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: Blueberry Coffee Shop

Style in Killarney, Duagh Summer Festival,and another trip to Athea.

The Final 4 at Killarney Ladies Day July 16 2015

The winner was Edel Crowley, on the far left as you look at the photo.

This and lots more photos of stylish ladies at Fab Fillies

Our own very stylish Maria Stack with her friend Louise O’Connor in Killarney yesterday.


In Athea with my family

My grandchildren were in Listowel for the Community Centre Summer Camp. They are among this group queueing for the cinema on the last day. They saw Minions. “Brilliant,” they said.

After the camp I took Sean and Killian to Athea. When I set my camera to black and white, the boys became part of the picture.

At Hanrahan’s Pet Farm we met this majestic fellow, lord of all he surveyed.

This is Blueberry Home Bakery and Coffee Shop

Jacqueline and Stephen were celebrating being nominated for an Irish Times Best Shops Award.

Athea is a really life affirming place.

I told the boys that I drank water from a pump just like this every day on my way home from school. I think the boys were thinking, “you and Finn McCool.”

They were fascinated by the “Flying Feet” monument to the Ahern brothers. Sean and Killian had never heard of the Hop, Step and Jump. They have now.

The boys posed as sentries at The Goold Monument.

I know nothing about its history. This giant celtic cross would appear to celebrate that rare species, a benevolent landlord.


Killarney in 1954

“Although the caption says that BnM visited Russia later that year, the BnM visit was first. The Dusty mentioned in the background was Dusty Miller who was head of technical development in BnaM at that time. Dusty Miller was a name suited to BnaM, he worked on developing milling machines.” (Bord na Mona Heartland)

Apparently the purpose of the exchange visits was to share ideas on machinery design for harvesting and milling peat.


Time to be getting your ass in gear


Remember  ’56

Photo: Terrace Talk

This is a photo of the Kerry team who lost to Cork in the replay in 1956. Will history repeat itself tomorrow?

(Official Munster GAA poster from the internet)

Something old, something new…..

Another great oldie from Mike the Pies on Facebook

Mike the Pies early 60’s. Paddy Murphy, Jack Mangan, Dan Joe Leahy, Dan O’Donoghue, Danny Hayes, Jack Leahy, Mick Halpin.


Then and Now


Outward Bound for Rome 1950

Michael Kennelly’s caption on this group of photos says “On board the Inisfallen from Cork”


Big job underway at Ballybunion Castle

The walls are being strengthened and treated to withstand the ravages of the sea. The top bit which was blown down in a storm will not be replaced. It’s good to see that this landmark will be with us for a while yet.


Athea visit with some old friends

Phil and Frank visited me last week and I brought them to one of my favourite places, Athea

 Phil and Frank ar Shlí na Sí

They had seen bug houses but never before a bug hotel.

They left their worries behind with the worry fairy.

The local craft group were working that morning and their keen eyed marketing manager spotted some potential customers.

Phil and Frank bought a fairy door for their granddaughter  and one of the very artistic ladies customized it especially for Cara.

We had a lovely lunch in Blueberry Home Bakery where we found my book sitting on the table for the entertainment of the diners.

Changes and departures

Time and Tide Wait for No Man



 While looking for the above photo of William St.,  I came upon this one. The late Eleanor Scanlon had met up with her former teaching colleagues at Scoil Realta na Maidine, Madeleine O’Sullivan and Theresa Molyneaux during Writers’ Week 2009.


Sign in Market St.


Today is August 26 2014 and the day when my beloved twin grandsons leave Ireland for a year in France. They have promised to blog their sojourn. I’ll keep you posted.

On their last trip to Kerry we paid a final visit for 2014 to Blueberry Home Bakery and Café in Athea because that is where the best milk shakes and chocolate biscuit cake is to be found.

saying au revoir to one of the goats
Bye bye donkeys
The ducks ignored us as usual
the hens were only interested in food.
A face only a mother could love
Pig smiling outside his pigsty.


Waterford 1905

Drohan’s Forge

A visit to Wetlands, Tralee, and Athea, Co. Limerick

My grandchildren are the greatest joy in my life at the moment. Getting to know one’s grandchildren is a blessing not granted to everyone and I am eternally grateful that it has been granted to me.

Last week, when Sean and Killian visited, we went to Wetlands, one of the Kingdom’s great visitor attractions.

This yoke is called  a zorb. The boys had great fun rolling around in them on the lake.

After the zorbing the boys couldn’t wait to take to the water again, this time in a pedalo.

They got a good drenching when they got stuck under one of the fountains….great fun.



 Despite their scepticism about the fairy folk, they loved the legend of the Athea giant and his unfortunate mother and they were willing to give the worry tree a try. As the Kerry man said, “I don’t believe in fairies, but they’re there.”


We carried on to O’Halloran’s Garden Centre  and the Blueberry Coffee Shop

My two boyeens are animal lovers and they particularly love these ones, who are so tame and friendly.

A feature of the village of Athea is the abundance of really great mural art. This agricultural themed one is my favourite


Siamsa Tíre

Siamsa, the early days


Moyvane Playground opening

 Your invitation: ‘Official opening of the Moyvane Community Playground will be held this Sunday, 20th of July at 2pm. This will be a family fun day with Bouncy Castles, Face Painting and many more….Hot Food, refreshments and treats will be available on the day… Lots of fun for both young and old, so come along and enjoy the opening of a fantastic amenity to our local Village…We look forward to seeing you there. “


Gather by the Feale

Some Vikings arriving in Abbeyfeale ahead of this weekend’s festival

Athea’s Fairy Mountain and Blueberry Coffee Shop and Home Bakery

“Up the airy mountain

And down the rushy glen

We dare not go a hunting

For fear of little men.”

I brought my three fairy loving granddaughters to Athea to visit Sliabh na Síóige.

Tús maith, leath na hoibre. Here the best start is to read the story of the Athea giant. He was carrying the body of his dead mother to the graveyard which sits on top of Sliabh na Sí and on the way she fell apart. Her head fell off, her back bone fell to the ground and she disintegrated. (Maybe our giant left her a bit too long before he undertook to bury her.) The fairy, Lú, consoled him and helped him out in his distress.

Only slightly frightened by this gruesome tale, we headed up the mountain.

We searched and searched and eventually concluded that the bugs in the bug hotel were all asleep or hiding.

The girls left their worries with Cróga, the worry fairy.

Worry free, we headed to the next stop on our adventure ; the local highly recommended coffee shop.

Blueberry was not busy on the day of our visit but it will be once the secret gets out.

On every table there is some food related reading material for you to enjoy while you sip. This makes it a perfect place to go on your own or with children who are happy to play in the nearby playground. The place is very very child friendly and adult friendly as well.

Here is an extract from the book I chose, called A Cup of Tea and A Nice Sit Down. If ever there was a right book in the right place this is it. I could have sat perusing it for another hour. But this place has other delights which beckoned.

The Café is located in O’Halloran’s Garden Centre and pet farm;  definitely one of this area’s best kept secrets.

How many Listowel people have visited here?

I hope many more will after they read this.

 It’s the perfect outing for a good value afternoon’s entertainment for the visiting grandkids. I’ll be back this week with my two fairy sceptic grandsons. Even if they scoff at an Slua Sí, I know they will love the animals and the food here.

This donkey was the firm favourite. We will be back to see him again soon.

Colouring, a chalk board and a well equipped playground kept the children amused while we dined. I would highly recommend this visitor attraction to all age groups. You might come away with a plant for your garden or a delicious cake for that surprise visitor.

Visit their Facebook page Here


Eyre Square Galway 1945   (photo LIFE magazine)

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