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: Ballylongford Page 1 of 5

A Family Reunion

Courthouse Road, September 2023


A Big O’Sullivan Reunion

Liz O’Sullivan sent us the story.

The O’Sullivans from 5 Patrick Street gathered together from all over the world for a weekend of fun and festivities the final weekend of the Listowel races 2023.

‘The Fruit of 5 Patrick Street’, (as the WhatsApp group was named) came together from Dublin, Cork, Galway, Fermoy, Thurles, Minnesota and Rochester USA and Perth and Brisbane Australia. 

The gathering was all descended from Nora and Michael O’Sullivan who had 7 children; Seamus, Maura, Pat, Denis, Breid, Michael and Joe. Michael and Joe left Ireland and settled in the US and Australia respectively. Breid, who became a nun, lived in the US for a number of years. Altogether 45 people came to the gathering.

The reunion was magnificently organised by the Listowel branch of the family, Joe, John and Michael (Curly) and was enormous fun. The gala dinner took place at The Listowel Arms, a venue that has been the site of many get togethers for the family over the years. The food and ambience were terrific and the Arms did Listowel proud. A special thanks to the chef.

The group attended Ladies Day at The Listowel races on Friday. The American branch of the family were resplendent in fabulous hats and should have won a prize! Some good winnings were had and a fun day was had by all. After the event the gathering migrated to the Arms (of course) and ended up in the Square watching wonderful entertainment by the Wren boys.

Kerry is aptly named the Kingdom and we can’t wait to come back!


A Taste of Yesteryear

I had family to stay for race week and they did a bit of a clearout for me.

Do you remember when chocolate boxes were only for Christmas? They were so elegant they were never thrown out but kept to store treasure (aka junk) to be thrown out later. In the case of this Black Magic box, years and years later.

Many of the sweets are still the same but in this box they were loosely packed in individual little black cases, like tiny bun cases. Chocolate used to be a treat back in the day.


Moyvane Garda Station

Photo and story from Radio Kerry

Moyvane Garda Station has lain idle for over 10 years now. Efforts by local people to buy the building from the OPW have failed.

Now this is reported on Radio Kerry;

“The OPW would only sell the building to Kerry County Council which acquired the building; it’ll now lease it to Fáilte Isteach Gach Duine Moyvane.

Under the terms agreed at a recent council meeting, the lease is for 99 years with an annual rent of €1 to be paid to the council, if demanded.”


A Book Launch and Exhibition for your Diary



Every ad for Apple iPhone displays the time as 9.41 am. This is the moment Steve Jobs first unveiled the iPhone in 2007.

(This fact might be old so you’ll have to Google to see if it is still true in the post Jobs era.)


Goodbye Molly

The Harp and Lion in July 2023


On the Greenway

Molly and I ventured on a short walk on the greenway

Im sure that young people and technologically literate people find this most useful.

Molly looking back on her last glimpse of The Kingdom for a while.

I was reminded of Coleridge’s lines

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.

Happily reunited with Cora.


Building the Ark

St Swithin has brought us biblical rainfall. Lets hope not for for 40 days though.

River Feale on July 15 2023


Seeking your help

Jeff and Lois Mathews from Delaware with Vincent Carmody in Listowel in May 2023.

Vincent is helping Lois and Jeff to piece together aspects of their search for Lois’ Irish ancestors.

One piece of the puzzle lies in Ballylongford. There was a fire in the presbytery in St. Michael’s Church in the 1980s when Fr. Ferris was P.P. and many of the records were lost. (Incidentally it was the late Garda Jerry McCabe, who died so tragically later in Adare, who rescued Fr. Ferris from the fire).

Here is the paragraph from Lois’ letter.

“I have one more shameless request, Mary. Do you by chance know the parish secretary at St. Michael’s Church in Ballylongford? In May, we stopped at the church hoping to get some key questions answered, but the parish secretary was on holiday. The kind priest, Fr. Hussey (sp?) suggested I write to the parish and pose my questions. I sent an email to, but have not received a reply. That is the parish where my great-grandfather in Pittsburgh (John Stack b: 1866 d: 1938) was baptized. I am trying to find out what happened to his parents, Michael Stack & Margaret Donohue.  I am even more curious about them now that I read about the civil strife in Ballylongford. “

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.



I met these two lovely Kilkenny ladies last week. I told them I’d put them in my blog. I hope you are continuing to enjoy your holiday, in spite of the weather.


A Most Unusual Wedding Dress

(Thanks to Dave O’Sullivan for finding this)

When Stephen Rynne came to town on July 6th. he brought with him his mother’s wedding dress and the papal blessing illuminated by Michael O’Connor which was his present to them on the occasion of their wedding in 1967.

The dress is beautifully embellished with celtic embroidery and the Papal Blessing scroll is a beautiful piece of Michael O’Connor artwork

Aideen Rynne with her wedding dress in Listowel on July 6 2023

And some detail from the dress and train:


Molly’s House, Kerry footballers in Clonakity, Weathering a Storm and a Law against Selling Fresh Bread

 Molly’s House, Ballylongford

This picturesque house is in Ballylongford. Photos by Breda Ferris


Kerry Footballers helping The Rebels

Photo and article by Kieran MacCarthy from The Southern Star

In his two county senior football championship games in Clonakilty colours, Kerry import Dara Ó Sé has scored a combined 1-14.

Man-of-the-match with 0-8 (2f) in the win against Carrigaline, the former An Ghaeltacht footballer from Ballydavid in West Kerry followed up with 1-6 (4f, 1-0 pen) in the loss to Ballincollig – he has made an immediate difference with his adopted club.

Another Kerryman, Joe Grimes from Listowel, has also slotted straight into the Clon starting team, lining out in midfield in their opening two Cork Premier SFC matches.


‘They are two great players to have on the team. Aside from their talent alone they bring a lot of professionalism to the set-up. It’s outside ways of thinking as well,’ Clon senior footballer Martin Scally told the Star Sport Podcast recently.

‘I know there used to be a saying in Clon before that Clon needed imports to win the county – you look at Paddy Barrett back in ’96, a Limerick man, and there was Noel Griffin from Clare in 2009. Clon has always had a good, proud tradition of football but there were always one or two imports to help push us over the line.’

There is a strong Kerry connection with Clonakilty GAA

Club too. Ó Sé and Grimes, both gardaí now based in West Cork, aren’t the first Kerry men to play football with Clon. Instead, they’re following in some very famous footsteps.

‘Clon has always had Kerry players on their teams. At first it was because of the nearby Darrara Agricultural College going back to 1905. Students stayed in the college, didn’t go home for weekends and so many played for Clon, if the college didn’t have its own team in the championship,’ Carbery chairman and local GAA historian Tom Lyons explained.

Clon’s three most famous Kerry imports are Pat Griffin, Tom Moriarty and Kevin Dillon.

Griffin, a Garda, arrived in Clonakilty in the early 1970s and made an immediate impact with the club. He came with a noted pedigree, having won two All-Ireland senior football titles with the Kingdom (1969 and 1970) and he also captained Kerry to the 1968 All-Ireland final. With Clon, he won a South West junior football medal in 1977 – and that’s the last time the club won the junior title. Griffin, who passed away last year, then got involved in coaching, both at underage with Clonakilty and with adult teams in various clubs around West Cork.


Before Griffin, Kerryman Tom Moriarty landed in Clonakilty in 1948 as a bank clerk, having won an All-Ireland minor medal with Kerry in ’46. He captained Clon in 1952 when they won their seventh county senior title in a marathon campaign packed with draws. He then played a few seasons for Cork, and won Munster and national league titles in ’52 before Kerry came calling again for his services in ’54.

A north Kerry man from Duagh, Kevin Dillon captained Clonakilty in the 1968 county senior final when they lost a replay to Carbery. He then won a South West junior medal in 1977, but before that he also lined out for the Cork footballers for a number of seasons in the mid to late 1960s.

All three Kerrymen – Griffin, Dillon and Quirke – settled in Clonakilty and had sons who played senior for Clon.


This tree is in Muckross. It is scrawled with the names of boys and girls for years now.

Is this practice romantic or destructive?


We had a Great Time at the Launch of the Late Fr. Pat Moore’s book

We had songs, stories and drama. Great memories!


Incredible as it may seem…..

In January 1918 in the town of Listowel, Co. Kerry, two shopkeepers were prosecuted for “displaying for sale bread that was less than 12 hours baked”.

Dave O’Sullivan discovered this fact when looking up old newspapers about a totally different matter.

He also found out why it was illegal to sell fresh bread. Bread was sold by weight and freshly baked bread was heavier than “settled” bread.

Cherrytree Drive, Listowel’s First Cinema, Asdee, John B. Keane’s and O’Sullivan’s Mill

Cherrytree Drive is to get a Flower Bed

Work is underway in preparing for a new flower border at the entrance to Cherrytree Drive.


John B. Keane’s is getting a repaint


Listowel’s First Cinema

Liam Dillon, who is one of the longest continuous residents of Church Street has confirmed for us that the first cinema in town was in the building that now houses North County Guesthouse.

Liam’s mother saw her first film there. It was a cowboy film. She ran home in terror when the shooting started.


Asdee is being Revived by its Young People

“John Kennedy is tracing a finger through the map of his childhood during the 1960s in Asdee. 

He says: “We had a shop in the village and below that was the community centre along with the national school and the church. Further down the road was the Jesse James bar, then you had Kissane’s which doubled as a shop and a bar. Christy Walsh had a shop and then you had the post office which was run by the Doyle family. Every house in the village was occupied and there was so much life.” 

The hinterland was well catered for also with Tom Pius Walsh’s shop situated on the approach road from Ballylongford while the Ballybunion side of the parish had a booming hub of businesses. 

John says: “You had The Store bar and shop, the creamery, and O’Sullivan’s. All were busy. The centre of life then was the local creamery, it was the meeting place every day for local farmers. 

“From early morning you’d have a stream of farmers stopping at different places, collecting messages, and talking football and farming.”

From Colm O’Connor in The Irish Examiner, August 31 2020

John is describing the Asdee of the days of the two drama groups, a vibrant thriving village before emigration and unemployment combined with the urbanisation of rural Ireland brought it to its knees.

According to articles in The Kerryman and The Irish Examiner, Asdee has formulated a five year plan to transform the area. A committee has been formed and 30 targets across five categories have been identified for development. The LED lights are up. the funding is secured and the people are more than willing.

Wouldn’t Fr. Pat be proud?


O’Sullivan’s Mill, Ballylongford

(Photos: Breda Ferris)

This lovely old building is soon to be refurbished. 


Iroquois Nations and Lacrosse

Irish Lacrosse team….photo from the internet

“The International World Games is due to take place in Alabama in the summer of 2022, but Ireland’s lacrosse team, despite having qualified, won’t be there. ” Michael Glennon.

Now my understanding of the situation and the Irish team’s part in it is this. Ireland is kinda handy at this minority sport. The Iroquois Nationals are more than handy at lacrosse. They are brilliant at it. They invented the game.

In the qualifiers for the World Games Ireland came in eighth and the Iroquois Nationals came third.

But Iroquois Nationals is not a sovereign nation and they dont have an Olympic Committee so they were deemed to be ineligible to qualify.

This decision upset the lacrosse community and their protests led to the ruling body reversing their decision. By now all the qualifying spots had been filled. The Irish team took the sporting decision to bow out to make room for the Iroquois Nationals.

So who are the Iroquois Nationals?

I found the answer in Michael Glennon’s article.

“Well, the sport itself originated among the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida and Tuscarora Nations, collectively known as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in the northeastern United States.

They compete in international lacrosse as the Iroquois Nationals. “

Predecimal coins, listowel military, Fighting Gorse Fires and Some Lockdown Activities

Listowel Garda Station in May 2020


from Fogotten Ireland


A Gorse Fire

John Kelliher took this photo of a recent gorse fire.


Listowel Military

Maureen Barrett formerly of Ballylongford sent us this photograph. She only knows a few lads but maybe other people will know more.

I presume that this is the Listowel FCA/LDF members from away back.

I know only a few people that are from Ballylongford  

front in center in civilian clothes is Dave Neligan from Ahanagran, Ballylongford, 

first row standing 4th from the right is Tommy Hennessy (RIP) Ballylongford, peeking over his shoulder is Patrick Moriarty Ballylongford-sorry to say don’t know anyone else-some of your followers might be able to help-Maureen Barrett


Keeping Busy in Lockdown

Breda Ferris has been to the bog in Ballylongford.

In Switzerland, Laura, granddaughter of our friends Jim and Liz Dunn of Athea, looks after her chickens.

In London, Maria Sham, formerly of Listowel is busy baking and barbecuing.

Bernie Carmody visited St. Batt’s Well.

In Dublin, Eamon ÓMurchú went for a spin on his bike.

Eamon at the Eccentric Orbit sculpture in Portmarnock.

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