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: Aladdin

Aladdin and The Weather

Aladdin; great fun for all the family in The Tinteán in Ballybunion on Saturday next January 11 2014 at 7.30 for one night only….Don’t miss it.


Jer. Kennelly took some photos of the snow on the Kerry mountains from the top of the carpark in Tralee.


The next photo was taken by Anna Sobotka. It is my nephew outside his place of work in St. Louis, Missouri. They are experiencing massive snowfalls and excruciatingly cold temperatures.


John Kelliher took these snaps of he recent flooding in Ballylongford.


In this year of commemoration of the commencement of The Great War here is a shocking and scarcely credible fact:

Over the course of#WW1Britain lost nearly half a million horses. One horse for every two men.

Duagh’s living Christmas crib.

Popular local couple, Patsy and Frances Kennedy pictured in The `Mermaids in 1992.


During my Christmas break, I visited the Duagh living crib. This lovely Christmas tradition is a welcome break from all the commercial trappings of the holy season.

Hanging from the wall were some horse shoes and a tilly lamp, symbols of a bygone era.

A súgán chair for the weary.


A few more from the horsefair


The period between Christmas and New Year has become a popular time for weddings. I photographed this pair in Ballincollig Regional Park, Co. Cork.


Jim MacSweeney’s lovely little robin


Some more photos from the Listowel panto, Aladdin

Danny’s glorious costumes and witty quips were a delight
Princess Jasmine and her daddy
The same daddy turning vicious.
A small few of the very talented Theatrix children. They were a credit to Jo Jordan and everyone involved with their training.


Let’s talk about the weather.

This picture by Daithí ÓMórdha shows every seal in Kerry sheltering on the Great Blasket island yesterday

The sun will come out tomorrow…… Ballybunion Jan 7 2014 by Mike Enright.


I can’t really put up the photo again, but you remember the one with Mick Regan, shoemaker from Church St. His home has since been demolished to widen the entrance to the back lane. Maura MacConnell tells me that there are 2 Kennelly girls in the photo, Mary and Gertie. Now does anyone know where in Listowel the photo was taken.? Maybe one of the people in the photo will remember the occasion.

More from the January horse Fair and Panto

Some people at Listowel’s January horsefair 2014


Some older photos

The late John Joe McElligott

1960s children play in the town park. Recognise anyone?


Last month while reading Frank McNally’s Irishman’s Diary, I learned about a custom called Abarta.

Have you ever heard someone coming on a group of people working, say “God bless the work” or as a neighbour of my own used to say, ” God bless all here, bar the cat and the dog.” This blessing on the work is a relic of the old Abarta. Apparently, up until the 19th century, it was a statutory obligation on a workman to pray a blessing on his completed work. If he failed in this obligation, he could be fined “one seventh of the cost of his feeding”

By the 20th century the custom had taken a new twist and on the completion of building work the builder would raise a flag on the building, signaling the completion of the job and in the expectation of a top up payment by his paymaster. This custom has now died out but  subtle or not so subtle requests for a tip are  still common in the service industry.


I found this on the internet. I hope it’s just the sausages that are thick but maybe there is a something implied in the fact that they are 100% British “Irish Recipe”.


Again from the internet comes this great photo of New Year’s Eve over Europe.


Jer Kennelly of Knockanure is an avid local historian and a great researcher and preserver of photos and tidbits relating to North Kerry. Every now and again I post something he has dug up. Often the snippets seem trivial or irrelevant but very often these little sections in my post strike a chord with a follower and a whole debate is operand up and shared.

One such “one liner” was a reference to Thade Gowran the poet and balladeer from Knocknagoshel. The line said that the bold Thade was in trouble for not paying his rent. His great granddaughter read the line and is now wondering if anyone knows anything about the incident, why he didn’t pay or what were the consequences. Anyone out there know anything?

And now today’s snippet: It’s an obituary from a Brisbane newspaper of October  6 1954:

A well known South Townsville resident, Mrs.
Hanora McCreadie, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 78. A 
native of Listowel, Ireland, Mrs.
McCreadie came to Townsville with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Maher, as a
baby in arms, and she ha spent her long lifetime as a resident of the South
Side She is survived by five sons, Hughie (Cairns), Jack (Innisfail), Sid and
Les (Townsville) and Eric (New Guinea) and two daughters, Mrs. W. Young and
Miss Heather McCreadie (Townsville). Her husband predeceased her about 20 years


If you did not get to see Aladdin in Listowel be sure to catch it at The Tinteán in Ballybunion at 7.30 on Saturday next, Jan. 11 2014

wishee washee
Aideen O’Conor and Maurice O’Sullivan


I will eventually get these next  2 photos right. Apologies to Catherine Rose, Mick Regan’s granddaughter who correctly identified him but I got my wires crossed and gave him ownership of a pub in William St. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Mick Regan was a famous Listowel musician and shoemaker from Church St. He was one of the mainstays of Comhaltas for years. Vincent Carmody set me right and pointed out Mick’s walking stick resting against the table in the picture.


I have to thank Eily Walshe for identifying the man beside Andy Molyneaux in the next photo. I’m surprised Junior did not recognize the great Kerry footballer, Gus Crimmins, who is still hale and hearty and living in Lisselton.


Pat Healy’s photo of Bryan Cooper on his first day as retained jockey at Gigginstown.

A great Kerry photographer photographs a great Kerry jockey.


Bríd Moran sent this distressing picture to the Kerryman. It’s a caravan park in Caherdaniel yesterday.

Nollaig na mBan, storm damage, January Horsefair and the first of the panto photos

“Bhí fuinneamh sa stoirm a d’éalaigh aréir

Aréir Oiche Nollaig na mBan….

Today is the last day of the Christmas season and Seán O’Riordáin’s poem about  a stormy Little Christmas seems apt for today.

It’s not exactly 1839…the night of The Big Wind but we have had some stormy weather lately.

Salthill  by Margaret O’Sullivan

Waterville by Darragh Courtney

Rossbeigh by Valerie O’Sullivan

Ballybunion by Mike Enright.

Ballybunion Main Beach, Friday January 3 2014        (photo by Francis Bennett)


Tralee Fire and Rescue at the scene of a chimney fire in Church Street on Jan 2 2014


The January Horsefair attracted a good crowd on Thursday last, January 2 2014. Here are a few shots from Market Street on the day.


I’m wrong again on this one. It’s not Norella or Eoin it’s Paudie Moriarty with the lovely curly head of hair. The musician is Timmy Brosnan and Mick Regan, who had a pub on William Street near John B.’s, has been positively identified by his granddaughter who follows the blog from faraway.


Photo by Jim MacSweeney: Poem by Dick Carmody



            …….companion for a reluctant gardener.

I kneel to tend my garden, derived of some pride, devoid of great pleasure

I toil to keep apace of mother nature, as weeds compete with work rate

I am suddenly less aware on my ownliness, a companion ever present at my side

Robin makes his predictable welcome appearance to distract from my discomfort.

he sits proud upon the boundary wall to watch my laboured movement

pride in that he fanned the fire in Bethlehem’s stable to keep the Baby warm

how the flames had burned his then colourless breast to testify his zealousness

was it when he pulled the thorn from Jesus’ brow on his way to cross on Calvary

now carries his blood-stained feathers as if to show his favoured ranking.

arms length he follows my every move, often playing hide and seek with me

tall or sometimes with head erect, motionless he stares me eye to eye

could believe him God-sent, no other bird in sight in hedgerow or on leafless

is it just that he sees me as his meal-ticket, as I gather and discard the
fallen leaves

tasty morsels in the unfrozen ground to help him cope with winter’s worst.

move along, hunched on bended knee, he follows cautiously close behind, beside

out of sight, I seek him out again and know I will not be disappointed

sure enough he’s back again here, there and everywhere, not taken for granted

gardening is less of a chore as I’m gifted a companion, my new forever friend.

Dick Carmody                                                                                November,


A few photos from Aladdin on Saturday last

section of audience

Evaun McElligott


Frances and Catherine

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