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: Bill Kearney

Remembering Old Times

The Dandy Lodge


Another Friend Gone

The late Joan Carey walking her dog near her home on Church Street

When you reach my age you have to accept it as a fact of life that friends will pass away.

I got to know the late Joan Carey as part of my knitting group. How we used to enjoy our Saturdays in Scribes before Covid. Neither of us was too interested in the knitting. It was an opportunity to meet people and to chat. Joan was always gentle and peace loving. When the odd disagreement broke out, Joan always stayed well out of it.

Joan had a long battle with illness over the last two years.

She will be sadly missed by her family, neighbours and friends.

May she rest in peace.


From the 2006 Pres. Yearbook

A trip down Memory Lane to 1953


Amateur Drama Remembered

One of the great stalwarts of Listowel drama was the late Bill Kearney. It was fitting that his three daughters were guests of honour at the launch of the new exhibition, Raise the Curtain, in Kerry Writers’ Museum.

The Kearney family have contributed much of their late father’s memorabilia to the museum.

This photograph was shared by Paul Murphy a few years ago. It is Bill Kearney at the mike at one of the famous Doodle dinners.


A Fairy Door

This fairy door is in Ballybunion. I knocked but no one answered.


The Square Cone

Derry O’Carroll hard at work in Listowel Town Square, installing our new ice cream kiosk. Official opening June 1 2022.

Because the weatherman says it will be fine this weekend, they’ve decided to open early. As well as ice cream they will have brownies, cream cakes and other treats.


Bridge Rd., Junior Griffin’s Memories and refurbishment at the convent

Bridge Road before the Posters Went Up


Would You Sleep in a Hearse?

Junior Griffin on his way home from mass a few years ago.

The late John Griffin (Junior’s dad) of Bridge Road, Listowel  mended everything. He was a
great mender of umbrellas, clocks and watches and he was the go- to man if your
fuse blew and left you without power.

He once converted an old Chevrolet into a hearse for Danny Lyons.
Junior and his brother, Bert, vied with one another to see who would be the
first to sleep in the hearse. Junior remembers that a lovely man, John Kirby,
who was a manager at Latchfords and an uncle of our present parish priest,
Canon Declan O’Connor, settled that argument. Employing the wisdom of Soloman,
John offered the boys 3d.  (three pence) each to allow him to be the first. The boys readily
accepted the money and no one slept in Danny Lyons hearse while it was in the
Bridge Rd.


Bill Kearney

Thanks to Jim Halpin for this one. The Bill Kearney of Listowel in the picture was very involved in Drama. He was a member of Listowel Drama Group.

Last year I posted here a story about Bill’s widow, Pat and my friends and neighbours, Will and Peggy Collins from Kanturk.

“People my age and older will remember Bill and Pat Kearney of this parish. Bill was very involved with the Listowel Drama Group. After Bill’s death, Pat lived on in Listowel on her own. One evening she was driving home from Cork when she got a puncture. In the days before mobile phones, the done thing in this instance was to call to the nearest house. Pat did. This house was the home of Willie and Peggy Collins, my lovely neighbours. Being the kind people they are, they brought her in and gave her a cup of tea and some of Peggy’s legendary delicious baking. They changed her wheel and ascertained that it would have to stay in Kanturk overnight for repair. 

Peggy and Willie would not hear of Pat driving home alone with no spare wheel so they drove to Listowel with her. Pat never forgot their extraordinary kindness to her and she mentioned it often to me. There would be none more delighted than Pat Kearney to hear  that the son of her Kanturk friends is now a famous scriptwriter and if she has any influence above, that Oscar is in the bag for The Cartoon Saloon gang.”

Another memory of Pat Kearney that comes to mind is her relationship with Rte’s Maxi. Maxi used to present the late night (or was it very early morning) music show on RTE. During the show she would read out letters and cards that had been sent go her by fans. Many of those cards and letters were from Pat Kearney of Listowel.


Early days of flying

“….Since very few of the passengers had ever flown before, they were mostly terrified but putting a good face on it. There would be requests for large brandies before we had left the ground. Everyone would investigate the sickbag stowed in the pocket of the seat in front. Pre-pressurised planes lurched and bucked in patches of heavy cloud, even without the strain of an apprehensive stomach.”

This is a short excerpt from an article by Frances O’Donoghue on Frances was one of Aer Lingus’ first air hostesses in the days  when it was exclusively a female job, before they became flight attendants.


Lily, A Brave Search and Rescue Dog

Photo: Kerry Climbing

This photos was taken at Hag’s Glen, one of the places where Lily , a search and rescue dog worked. Sadly, Lily passed away at the weekend after a short illness. The passing of any beloved dog is sad but the loss of such an experienced and brave working dog is a tragedy.


Work Underway at the Convent

Reroofing going on here

A reminder of its former glory….2007


Believe it or Not

This year February has 4 Sundays , 4 Mondays , 4 Tuesdays , 4 Wednesdays , 4 Thursdays , 4 Fridays , 4 Saturdays.  We will not see the likes of this February again since it will not occur again for 823 years.  (Thank You M.S. for this fun fact.)


A Toast for Terry

Photo: Joanne O’Brien

The London Irish Centre held a commemorative event for Terry Wogan this week. Irish people in Britain regarded Terry Wogan as an Ambassador without portfolio. One lady who attended the commemoration  echoed the feelings of many who had worked and lived in England at the height of the war in Northern Ireland, said, “He made it easier to be Irish in Britain.”

Terry Wogan was a great supporter of the London Irish Centre.

WW1 Dead Remembered, Pride of Place, Kerry Crusaders, a Listowel born veteran and The Field in St. Johns

Nothing about War is Glorious

Yesterday, in the aftermath of Friday November 13th’s atrocities in Paris, was a good day to remind ourselves of all that was has taken from North Kerry by war. The good people atListowel Military Tattoo organized a moving ceremony to commemorate all the local soldiers who had lost their lives in WW1 and also to remember all those who had lost their lives in any conflict. We remembered too the civilians who died because they were caught up in conflict.

The flag at the memorial stone flew at half mast.

Inside St. John’s the stage and auditorium were decorated with the flags of many nations. The ceremony was a non denominational religious one. We prayed and observed silence for all those idealistic people who had given their lives for a cause they believed in.

 This young lady read the poem, In Flanders Fields, in memory of her ancestor who died in WW1 and whose remains were only recovered in 2002.

Then a procession of people read the names of people from their locality who had died. Some of the young people struggled with names like Gallipoli, Salonica, Ypres and The Somme.

These theatres of war were once household names.

The names of the dead were the familiar names of our neighbours and fellow townsfolk.

Jimmy Deenihan reminded us that war is not too far away in today’s world.


Pride of Place 2015

We didn’t win. Castlemartyr did. But there was a small consolation in an award which went Kerry’s way.

 It went to to Kerry Traveller  Health and Community Development Project.

Listowel people take great pride in their own place. We don’t need an award to tell the world that.

A huge vote of thanks is due toListowel Tidy Towns and everyone who put in such a massive effort to win us this accolade.

Beidh lá eile ag an bPaorach.

Photo from Listowel Tidy Towns shows the Listowel contingent at the awards ceremony in Ennis on Saturday.


Kerry Crusaders Big Day, Saturday November 14 2015

These are some of the dry Crusaders who were helping with the registration on Saturday. Months of hard work went into the organization of Kerry Crusaders first competitive run in Listowel. Despite the truly dreadful weather the event was a huge success. 

You will find all the details and some more photos on their Facebook page (link above).

Vincent Carmody was one of the many participants in the 10k walk on Saturday.


Another treasured photo from Paul Murphy

Bill Kearney at the mike.


Listowel born U.S. Army veteran

This is Jimmy O’Connor,  who was born in Tannavalla, Listowel in 1935. Jimmy served in the US army . On his return home from Chicago he married Eileen from Greenville.

Jimmy’s son, Brian sent me the photo.


The Field in St. John’s

St. John’s was full to the rafters every night last week.  Such was the demand for tickets that they had to put on an extra performance of John B.’s powerful and disturbing play.

Nora Relihan and Joe Murphy serving refreshments at the interval, in St. John’s on Thursday November 12 2015.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén