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: Celia Holman Lee

Anseo, The Races and Blacksmithing

Howth photographed by Éamon ÓMurchú



Anseo is an initiative by Kerry County Council and others to help the entertainment industry and to bring a bit of entertainment to our streets that have been so quiet for so long.

This is the scene at the Anseo concert in Listowel on Saturday Sept 18 2021.

Afternoon Show 1.00 – 3.30pm

Eoghan Duignan, John Browne & Brendan O’Sullivan 

Tim O’ Shea & Afro Trad Ireland 

Liam O’Connor & Family 

Evening Show 6.00 – 8.30pm

Seamus Begley & Donogh Hennessy 


Peter Staunton and Super Ceili 

This is the line up. As you can see it features the best musicians and brilliant music. So why was the venue almost empty?

Answer; People didn’t know about it.

“I would have been there if I’d known,” is what I am hearing on every side since.

I know the First Communion was on and the storytelling festival but maybe it should have been part of the craic for these events.

These four ladies couldn’t resist breaking into a set.

I’m told that the evening concert was sold out.


After the Races

A poem for the week that’s in it.


At the Storytelling Festival

The O’Connor family from Cork with local storyteller, Godfrey Coppinger at the international Storytelling Festival at Kerry Writers Museum on Sept 19 2021


Ladies Day, Sept 24 2021 at Listowel Races

I missed the Races this year but my friend deputised for me and took a some photos for you. Here are a few of Bridget O’Connor’s photos from Friday.

Chloe Daly and Graham
Patricia Collins
Celia Holman Lee and Orla Diffley
Lisa Griffin and her daughter
Claire, Elaine and Katsy with Elaine’s baby at her first Harvest Festival of Racing

(more tomorrow)


Ballylongford Blacksmithing Festival

I was in Ballylongford on Saturday September 25 2021 for this very new , very different festival. The blacksmiths looked nothing like blacksmiths I remember from my childhood and their open air forges were fuelled by gas.

These smiths were not farriers but decorative workers in molten metal. I saw no leather aprons and face shields here and there seemed to be a certain kind of hippy style to these modern day smiths. They made beautiful things and it was great to see them at work.

I will have more photos for you during the week.


Races 2019 and Cyril Kelly on Sunday Miscellany

Throw me Down Something

The heyday of this little money spinner for Listowel Traveller children seems to have passed.

The numbers in The Feale were well down. They seem to have taken to busking instead. I also missed the puppet man from the Small Square.


Ladies Day 2019

I hardly ever remember such a beautiful Ladies Day, weather wise. The ladies looked resplendent. The judges had a tough job.

A great design partnership of Aoife Hannon,  milliner, and Betty McGrath, model, won the prize for jazziest hat. Betty must have been in the running for the overall prize as well. She looked stunning .


Some More of the Style


A Minute of Your Time

Today I’m going to give you a sneak peek at my new book.

It’s still a work in progress but these are the front and back covers designed by Paul Shannon of Listowel Printing Works.

A Minute of Your Time is available to pre-order from me by contacting me at


The Past is a Different Country

Listowel in the rare auld times as remembered by Cyril Kelly

Sunday Miscellany

Still more style from Friday, Love Listowel and local people

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow. Believe it or not, my blog is proving more popular than ever since I took to posting these Ladies’ Day photos. I think I might cross over to fashion blogging!

 Betty McGrath, family and friends

Helen Holyoake, home from the US for The Races, James Kenny promoting Love Listowel and Joan Kenny

Junior Griffin spotting form.

The final 3; Sharon Heffernan on the right was the eventual winner.

 Judges in conclave; Celia Holman Lee and Daithí Ó Sé

Daithí admires a painting by Olive Stack which was part of the winner’s prize.

Busy promoting the brand: Team Love Listowel in action on Friday.

Anything in the paper? This man was oblivious to all the style and glamour as he studied the horses.

Martina Molyneaux was home from Dublin for the day. She is seen here with her dad, Mossy.

The Mojito Bar was doing a steady trade. It seemed to me to be a ladies only drink.

Stylish couple: Oliver and Sally O’Neill looked resplendent on Friday but then they are beautifully turned out every day.

This Tipperary lady loves Listowel and has been coming to The Races for over 50 years.

This poor “horse” spent the day promoting The Tote Jackpot. Reminded me of one of Mrs Brown’s Boys. 


Having looked at yesterday’s hats,  Martin Sheehy, formerly of this parish, quips “There must be some nude birds flying all over Kerry”

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