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: Christmas in Listowel Page 1 of 2

Tralee in the sixties, Rebel Abbey, 2 Day Revival 2019 and Listowel, A Printer’s Legacy

The Gap of Dunloe

Photo: Chris Grayson


Christmas Shopping in Tralee in the sixties

Photo: Historical Tralee and surrounding areas


Maureen Flavin of Knocknagoshel and Black Sod

Remember Billy McSweeney’s great story of the Kerry lady who married the son of the Blacksod Lighthouse keeper and found herself playing a vital role in the timing of the DDay landings. Well didn’t a loyal blog follower know all about Maureen and he sent us this.

This is Maureen in a wedding photo from 1946

Maureen’s mother was a Mulvihill . The Mulvihill family was also famous. Ned Mulvihill bred a greyhound called Rebel Abbey who won all round him.


Listowel, Get Ready to Rock in 2019


Leonard, Listowel Mill Owner; Villain or Saint

The next instalment in the debate;

Hi, Mary,

 Interesting debate opening up. I don’t think any heavy work was done by inmates in the workhouses- they were in poor shape, weakened and poorly fed- certainly not enough work to enrich anyone.  More importantly, able-bodied persons were liable to the rigours of the law if they attempted to get into the workhouses! Auxiliary Workhouses in premises privately owned were  rented by the Board of Guardians and they ran the show after that. I have never come across a privately owned and operated workhouse. I don’t see many certain ‘facts’ on either side of the current debate.  TF Culhane  wrote about Maurice Leonard being ‘remembered’ as having given the barrels of flour; he was not recalling that as his own personal memory. The Folklore Commission relied on stories and memories also. Using ‘recalls’ is no worse that using ‘Keane reported…’ as ‘reported’ has the following meaning:  “give a spoken or written account of something that one has observed, heard, done, or investigated.”  ‘Folklore’ hardy meets this qualification. The reference to TF Culhane’s thoughts are included in the North Kerry Literary Trust, Listowel, excellent 2007 edition of  the book, “Kerry Memories”- this is steeped in Listowel Connections spanning generations. This book is painstakingly thorough in relation to what it includes. Pádraig de Brún and Jimmy Deenihan were instrumental in this publication. It is well-worth a read by anyone connected with Listowel. Bets or speculation and political points are not of much use at this remove. I was a bit doubtful of the number,  ‘six thousand barrels’ as that would be an enormous amount of wheat for the Listowel area in those pestilential days. Perhaps the local memory  was a bit defective in both cases in debate? And there are those who would claim that all such wheat would have been exported in any case to England, while the local people starved. I agree that a factual and disinterested  assessment of the ‘Listowel wheat or barrels of flour’ conundrum is required.  I am sure there will be many well-qualified and  willing to take in on.




People at a Book Launch

Seán Kelly, Nora Sheahan, Peggy Hilliard, Lilly Nolan and Vincent Carmody in The Listowel Arms on December 9 2018 at the launch of Listowel , A Printer’s Legacy.

Vincent Carmody with Jimmy Deenihan

Historians and politicians at the launch.

Maurice O’Mahoney gets in a quick read before the crowd gathers.


Christmas 2018 in Listowel

Another great idea from Christmas in Listowel 

The Listowel Treasure Train

Join us on a magical trail around Listowel’s beautiful shop window displays on the Listowel Treasure Train.

Each of the 14 participating shops have a Little Green Train displayed somewhere in their window. Can you find them all? 

The Runaway Red Train
Our Runaway Red Train has a mind of its own and moves from window to window.

Each day we will post a photo of the Runaway Red Train’s new location, as well as the day’s prize on the Christmas in Listowel Facebook Page. Simply tell us where the Red Train is, to be in with a chance of winning one of our amazing prizes every day.

The prizes will be displayed in Galvin’s Window and available for collection at the end of the competition after Saturday 22nd December.

Follow us at “Christmas in Listowel” on Facebook to take part in this fun game.

Time for a chat, ……… is coming and the passing in London of Seán Corridan

Across the half door

I spotted Martin Griffin and his friend, Michael Burke, chatting at Martin’s door in Charles Street last week.


Another Listowel business closes its door


One for the Diary


Gorgeous things for Christmas in Craftshop na Méar


Passing in London of Seán Corridan

Photo from

Tributes have been paid to Sean Corridon who died last week after a short illness.

The Kerryman was a loyal servant to the London GAA and had many claims to fame. He was part of the mighty Kingdom team of the 1970s and has seven London county championships medals to his name.

He was instrumental in the setting up of Fulham Irish when that club was founded in 2006 and in 2011 laid claim to be the oldest footballer ever to grace a GAA pitch when lined out for Irish in a reserve championship game at Ruislip. He was ever-present at Ruislip and could always be relied upon to the thankless jobs like linesman or umpire.

Fulham Irish issued a statement on his passing last week. It said: “It is with great regret that Fulham Irish GAA received the news of the untimely passing of Sean Corridan.

“Sean was a one of the very few people involved with the London County board who offered unflinching support during the difficult period that Fulham Irish GAA came into existence in 2006. Sean was easily identifiable as a genuine gentleman who always had the player at the forefront of his thoughts.

“In 2009, Sean joined Fulham Irish GAA to get involved with the running of the Senior football team. He remained a dedicated member right through to the end and could always be relied upon to help out when required, always there, always ready to help out.

“One of those occasions happened in 2011, when the Fulham Irish Reserve team were playing a match against St Kiernans. Playing with only 14 players, the game was close enough. To make the numbers up to 15, Sean pulled on a jersey at half time but unlike others who do this, he stayed on the field for the duration of the game, twice catching the ball and laying it off for scores.

“One of the sweet victories for the club after which Sean was researching whether he was oldest player to ever play in London. We offer our sincere sympathies to his Family and wide circle of Friends. May he rest in peace.”

He was also well-connected with the St Joseph’s club in London.

“On behalf of everyone involved with St. Joseph’s, we wish to extend our sincerest sympathy to the Corridon family following the recent sad passing of Sean. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time. Sean will be very sadly missed by everyone in the Joe’s.”

Mr Corridon was a life-long member of the Kerry Association London.

Secretary Tara Cronin said: “ It was with great sadness that I learnt of the passing of Sean Corridon. Sean was a long standing member of the Kerry Association in London and has been involved with us for a number of years. Sean was an integral part of the committee and he will be missed. My deepest sympathies to his wife and family.”

Sean is survived by his wife Mary, children Dawn and Derry and granddaughter Beth.”

(C* Seán Moriarty. Irish World.)


In Happier Healthier Times

This picture from 1981 is on a Facebook page called Classic Pics. It shows Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve hailing a taxi in London in 1981.

R.I.P. two of cinema’s legends, who died before their time.


Nano Nagle remembered on Sunday

Pres girls were in the church on Wednesday preparing for their very special mass for `presentation Day. Presentation Day is on November 21st. The mass is on Sunday next Nov. 16 at 11.00 in St. Mary’s

Friday Miscellaney

Some local ladies taking a look around Craftshop na Méar.


Encomium for lady with a Listowel connection in 1899

(From The Kentucky Irish American, Louisville August 12, 1899)

No death of recent date has caused more profound sorrow in Ireland than

that of Mrs. Pierce Mahony, which occurred at her home in Sutton, County

Dublin, July 27.

 Mrs. Mahony belonged to a well-known Kerry family, the Raymonds, and was in every respect an ornament to Irish womanhood. She was a lady of exceeding culture, and her great personal charm was the admiration of all

who ever had the privilege of coming within her gracious influence. To the

Irish cause she was passionately devoted, and her bereaved husband by her decease loses a lifelong companion who was in complete sympathy with all his aims.


Another one of the newly painted shops. Town is looking really well lately. This premises on Market Street was formerly Cronins.


Charming picture from Dublin Zoo 1932


Sunday is Dec. 8, traditionally a big shopping day in town. If you are “bringing home the Christmas, do drop into Craftshop na Méar for that unique gift.

The Santa Parade starts at 12.30 in The Square.

Put December 10 in your diary for the official opening of Craftshop na Méar.

and December 16 for our Cois Tine event with the help of our friends in Writers’ Week. Stories and song around the fire from 2.00p.m. Small charge will apply.

A Dr. OConnor of The Square story and some photos from the switching on of the lights

Dan Doyle, Jerry Kiernan and Raymond Keane, St Michael’s 1968 (photo; Dan Doyle)


Junior Griffin wrote to me recently. This is what he said.

“Mary, in
reading your blog in recent times on Doctor O’Connor who lived in the
Square, I’m one, at least, that has cause to be very grateful to the good
doctor.  Growing up in the Bridge Road I
always heard the story that there was no doubt but that he saved my life.

I was
born in Nurse O’Donovan’s nursing home which was then based in Church Street,
which would have been adjacent to the now North County guest house.

It seems
that I got a severe dose of the whooping cough when just 3 days old and
I’m told there was little chance of me surviving.

O’Connor was called and his prescription was to feed me on so many spoons of
whiskey daily and to keep that up for a week or ten days.

As I’m
still around over 70 years later it must have worked.  I often thought,
should I have been entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest
boozer of all times.

I must have not liked the taste as that was the last drop of the hot stuff that
ever passed my lips. 

As I grew
up my late mother had another theory on the whiskey. Coming from a farming
background, she had the story that when a greyhound pup was born, in order to
keep him small the owner fed him with the whiskey. As I turned out to be the
smallest of my siblings maybe there was some truth in that story. In the
football sense, I would rate myself nothing more than a town league footballer,
but like the greyhound I did have the bit of speed. So, who knows!!!.

Until his
death in the early 1950’s Doctor O’Connor would have visited our home on many
ocasions and would have treated me several times after for the flu. and
other childhood problems.

But as
mentioned above, I do owe my life to him.”


Hardy boyo! From the Discover Kerry website comes this photo of a goat on Carrantuathail.


A few more nice ones from the switching on of the Christmas lights


 Jean OReilly the familiar face of RTE News for the deaf for 21 years retired recently.

Irish dancing, Munster Championship  1953


From Noreen Keane Brennan on Facebook comes this picture of Listowel publicans at Harp Brewery, Dundalk. No year yet but research is underway.

Some of the names from Brenda Daly on Facebook

Cis Browne(Eric’s mother),R.I.P. beside her Bridie Carmody from Church Street, behind her Kats Walsh, The Square and beside her Olivia Murphy R.I.P. late of William St., then there’s Jetta Barry, William St.,R.I.P. and in the front beside Mai Chute, there’s Nora Daly, formerly of the Horseshoe Bar and Mary from Mary B’s and a little behind her, is Peggy O’ Carroll, wife of the late Jet and Mairead and Eamon’s mother.

Chrstmas is coming

This lovely postcard of Listowel Town Square on Friday evening is the work of Gillian Finucane.

Doreen Buckley’s photo of the crowd in town.

Church St,  Christmas 2013

Fealegood video of the switching on of the lights here

We got mulled wine

Jennifer and Kelly were well pleased with a job very well done.


Behind the Scenes

The lights going up: the postman busy….Must be Christmas.


Mary Frances Behan, Eileen O’Sullivan, Mary Sobieralski, Tina Kinsella and Marie MacAuliffe

I took this photo of the lovely ladies volunteering  in Second Time Around on Friday. The local conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society is also expecting its shop to be busy for Christmas.


This is a patchwork head of a horse. Students taking the V.E.C. textiles course in The Family Resource Centre are making a full life-size patchwork horse as part of their project. I visited them on a bad day as  many of the ladies were attending a funeral but I met three lovely hospitable ladies. I’ll be back.

Brenda Rochford, Pricilla Sweeney and Anne Lavery


St. Senans Under 16 champions

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén