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: Aras an Phiarsaigh

Fork Off!

Áras an Phiarsaigh in February 2024

Remember the Forks?

Friday’s fork picture put Mattie Lennon in mind of a piece he wrote many years ago.


                                                           Mattie Lennon.

   Have a look at the picture. What does it convey to you? No, I’m not going to bore you with the old chestnut about Sir William Wilde building his reputation with the knife and losing it with the fork. Neither am I going to tell you that when I was young we were so poor that the first time I saw two forks on a table I thought somebody was after getting a puncture.

   Yes, maybe, as you say, the image has a subtle or subliminal message of erotica. All I know is that it has won a number of prizes in Photographic Competitions.

  However, that is not why I’m showing it to you. I first saw the picture at the IPH National Photographic League Finals in Tallaght where our friend Tom Fitzgerald was a competitor.  Actually my wife saw it first and  drew my attention with her shrieks. You see she has a phobia about “two forks”.  On the odd occasion when a pair of forks gets entangled in the kitchen drawer at home it leads to grimacing and “teeth-watering.” (Much the same effect, I presume, as the scraping of fingernails on a blackboard has on other people.)  But seeing the object of her aversion in black-and-white (or in this case colour) it prompted me to make some enquiries. 

 For some time I had been planning to do a bit of research on this phobia, which is not life-threatening, and causes very little disruption in anyone’s life. So here was pictorial assistance and it got me into gear.

First I tracked down the photographer, Howard Swaine, who, as it happens, lives quite close to me. When I phoned and convinced him that I wasn’t calling from the comfort of a padded cell or the constrictions of a straitjacket, he offered to copy the print for me and gave me permission to use it.

I enquired as to the inspiration behind his prize-winning pic and he told me, “ I was just flutin’ around with two forks in the kitchen.” 

When I relayed this information to the spouse the predictable reply was, ”By &*$~% he wouldn’t  flute around with them in my #/%!* kitchen.”

   As to the Freudian explanation for such an irrational reaction, the aforementioned tangle of cutlery, your guess is as good as mine.

A Poem

A Poem to convince you that every life is worthwhile.

The Men’s Shed is not just for Men

Everyone is welcome to join in their walking group.

Their Facebook page will have all the information…

Listowel Mens’ Shed

St Patrick’s Festival in San Diego

The 2024 Miss Colleen Selection took place on Saturday, February 24, 2024 at Hooleys Public House in Rancho San Diego.

Congratulations to Riley Pidgeon on her crowning as the 2024 Miss Colleen. Riley will serve the Irish congress for the next year, starting at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival on March 16th. 

She will be accompanied in the parade by her court, 

Siobhan O’Shea and Brigid Powers.

It was a lovely event, enjoyed by all who attended and included a fantastic display of Irish Dancing by the Malone Academy of Irish Dance.

A Fact

Today is Super Tuesday in the U.S.

Every four years people in the U.S. elect a new ( or not so new) president. Super Tuesday always falls on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November and it is a day on which most of the primary polls to elect candidates are held.


An Blascaod , Fun Run 1985, Listowel Courthouse Plaza and KCC Outdoor staff reunited

Blasket and Tiarach  photos by Tom Fitzgerald


Fun Run 1985

Photos: Con Dennehy


Listowel Courthouse and Plaza in 2020

Aras an Phiarsaigh in the background.

Listowel Library


Friends Meeting

Our Town Gardener, David Twomey takes a minute off to catch up with his old work colleague.


Another Closure

Changed and Changing Times

This is Áras an Phiarsaigh, our town hall. As I was visiting the library last week I noticed that this building was getting a face lift. All the old dead shrubbery has been removed and it’s looking a bit bare but much cleaner and more welcoming.


I photographed this sign at Mike the Pies. Isn’t it lovely? Of course there is no Patrick Street in Listowel. Mike the Pies is on Upper William St. but thereby hangs another tale….


This premises known as Chutes’ Bar has been unoccupied now for some years. Well, let me be the first with the news. Danny Russell of Changes has purchased the building and he has big plans for it. The project will be a long term one but Danny, with his innate sense of style and his love of interior design will, I’m sure, make a lovely job of it. He plans to change the facade and to give it a look more in keeping with a heritage town. He is thinking along the lines of a series of concession shops or maybe an interiors and soft furnishings shop. 

All of these plans will change and evolve over time so watch this space….


Remember these?

This picture is from Dublin in March 1982 and it shows the last of the open backed buses. These were 2 man buses. You got on to a platform at the back of the bus. You bought your ticket from a conductor and you told him where you wanted to get off. The driver had one job only, to drive the bus.  Ah, changed times indeed.


Another one for the emigrants, well written and informative.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén