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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

Tag: Billy Keane Page 1 of 13

Sive in John B.’s

Listowel Arms 2004

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Sive in John B.’s

This is artist Moira Keane and publican Billy Keane. I took the photo in John B.’s on Aug 25 2022 when Moira came from her home in Galway to sign the mural she had painted when she was a young art teacher in town.

Billy put on a great show for her.

We started with Micky MacConnell.

He sang a Galway song especially for Moira. We were back with Mickey and his first love “busking in Eyre Square” having arrived in his old car, Flattery, which got him everywhere.

Then, Gabriel Fitzmaurice, another John B. regular, read a poem or two for us.

In honour of the occasion, the Lartigue Little Theatre Group were staging a special performance of the closing scene in Sive. Denis Mahoney explained to us that it was difficult to adapt it for this small intimate venue, but the cast had pulled out all the stops for this special night.

There is something special about seeing the play performed in the house where it was written.

Con Kirby was excellent in the role of the “withered old lurgadawn of a man”, the lecherous Seán Dota.

Katie Lucey was “the sweet flower of the canavaun” as Sive.

That match was never going to work.

Pats Bacach (Mike Moriarty) put the heart crossways in us as he summoned Carthalawn (Brendan Kennelly) to curse Tomsásheen Seán Rua who had made the match.

When Liam Scuab enters carrying the body of Sive, everyone is chastened.

Con Kirby, Laura Shine Gumbo and Jimmy Moloney

Those who should have cared for Sive have let their own unhappy situations lead them for a mad moment into believing that this match was the right thing to do.

Sive is a marvellous play. I grew up in an Ireland that had only recently come out of that awful era. I feel sympathy for every one of those characters.

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Heatwave a hundred years ago

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Lovely Listowel

The Silent Valley, Co. Down. Photo; Éamon ÓMurchú

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Flowers in The Square in June 2022

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More People from Writers’ Week 2022

Bernie Carmody and Eilish Wren were very happy to be working hard at Writers’ Week 2022.

My daughter took this picture of myself and Rose McGinty. It was great to see Rose back in Listowel after a tough old time health wise.

Charlie Nolan was out and about during Writers Week as well.

Three happy men and a beautiful lady. These are my fellow chroniclers and keepers of the flame, Charlie Nolan, John Lynch and Billy Keane. The lovely lady is John’s daughter, Deirdre.

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New Shop in Town

I think it sells vaping stuff, CBD oil and lots of other odds and ends.

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St. Mary’s Parish, Listowel

This book which was put together by the late Listowel priest, Fr. Kieran O’Shea has some great historical information about the parishes of Kerry.

Here is what it says about Listowel.

(more tomorrow)

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Globe in Cobh

Garry and Anne Wilson who own Belvelly Castle were the people responsible for bringing the huge art installation which is The Gaia Globe to St. Coleman’s Cathedral in Cobh.

My family went to see it on its last weekend in town and their verdict, “Awesome”.

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St. Michael’s

Photo; Éamon ÓMurchú in Bantry

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St. Michael’s Centenary Gala Day

Mike Hannon has shared lots of photos recently of a gala day to mark 100 years of St. Michael’s in Listowel. A big day of fun and games, stalls and the army band rounded off a weekend of celebrating.

Babe Joe Wilmott
Beatrice and Jack Carmody
Breda O’Mahony and Bill Hartnett
Fr. Antony Gaughan and

I have memories of that weekend too. On Saturday we had a mass with a raft of priests who were old boys of the college concelebrating. We had a gala dinner and then the big day on Sunday.

I was one of the volunteers manning the food and crafts stall. Health and safety regulations were more lax in those days. We sold eggs still warm from the hens’ bottoms. We had home made cakes and jams and all sorts of knitted and hand sewn goods, bric a brac and white elephants galore.

John OFlahery was in charge of our committee.

One of our number was the lovely Elsie Geale. Elsie was scrupulously honest and this caused a bit of the bother on the day before the fair.

We had collected egg boxes for weeks to box the promised (by the parents of the country boys) fresh eggs that had been pledged for the Sunday morning. Of course the egg boxes had the names and branding of the egg companies who had supplied them to the shops. No way would Elsie tolerate us selling our eggs in boxes that declared they came from somewhere else. So, at the height of our preparations, we had to cut rectangles of wallpaper and paste them over the names on the lids of all the boxes.

I think the competition was to guess the weight of the cake.

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I had Visitors

Aoife read about everything that’s on during Writers’ Week 2022. Then she chewed the brochure.

It’s decided. She is coming back on June 1 for the festival.

Aoife and her Mammy, Clíona

That smile says, “I have my daddy exactly where I want him, wrapped around my little finger.”

We took her to see the changes in The Square. In fairness she did not really remember how it used to look so she was happy enough with the new set up.

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From Pres Yearbook 2006

In 2006 the magazine committee decided to ask a former teacher, Aileen Hayes, now Scanlan, for her memories of her time in Pres.

Here is an extract from her article.

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Two Listowel Men

Billy Keane and Jimmy Moloney

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Some of the Old Stock

Photo Credit; Una Murphy, Mallow Camera Club

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Some of Listowel’s Old Stock

This marvellous old snap is one of the great photos shared by Mike Hannon on Facebook.

In the centre of the photo is the late Ned O’Connor of Convent Street.

Ned was the first Listowel man I met on my first visit to town. The year was 1972 or 1973. I was a very young teacher and on my first big assignment. I was to examine the Leaving Cert. class in Presentation Secondary School in oral Irish.

I had never been to Listowel before.

I looked up the Bord Fáilte book for a suitable Bed and Breakfast for the week. (There was no internet in those days)

I think it was the Convent Street address that prompted me to choose Ned O’Connor’s premises. I figured it was surely within walking distance of the school. It was.

I arrived on the Sunday evening, to begin work on Monday. Ned welcomed me and showed me to a very comfortable room. He told me that the week before the “Padre Pio priest” had stayed in that very room.

The next morning after my breakfast, Ned gave me an orange to bring with me to school. He told me that he thought my voice would be sore from all the talking and oranges were great for relieving a sore throat. I had never stayed in a B and B before but I knew that this level of caring couldn’t be the norm.

As an ambassador for Listowel, Ned did an excellent job.

May he rest in peace.

By the way, the Leaving Cert girls did excellently well in their oral exam.

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It’s Done and It’s Lovely

And who are the two men enjoying a chat and admiring the newly unveiled area?

Billy Keane and Aidan ÓMurchú were relaxing in the sunshine in the new facility.

Necessary but a bit unsightly in our lovely new meeting, performing and eating space

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From 2002/03 Pres. Yearbook

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Dáithí Óg

Back in the day Dáithí ÓSé used to be a weatherman on TG4

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Emigration in 1946

In Main Street

Taken a few years ago

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Sr. Consolata’s Memories of life in Pres. Listowel (continued)

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More Photos from 2022 Parade

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Bord Gháis Theatre

Pre -concert photo by Éamon ÓMurchú

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Piece of Family History

John Anthony Hegarty found this interesting piece of his family’s history.

He writes; My Mother Mary Kennelly (Hegarty), her sister Eileen Kennelly (Sr.Mary Angela) from Pallas, began from St.Michael Convent Newmarket -On -Fergus to Ville De Matel. Many others from Listowel lived there.

This is a record came across , 3 sisters made trip via SNN-LON-JFK to Houston County, Texas.
Eileen Kennelly was 22 from Pallas with  Mary M Clancy 20 BallyCashel, accompanied by St.Mary Cahill 48, Shanagolden .

Trained to be teacher, later returned to Mercy Convent Trim. Later she left nuns, and married Terence O’ Conor. She was teaching in a few places finally to Oughterard,Co.Galway. She is buried inBohermore Cemetery Galway City.
Regards 
John-Anthony Hegarty 

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The Cycle Path on Bridge Road is done

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