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: Casa Mia

Somethings Change and Somethings Stay the Same

Old Casa Mia restaurant in Upper William Street in July 2023


Lovely Hurling

(Photos: Radio Kerry)

Crotta O’Neills have won the Kerry Senior Hurling Championship for the first time since 1968.

And the Listowel connection?

Brendan Mahony was their trainer.


“A Hair Straightener, a Phone and a White Coffin”

I love a piece of good writing. They are calling this kind of newspaper column a micro essay now. I don’t think you’ll read such a powerful micro essay again for a while.

I give you Brendan O’Connor of The Sunday Independent on Sunday August 6 2023. I challenge you not to cry, especially if you have teenage girls in your family.


Halloween Already?

Summer has been a washout but….


Another Business Closes

If rumours are to be believed, we will be seeing this space reimagined and transformed before too long.


When you love the colour scheme….

Why change it?


Three Sportsman

Stephen Fernane shared this treasure on Facebook. These three lovely young boys had potential beyond any of their wildest dreams. They are Óisín Murphy flanked by the Clifford brothers, Paudie and David.


Schooldays in the 1960s

Eleanor Belcher remembers primary school in Listowel in the bad old days of “corporal punishment” as an acceptable means of chastisement for errant pupils.

In the 1950s O’Connell Avenue was known as the ‘New Road’ ( I learnt recently that it was one of the first council schemes in the new Irish Free State and opened by Sean T. O’Kelly)

 I was lucky to have had the gentle Sr Carmel for 4th, 5th and 6th class but I can tell you that going to the National school was never a happy experience. One of the best few weeks at the school was when Mrs Peggy Enright did a ‘locum’ when Sr Carmel was sick. Suddenly school was fun! Going to the FCJ nuns in Limerick for secondary school was like going from night to day. 

I realised as a very small girl how lucky I was and have drilled it into my children to count their blessings. 

I have no recollection of plaid skirts provided by the nuns but I think a sea change did occur in the sixties as my sister Eimer who is 15 years younger than me had a much happier time. 


An Epitaph


Casa Mia, Jed and Danny, Donal Ryan and The Races back in the Day

 Corner of William Street Upper


Outdoor Dining

Two of the town’s Patricians, Jed Chute and Danny Hannon enjoying the Indian Summer 2020 in Listowel’s Main Street.


Old Age

In the 19th century they had a very poor view of the senior years.

Thank God we live in an age when 70 is the new 50

Nicholas Leonard wrote the following

What do you make of the following item, published in 1838 and  from, I believe, a U.S. origin?


Periods of Human Life, from the Wexford Conservative, 1 August 1838.

Decrepitude – From 71 to 77: The age of avarice, jealousy, and envy.

Caducity– (Senility) From 78 to 84. The age of distrust, vain-boasting, unfeelingness, suspicion.

Age of Favor – From 81 to 91. The age of insensibility, love of flattery, of attention and indulgence.

Age of Wonder– From 92 to 98. The age of indifference and love of praise.

Phenomenon – From 99 to 105. The age of insensibility, hope and the last sigh.

‘Caducity’ I never heard of, but on checking online, it refers to senility, dotage, perishable…

Not sure that the future is all that rosy- not much to look forward to in the above list, apart from the ‘last sigh.’



Happiness is…..

I’m really enjoying this one.


Listowel Races in the Papers

Eileen Sheridan came across these old 1977 newspaper photos and and Dave O’Sullivan unearthed a great Kieran OShea article from the same paper. 

The 1977 Harvest Festival Committee

The 1924 Race Committee

Love, The Plaza, Ballydonoghue Couple and some Listowel photos old and new

The Eye of the Ostrich

Photo; Chris Grayson


Two of the Old Stock

Photo and caption from Ballydonoghue Parish Magazine on Facebook.

Long ago in Dromerin! Eddie and Bridget Kennelly, Dromerin and Kilktean out for a cycle. Have you any precious old photos like this (published in the 2015 BPM)? If you have, why not share them here on Facebook or send to


The Plaza

This photo surfaced recently on the internet. It shows the recently built Plaza.  No. 90 Church Street is not in the photo. This house was  built in 1939, so I guess the photo was taken sometime in the mid to late 1930’s.


Enduring Love

Source; Purple Clover

On a similar note here is poem to ponder


There is a kind of love called maintenance

Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;

Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget

The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way

The money goes; which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,

And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate

Structures of living, which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,

Which knows what time and weather are doing

To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;

Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers

My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps

My suspect edifice upright in air,

As Atlas did the sky.

UA Fanthorpe, from Safe as Houses (Peterloo Poets, 1995)


Progress at Community Centre


Tyre Stop, Bridge Road, Listowel


Casa Mia


New CEO is a Local Man

Photo from shows new CEO of Kerry Group, Edmond Scanlon with the outgoing chief executive, Stan McCarthy

Here’s the story from

A 43-year-old farmer’s son from the
small mountain village of Brosna, Co Kerry, has been named as the next head of
Kerry Group, one of the country’s biggest corporations.



The Tralee-based global food
ingredients group yesterday said Kerryman Edmond Scanlon will take over as the
group’s third chief executive in September.

Mr Scanlon will succeed Stan
McCarthy in what has been a €4m a year role.

Mr McCarthy has been chief
executive since 2008, and is retiring this year as he turns 60. He’ll be
succeeded by another Kerry Group lifer, with deep roots in the original Kerry
Co-op heartland of North Kerry.

Mr Scanlon grew up on a dairy farm
in Brosna and studied commerce and accounting at University College, Cork,
before joining Kerry Group’s graduate programme in 1996.

His parents are understood to have
been suppliers to the Kerry creamery themselves.

Brosna is located in the north-east
corner of Kerry and borders both Limerick and Cork. It is part of the Sliabh
Luachra district, which is better known as a mecca for traditional music and as
the birthplace of Irish language poets like Aogán Ó Rathaille and Eoghan Rua Ó
Súilleabháin, than for producing corporate executives.

Since joining the group, Edmond
Scanlon has risen through the company ranks and worked in a string of
globe-trotting roles.



Finding Your Kerry Ancestors, Upper William St and a Fr. James Connolly

Listowel Credit Union


Finding Your Kerry Ancestors

Kay (Moloney) Caball of Listowel and Limerick spends much of her time nowadays helping people find their Kerry roots. As well as her marvelous Find Your Kerry Ancestors website  and her face to face work with Kerry descendants in The National Library, she has now produced an invaluable resource in book form. Finding your Kerry Ancestors is the latest in a series of Finding your Ancestors books, produced by Flyleaf Press, each written by a local expert genealogist. 

I attended the launch of Kay’s book in The County Library in Tralee on Monday Sept 7 2015 and I found myself in very illustrious  and congenial company. I think, as a local historian, I have arrived!

Jimmy Deenihan launched the book and Tom O’Connor, Kerry County Librarian was our host for the afternoon. Listowel was well represented among the attendees. Kay’s husband and family, her brother Jimmy, sister Marie, nephew, in-laws  and grandchildren were all to there. Local historians were well represented as well as friends and supporters of Kerry. 

My photos only show a small sample of the audience.


Lovely Little Corner of Lovely Listowel


Rev Fr James Connolly, C.SS.R. (1822 – 1891)

This Redemptorist Father had just entered his seventieth year, having been born on the 26th of May, 1822. Father Connolly was a native of Sligo.

“Ordained on May 17th, 1856, he laboured as a secular Priest, in the diocese of Elphin, for about seventeen years, and for many years discharged the duties of Administrator. He joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in 1872. He was stationed for several years in the various houses in Ireland, England and Scotland.

He offered himself to help at the renewal of a Mission at Newtown Sandes in Kerry. When the work was near its end Father Connolly complained of being unwell. Dr. Dillon, who was called in, declared from the first that his illness would probably prove fatal at such an advanced age. When his fellow-missioners returned to Limerick, Rev. Father Moynahan went at once to take care of the invalid, and nothing could equal the kindness and attention of the Rev. Father Dillon, P.P., Newtownsandes, to the dying Father and his companion.

“When he heard that his case was hopeless, ‘Blessed be the Holy Will of God,’ answered Father Connolly, ‘I have been preparing to hear this news for seven and thirty years.’

“He spent all the time that remained to him in prayer, and received the last Sacraments on Tuesday, May 26th,1891, his sixty-ninth birthday, and on Friday, in the afternoon, he passed painlessly away.

( From  Northkerry blog)


A few photos from Saturday September 19 2015 at Listowel Races

Casa Mia, Allos, Collopy’s Corner and Listowel’s world class equine photography

The Ever Changing Face of Listowel

Casa Mia

Allos Bistro


WW1 and the Creagh Family of Listowel

From Kerry’s Eye


Jimmy Deenihan’s constituency office occupies a building in a corner of Listowel Town Square. I photographed it this week as a result of an email I received from Joan Hayes;

“I came across the Gleasure letters by chance when googling my relatives recently and then came across your blog. My grandfather, Harry Smith and great aunt Myra Smith are mentioned in the letters. They were relatives of the Behans who owned the pub/hotel (I’m not sure exactly what) next door to the Gleasures. My greatgrandmother was Margaret Collopy and the Collopys were there originally. Her sister married a Behan, hence the name change.  know it burned down later.

I live in Dublin and we have no Kerry connections that I know of now.

Keep up the good work”

I looked up Vincent Carmody’s excellent Listowel; Snapshots of an Irish Market Town and this is what I learned about Joan’s ancestors:


World Class photographer 

This photograph by Pat Healy of Healyracing, Listowel has taken on a life of its own on the internet, with photographers far and wide admiring and sharing it.

The details: The horse is Arbitrageur, the jockey Johnny King, the groom Aidan Wall, and the track  Laytown. This dramatic shot was captured by Pat Healy of Healyracing and printed in the Irish Independent.

By the way everyone is fine.


Kick for The Kingdom

The pupils of Pres. Listowel TY class join the “Kick for The Kingdom” challenge in aid of cancer research;

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