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: Auschwitz

Relihan’s pub, Horses and a Holocaust Poem

Skerries by Éamon ÓMurchú


Home on the Range

On my recent trip home Mr. Jiggs and Tana came for a chat.


Upper William Street

I posted this photo of Sheahan’s on Facebook and it prompted Gerard Leahy to share the below photo of his grandmother, Mary Ann Relihan at the door of her pub which used to be next door to Sheahan’s.

This is what Gerard said “I don’t have any photos of the inside but great memories. The concrete floor, the “grocery ” part of the shop in front, dry goods: sugar, tobacco, snuff, flour etc. and the little pub counter next to it and the dining room and kitchen further back. Outhouses in the back and the gate to the backway close to the creamery.

My grandmother was a butter maker at the creamery for years and her husband Jack was the creamery manager in Coolard, it got burned down. Jack went to America and spent most of his adult life in NY. He used to come back on visits. Mrs. Quirke would send a note up to Mary Ann to say he was back. He would stay there until invited up to Pound Lane !!!

Donie Finnucane bought the place around 1976-77 after she passed.


Wild Flowers on the Pitch and Putt Course

I think this is a nice idea. They have planted wild flowers around the base of the trees. Another lovely feature of the beautiful course.


Lest we Forget

Auschwitz (Sixty Years On)

by John McGrath


Even the word is bitter

in this godless place.

No happy endings here,

only the ghosts of

poets, peasants,

doctors, lawyers,

fur-coated frauleins;

their single crime,


Children plucked from mothers,

snuffed like kittens in a sack.

Brick and barbed wire

mock survival for a few,

screams in striped pyjamas

dying time on time

before the works of death

are stilled forever.

Silence then

and silence now.

After the speeches

and the flickering candles,

after the ashes of a million dead

are scattered in the snow.

Old women, old men,

hold each other close,

look for answers

in each other’s eyes,

find only



Book Launch in The National Library, Apprenticeship, Auschwitz Remembered and another great Healy photograph

Building at Ballybunion

Photo; Ballybunion Prints


Sometimes a Book can be declared a Treasure

When Vincent Carmody launched his great book, (pictured above)  in the National Library a few years ago, he was surrounded on the night by his family and by some illustrious North Kerry people who now live in Dublin.

The book is still available from Vincent and should be in every home with a Listowel connection.

Standing are Kevin Carmody, Vincent’s son, who returned from the U.S. for the event and Sr. Maura, Vincent’s sister who, sadly, passed away before Christmas 2015.

In front are Vincent and his wife, Kathleen

Back L to R ; Eamon OMurchú, Katie Hannon, Maurice Hayes, John Coolahan and Cyril Kelly

Front; Vincent Carmody and Jimmy Deenihan


An Apprentice’s Lot was not a easy one

Jackie Lenihan of Charles St. Listowel, grandfather of Donal Linehan, rugby player was a carpenter. He took apprentices to train in to the trade. One of these apprentices was James Enright, father of Mike Enright of Ballybunion. Mike has his father’s apprenticeship contract. It makes interesting reading.

It reads more like a monk’s contract to me. Apparently it was the standard agreement for all apprenticeships back in the day.


Do you Remember when Mill Lane looked like this?

(photo: John Kelliher)


 Bob Geldof’s wedding to Paula Yates in 1986

Photo: Rare Irish Stuff


Seventy Years ago this week

Photo: Alien West

This image, taken at the liberation of Auschwitz, is just as shocking today as it was then.

We need to remind ourselves often of this enormous inhumanity.  Our ancestors who fought in WW11 fought to put an end to this.

We will get a chance to remember all the victims of war everywhere at Listowel Military Tattoo 

April 29 to May 1 2016



What a snap!

There are three heroes here;

A great horse, Killultagh Vic, who recovered from this mishap  at the last to go on to win his race at Leopardstown yesterday, January 17 2016,

A great jockey, Ruby Walsh, who employed all of his considerable skills to stay on board and steer his mount to victory once again,


 Listowel’s great racing photographer, Pat Healy of Healyracing who captured the moment for all time.

Well done all.

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