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: Alica Taylor

Craftshop the Méar, Scoil Realt na Maidine

The River Lee, Cork in January 2020

Photo: Chris Grayson


Feeling Nostalgic

Today Im back in 2013 in Craftshop na Méar in Church Street. Happy Days!

We used to have this mascot pig in the window. The shop owner, Robert Corridan, brought him all the way from the U.S. where he used to be blue and was the mascot for one of Robert’s favourite restaurants,  The Blue Pig. The late Dan Green, who was a great supporter of the shop, named him Crubeen.

Mary Boyer and Una Hayes were looking after the shop on this day, which, judging by the stock, was near Christmas time. The beautiful crochet work on the top left is the work of Brigitta who now runs Scribes.

Maureen Connolly is sitting by the range working on one of her crochet rugs Beside her in his bawneen is Dinny.

One day as we were having a Christmas event, Alice Taylor dropped in to listen to the songs and stories.


Scoil Realt na Midine 1960

Bank of Ireland, a Match Programme, a poem and a warning to returning exiles

Bank of Ireland, The Square, Listowel in October 2017


Alice Taylor Poem


A Rare National Treasure

This is a match programme from when Mayo last won the All Ireland Football.


John B. Keane [poem engraved in The Square]


Braying Stag in Killarney National Park October 2017

Photo: Jim McSweeney


Returning “home’ after Years in Exile

It’s not all a bed of roses for returning emigrants. 300,000 people left Ireland out of necessity in the 1990s. Now some of them want to come home.  Here are a few quotes from people who addressed a recent webinar on the difficulties of coming home to Ireland.   Source: Irish Central

“Make sure the reason you move home is not just sentimentality,” said Siobhan Gibney, who moved home to Co Mayo after 26 years in Australia.

“People should stop and think carefully before making the decision to move home. It’s a terrible thing to live a life of regrets, but Ireland changes. Life is about opening new chapters. We have been lucky to settle in Westport and I feel like a bit of a fraud to be at this conference, because my experience of moving home has been mostly positive.”

Yvonne Tierney, who moved home to Galway after almost 20 years in Chicago, said it had been extremely challenging to deal with officials who expected her to have Irish documentation.

“Both my partner and I had drivers’ licenses for over 15 years in Chicago,” she said. “Yet we couldn’t transfer our licenses over and we haven’t even been able to get quotes for car insurance. Our job qualifications did not transfer over, either, because both of us qualified in America.”

Rita Feeney, a teacher who returned from Dubai, said the only information she received about returning home came from a Facebook page. She had been teaching in the UAE for over ten years, but found that her experience was not deemed fully relevant in Ireland.

“For me, Ireland is not appealing right now,” she said. “Family and friends are the only reason I am home. I am not teaching at the moment. I am in a factory and I hate it. It’s good to be home, I have no regrets, but I do want to take off again. I do wish this country would make it more attractive for us to come back.”

Julia Scully, who has just moved home after 20 years in Seattle, said she was overwhelmed by the paperwork she has faced since she returned to Ireland.

“It has been tough. I just feel it’s very, very difficult to get going here. It’s difficult to have to take 12 driving lessons when I have been driving for over 20 years in the US. Sometimes I feel like packing everything up and just moving back to Seattle,” she told the conference.



not quite from the horse’s mouth but from an eye witness

Hi Mary, with regards to the old building behind the Garda Barracks, as a child, I always assumed it was used for servicing the police cars, as there was a huge oblong shaped hole in the floor, like a pit that you see in garages. Many happy memories of playing in there with the sergeants daughter, Mary Sheppard and friends, happy days. Regards, Rose Sheehan, ( nee Shine of Colbert Street).

(Thank you Rose)


60 Years Ago

Sixty years ago tonight: Lennon (17) & McCartney (15) on stage together for first time. The Quarry Men on Broadway … Norris Green, Liverpool

Photo and caption from Twitter

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