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: Bromore Cliff Walk

Local clubs on Parade in Listowel 2018 and Bromore Cliff Walk on a sunny Sunday.

Easter 2018

Easter now is all about Bunnies and chicks.

In Scribes Brigita and Melita were trying a new confection, a nest of eggs…delicious according to my young tasters.

Brigita is conscious that she must keep the old Lithuanian traditions alive for the next generation. Here she shows me her hard boiled eggs decorated with colourful transfers. In her home town people exchange these on Easter morning, no bunnies chicks or chocolate here.


St. Patrick’s Day in Listowel 2018

Owen MacMahon was the very able M.C.

Liam Brennan was a convincing St. Patrick.


Ballybunion with My Visitors

On Sunday March 25 I took my boys to Bromore Cliff Walk and afterwards we had a snack in Coast. I met some lovely people and learned a bit of History

The weather was lovely and there were lots of people out on the beach and on the cliffs.

Ballybunion is a great place to show children first hand coastal features that they are learning about in Geography. Here the boys are looking at a blow hole.

Ruth and Jimmy were talking the cliff walk and enjoying a rare beautiful Sunday.

The Virgin Rock is perfect example of a sea arch.

The Nuns’ Beach

 Jimmy O’Quigley told me that this old ruin was once a jail. I had always presumed it was a shepherd’s cottage. Then we got round to the other side of it the boys explored it with their new knowledge in mind. I don’t think it could have held too many prisoners.

In Coast we met Jim and Noreen Quinlan from Listowel. Jim was one of the stars of Listowel Folk Group’s great singing of the mass of the mass in Irish on St. Patrick’s Day 2018.

More of my Photos of Graham Norton’s Audience and an incident at the convent school in 1887

Bromore on National Media

Mike Flahive shared this photo of himself, his wife, Eilish and piper, Danny Houlihan with Cian McCormack of RTE

Rte reporter Cian McCormack is cycling along The Wild Atlantic Way. Yesterday Wednesday June 21 2017 he cycled through Tarbert where he visited the Bridewell and spoke to Joan Murphy about problems common to Tarbert and other struggling small towns. She mentioned rural broadband and lack of public transport as two of the problems besetting small towns up and down the country. Cian passed by the crooked cross and called in to Kennelly’s. Alan told him how Ballylongford had gone from a thriving village with each street fielding its own team in the street league to a place that now has to join with nearby village to make up one minor team. There is no new child enrolled in the local National School for the next school year.

Then Cian cycled along his merry way to Ballybunion and he talked to two people who are trying to do something about the decline. Local historian and 7 times all Ireland champion piper, Danny Houlihan and local farmer and entrepreneur, Mike Flahive, told him about their tourism offering.

The Bromore Cliff Walk is well worth a visit and you will get to meet Bart, “the friendliest horse in Ireland.”


People I photographed on their way in to Graham Norton, Listowel Writers Week 2017


Manchester Guardian Nov 2 1887

A few days ago I featured a letter to the Manchester Post concerning the inability of Listowel girls to sing God Save the Queen. The letter writer was reacting to the following story in The Manchester Guardian of November 2 1887.    (Paddy Keane did the research on this one)

Notes on Listowel

(from our special correspondent)

” There is in Listowel a great convent school where (the number is illegible) girls are being educated by the nuns. The peculiarity of such a school is that the lower and the middle classes are  mixed together in a way which would be impossible in England. With some English friends I went over the whole school.

We went into the big schoolroom and there we heard the girls read and I must say that for justness of intonation and clearness of expression I have never heard such good reading in any English school. They read out of Goldsmith’s Deserted Village and I noticed that the girl who was reading substituted Ireland for England in the line

“A time there was ere England’s griefs began.

When every rood of ground maintained its man.”

Lastly we had recitations and singing. A row of girls recited some patriotic lines, wearing the while a green flag. Their glowing eyes and their excited gestures showed how much they felt their words. After they had sung to us we asked if they could sing God save Ireland. There was no doubt as to the response. The sister in charge of the music instantly sat down at the piano and struck into the melody. The girls sang as if they wanted to lift themselves off the ground. When they had finished and were all aglow with excitement, we asked for one verse of God Save the Queen. Nobody knew it and it was clear that nobody cared to sing it. “They will sing it at some future time.” gently said the Mother Superior.”

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