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 email@example.com
Christmas card from Listowel’s Bryan MacMahon, illuminated by Listowel’s Michael O’Connor.
Noreen Keane- Brennan shared this photo of friends and neighbours in Sheahan’s of William Street at Christmas 1957.
A Kerry Christmas…a poem by the late Brendan Kennelly
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.)
Edwardian post box at Convent Cross. This box dates from the 1930’s. Many is the Christmas card started its journey here.
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.
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.
Hard to believe that it’s two years since the last Bingo session.
A sad legacy of Covid 19.
From Shannonside Annual 1956
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.
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.
+ 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.
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.
The Old Chapel in Asdee
from Shannonside Annual 1956
+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.
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.
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.