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: Bridie Gallagher

Mary Doyle R.I.P., Bridie Gallagher in Listowel

You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins (Author)

We gave Mary Doyle a great send off on Friday. I have never before been at such a funeral. In the funeral home, we had music, songs, poems, eulogies and lots of dancing. The moving sight of Jimmy Hickey’s dancers dancing a last waltz for Mary will remain in the memories of all who were there to see it.

Mary’s remains were accompanied to the graveyard by her family, friends and neighbours. Her hearse was flanked all the way by a guard of honour of members of her beloved MS Society, many in wheelchairs, braving the biting cold.

Mary was laid to her final rest to the haunting sound of Anne Hilliard’s beautiful voice singing a lament.

Everyone’s abiding memory of Mary is of a woman of great kindness and unfailing good humour.

 “Mary would give you half her heart.” That says it all.

I líonta Dé go gcastar sinn.


Vincent unearthed this great photo of Bridie Gallagher, “The Girl from Donegal” in her hey day performing in Walsh’s Super Ballroom, Listowel. Some crowd turned out too see her!

Were you there?


Savour this from Radio Kerry!

3 Feb 2012

Arthur Spring to return over 10,000 euro in expences

TD for Kerry North, West Limerick Arthur Spring says he’ll return more than €10,000 in expenses. The Labour deputy was paid over €52,000 in vouched expenses, putting him second highest in the list of how much TD’s claimed.

However, the first time TD says this position is inaccurate because he has confirmed he’ll send €10,000 back. Meanwhile Kerry’s five remaining TDs claimed over €185 thousand in unvouched expenses. Members of the Oireachtas are allowed to claim expenses up to a certain amount without specifying what these expenses are.

Michael Healy-Rae claimed just over €42,000 in unvouched expenses. Kerry North West Limerick Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris and Kerry South Fine Gael Deputy Brendan Griffin each earned €43, 403. Independent TD for South Kerry Tom Fleming claimed €42,764, while Minister Jimmy Deenihan earned over €11,500.

Under the Parliamentary Standard Allowance, Ministers, Ministers of State and the Ceann Comhairle are not entitled to the travel allowance. In all €6m in expenses has been claimed by all TDs since March. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore says a new vouched system of expenses is now in place.

Bridie Gallagher

The Christmas lights came down yesterday. The festive season is well and truly over.


Ireland’s first global singing star (if we exclude John MacCormack) was surely Bridie Gallagher who passed away this week at the age of 87. She performed in many dance halls around North Kerry including Walsh’s Ballroom (now Morkan Tiles), Listowel. Vincent Carmody went with his cousin and her husband to see Bridie perform in The East End Ballroom in Ballybunion on July 20 1969. Vincent’s cousin was married to a man called Brian McCaffrey from Creeslough in Co.Donegal. During the course of the night they sent up a request for Bridie to dedicate a song to Brian in view of the fact that they had attended the same national school. Bridie sang the song and requested that Brian not leave the hall without talking to her.

The date July 20 1969 might not mean a lot today but it is a hugely significant date . On that night Vincent and his party sat down with Bridie Gallagher in a pub in Ballybunion to watch Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the moon. 


Latest: This is one for the over 60s. I have started a spate of Where were you when Neil Armstrong took his giant leap for mankind?

My friend was nursing and she watched it on the ward with the patients.

Where were you?

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