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

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The Northern Tour Ends the Road Trip

Listowel Garda Station in August 2022


In Teampall Bán

I took my granddaughters, Aisling and Cora to soak up a piece of history at Teampall Bán

The little chapel has the history of some of the worst statistics from The Famine on its door.

Listowel Tidy Towns have recently placed a commemorative plaque remembering one of its’ volunteers, Eileen Worths, who loved the little cemetery.

Across the road from the entrance to Teampall Bán I saw that great progress has been made in the construction of the bypass.


Barbara Heads North

A brief summary of the 2nd tour:    Places we visited:

Listoke Distillery-story of the distillery and the Gin School.   

Belfast City:  Panoramic Tour of the Fall and Shankill Roads to learn of the effects The Troubles had on the city and the entire island.   Titanic Quarter-learning everything about the legendary RMS Titanic, from standing in the shipyard it was built all the way to its maiden voyage.  That evening  we went to The Old Inn in Crawfordsburn, a quaint town north of Belfast City.  This restaurant was built in 1614.  A delicious dinner was had by all.  A real treat for us.   We got to see how truly beautiful Belfast City really is and how it’s a booming city now.   Lots of construction everywhere.  Definitely up and becoming for Belfast City.   

Giant’s Causeway and Derry CIty all in one day.   We headed north along the Antrim Coast for a visit to the famous Giant’s Causeway.  We made a stop at the Glenariff Forest Park at the Glenariff Teahouse for some tea and scones.   Giant’s Causeway is definitely a sight to behold and one that will leave you in awe when you do.  This is my 2nd time seeing them and each time, it definitely leaves you in awe.    We headed to Derry City, the historic walled City.   This was the last walled city to be built in Ireland and the only city whose walls remain completely intact in the country.  We were met by a local tour guide and embarked on a walking tour  of the city to learn all about Derry’s turbulent past.  We were supposed to stay a night in Derry City, but had to head to Donegal Town instead.   

I was delighted with the switch.   My room had a view of the Donegal harbor.   The next morning, we made our way to Irish House in Donegal where we saw a demonstration of how tweed sweaters were originally made as we watched the threads weave in and out on the old wooden loom.   We headed to Sligo Town for lunch.   We couldn’t see Ben Bulben because it was covered in clouds.   We went to WB Yeats grave and church.   Then we headed to Roscommon to Kilronan Castle one of Ireland’s most luxurious castle hotels and stayed the night at the castle.   It was a real treat on beautiful grounds.  We had a beautiful dinner being our last night with this tour group of 14!  

Then the next day, we headed to Arigna Mines where we got to experience a unique perspective into what coal mining life was like in Ireland from the 1700’s all the way to its closure in 1990.  Once above ground, we head to the ancient village of Kells.   This olden village was where the famous Book of Kells was written and protected for over 800 years before being moved to Trinity College in the 17th Century.   I learned that this quaint village is part of the reason Ireland is referred to as the Land of Saints and Scholars.  After touring Kells, we made our way back to Dublin to end this amazing tour.  

The title of this tour was WILD ATLANTIC EXPERIENCE:  10 DAY TOUR Premium Sightseeing Tour with ROYAL IRISH TOURS.   I highly recommend this tour!!  We were in a small coach with 14 people on each tour.    What better way to see Ireland-you get to sit back, relax and let someone else do the driving.    Ireland is simply a beautiful place which I will always come back to visit.    18 days wasn’t enough, but enough to recharge my batteries for the next school year!!!!  Hopefully it won’t be another 6 years for my next visit!  


A Gaslight

When street lighting was introduced it was powered by candlelight, gas or oil. Eventually electricity replaced other sources of power and the old lampposts were removed and replaced with less decorative but more functional lamp standards.

The lady who is commemorated on this park bench is the reason that we still have one old street lamp left outside Behan’s. Bibiana lived in The Horseshoe when it was Foran’s and she prevailed on the town council to leave the lamp outside her home.


A Fact

Image; Wikipedia

The African baobab tree can have a circumference as large as 100 feet. One such tree in Zimbabwe is so wide that the hollowed out trunk serves as a bus shelter. It can shelter up to 40 people.


Summer 2022

William Street in August 2022


Listowel Widows Association

Phot; Ena Bunyan

Barbara’s tour of the Republic comes to an end

Barbara at Dunquin Pier

Day 5, a busy day.  We drove to Blarney Castle and Gardens.   We walked around the gardens.  I didn’t go up to the top to kiss the Blarney Stone.  I tried it years ago and once was enough for me.  Then we went to the quaint village of Adare.  From there, we went to Tipperary to the Rock of Cashel with medieval buildings, built in the 12th, 13th and 15th centuries.  That was my 1st time at the Rock of Cashel.  A beautiful view of Tipperary from The Cashel.   Then we went back to Dublin for another night at The Riu Plaza-The Gresham Hotel.  It was the end of the 1st tour.   

One of the ladies on the tour told me that I could have been the driver’s co-host since I knew so much of all the areas we had visited.   

Now the 2nd tour will be different as we will be exploring the Northern part of Ireland.   I must say I loved every minute of both tours. 


Thomas O’Halloran R.I.P.

Martina O’Gorman rallied all the Listowel diaspora in London to pay tribute to an innocent old man only trying to do a good deed when he was cruelly murdered.

Photo; Lucia Butler of Facebook

Martina wrote;

Not sure if you saw me on RTE or Sky News on Sunday.

Basically myself and a friend from Castlemaine organised a gathering of Irish people in London to pay respect to poor 87yr old Tom O Halloran who was stabbed to death.

Photo Lucia Butler on Facebook

We thought there would be 20/30 of us turn out but over 300 attended.   It was a beautiful service, surreal and emotional.   The local priest said some prayers & then we had poetry recited and played some Irish Music and they sang Tom’s favourite song, Boolavogue.

We asked everyone that was attending to wear their county colours and they turned up from all Counties in Ireland, but big turnout was from Kerry.


A Master at Work

Martin Chute at work on William Street Listowel Aug 24 2022


Ballybunion Triathlon

Breda Ferris sent us a few photos


A limerick you’ll like


In Killarney and Sneem

Jane Darby took this photo in Rosslare when her girls went for a midnight swim.


Barbara’s Tour Hits Killarney

The next morning, we made our way through Limerick City to Adare.   We stopped off at the quaint village of Adare.  From there, we headed to Killarney.   Once we got to Killarney, we hopped on the jaunting car for a tour of Killarney National Park.   

While on the tour, we drove by the racetrack and found out the Killarney Races was on.   

We had the evening free and what do I do, I head to the races!  I bet on 4 races and won one race winning 42 Euro on a 2.50 Euro bet.  Not bad for one race. 

I treated myself to a steak dinner back in Killarney at The Laurels Pub and Restaurant-highly recommended by my cousin, David Toolan.

    Day 4, a day to remember with glorious sunshine to do one of the most scenic drives in Ireland, Ring of Kerry.  We stopped at Scardiff  Inn or lunch with stunning views of the ocean.  Of course, we visited Sneem and walked around and shopped some more.   

Next stop, Kissane Sheep Farm, no relation at all, a memorable sheepdog performance.  That evening, we had dinner at The Killarney Plaza Hotel where we were staying and a show called, Gaelic Roots at The Avenues.  


The Two Men in Her Life

The giving away tradition is a lovely one. Eddie Moylan gave away his youngest daughter on Saturday, August 20 2022 in a moving wedding ceremony celebrated by Fr. Donal O’Connor.

Mary Moylan and Dave Murphy soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Murphy.


A Sign of Hope

This Church Street premises has lain idle for years now. It’s great to see that the new owners are carefully removing the old owners’ name letter by letter to be restored later.


A Fact to Maker You Laugh

People who laugh a lot are healthier than people who dont. Laughing lowers stress hormones and strengthens the immune system.

Six year olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults laugh an average of 15 to 100 times.


Barbara In Galway

St. John’s Listowel in August 2022


Beloved Kerry Footballers

The man who posted this image on Twitter assures us that David Clifford is in there somewhere. Whenever his team, Fossa, play nowadays he is likely to be mobbed by admiring fans as soon as the final whistle is blown.

No mob here, unless its puffins or gannets. The great O’Sé’s on a trip to Scellig.


The Griffin Family, Bridge Road. This old photo was shared online by a family member.


Barbara’s Road Trip Takes her to Galway

When we got to Galway City, we had the evening to ourselves.   Knowing the area well, what do I do?  I walk almost 4 miles out to Salthill.  One of my favorite promenades in Ireland!!  

 I walked to the amusement park and then took the bus back to Merchant Street and shopped in the shops.   I shopped at Faller Jewelry.  Back in the 80’s, I was with my mother and got my first claddagh ring.   I misplaced my last one and I had to get a new ring.   I got one with my birthstone on it- a ruby stone!  A trip down memory lane.  

Inis Oirr

Next morning, we head to the seaside town of Doolin, one of my favorite towns along the Wild Atlantic Way.  Did you know there are 168 signs along the Wild Atlantic Way?   You could do a separate blog about that one! 

Inis Oirr

We boarded the ferry to Inis Oirr, the most easterly of the Aran Islands, which translates to East Island!  Ferry ride back treated us to the majestic beauty of The Cliffs of Moher, truly breath-taking. 

Cliffs of Moher

The best way to see the cliffs up close!  After that, we spent the night at The Lahinch Coast Hotel with the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, not my room.   A beautiful walk that evening was well worth it and of course, the 1st ice cream 99 cone!


1940’s Listowel boys

Picture from The Advertiser shared by Mike Hannon


Wedding of Mary and Dave

I had a lovely day at Mary and Dave’s wedding. The music as expected was out of this world. Thank you to Mary’s friends from Listowel Folk Group.

Members of Listowel Folk Group at the recent wedding of Mary Moylan and Dave Murphy; Denis O’Rourke, Mike Moriarty, Cathriona O’Neill Eileen Leen, Mary Moylan, Emer O’Neill, John Kinsella, Tina Kinsella and Mary Fagan


A Fact

A horse’s age is determined by looking at his teeth. The term ‘long in the tooth” meaning old came about because of this fact.

As horses age their gums recede so their teeth appear longer. This gave rise to the assumption that the teeth were growing. They weren’t.

So a horses age can be determined by how much his gums have receded rather than by how much his teeth have grown.


On the Road with Barbara

Grotto in O’Connell’s Ave in August 2022


Mallow Train Station

I snapped these recently in the train station.

Here’s a random question for people who travel by train. Have you ever thought that the man who recorded the announcements in Irish sounds very like Gabriel Fitzmaurice? “Táimid ag teacht isteach i nGabhal Luimní. Seachain an bearna le bhur dtoil.”


Round Ireland Trip

Part 3 of Barbara Kissane’s coach tour

On the 7th day of this trip was the start of my 10 day tour titled, The Wild Atlantic Way Experience.    Ireland is an addictive place to visit-beautiful, stunning and with ever-changing scenery.

Slea Head Drive
Cows at Ballyconry

We stopped off at the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland-Kilbeggan.   We did a tasting! 

We drove to Athlone and the River Shannon to Galway City.   The start of viewing incredible landscapes, dramatic coastlines, villages and cities.  Full of charming people waiting to give us the warmest welcomes.



In Kildare

Bord na Móna head office in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. The Listowel Connection here is that my son in law and his mother both work for Bord na Móna

Beautiful utility boxes in Kildare Town. Wouldn’t they look good in Listowel?


Won’t be long Now

Senan and Sadhbh took a minute away from the festivities at their aunt’s wedding to look out the window of The Listowel Arms at Listowel race course.


A Fact

Someone asked me where I am getting these facts from.

The source is a book called Trivia for The Toilet, a book for the bog.

Sorry you asked?

Today’s fact; When Bugs Bunny first appeared in 1935 he was called Happy Rabbit.

In case you are thinking that I should have left that “fact” book where I found it, I Googled today’s fact and here is what it says in the Looney Tunes site

Happy Rabbit is the name sometimes used for an early rabbit character from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series who evolved into the Warner Bros. cartoon studio‘s most famous character, Bugs Bunny. Created by Ben “Bugs” Hardaway in 1938, the rabbit first appeared in the short “Porky’s Hare Hunt“.

Like most of the other Looney Tunes characters, the rabbit was voiced by Mel Blanc. The name of the Bugs Bunny prototype was not used publicly until Blanc spoke of Bugs’ origins in a 1970s interview, though there is some doubt that it was ever an official name.

(So maybe not quite a fact, but near as dammit.)


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