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: Ballyvourney

Listowel, Then and Now

Listowel Fire Station at evening in September 2023


Listowel Food Fair 2023

November 9th to 13th November 2023



Lovely Listowel is greatly enhanced in September 2023 by beautiful floral displays.


The Last of the Concerts (for now)

Kerry Sentinel, Saturday, 17 March, 1906; Page: 4

Grand Entertainment at Ballylongford

LECTURE AND CONCERT. On Friday night last a highly interesting entertainment consisting of a lecture on the Irish Brigade, illustrated with lantern slides by Mr Thos F O’Sullivan, Listowel, concert of Irish music was held in Ballylongford and was well attended.

The Rev Fr. Pierce, P.P, presided, and was supported by the Rev Fr. Enright, Sacramento, and the Rev J Dillon, C.C, Ballylongford. At the conclusion of the address, a hearty vote of thanks was tendered to the lecturer on the proposition of Fr Enright, seconded by Fr. Dillon.

The concert opened with the children’s chorus “Erin the Tear,” which was harmoniously rendered. ” An incident of ’98” by  Misses Bride Shanahan and Bessie Fitzmaurice was warmly received. Hour hath Come by the same young ladies, with Miss Maggie Carmody, was a decidedly attractive and humorous item and richly deserved the applause bestowed on it. Miss Collins and Miss Carmody were responsible for the training of the children in these contributions, which certainly reflected credit on them.

Miss Shanahan sang ” Carrigdhoun,” and was warmly applauded while Mr Jas Leahy’s recitation, ” Fontenoy,” was extremely  popular. The duet ” Molly Bawn,” by Miss O Grady and Mr R Jones was much appreciated, and the Irish step-dancing of Messrs Hanrahan and Ahern evoked well deserved applause. In addition, Messrs ? Cotter and O Shaughnessy, Listowel, contributed largely to the success of the entertainment, which from start to finish was interesting, attractive and instructive. We understand a somewhat similar entertainment will be shortly held in Ballylongford when the lecture will be delivered by the Rev Fr. Enright, Sacramento.


Another Gold

Representing Listowel Tidy Towns in Clonakilty on Monday last, Jimmy Moloney, Julie Gleeson and Breda McGrath picked up a well deserved 13th gold medal. In early October we’ll know the national result.


Baile Mhúirne

This lovely little linear village on the road to Cork is soon to be bypassed. I dropped into the church on my way past last week.

Eucharistic adoration was in progress so I couldn’t do too much wandering around. The church was beautifully kept but obviously built in poorer times, with little enough stained glass and no mosaic work.


1960’s Guide

Two businesses now the stuff of memory


A Fact

In 1492 Pope Innocent VII was dying. On the advice of his physicians he drank the blood of three young donors. He was convinced that this would keep him young and healthy. It didn’t. He died shortly after.


Ballyvourney, Listowel’s One Stop Sweet Shop, roadworks at the courthouse an the 2019 Parade

Jim McSweeney


Séipéal Bhaile Mhuirne

I often pass through Ballyvourney on my way to Cork. It’s a lovely little Gaeltacht village full of old world charm and character. One day last week I took a pit stop in the village and I explored the lovely  church. The photos speak for themselves.


One Stop Shop on Church Street

For all your confectionery needs


Gas Works?

Last week they were digging up the pavement at the library plaza.


Listowel St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2019

Some people were in Listowel and some people wish they were.

Steve Scallon LAPD from Monaghan ,Tony Curtin NYPD Clounmacon, Greg Sterns LAPD at the St Patrick’s Day Parade New York. 

(Photo: Facebook)

Philomena Kuhn at her home in Germany

Maria Sham celebrated with her friends in London

Mai Fitz’s Clock, Looking forward to The Races and An old yarn from John B. Keane

Well Known Landmark gets a revamp

I remember when it was Mai Fitz’s.


Well, Well, Well

Christy’s is looking very colourful these days.


Won’t be Long Now

One of the official images from the launch this week of the McElligott’s Tralee Ltd. Honda Ireland Ladies Day Listowel Races on Friday 16th of September. There is a €6,000 CASH prize fund – so definitely worth dressing to impress. 

Judges are Maura Derrane, the super stylish TV personality and presenter of the RTÉ Today, and James Patrice, presenter and Snapchat Star. This is the second year of the McElligotts Honda sponsorship and the cash prize fund has been increased to €6,000, with prizes for Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Couple, Jazziest Headpiece, Most Glamorous Young Racer, and new this year, Most Stylish Selfie!. 

Photo by MacMonagle Photography

This beautiful 3 year old horse is called Queen’s Orbit.


You Can’t Beat a Good Yarn

John B. Keane was one of the best at telling a good yarn. He was given ample opportunity to spin these tales in his very popular weekly column in The Limerick Leader. Here is a good one that resurfaced recently from the archives of The Leader.

LAST week in Limerick I was
having lunch in a well-known hotel when I notice an animated conversation
developing at a nearby table. I wasn’t sure at first but as time passed I
realised the occupants were talking about me.

An oldish, bespectacled
woman was holding forth to two other women and a man. As she spoke her
listeners, from time to time, would direct glances in my direction. At last I
recognised the woman who was talking and I guessed the gist of the story she
was telling.

Back in 1947 when I was
working as an assistant to a fowl and egg-buyer I used to call to many
farmhouses for eggs.

One of these was situated
not far from Ballyheigue, near Kerry Head, and to this particular household I
used to call every Thursday around dinnertime. I would have with me an egg box
and when I would enter the kitchen the woman of the house would take the box up
to the room where she would partly fill it with her contribution of eggs.

During one of my calls she
was seated at the table about to have a cut at a plate of bacon and cabbage and
several small new spuds. Dutifully she rose when I entered and, taking the box
went, as usual, to the room where she proceeded to fill the box.

I was left alone in the
kitchen although as I recall there was an ancient sheepdog lying half-asleep
near the range. As I say it was dinnertime and needless to mention I was
starved with the hunger. I edged my way towards the plate just to have a look.
There were the several potatoes still steaming. There was the beautifully
boiled cabbage and there were several small, thin slices of home-cured bacon. I
could not resist. I took one spud, one slice of bacon and a hefty pinch of
cabbage. All was safely swallowed by the time she returned. She looked at the
plate. She looked at me and I looked at the dog.

A month passed and at
dinnertime I called to the house once more. Again, on this occasion, she was
about to commence her dinner. She rose dutifully as before, took the box and
then, after a brief pause, took the plate wherein reposed her dinner. She then
retired to the room.


Do you go to Cork via Macroom?

If the answer is yes to my first question, my second question is have you ever stopped in Ballyvourney? (for an ice cream perhaps!)

When I stopped last week I looked around me and I saw things of interest.

They have kept the old village pump.  It’s not functioning and has a few bits missing but it is a reminder of a slower way of life.

I don’t know of any other road sign which gives the time it might take you for your journey rather than the distance.


Who will Lead Britain out of the EU?

I wanna be the leader

I wanna be the leader

Can I be the leader?

Can I? I can?

Promise? Promise?

Yippee I’m the leader

I’m the leader

OK what shall we do? 

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