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: Belfast

Milk pudding, Halloween in Tralee and The Melbourne Cup


Your daily dose of Nostalgia

Do you recognize the above?

They are semolina pudding and rice pudding respectively and they were staples in the diet of Irish youngsters in the early years of the twentieth century. Oh yes! and there was sago and tapioca for variety.

These delicacies were the desserts of my childhood. Their collective title was Milk Puddings. Their main ingredient was milk which was in plentiful supply. They were served with a spoon of jam….also in plentiful supply, or sultanas….not in such plenty and so a luxury.

When presented by me to one of today’s youngsters, I was met with, “That looks like someone’s eaten it already.” The same youngsters also hate jelly and custard, a luxurious dessert which was only served in our house on Sundays.


I Love Being a Nana

I went with my family to the Halloween experience in the Kerry Museum in Tralee.  It was a great few hours, enjoyed by all except the youngest who was scared out of her wits.  If truth be told, I had the bejasus scared out of myself as I strode ahead pretending to be brave only to meet with a ghoul who seemed to have escaped his enclosure and was wandering among the visitors.

The usual museum exhibits are transformed into medieval torture chambers with real live monsters mixing with statues. We were all very impressed. The vault -like setting and the near total darkness added to the atmosphere. My older grandchildren gave it 10 out of 10.

At he end of the Hall of Horrors was a room where the children got to do some coloring. They came away with spooky door hangers and pictures.

This was the entrance hall. I think I was already a bit fearful…the photo is a bit shaky. The youngest was very brave at this early stage. She volunteered to sit on the ghost’s knee.

Even John B. hasd a spooky makeover for Haloween


Images of a bygone Ireland…the bad old days

Connemara and the Aran Islands are distinguished by their tiny fields surrounded by stone walls. This image  (Rare Irish Stuff) is of Inis Meáin where the walls were higher than elsewhere . The place in the 1940s was a place of poverty and hardship.

This is Belfast in the 1980s at the height of the northern conflict. This was the procedure as you entered any shopping street. People queued at checkpoints where armed soldiers, questioned, searched and frisked every one. In every shop there was security at the entrance and every bag was searched. Armed soldiers policed the streets, yet no one felt safe.


History is made at The Melbourne Cup 2015

This photo from the racecourse’s webpage shows Michelle Payne winning the Melbourne Cup, the richest horse race in Australia. the horse is Prince of Penzance and you could have backed him at 100/1. Michelle is the first lady to win this prestigious event.

We had our own lady at the races. Maria Stack, a good friend of Listowel Connection is having the trip of a lifetime down under. Here are a few of her photos from Melbourne.

Posing with the Melbourne Cup

Maria got the golden ticket.

Some of the fare at Flemington Racecourse Skyline Restaurant

Maria looking  smashing at the races.

Belfast, 1916, and the 1977 North Kerry fleadh committee

My Trip to Belfast

Recently I travelled north of the border for the first time in ages. I spent two days in Belfast and found it a lovely city. Belfast people are among the friendliest in the world. Every time I and my traveling companion were standing puzzling over our map, invariable someone would come over with an offer of help. On one occasion, a lady who was obviously on her way from work stopped to offer help. She turned our map the right way round and walked with us until we got our bearings. This was typical of the kindness and helpfulness we encountered everywhere in Belfast.

I thought I’d pose with one of my beloved pillar boxes. That’s my ever present map in my hands.

I took this to entertain you with this rather amusing sign.

Belfast City is divided in quarters. Our hotel was in The Queen’s Quarter which was very central to shops and restaurants. It was near the university, as the name suggests.

We were just a short train ride from the Titanic Quarter where we went to visit The Titanic Experience.

The iconic cranes

This is Clíona outside the Titanic Experience. It is a marvelous visitor attraction. One is not allowed to take photos so you’ll have to go yourself to see what it looks like inside. As a museum it is not like any other I’ve visited. There was lots of reading but there was also lots and lots of interactive experiences. We were there at a quiet time and it took about 2 and a half hours. The time flew and we both agreed that it was super.

We had planned our visit before the euro fell to an all time low due to the Greek crisis so we had a good excuse for not buying the overpriced souvenirs.

Clíona looks a bit worried by these two. The Art piece is about women in the workforce. What drew me to it first was the crochet bombing. On closer inspection, the ladies are weighed down with telephones and typewriters, ladles and rolling pins. The statues are outside the main bus station.

This artistic piece is in the City Hall in Belfast.

There are some lovely stained glass windows in the city hall. The lower one is called the Famine window.

I was there in the week after the Berkeley tragedy and people were queueing to sign a book of condolence.


1916    2016

Here is a link to the complete list from the military archives of the rebels who fought in 1916

1916 Names


North Kerry Fleadh Cheoil 1977

Committee of the 1977 N K fleadh includes; 

L-R, Christy Stack Joint Treasurer, Matt Mooney Secretary, Michael DowlingChairman, Tim Brosnan Joint Treasurer,

 Second row, Babe Jo Collins, Collette O Connell, Maureen Dowling, Betty Stack, Babe Hilliard, Elizabeth O Reilly, Josie Molyneaux, Helen Leahy

 Back, Jack Flavin, John Enright, Tom O Connell, Maurice Molyneaux, Tom Murphy and Jack Larkin MCC.


A More Recent photo of people planning for the upcoming Munster Fleadh

Photo; Listowel/Duagh Comhaltas


Tripadviser’s list of things to do in Listowel

This list 

Twelve Listowel Attractions

is doing the rounds of Facebook. The list is not at all exhaustive. It’s just the list of places people have reviewed for Tripadvisor. We all know that Listowel’s Military and History Museum, Teampall Bán, Listowel Cinema, Craftshop na Méar, Listowel Emmetts’ Sportsfield, Listowel Community Centre, Listowel Pitch and Putt Course, Olive Stack’s Gallery, The River Walk  and so many great shops are part of Listowel’s attractiveness to visitors. We all need to get reviewing!


On the Street

Noreen Queally and Marie Moriarty out and about last week


+ R.I.P. Val Doonican +

The rocking chair is empty. Tá laoch ó laethanta m’óige ar lár.


A Rarity

Stephen Smyrl posted this photo on Facebook of a very rare post box spotted in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary.

“George V continued to reign until his death in 1936, but generally after partition postboxes ceased to bear his initials. After him, his son George VI reigned until the “Free State” declared itself a republic, outside of the Commonwealth of Nations.”

It would appear that the door alone was replaced with the Saorstát Eireann (Irish Free State ) logo someone time around 1922.

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