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: Brendan Kennelly Page 1 of 5

Christmasses Remembered

Christmas card from Listowel’s Bryan MacMahon, illuminated by Listowel’s Michael O’Connor.

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Christmas 1957

Noreen Keane- Brennan shared this photo of friends and neighbours in Sheahan’s of William Street at Christmas 1957.

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A Kerry Christmas…a poem by the late Brendan Kennelly

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A Listowel Bridge Champion

Earlier this week when I was writing about John Comyn’s 50 years writing the Bridge column in The Irish Independent, I included the observation that he thought that Pat Walshe of Listowel was the best player he had ever encountered in a long career playing Bridge at championship level.

But who was Pat Walshe?

Jim MacMahon has the answer.

“… Pat was the son of the late Dr Toddy Walshe and Siobhan, nee Ashe, a cousin of Thomas Ashe. Pat lived in Church Street (or Ashe street). I recall my late father Bryan saying to me one day when Pat was about 8 years old ,…..Do you see that young fellow, Toddy’s son, he has an unusual aptitude for maths…and so it proved to be.”

( What was in the water in Church Street? I wonder if any other street has produced so many exceptional scholars.)

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Edwardian post box at Convent Cross. This box dates from the 1930’s. Many is the Christmas card started its journey here.

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Craft Hub at Kerry Writers’ Museum

If you’re looking for a beautiful locally made Christmas present, drop into Kerry Writers’ Museum.

This is what I bought and I’m delighted with my haul. The beautiful intricately detailed bookmarks are made by Karen Pleass. They are absolutely beautiful and perfect for that air mail present for someone who loves the Irish countryside.

The hand made cards are a steal at €3.75 each. Maggie Donald makes these unique frameable cards from local plants. They are absolutely gorgeous. I wanted to buy the lot.

Everyone who knows me knows that I love Woodford Pottery. Pat Murphy has been very busy in lockdown. This new range is a new departure from his block colours. I bought a little jug, ideal for those of us who dine alone. And then because it was so sweet and I love a posy on the table I bought this lovely little vase.

Be sure to drop in before Christmas and support local artists.

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Brendan Kennelly Essay, The Plaza and Jim Halpin’s Memories

Portmagee; Photo by Armel Whyte on Facebook

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Showing Molly around

Molly was very lucky with the weather for her Kerry holiday. Here we are on the path by The Garden of Europe on a lovely Autumn day in 2021.

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Remember Bingo?

Hard to believe that it’s two years since the last Bingo session.

A sad legacy of Covid 19.

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From Shannonside Annual 1956

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Memories of a former Tenant

I included this photo on my blog last week and I also uploaded it to Facebook. There it evoked these happy memories from Jim Halpin.

David Carrolls; where I started my fishing and shooting business from when we moved from our house at the Dirha Cottages back in 1982. lovely Lady Betty Anne Marian Mc Auliffe and Bob Downey behind the counter backed up by Lisa , Kevin and Anne.

I always remember the 2nd last fleadh cheoil that came to Listowel, tents and pegs, sleeping bags, gas cleaned out the week before the event. I think we took more money that week than we would take in a month. The good old days. With the Cows Lawn black with tents there was never a spot of trouble. Great music and craic. Tim O Connor, our postman and we hiding Tim’s post bag trolly. Charlie the manaquin out side the door. Patrick John Jones from Glin [not his real name] who would come to town every Friday and depending on the uniform would arrive into the shop giving out about it.

Christmas, Halloween the big window display with kids having their eyes glued to it.

Great to see it being used again. Great job, well done folks. People would comment of how friendly the Carroll family were and it being a pleasure to shop there and how the family appreciated the business.

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A Poem about Loss, Jerry Ryan R.I.P. and the Old Chapel in Asdee

Waterfall at Conor Pass by Éamon ÓMurchú

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Another Poem from Poetry Town

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A Permanent Reminder

This recent mural with a quotation by Brendan Kennelly is a poignant reminder of how fleeting all the living voices are. The man whose distinctive voice enthralled so many has left the stage. R.I.P.

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+ Pat O’Flaherty R.I.P.+

Pat O’Flaherty of Chic Boutique has passed quietly away. She will be a huge loss to Mary and to her many friends. May she rest in peace.

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A Fact stranger than Fiction

According to a story in The Sunday Times there are more than 50 billboards in the UK fitted with cameras and equipped with facial recognition technology. If you are walking past one of these billboards it can recognise your age, sex and mood and it will then display an advertisement it is programmed to “think” suited to you.

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The Old Chapel in Asdee

from Shannonside Annual 1956

Continues tomorrow….

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+Jerry Ryan R.I.P.+

Nobody’s child; everybody’s friend

“No Mommies’ Kisses and no Daddies smiles” but Listowel took Jerry Ryan to its heart and he was a valued member of our community.

The Monday after Listowel Races 2014

Jerry Ryan who passed away recently was the salt of the earth. He did his job diligentlty, keeping our streets clean for many years before his retirement from Listowel UDC. He always had a smile and a friendly word. He didn’t know my name. “Friend,” he called me. Jerry had many friends.

With Mark Loughnane
With Pat Hickey

I took these pictures of Jerry at work.

He was part of the fabric of Listowel life for years.

I invited Jerry to come to the launch of my book, Listowel Through a Lens, in 2009. He had never been to a book launch and he was a bit dubious about whether it was his kind of thing.

This is the photo of Jerry and Jim Cogan in Listowel Through a Lens

I can tell you all that it was my honour to have Jerry there and there was no guest more appreciative of the invitation.

May his gentle soul rest in peace.

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Autumn and a Story about a Storyteller

Listowel Town Square in October 2021

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Conkers

They’re nearly ripe. These ones are in the Community Garden by the river.

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Poem about Listowel

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A Ballylongford Tale by Brendan Kennelly

from Shannonside Annual 1956

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A Lovely Memory of a Proud Kerry Man

Letter printed in The Irish Times, October 20 2021. The writer, Gerard Neville, comes from InchWest Listowel. He is now living and teaching in Littleton Thurles, Co Tipperary.

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A Good One

John B. Keane and Aengus Fanning, his friend and editor at The Irish Independent corresponded regularly. Here is an extract from one of John B.s letters.

Dear Aenghus

What father and son were beaten on the same day in Division One National League (football) in Kilkenny?

Kevin Cahalane was beaten by Maurice Fitzgerald in a scrap near the goals and his father was beaten by Alan Kennelly (Brendan’s brother) in a scrap in the stand.

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Music, Ball Alley Art, a Ballybunion Sculpture and Brendan Kennelly Essay

Clochar strand by Éamon ÓMurchú

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Irish Music at the Ball Alley

These three pictures celebrate a very important part of Irish Culture; traditional music.

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Unseasonal Poem

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A Rare Brendan Kennelly Essay

The late Brendan Kennelly wrote an introductory essay on North Kerry parishes for Vincent Carmody’s North Kerry Camera. Vincent has shared it with us.

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A Fact

In Kentucky there is a fundamentalist Catholic theme park. The centrepiece is a replica of Noah’s Ark. It is one of the largest wooden structures in the world. In 2017 and 2018 there was really really heavy rain in Kentucky.

Landslides at the theme park damaged the ark and the company who ran the park sued for rain damage.

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Mary Young

I took my recent visitors to see the incongruous sculpture of a lady dressed for a ball sitting in front of one of the most magnificent churches in the diocese.

Here is the answer;

A mark of respect for Mary Young

kerryman

December 09 2017 12:00 AM


The Killahenny Heritage, Historical, and Arts Society commissioned and recently unveiled a statue of Mary Young (née O’Malley), in honour of her significant contribution to life in Ballybunion.

Born in Kilconly, Ballybunion, she was unable to find work near home, and after finding employment in Clare, she met her husband John Young, an English tea-planter.

After John’s death, she returned to Ballybunion, living at her home on Doon Road for some 12 years. Upon a return to Dublin in the early 1880s, she wished her home to be used as a school; there, the Sisters of Mercy established a convent on the back of her generosity, and they would continue their involvement with St Joseph’s School for over 100 years.

“On her return from Dublin, Mary built a house on Church Road, which later became Dr. Hannan’s house,” Catherine Hayes told The Kerryman in the days following the momentous events.

“Returning from Dublin, she had another house built on Church Road which would become Dr Hannan’s house. After meeting with Fr O’Connor, she proposed the building of a new church to be named St John’s in memory of her husband. 

“She died on August 19 1894 and is buried  in Kilahenny Cemetry.  We the Killahenny Heritage, Historical and Arts Society wished to publicly honour Mary Young and acknowledge her immense contribution to Ballybunion,” Catherine added.

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