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: chicks

Fathers’ Day and Presentation Convent Listowel then and now

Yesterday was Fathers’ Day.  In honour of the day I bring you this photo of Jim Cogan and family and this “thought for the day”.

Photo by John Stack

‘It’s good to be blessed.
It’s better to be a blessing. ~Author Unknown

So often we do not realize what a blessing we are to others. We might
not think we make an impact, but often we do make a huge impact in someone
else’s life. The following story is just one example. 

In the faint light of the
attic, an old man, tall and stooped, bent his great frame and made his way to a
stack of boxes that sat near one of the little half-windows. 

Brushing aside a
wisp of cobwebs, he tilted the top box toward the light and began to carefully
lift out one old photograph album after another and his old journal. Opening
the yellowed pages, he glanced over a short reading, and his lips curved in an
unconscious smile. 

His eyes brightened as he read the words that spoke clear
and sweet to his soul as he read the inscription for June 14th . It stood out
because it was so brief in comparison to other days. In his own neat
handwriting were these words: ‘Wasted the whole day fishing with Jimmy. Didn’t
catch a thing.’

 With a deep sigh and a shaking hand, he took up Jimmy’s journal
and found the boy’s entry for the same day. Large scrawling letters, pressed
deeply into the paper, read: ‘Went fishing with my dad. Best day of my life.’



Presentation Convent, Listowel


I took these photos on May 28 2013.


A picture paints a thousand words.


Update on our 7 little chicks of three different breeds.  See how they have grown!


Fungi taken from a Baltimore boat last week


Alas, no more!


They have a lot to answer for.



As an addendum to last week’s article about Cyril Kelly and Writers’ Week, Martin Sheehy, all the way from Phoenix, Arizona sent this comment:

“Hats off to Cyril Kelly and honour to his late mother-Mai Naylor ( Mrs. Kelly) and her friends from Upper Church St., all of whom brought joy to my boyhood-Babe Jo Wilmot ( Mrs. Collins), Masie Gleason ( Mrs. Sweeney), Maureen Horgan ( RIP), Noreen Horgan ( Mrs. Lynch), Marie Kiely, Moira Madden ( my late mother, Mrs. Sheehy), Josie Madden ( my late aunt, Mrs. Flynn), etc. Before and after Vatican II, with or without Mai’s hats, they were and are a memorable crowd. ”


June 15 2013 in Ballylongford

newborn chicks, Bromore now and Ireland long ago,

The Ballyduff chicks are getting big. The 7 chicks are of 3 different breeds. Isn’t mother hen lovely too?



One of the beautiful North Kerry walks at any time of year is that along by Bromore Cliffs in Ballybunion. My Facebook friend in Ballybunion Sea Angling took these lovely photos of primroses, daisies, seapinks and vetch last week. We, in North Kerry are so, so blessed.


19th century travel writers write about  Ireland

” A hundred beggars gathered as usual around the carriage. What was new to me were the small wooden bowls on long sticks which they passed into the carriage like collection bags to reach the solicited pennies more comfortably.”

Listowel 1828 as described by Hermann Von Puckler-Muskau.

I read this in an article by Manchán Magan who is descended from the O’Rahilly family of The Square Listowel. Manchán is himself a travel writer and was warning any keyboard warriors who might be tempted to post a bad review on Tripadviser to consider how it might look in 200 years time.

Philip Nemnich wrote this about The Liberties area of Dublin in1806

“The condition of the houses and streets is indescribably revolting; both assail the nostrils and the eye in the most obnoxious manner by their filth. But what exceeds all this are the people who inhabit them. More hideous creatures are hardly imaginable either in phsyiognomy or dress, which I do not dare to describe.”‘

Manchán says that these accounts were “not meant to belittle us, but to express outrage at what the English had done to us.” They make for difficult reading even from a distance of 200 years.


The very poignant cover of Harpers Weekly 1850; Mother Ireland sheltering her hungry children as she waves a banner that says “Help us, we are starving.” The coffin ships carrying the “lucky” ones are steaming away from the shore and in the background we can see the ghostly figure of death hovering over the hoards of misfortunate souls waiting for rescue. I notice that the harp is cast aside. It is said that during The Famine “even the birds were silent.”


In the Limerick Workhouse
in 1906, the weekly diet for an Infirm Male was:

For breakfast each day:

8oz Bread and 1 pint Tea.

For dinner on a Sunday,
Tuesday, Thursday:

8oz Bread, 4oz Meat &

For dinner on Monday,
Wednesday, Saturday:

3lb potatoes, 1 pint of

For dinner on Friday:

8oz Bread and 1 pint of

For supper each day:

8oz Bread, 1pint of


NKRO posted this recent photo of Mary Keane with friends, Joan Stack, Maura McConnell, Myra O’Shea and Frank McNerney enjoying a cuppa in John B.’s


Tomorrow is a big day in town as An Rás finishes in Market Street around 2.00p.m. In preparation for the event, shopkeepers and school children have been decorating the town.

The bunting is up all over town

The above are on the window of Sean Moriarty’s house in Charles Street.


Queen of the May Sunday in Knockanure from Jer.

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