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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

Tag: Aoife McKenna

New Year, Changed Town

North Kerry sunrise photographed in January 2022 by Ita Hannon

<<<<<<<<<<<<

A Poem sent to us by Éamon ÓMurchú

John O’Donohue
A Blessing For The New Year

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The gray window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colors
Indigo, red, green 
and azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight

When the canvas frays
In the curragh of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

<<<<<<<<

2022

John Kelliher took this marvellous picture of Listowel Town Square in December 2021

Here in North Kerry 2022 is opening with businesses closing, shops having to shut temporarily due to staff absences due to Covid and our streets at times eerily quiet as we are advised to limit social mixing. Our resilience is being tested but we will survive.

I’m back after a longer Christmas holiday than usual. Thank you to all the followers who were worried I had contracted Covid. Thankfully I have managed to avoid it so far even though it is all around me. so hopefully Listowel Connection will continue in some form for a while yet.

<<<<<<<<<<

John Stack, Dancing Teacher

My friend and former colleague at Presentation Secondary School, Listowel posted a sad message on Facebook in January 2022. He accompanied the message with this photo;

Hi All

I have informed the Ballydonoghue Cce branch of Comhaltas that It is with regret that I will not be returning as Set Dancing teacher in Ballydonoghue after 43 years. I have put alot of thought into my decision over the Christmas and due to a number of reasons including Covid-19 and the effect it has had on everything and still not knowing when we can return if at all this year.

I started classes in Ballydonoghue in 1978 and during my time I have had some very memorable ventures.

Our first All Ireland medal was in 1996 when our U8 set brought home medals in the U15 set competition in Listowel. We also won All Ireland medals in Ballycastle Co Antrim Castlewellan CountyDown Tullamore, Co. Offaly, IrelandPeter StackBallina Co MayoEnniscorthy Co. Wexford and Drogheda, Ireland

Winning our first All Ireland winners medal in Ballycastle County Antrim in 1999. We also have had much success at County, Munster, as well as other competitions all over the country.

We also travelled to take part in Sean Dempsey International competition in Manchester on several occasions having much success.

In 2008. 23members from the branch did a branch exchange with the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann – O’Neill Malcom Branch CCE in Washington DC. This was a very rare experience and we enjoyed visits to Capitol Hill, reception at the European union offices, also at the Irish Embassy, visiting Baltimore, Virginia, Maryland and seeing places we could only dream off. Finishing our trip with a performance on the Millennium stage In the Washington Dc Kennedy Centre where we were told we would have 200 to 250 attending and ending with over 1300 people watching us for an hour long concert.

Our trips to the RTE Studios for our performances on TG4 was a highlight for all our dancers.

I have to acknowledge the input Liz McNamara had on both Dolly and myself and the dancing class. She was a great support to us and always showed her support to every child regardless whether they won or not as she was always very proud that they had represented the branch.

Again many thanks to everyone in the branch for their support over the last 43 years and we would like to wish the branch much success in the future.

To Ballydonoghue GAA for the use of their clubrooms down through the years and of late their fabulous new building I would like to say thanks to all the officers past and present. Also to Jackie Hegarty and Tom in Tomasinis ye were always willing to help in any way ye could and put yer building at our disposal.

To the parents who have supported Dolly and myself and the class down through the years I want to thank you.

Last but not least to you our dancers wherever you may be. Passing through the doors of Ballydonoghue GAA clubrooms on a Satuday morning and Tuesday evening of late, I thank you all for the pleasure and joy you brought to us. We have made some great memories together and hope you will always remember your dancing days in Ballydonoghue.

John

<<<<<<<<<

It’s for the Children

Our lovely 2021 baby has had her first Christmas, her first Christmas tree, her first visit to a crib and Santa was good to her.

Aoife has brought “hope with her and forward looking thoughts.”

<<<<<<<<<<<<

Listowel, December 2021

Upper William Street, Listowel in 2021

<<<<<<<<<<<<

Then and Now on Market Street

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

A Listowel Fact about Leahy’s Corner

These two houses were the first slated houses in Listowel. They were built by a man called O’Callaghan with money he brought back from the Napoleonic wars.

The blocked up windows were a later renovation. At various times in our history a tax known as a window tax was imposed. The more windows you had in your house the more tax you paid. This is thought to have given rise to the phrase ‘daylight robbery”.

<<<<<<<<<

From Shannonside Annual 1958

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Three Generations

I decided to reprise my photo with my daughter and granddaughter on their recent visit.

Aoife was a bit reluctant to add her hand to the mix.

The final take was a lovely one.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Races 2021, Baby Joy and more photos from Ballylongford

Listowel Races 2021 by Bridget O’Connor

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Just another Working Day

Pat Healy of Healyracing working on The Island on Monday.

Gordon Elliot, trainer, back in Listowel for another year.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Welcome Baby Aoife

What a blessing! I get to hold the hand of my newest granddaughter.

(The painted nails are the remains of the wedding.)

Aoife with her Mammy, Clíona Cogan McKenna. Aoife is 2 months old.

Aoife has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger already.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Ball Alley Transformation

Listowel Ballalley has had many makeovers. The latest is a series of lovely murals by local artists. Paul (not so local), Erin and Eimear were hard at work when I visited at the weekend. The murals are a work in progress and we should have the grand launch soon.

<<<<<<<<<<<<

Old Post Box

At Kelly’s, The Six Crosses

<<<<<<<<<<<

We all grow into our mothers eventually

<<<<<<<<<<<<

Last few from the Blacksmithing Festival

There was lots more than smithing going on in Ballylongford on Saturday September 25 2021. There were pony rides for the children, a wandering musician, stalls with vintage stuff for sale and other side shows.

This “lord and lady’ were dressed in period costume, sword and all.

Indoors I met my friend, Dan Hartnett, with lots of vintage tools, cutlery and miscellaneous stuff.

Another seller had these colourful tin signs.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Conor Pass, a New Granddaughter and St. Batt’s Well

Waterfall at Conor Pass by Éamon ÓMurchú

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The Miracle of Life

There’s been a bit of a change in circumstances in the Kildare branch of the family.

Last week I got to visit the lovely Aoife, my newest grandaughter, who, at two weeks old is already everyone’s darling. Here she is making her Listowel Connection debut.

<<<<<<<<<<<<

24 The Square, Listowel

This lovely town house has been home to some of Listowel’s most famous families. The Creagh family lived here before the O’Connors. This house is now home to Kerry Writers’ Museum.

This was the family home of Michael O’Connor, illuminator. Here are a few more examples of his work.

The alphabet is amazing. The second picture is a work in progress. Michael died at a young age leaving many projects at various stages of completion.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Our Ancestors were Superstitious

The Schools Folklore collection has many stories of superstitions and weather lore. Here are some beliefs the old people held that foretold wet weather on the way.

The Robin sings inside in the middle of the bush.
The Geese fly against the wind.
The Snail creeps up the wall.
The cat turns his back to the fire.
The wave can be heard for miles.
Red in the sky at east before the sunrise.
The warble fly lays its eggs on the cattle and the cattle run in the fields.
The high hill near Tralee is clouded at the east side.
The fish dont rise to the fisherman’s fly.
The cement floor gets damp
The spring wells will rise
The Seagulls come inland from the seashore.
COLLECTOR Gerald Mulvihill

<<<<<<<<

St. Bartholamew

Today, August 24 is the day for visiting St. Batts Well in Coolard. Applying the water from the well to sore eyes is meant to cure ailments of the eye.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén