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: Brown Thomas

St Johns, Dreaming Animals, St. Vincent de Paul shop and Anna Guerin in Brown Thomas

St. John’s Listowel, July 2019


Today’s Fun Fact from The Second Book of General Ignorance

The animal who dreams most is the duck billed platypus, one of the oldest of all mammals. 

How do we know?

Answer; The dream state is known as REM, Rapid Eye Movements. Eugene Aserinsky discovered this in Chicago in 1952. He studied the brain activity of 20 sleeping people. He found that when the subjects eyes were moving rapidly, their brain activity was so vigorous that they should have been awake. Waking them from REM sleep led to vivid recall, This doesn’t happen when their eyes were still.

Animals most at threat from predators dream least. Platypuses sleep so deeply that you could raid their lair and they would never wake.

Dolphins don’t sleep at all. One half of their body goes to sleep at a time while the other half is fully awake, including one eye. They don’t have REM at all


Second Time Around

This is one of my favourite shops with my all time favourite shop assistants. It is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11.00 a.m. It has everything; friendly staff, friendly customers, great bargains and it is always full of surprises. I love it!

Kay Landy, Marie MacAulliffe and Eileen O’Sullivan were manning the shop when I called last week.


Corner Stones

Last week I told you about this stone that Pat O’Shea had spotted in Cork and we discovered that these stones or bollards were put at junctions in order to prevent horse carriages rolling over the nearby wall and wearing it away. Well, would you believe such stones were right under my nose all along? On my morning walk with my canine house guest last week I discovered two such junctions in Listowel town square, one at the road that goes to the river by the castle and the other very nearby at the entrance to stables by The SeanchI.

More on these, including their right name tomorrow….


Anna Guerin’s Dualist Collection in Brown Thomas

Can you imagine the thrill of seeing your designs in Brown Thomas window? Anna Guerin of Listowel has that experience these days every time she passes Brown Thomas. Her beautiful Donegal tweed The Dualist collection is getting rave reviews and is selling well.

“Anna Guerin’ s debut fashion brand The Dualist weaves exquisite

Irish textiles and peerless tailoring into a sustainably made

collection of Donegal tweed coats, ” writes Elaine Prendeville in The Sunday Business Post.

Anna is passionate about the ethical side of her business. Below is part of her interview with The Sunday Business Post.

“Guerin concedes that all is not rosy in the fashion industry.”

“I’ve seen how desperate workers’ conditions can be with

my own eyes,” she says, “so it was imperative for me that

when I did establish my first brand, that kindness would

be one of its pillars.”

Before preparing The Dualist for launch, Guerin com-

pleted an MA in business, graduating top of her class. Her

research explored the value of authenticity and sustain-

ability in Donegal tweed, a examine at PhD level.

“Unlike Scotland’s Harris tweed, there is no legal protec-

tion for the production of Donegal tweed,” she says. “It can

be produced in China and bear the Donegal name. It seems

crazy to me that a product synonymous with our national

cultural identity is unprotected, despite the evidence that

it has been produced in Donegal for at least 800 years.”

The designer believes academic research could

support a bid for protected status for the native


For now, she’s preserving the traditional in the best way

possible: by making it relevant and desirable to the modem

audience. The result is the definition of slow fashion, and it’s all the better looking for it.”

Well done, Anna, a Listowel young lady doing us all proud.


Run/Walk in Aid of Stack’s Mountain House Project

A word from the organisers:

Planning for this project began a few years back. We have secured planning and preparations are now well advanced to convert the first Lyreacrompane Schoolhouse into a Heritage House for the Stacks Mountains.  The schoolhouse stands on the old ‘Butter Road’ that ran from outside Listowel to the Cork Butter Exchange.  We are continuing our fundraising endeavours for the development and to this end the Dan Paddy Andy Festival committee have kindly chosen our project to receive the proceeds of their annual run which takes place during the festival. We’d appreciate any support we can get and if anyone has a query on it please contact me at

Elizabelle, Jazzy Halloween in Cork, Table to Tidy Towns and The North Pole express 2018

St. John’s from the grounds of The Seanchaí


Stylish Shop at Halloween


Thought for the Emigrants


Christmas Comes Early to Cork

Brown Thomas on Patrick Street, Cork, skipped right over Halloween and went straight to Christmas. I took this photo on October 26th 2018. 

Meanwhile on the street the Jazz Festival Halloween Parade was getting started.


Sowing the seeds of Tidy Town Success.

Before there was a Listowel Tidy Towns Committee there was TABLE.

This picture from 1994 shows Ned O’Sullivan, chairman of TABLE planting a tree in Feale Drive. He is watched by JoanMcCarthy, John O’Keeffe, Bill Walsh, Michael O’Connor, Krystal and Jackie Stack, Ann Sloan, Christy Hartnett and Eileen Worts.

TABLE was established in 1992. It was the Listowel Tidy Town Committee in all but name. It’s first work was flower baskets and tree planting and the encouragement of everyone to get behind the movement to promote  Listowel and to do well in the then Bord Fáilte Tidy Town competition.

The officers of TABLE in 1994 were Ned O’Sullivan, Cathal Fitzgerald, Mary Hanlon, Anne Hartnett, Sr. Kathleen and Louis O’Connell.

( Information and photo from Kerryman Christmas supplement December 1994.The photograph was taken by Brendan Landy)


Planning Ahead?

You will need to book if you plan on taking the páistí to this.


Moyvane in Mourning

DEATH took place of David Stack, Keylod, Moyvane, on 27th October 2018 peacefully at the University Hospital, Kerry. Beloved brother of the late Tommy. Deeply regretted by his loving parents Michael & Mary, brother Daniel, grandparents, uncles, aunts, relatives, neighbours and friends. Reposing Tuesday October 30th from 5pm to 7pm at his home. Requiem Mass for David was celebrated by Fr. Kevin, assisted by Fr. Brendan on Wednesday in the Church of the Assumption, Moyvane. In the choir were Mary and Selena Mulvihill and Laura Stack.

Halloween, Jimmy Hickey story continued, Daisy Kearney honoured and Santa in Patrick, Street, Cork in October 2016

(photo; Chris Grayson)



This year Halloween has taken on a sinister aspect with these prank killer clowns popping up unexpectedly. I preferred it when we prayed for the salvation of the souls of our dead relatives at this time of year.


North Kerry, Cork and Limerick Dancers and Musicians at the Eistedfodd

It is often claimed that
Riverdance first introduced Irish dancing to a world audience. It did not. 

Jimmy Hickey
of Listowel had already made that introduction.

This is a postcard of the lovely village of Llangollen where the annual Eisteddfod takes place.

One year at the Eisteddfod,
while they were waiting to perform in the marquee, Jimmy and the troupe put on
a performance in the local square. The local people loved it and the prolonged
applause echoed all over the town square. These open air performances became a
feature of the Irish visitors schedule as did visits to old folks homes and
schools, reaching an audience who would not otherwise get to see the show. The
directors of the festival were very impressed with this.

The whole purpose of the Eistedfodd was to introduce the countries of the world to each other’s cultures and in this way to promote peace and understanding. When Jimmy and his dancers were there there were 42 other nations taking part. In 1993 BBC Wales decided to follow the preparations of three of the participating countries. Ireland was chosen.They sent a camera crew to North Kerry and they filmed the dancers preparing, the late Mary Doyle, Kathleen McCarthy and a group of women making the costumes, a cross roads dance and a feis in Ballybunion.

The camera crew filmed the dancers dancing at Finuge crossroads and then in the programme this footage came first and then cut to the same dancers dancing in a pub in Wales.

Jimmy and his dancers appeared several times on RTE in the Bibi Baskin show, on the Late Late Show with John B. Keane and in numerous foreign television channels.

.Jimmy Hickey and his dancers at festivals and on TV


Daisy Kearney

The special guest at this year’s Gary MacMahon Singing Festival was storyteller Daisy Kearney.

Daisy Kearney tells a story


Santa Has Landed

Where else but the real capital of Ireland, Cork. I just hit Pana in time to see his arrival at Brown Thomas for his photo shoot.

This lanky fellow who could be straight out of Dickens was offering us all mince pies.

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