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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

Tag: Cara Trant

Sr. Thomas R.I.P.

Photo; Kieran Mangan, Mallow Camera Club

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” She lived unknown and few could know

When Lucy ceased to be….”

I am reminded of Wordsworth’s Lucy poem when I think of this humble nun.

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A Corner of The Square

St. Mary’s in May 2022

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A Lounge Bar

Photo shared by Mike Hannon on Facebook. This is Finucane’s Bar, now The Saddle in Upper William Street.

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Four Men and a Cup

The four men in Mike Hannon’s photo have been named on Facebook as

Tom Sweeney, Tom Lyons, Mick Carey, Gigs Nolan

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In Kerry Writers’ Museum

Cara Trant and David Browne at the launch of the exhibition of Kerry’s Amateur Dramatic Heritage on Saturday, May 7 2022

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Remembering and Anticipating

Stack’s Arcade and Coco, William Street

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Remembering a tragic event

2022 marks a century of the Garda Síochána policing Ireland.

It is timely to remember again a North Kerry garda, a young father drowned while on duty.

Corrib Tragedy January 18 1934

Over the years, the River Corrib has seen many tragic moments because of drowning accidents. While the Anach Chuain disaster of 1828, was terrible, with the loss of 19 people, one of the saddest must be the tragedy that occurred during a cold winter’s night of January 1934.

What makes this accident so haunting is the fact that the people who lost their lives were neither boating or swimming: they were occupants of a motor car who should not have been in that particular area on that night. What is even sadder still is that they drowned within ear-shot of a dance that was being held in the Commercial Boat Club. As young people enjoyed the dancing and music in the hall, four others struggled for their lives in a submerged car just outside. Many people say that one cannot escape fate, and this is a story of just that: it is haunting to say the least as one examines the circumstances that led to this appalling tragedy.

The following account of the accident was published:

“Drowned Within Sound of Dance – Agonising Search – For Four Bodies in Motor Car – Pathetic Final Scenes.”

“Whilst the band played and the dancers danced at the Commercial Boat Club, Galway, on Thursday night last, a motor car returning from Ballinasloe plunged into the Corrib at the end of Steamer’s Quay, carrying its four occupants to death in four feet of water.

No one heard the splash: no one witnessed the grim tragedy of a mistaken road. All was over in less time than it takes to write the story. It was not until Saturday morning, after a diligent search by the Civic Guards, that the car with its huddle of dead bodies in the back seat was found lying on its left side beneath the waters.

The names of the victims were as follows:

            Sergeant Forde (28) in charge of Maam station, a native of Tynagh, Co. Galway, married; leaves a widow, a son and a daughter.

            Guard Kenneally (32) Maam, a native of Newtownsands, Co. Kerry, married; leaves a widow and one son.

            Martin Keane P.C. (45) Maam, shopkeeper and farmer the driver of the car, married; leaves a widow, three boys and two girls.

            Miss Margaret Laffey (25) Carragh, Cornamona.

The purpose of the ill-fated journey that day was to take a girl, Sarah Laffey, who had been ill for some time, to a hospital in Ballinasloe. The first leg of the journey was from Maam to Carragh in Cornamona, where the girl lived. Her sister, Margaret, decided to accompany her and travelled with them. The party started on their journey for Ballinasloe about 12:30pm and arrived there at 3:30pm. They travelled in a 1929 green saloon, Fordor Ford car, the property of Martin Keane of Maam, who was also the driver.

The drowning tragedy happened on their way back to Galway.

( Source: Alice Kennelly, granddaughter of Garda Michael Kennelly)

Garda Michael Kennelly of Knockanure

 {From Clifden 200 site Clifden celebrating 200 years from May 25th to June 4th 2012. See from Clifden to the South the Brandon Hills, in Kerry, 90 miles away. Garda Michael Kennelly is featured in the ‘Gardai 1930’ photo, seated extreme left. He hailed from Newtownsandes (now Moyvane) Co. Kerry and lived in Aillebrack with his wife Alice McHale-Kennelly. He was killed ‘on duty’ in January 1934 when he and his colleague Sergeant Forde, were returning to Maam Garda Station after escorting a female patient to Ballinasloe Mental Hospital. On driving through Galway the hackney car in which they were travelling left the road and entered the River Corrib at Woodquay. Garda Kennelly was drowned along with the others in the car.}

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Writers’ Week Visitor

Terry Prone and Cara Trant at a Writers Week of yesteryear

This year Listowel Writers’ week will run from June 1 to June 5. LWW’s very popular writing workshops and masterclassesare open now for booking.

They have a very varied offering this year. Take a look HERE

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A Symbol of our time

Daffodils are symbols of Spring every year,

“Ten thousand saw I at a glance

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.”

Antigen tests are symbols of Spring 2022.

Every now and again pictures of old tin openers, washboards and other items that only the really old can remember appear on social media with the caption “Do you remember when….?

Will the antigen test be the tin opener of 2050?

Will people be telling future generations about the great pandemic in their Census 2021 time capsule?

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NKRO, Pavilion in Ballybunion, A Young Danny O’Mahoney and Listowel Streets



This sculpture stands in Listowel Town Square. It represents the river Feale and the fort or lios which gives its name to the town. It was designed by local artist, Tony OCallaghan. Tony was a teacher in Scoil Realta na Maidine. He was a skilled artist in copper. He was also a town councillor.

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NKRO Back in the Day

Local historians at one of the early meetings of NKRO

Vincent Carmody, Cara Trant, Joe Harrington, Mary Cogan, Ger Greaney and Kay O’Leary

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A Long Shot


Every now and again someone who is browsing the internet finds their way to Listowel Connection. Sometimes they contact me to see if I know any more about who or what they are searching for. Sometimes I can help or I know someone who can.

But this one has me stumped. The below message was left as a comment on an old post about showbands. The commenter did not leave a name or any means of knowing who it is.

I’m printing it here in the hope that the person who posted the comment or someone who knows them will be in touch.

“I’m an old friend of the late Buddy Dalton from 1962 when he played with his Dad in Ballybunnion We were Mc Faddens Stage Show and showed there all that summer 1963 I would love to get his C.D don’t know where to look If you can help please it would mean the world to me Thank you”

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Bumpers at the Pavilion in Ballybunion

I love the nun and child in the centre car. This photo will bring back happy memories for many. It was shared on a Ballyduff Facebook page.

I came across this photo of Danny O’Mahoney on the same page. He hasn’t changed a bit.

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Stay 2 Metres Apart Please


Hopefully these will soon be replaced and we can draw a little nearer to one another. When the story of the pandemic, Covid 19, in Listowel is written, these photos will tell their own story.


The Lartigue, Pride of Place and a date for the diary

Lovely Listowel



Dr. Halketts on Church St. is getting a lovely paint job done.

Scoil Realt na Maidine decked out in Kerrys’ green and gold


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A Journey on The Lartigue in 2015

When I was in The Lartigue Museum on Sept 1 I met two lovely railway enthusiasts. This lovely friendly couple were from Canada and they, like so many visitors to the museum, had come to Listowel especially to ride on this unique train. They were full of admiration and praise and they thoroughly enjoyed their train journey and couldn’t wait to tell them all at home about their adventure.

 They posed on the running board for a photo.

Two local visitors shared the journey with us.

The locomotive has to be turned manually.

 The visitors were intrigued by this procedure.

Now the front is the back and vise versa so the guard had to bring a lateen to the rear of the train.

Every citizen of Listowel should take a ride on the Lartigue. It is a trip back in time, full of history and romance.

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Last Photos from Pride of Place 2015


Listowel’s love affair with Racing was recognized in this welcoming display.

Tech Space was showing what one can do with computers.

Máire and Liz were manning the Writers’ Week display. They presented a gift of words to the judges.

World champion dancer, Seán Slemon waiting his turn to entertain the judges

The best of Irish step dancing was on display.

The judges chatted to everyone and took an interest in every exhibit.

Maire Logue, Jimmy Moloney, Liz Dunne and Mary Hanlon at The Seanchaí

The judges were interested and appreciative.

Mary Anne O’Connor, chair of Listowel Active Retirement Group, Cara Trant of Kerry Literary and Heritage Centre, Maire Logue, Festival Manager, Listowel Writers’ Week, Joan Byrne, Listowel Tidy Towns and Liz Dunne, Vice Chairperson Listowel Writers’ Week.

Eddie Moylan of Listowel Vintage Wireless Museum shows some of his artifacts to the judges who had never seen a gramophone horn in real life before.


One final Dance an Doras and they were away to see some Living Literature upstairs.

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Slack Day, Sept 15 2015




Jerry Hannon took this photo of Pat Healy and Berkie Browne enjoying a rare day off during Listowel Race Week . It’s business as usual for this pair again tomorrow, Weds Sept 16 2015.

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Friday Night is Culture Night



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