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: Butler Centre

Butler Centre, Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, Cork Badminton and More St. Patrick’s Day Photos

Roofing work in progress at The Butler Centre


Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Listowel in the 70s

Photos Junior Griffin

The first time Listowel was proposed as a venue for  the fleadh local traders became a bit apprehensive. It was obviously going to bring huge crowds to town and lots of business, but people feared that the pubs (there were over 50) might not be able to cope. There might be drinking in the streets, drunkenness and antisocial behaviour of all sorts. Some people boarded up their  premises and took the precaution of employing security.

None of these measures were necessary. The fleadh crowd were really well behaved. The music, song and dancing in the competition venues and on the streets provided excellent entertainment for all and sundry. Business in pubs and shops brought in an early harvest for business people.

A rising tide lifts all boats. Everyone in town seemed to profit from the fleadh and Listowel was delighted to welcome the festival back again and again.


They’re Celebrating at Harnett’s


Cork Badminton with  Listowel Connection

Third from left is Caroline Kenny, formerly of Listowel, holding the cup she won with her Mallow team in the Cork County badminton championship.


March 17th 2019

Some of my Cork based family came to The Kingdom for the Patron saint’s weekend.

Molly came too. She is now a little older but only a tad wiser. She brought her own throne from which she liked to view the world.

 Kay’s Children’s Shop was just one of the many who decorated their windows as Gaeilge.

These vintage vehicles were also on parade.

Morning Walk in Writers’ Week 2018, Craftshop na Méar and Listowel Visual Arts Week 2018

Feeding Time photo by Graham Davies


My Walking Tour of the Square during Writers’ Week 2018

Ger Holland’s photo tells its own tale. I was totally overwhelmed by the number of people who turned up at 9.30 a.m. on Saturday June 2 2018 to take the walking tour of Listowel Town Square with me.

At the door of The Listowel Arms I met Dave O’Sullivan, Paddy McElligott, Cliona McKenna and Mary Fagan, four of my able assistants.

 Mary was getting into character as Mena in Sive as she met Thomasheen  Seán Rua, the matchmaker, played by David O’Sullivan.

“Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch….”

Local historians, Michael Moore, Liam Grimes and Vincent Carmody were taking the tour.

Clíona’s parents in law, Mary and Tony McKenna, great supporters of Writers’ Week, were looking forward to a leisurely walk in the early morning sunshine and to maybe learning a thing or two about Listowel and Listowel people.

Musician and singer, Mary Moylan and Mike Moriarty, singer and historian, two more of my able assistants, were ready for the off.

I mounted the podium, aka the Tidy Town’s seat, and the tour began.

Paddy and Mike Lynch did a great job on Goodbye to the White Horse Inn.

On the steps of Listowel Castle we had history, songs and drama.

At Gurtenard House we had more history, more songs, an anecdote or three. Eamon ÓMurchu was hastily press ganged into being an able assistant but acquitted himself like the trouper he is.

We stopped at the beautifully restored Butler Centre, where Antoinette Butler told us what happens nowadays in this historic edifice.

We finished up our walk on another stage in the Town Square where we all sang a few verses of Lovely Listowel by Bryan MacMahon.

The morning walk was a great success, thanks to all the hard work put in by everyone involved.

Most of these photos were taken by able assistants, Tony McKenna, Breda Ferris and  Elizabeth Brosnan.

Follow the link below for some of the highlights of the walk recorded by Charlie Nolan;

Saturday Morning Walk 2018


O’Connor’s Pharmacy with weighing Scales

Photo: John Hannon


My Time in 53 Church Street Remembered

As 53 Church St. prepares to reopen as a barbers’ I’m looking back at the early days of Craftshop na Méar.

Namir Karim opens the door to Craftshop na Méar

Namir gets a weaving lesson

Some of the early crafters

Crafters with the late Dan Green who was

 a great supporter of the shop in its early days. At the far right in the picture is Miriam Kiely who knew 53 Church Street as her family home.


First Ever Listowel Visual Arts Week

It’s Visual Arts Week and the shopkeepers of Listowel are getting behind Olive Stack in her new venture.

Then in the Square, local artist, Jim Dunn is showing us how. He is crafting a beautiful celtic style mural before our very eyes. He worked on it for hours and hours today and he’ll be back tomorrow.

He has to work through all the distractions, people chatting to him, photographing him and having a go at helping him.

Will you look at the state of his hands? And let me tell you he is an exceptionally neat worker.

More from LWW 2018 Opening Night, Nourish by Nature and chess in The Square

A beautiful stylish shop in Church Street, Listowel; beautiful shop full of beautiful things.


Some More People Arriving for Listowel Writers Week Opening Night 2018


There were old friends, Fr. Anthony Gaughan and Niall Stack reunited, the Dillon family of Chursh Street out in force to celebrate a win and there was dancing in the streets.

This upbeat couple had come all the way from the U.S. and they were happy to dance for the camera.


Nourish by Nature

I left you yesterday after our starter course on our night out in Sid and Angela Sheehan’s Nourish by Nature cookery school.

The evening of our dinner coincided with the start of our warm spell so it was part of the pleasure of the experience to go outdoors between courses and commune with the family’s hens and goats.

Back indoors we enjoyed some absolutely delicious food, prepared and cooked while we watched.

Alice and Carmel enjoying the night.

One word….yum!

One for everyone in the audience.

Sid preparing our dessert selection.

Mouthwatering delicious dessert medley.

This is a super night out to celebrate a birthday or any special occasion. Or just do as we did and gather up a few friends and  give yourselves a treat.


Chess Mates

These young men, who are students in the nearby Butler Centre were playing a game of chess in the sunshine in Listowel Town Square on Friday June 8 2018.

Listowel in Autumn, Marie Nelligan remembers growing up in Listowel in the 1950s and Park Run

This building in Listowel Town Square was the home of The National Bank. Then it housed the Social Welfare Office and the office of NEKD. Now it is The Butler Centre.


Autumn by The Feale


Marie Nelligan Shaw Remembers

I asked Marie if she had any recollections of growing up in Listowel and here is what she wrote;

First instalment


A Fine for Littering

Isn’t this a kind of strange amount of a fine? I took the photo on the path between St. Michael’s graveyard and the pitch and putt course.


Park Run

I was heading for the park one Saturday recently when I spotted that the weekly Saturday Park Run was in progress. I was just too late to snap Jimmy Deenihan. That’s him on the right of my photo.

This initiative aimed at keeping the country healthy is a great success.


Halloween is Approaching

Time to remember our dead

Ní imithe uainn atá siad, ach imithe romhainn

( not gone from us, gone before us)

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