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 12

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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Happiness

On Church St.

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Remembering Past Writers’ Weeks

This is a lovely photo from a few years ago of Writers Week stalwarts, Billy Keane, Noreen Buckley, Nora Relihan and Mike Lynch.

Writers’ Week 2022 will run from June 1 to June 5 2022

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Another Dan Keane Limerick

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Rural Electrification

This is the book I am currently reading. It is a beautifully written story based in Co. Clare.

I grew up listening to stories of The Shannon Scheme and the coming of the electric light, so the neighbourhood depicted in the book is not as alien to me as it probably is to most of today’s readers.

Then in my trawl through my stash old old school magazines I found this apt essay,

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Ard Churam needs your help

Fundraising is central to both sustaining and growing the facilities and services on offer within Ard Chúram. As a beneficiary we have been afforded a wonderful opportunity to raise capital as we strive to pay for our purpose build facilities which represent a haven of support for our clients, their families and their carers.

It is for that reason we are seeking your support; we are asking you to choose Ard Chúram Dementia Centre as your designated charity and pedal it out for us on Saturday, July 2nd. 

If you can help you’ll find al the details on the Ard Churam Facebook page.

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Covid Signs,and A Sister’s Love in a poem and Opening Night Listowel Writers’ Week 2020

Only God can Make a Tree

Kay McDonnell took this photo

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Sisterly love in a Poem


“Limerick poet Anne Mulcahy wrote the poem Sister in 2014. I have her permission to get it published. ” Mattie Lennon”

The story behind it is as follows;

   A mutual friend of ours had a brother, David, with Down Syndrome. He was also non verbal. David spent 55 of his 57 years in an institution until his death in 2014. When he reached the terminal stage of his life that same institution clearly did not wish to have him remain in their care but rather wished him to enter an acute hospital setting. This issue needed to be robustly fought with the members of the institution to allow David to remain in his ‘ Home’.  His sister, who had been his Guardian Angel for decades, was an able and willing advocate to defend his rights. 

Sister was written from David’s perspective from beyond the grave.  

 Dear Sister, thank your noble heart, that fought my need to sleep,

In sheets that smelt and felt so familiar to me,

You spoke my words when my voice could not be found,

Through divided chaos you firmly stomped the ground,

Chin firm, teeth clinched, and no budge to make-

Steering the ship to higher ground!

Now, here, in this realm my tongue is loose and free,

And sings songs like Jingle Bells and happy melodies.

I cannot keep a pair of shoes, so worn are they from dancing.

And I laugh so much, I cry big tears, till my shirt oft needs changing.

Cold nights I read before I sleep, warm tales of hope and peace,

And all the while, I lay entwined, in my own familiar sheets!

Everything here is wonderful, both the company and the food,

And I’ve met many here that I once knew.

Pain does not exist here-only a great peace of vast magnitude.

Dear Sister, hold fast the times we had,

We both know the efforts you made, the gifts you brought, the prayers you said,

And when we meet, as sure we will, I’ll have a bed ready and made!

©Anne Mulcahy 2014.

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Listowel in the Pandemic of 2020

Jumbo’s and O’Connell’s Decor are two very busy shops at this time.

McKenna’s has a one way system.

The pharmacy next door has lots of signs

You can see the table with the sanitiser for customers. A one way system is in operation.

Behan’s The Horseshoe is open for take away food.

Sad to see a Robert Moloney’s, a shop which always worked long hours, closed.

When I took my second walk downtown later Dominick was in town checking on his premises. Dominick  Moloney is a tonic in a pandemic, always in good form and ready to pose for the camera.

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Listowel Writers week Opening Night May 27 2020


I love Opening Night. i take up my position at the hotel door and photograph local people and visitors arriving in their finery for one of Listowel’s biggest nights. The atmosphere is electric, the music uplifting and everyone is in great high spirits.

Covid 19 meant that all of that was different in 2020. Opening night speeches and prize giving went online. RTE came to town and Joe Stack, whose usual role as sports reporter is in a bit of a lull, interviewed local people about the loss of the festival and its revenue. Lovely Listowel was on every news bulletin.



The scene at The Listowel Arms on May 27 2020


Billy Keane was being interviewed at the door of John B.’s

In The Square, RTE was interviewing Gabriel Fitzmaurice for TG4.

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Out and About with Camera


I met my friends, Joan and P.J. Kenny in the Square on May 28 2020. They posed, at my request, on the Tidy Town seat.


John Paul 11 Graveyard and A Trip down Memory Lane and Mother’s Medicine in the 1950s

 Harp and Lion in May 2020

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Lest we Forget


On VE Day 2020

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St John Paul 11 Cemetery


I visited my husband’s grave last week.


Sea shells, a candle and crochet covered stones, tributes from family and friends.

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From the Archives


In Greaney’s Spar at an NKRO event

Maria Leahy, Ger Greaney, Eilish Wren, Damien Stack, Grace Kelly, Jimmy Deenihan, Mary Cogan, Robert Pierse and James Kenny

Jimmy Deenihan and Billy Keane on the viewing stand at an old St. Patrick’s Day parade


Fr. Pat Moore R.I.P. signing for friends at the launch of his book, Weathering a Storm

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I Remember it well



The hot water bottle eased every pain unless it leaked and scotched you half to death.

Sudocrem s still my go to unction for everything.

Dockleaves were for nettle stings

( Neantóg a dhoigh mé, cupóg a leigheas mé is a  seanfhochal meaning a nettle burned me, a dock cured me]

Lucozade was found to have no curative properties but it probably replaced any sugar loss.

Seven up had to be flat to work. Again, I’d say replacing sugar may be its only curative function.

We all know teas and toast is the best “meal” for a sick or recuperating child.

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