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: Ballyheigue

Tannavalla and other stories

Sunset in Ballyheigue in February 2023 photo; Dulce


Burning of Tannavalla

Newspaper accounts at the time of the destruction of this glorious house were found for us by Dave O’Sullivan a few years ago.

So much destruction was caused during the struggle for independence.


Waiting for the Bus

One of the great innovations in recent years has been the advent of accessible community transport for rural areas. You just call them the day before and they will collect you as near to your door as possible. They will bring you to town to do your shopping, attend doctor’s or other appointment or simply to just have an outing.

These lovely men were waiting for the bus home. They were sitting on Listowel Tidy Town’s Darren Enright’s convenient seat, another godsend to weary shoppers.


Advice to Adult Children

WHEN PARENTS GET OLD … Let them grow old with the same love that they let you grow …

Let them speak and tell repeated stories with the same patience and interest that they heard yours as a child …

Let them overcome, like so many times when they let you win …

Let them enjoy their friends just as they let you …

Let them enjoy the talks with their grandchildren, because they see you in them …

Let them enjoy living among the objects that have accompanied them for a long time, because they suffer when they feel that you tear pieces of this life away …

Let them be wrong, like so many times you have been wrong and they didn’t embarrass you by correcting you …

LET THEM LIVE and try to make them happy the last stretch of the path they have left to go; give them your hand, just like they gave you their hand when you started your path!


The Rambling House

If you are anxious to join a seisiún or if you just want a night of music and song there is a rambling house in the Community Centre in Knockanure on the first Thursday of every month.

Listowel Rambling house is on the last Thursday of every month at Kerry Writers’ Museum (The Seanchaí) starting at 9.15

Jim Lyons’ rambling house is in Knockalougha on the third Tuesday.

(Information gleaned from Kerry’s Eye)


A Fact

At the end of the day you are approximately one quarter inch shorter than when you got up. The amount your height decreases depends on what you are doing. Walking, or better still, running, will shorten you the most.

Elephants, cows and horses can sleep standing up but sometimes choose not to do so. Maybe they are tired of standing tall.


Fr. Daniel O’Sullivan of Listowel and California and World Book Day 2017

Going Over the Cork and Kerry Mountains

Catherine Moylan took this on the Cork/ Kerry border in January 2017


A U.S. Priest with a Strong Listowel Connection

I wonder if this illustrious pastor still has family locally.



The Founding Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was born in Listowel,

Co Kerry, Ireland on March 19,1846, the fourth child of Eugene (Owen)

O’Sullivan and Margaret Nolan.  He was one of nine children, two girls

and seven boys.

He received his first education at Mr Leahy’s School in Listowel and

studied theology at All Hallows Major Seminary in Dublin.  Fr

O’Sullivan was ordained on June 24, 1871, in All Hallows Chapel by

Bishop William Whelan, O.C.D., retired  Vicar Apostolic of Bombay,

India.  Being ordained for the Diocese of Grass Valley, he left for

California in August of 1871.

1871-1872    Pastor of St Joseph, Crescent City.

1872-1878     Founding Pastor of Immaculate Conception, Smartsville, California.

1878-1881     Assistant at St Mary’s in the Mountains, Virginia City, Navada.

1881-1883     Second Pastor of St Mary’s in the Mountains and Vicar

General for Northern Nevada after the first pastor of St. Mary’s,

Father Patrick Manogue, was named Bishop of Grass Valley.

1883-1887     Pastor of St. Anthony, Mendocino, California.

The month of May, 1886, was to have a great influence in his life.  On

May 7 he became a United States citizen in ceremonies in Ukiah

Superior Court, Mendocino County.  On May 28 the Diocese of Grass

Valley was transferred to Sacramento, and all the parishes along the

coast as far north as Fort Bragg became part of the Archdiocese of San

Francisco.  Father O’Sullivan thus found himself a priest of this


1887-1896     Founding Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in

Redwood City.

Father O’Sullivan was appointed Pastor of the Mission San Jose on June

15, 1896.  However, he never served as pastor and there is a gap in

our knowledge of his life until the beginning of 1898.

1898-1928 Pastor of All Hallows Parish in San Francisco.

Father Daniel O’Sullivan died on February 3, 1928 and was buried in

Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma, where a large monument stands in his



The Big Fair

A while back I published Delia O’Sullivan’s great account of the big fair in town and then I came across a great poem which brought the fair to life before our eyes.

The poem was written by a man called Tom Mulvihill.  I knew nothing of him.

On World Book Day, March 2 2017 I was in The Seanchaí for a lovely shared reading over a cuppa.

I could hardly believe my ears when I heard Donal O’Connor of Tarbert stand up and recite Tom Mulvihill’s poem from memory.

I enquired of Donal afterwards what he knew of Tom Mulvihill and he told me that he knew him long ago in Ballylongford. He was the son of the parish clerk.

His more famous brother, Roger, wrote Ballyheigue Bay and went on to run The White Sands hotel.

After Tom’s death his family gathered his writings into a little book. Donal has a copy “somewhere”. He’ll share it when he finds it.


 Some of The Writers in The Seanchaí on World Book Day

Susan Hitching, artist and writer

Donal O’Connor, writer and historian

Michael Gallagher

Above are just three of the writers who shared their work with us on World Book Day 2017


Listowel’s Own Outlet Store

You know the way many famous shops in America have outlets where they sell off stock that has been on the shelves a while at reduced prices. Well, Listowel has an outlet too. It’s Coco in The Square.

Listowel, Ballyheigue and Cork

Debris in The Feale

Following the recent heavy rain there is much debris swept downstream and trapped at the bridge


New Stations of The Cross at Ballyheigue


Reimagining Cork

Do you remember this from last week? The mystery is solved. Danielle who follows the blog is in a position to know these things. She tells me that it’s all part of

Re imagining Cork

This is a great community project where local artists rejuvenate old and neglected parts of Cork. They are painting these welcome signs and on Culture Night they have drama and performance planned for North Main Street.

Look at  the subjects of the latest of these street paintings, none other than the two most famous Cork brothers at the moment.


I’m at The Races. Photos and stories next week. In the meantime, enjoy this trip to The Island

Listowel Races and More

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