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: An post

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

St. Patrick’s Day 2024

Getting it Right

and getting it very wrong.

Tasteful, stylish grey and red branding on MBC new offices in Church Street

Garish, unsightly signage at the new Mr. Price store. We know the goods are cheap. We don’t need it shouted at us from every window.

A St. Patrick’s Day Card

I was telling you before about my experience with An Post’s AI generated card. My friend, Catherine, fascinated by my account of this new product, sent me one.

I dont know which category of image she chose, could be strange Irish animals. Is that fellow in the centre a lion?

Catherine let AI compose a “poem” as well.

No words!!!

Daffodil Day

Friday March 22 was cold and windy. The hardy souls of the Irish Cancer Society were out in force selling their daffodils.

Alice and Rachel were on the island in Main Street.

Anne and Áine were at Carrolls.

More Colloquialisms

Stephen Twohig of Kanturk and Canada says;

Here are a few more old sayings that us Wild Geese may have forgotten .

Little by little  and without notice they slip away from you and you hardly ever miss them. Like the shadows of a twilight or the chatter of little birds before dark. What I am referring to are some of the old sayings, axioms and expressions of our elders. From a more simple life and time. Some of these sayings I suppose are derived from our native tongue. Some are still in use today by those of you closer to the well. As before some of you will remember them, others will come back to you like an old friend. Most are sayings you would never hear at this side of the Atlantic. Here are some of my favourites with their corresponding meanings for those who have forgotten them. 

A ruction is a commotion.

 “‘Next nor near’ nowhere near. 

“Make a fist of”, to try to be good at.

 “Fit to be tied”to be angry or annoyed

“Fair play” , the same as “fair dues”, a term of praise or acknowledgement .

‘Heel of the hunt”‘, in the end. 

“Bad cess”, an old term wishing bad luck to someone or something. ·

“For love or money “self explanatory but hopefully not a regret after marriage! 

“‘Hale and hearty … happy or joyous. ·

“With a heart and a half”, with great generosity. 

“Between two minds .. , undecided. I think. but I’m not sure! 

 “A right fix” in a tough predicament or situation. Like being “found on” after hours. 

‘Real old stock,  a term to describe someone as coming from the older and purer generation. 

“‘Great gas … great craic or fun. ·

Straight away” promptly or right way. Not usually associated with any government body or public works. 

“To put your oar in” , to put a word in, or add to the conversation. Rarely done at home! 

”Heart in my mouth, scared. 

The time that was in it … the time that was left. 

“The fat in the fire’·, trouble brewing. Like if you forget her Birthday or Anniversary. 

“ A jorum”, a drink. 

“Traipsing”, to saunter or drag yourself along. Like the County Council. 

“Mooched”, to indulge oneself in the generosity of others. And I will let the poor Cavan people alone. ··

“Highfalutin”, high on the hob, law di daw, or seemingly well off. In looks anyway. 

“Joe Soap”, a term like John Doe or your average Joe. Just as we say “‘Happy as Larry”, whoever or wherever he is. 

“The Hammers of hell”, a term to suggest immediate urgency. To do something in great haste. Like vacate the premises when the twin bulbs (squad car) shows up. 

“Within an ass’s roar”, nowhere near. As up near the counter on Paddy’s night.

“A caper”, a racket. Not as in tennis but in underhand dealings. As opposed to backhand. 

“Pulling  someone’s leg”, having them on or playing a joke on them. 

“·Putting something over” on someone as in pulling the wool over someone’s eyes or deceiving them.

A Fact

On March 23 1906 the Wright brothers received the patent for their flying machine.


Painting the Garda Station, More Covid Signs and Some Listowel People

On the River Brick

Photo; Bridget O’Connor


A Bit of Dickying Up

Lovely paint job at Listowel Garda Station as it remembers that it’s 100 years since its moment in history


Social Distance Meet up in Erskine Childers’ Park

Friends, Maureen Hartnett, Helen Moylan and Joan Kenny enjoy a coffee and a scone on Bank Holiday Monday June 1 2020


Fond Memories of a Trip to Ireland

Mark Holan

With more than 11 million annual visitors kept home by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism Ireland has released a short video to remind prospective travelers they “can still dream of future holidays and adventures.” The campaign, titled “I will return: Fill your heart with Ireland,” arrives at the 20th anniversary of my first visit in May 2000.

And that recalls my dearest experience of Ireland.

At Dublin Airport, I handed my new Irish/E.U. passport to the customs agent, having obtained citizenship through foreign birth registration. He waved me into the country without question. Then, as I waited for my luggage, I thought I heard my name called on the public address system.

“That couldn’t be me,” I thought. “Nobody knows me here.”

I took a taxi to my bed and breakfast in Portmarnock. The room wasn’t ready, but the innkeeper secured my suitcase and I took a mid-morning walk on the nearby strand.

When I returned, my host answered a telephone call.

“Yes, he is here,” he said.

It was  for me.

The voice at the other end of the line–and it was still a line–belonged to a woman in her 60s, a retired school teacher, the unmarried daughter of a North Kerry man. His brother was my mother’s father, who emigrated shortly before the Easter Rising. 

My grandfather married a North Kerry women in Pittsburgh, where several of their siblings and other relations also lived. Because of these connections to Ireland, deepened by the citizenship through decent process, I shared my travel itinerary with my mother. She passed the details to her sister, who maintained regular contact with the woman on the phone, the one who had me paged at Dublin Airport. Her name was Eithne.

My plans to meet the Irish relations were unformed, something to be figured out during the trip, if any of them even cared to meet me. A holy trinity of Irish and Irish-American women assured those introductions. My plans changed within an hour of my arrival. Eithne insisted that I lodge with her.

The B&B host graciously released me from my booking. Eithne’s Jack Russell Terrier, named Beano, sniffed me suspiciously, but deigned that I enter the house on Griffith Avenue, Dublin, near Corpus Christi Catholic Church. I was very welcome in Ireland.


Signs of the Times

Summer 2020 will be remembered for the many shop signs advising customers of new procedures in place during the pandemic of 2020.

Mr. Kebab

Mama Mia

Listowel Travel

Carrolls is open

Zingyzest is to open soon

O Sullivan Cycles

St. John’s, sadly, is closed

Fitzpatrick’s Taxi


Canon Declan Working During the Crisis

I met Canon Declan O’Connor, another frontline hero  in The Square. He has been working throughout this period of restrictions and adapting to saying mass behind closed doors and conducting funerals to small groups of mourners.

The Funeral of Austin Stack in 1929, Muddy Paws, Church Street

Lovely photo of a robin n a holly bush by Chris Grayson


The Funeral of Austin Stack in 1929

Kerryman, Saturday, 04 May, 1929; Page: 5


.From the conclusion of the Mass
until 2 p.m. a continuous stream of people filed past the coffin which was
draped with the tricolour and surmounted with the deceased’s I.R.A. cap and
belt. Beautiful wreaths, glass and natural, in great profusion surrounded the
remains and a Guard of Honour of Dublin Volunteers was mounted. Large crowds
assembled in the vicinity of the Church prior to the funeral.

A section of old Kerry Volunteers
relieved the Dublin Guard of Honour and bore the coffin on their shoulders from
the Church to the waiting hearse. The funeral procession was marshalled in the
following order: Advance Guard, Hearse with Body Guard of Kerrymen, two large
lorries laden with wreaths, the chief mourners, clergy, carriages, Republican
leaders and members of the Sinn Fein Executive, Oglaigh na h-Eireann, Cumann na
mBan, Fianna Eireann, Clan na nGaedheal, Republican Girl Guides, Kerry
Contingent, Public Bodies and the General Public.

The Kerry contingent, who travelled
to Dublin by special train, reinforced by natives of the county resident in
Dublin, made a solid and  striking phalanx in the centre of the funeral
procession. As the cortege moved along Berkeley Road, Blessington Street,
Dorset Street, Chapel Street, Parliament St., Dame St., and through O’Connell
Street to Glasnevin crowds lined the streets and paid respectful tribute to the
remains of the dead leader as they were borne past. Along the route all traffic
 was suspended. Through O’Connell  St., and again on the approach to
the graveyard the vast procession moved at the slow march to the music of the
Dublin Workingmen’s Band. It was close on 4 o’clock when the funeral reached
the Cemetery.

At Glasnevin the remains _were
carried into the Mortuary Chapel by relatives and from thence-to the place of
burial by relays of  Republican Deputies. The Kerry Contingent were
allotted a reserved space near the graveside. A huge concourse  of people
were present in deep and reverent silence while the Rev Fr. F. Fitzgibbon, C C,
assisted by Very. Rev John Canon Breen, S.T.L., P.P., Castlegregory; Rev R. F.
O’Reilly, CC. Tuosist; Rev Charles Troy; Rev John Power, O.P., Tallaght; Rev T.
0 Donoghue, do.; Rev Dr. P. Browne, Maynooth; Very Rev P. P. McKenna, Drogheda;
Rev W. Lillis, Castledermott; Rev A Sharkey, Sligo; Rev D. Cahlll, Belfast,
officiated. When the grave was closed a huge mound of wreaths and floral
tributes were placed upon it. Mr. J. J. O’Kelly (Sceilg), President of Sinn
Fein, recited a decade of the Rosary in Irish while all present knelt and
responded fervently.  Mr. Brian O’Higgins; having spoken in Irish, said:
One more soldier of the Republic has fallen by the wayside.


Another new Business on Courthouse Road

This premises which used to house a business for beautifying humans is now a business for beautifying dogs. Muddy Paws is a beauty parlor for our canine friends.


Jimmy Deenihan’s presence in town is no More

This used to be Jimmy Deenihan’s very busy constituency office. It is closed since the day after General Election 2016 when Jimmy lost his seat.

 Ironically, the last poster on the window advertised a concert in the INEC on the day after the election, the day of the count when Jimmy was rejected by the Kerry electorate. I don’t think anyone in the office felt like singing.


Church Street streetscape April 2016


Old Photo of a Kerry Couple

A tender moment is caught in this  candid photograph of an old couple, somewhere in Kerry.


An Post New Van

My postman, Paul O’Sullivan arrived today in a spanking new van.

Changes at An Post in Listowel

Postal  staff in Listowel,
Lyreacrompane, Lixnaw, Lisselton, Ballybunion, Asdee, Ballylongford, Tarbert
and Moyvane have moved to the new Listowel Delivery Service Unit at Caherdown.

The unit formerly housed the
Imperial Stag factory.

The new facility includes a purpose
fitted mails processing operation.

An Post says the move was fully
agreed at national level by the company and union representing staff and is a
common feature of An Post mails operations around the country.

The new Listowel Delivery Service
Unit will house thirty postal staff.

This includes eighteen who were
formerly based in Listowel, two each from Moyvane, Lixnaw, Ballybunion, and
Tarbert and one each from Asdee, Ballylongford, Lisselton, and Lyreacrompane.

Undelivered mail and parcels will
still be collected at those local post offices.

An Post says these custom-designed
Delivery Offices enable it to provide a better quality and more efficient
service for customers.

(information from Radio Kerry website)

When I called to Cahirdown to bring you news and photos, I was greeted by my former pupil and erstwhile postwoman, the lovely Claire Sweeney. She introduced me to her new boss, Jer.

The fine new airy spacious building is super wheelchair friendly. 

Well done, An Post


Postboxes, old and new

Postbox at the new facility in Cahirdown

Postboxes at the post office

This is now; that was then

There is a post box at Convent Cross. It dates from another era in our country’s history.

You can just make out the words Post office under the many layers of paint.

This is the postbox at Leahy’s Corner.

The old ones were certainly more attractive looking and add something to the streets cape. The new ones are merely functional.

Post bikes in for running repairs at iBike


The caption on this one says “Man playing the harmonica and boy playing the spoons at a pub in Kerry in 1974.”

Any ideas?


Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén