse to control. This way the tractor can stop dead still and there is no fear from that quarter.

This is an old fashion wynnd.

This is a new one! Spectators on chairs! In my young day there were no spectators in a meadow. Everyone had a job to do.

What a lovely setting for an evening of haymaking.

The man on top of the wynnd had a very hard job to do because he had to distribute the hay evenly to give the wynnd its cone shape.

Once the wynnd is made the man on top is helped down.

The loose bits of hay are raked down.  later these bits will be made into another wynnd.

Every farm has to have a young fellow on a tractor. Looks like this young lad wasn’t even born when this tractor first saw the light of day.

Ah,  tea in the meadow, the taste of yesterdays.

(photos; Ballybunion Prints, Beautiful setting ,hay and tae; Bromore Cliffs)

What a beautiful setting for such a simple yet great event. Well done all!

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén