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: Christy’s

Outdoor dining, Pitch and Putt and some places then and now

In Childers” Park, Listowel


Listowel Pitch and Putt Club

It’s people like Pa Carey who are the backbone of Listowel Pitch and Putt Club. I met him early one Saturday morning turning on the sprinklers to keep the greens in tip top condition.

While a pitch and putt course is by its nature cultivated, LP&P have allowed patches like this to grow wild.

This is a more cultivated flower bed. There are many being developed all around the course.

This lovely bridge is a new development as well.

When I saw this bridge I was reminded of Harrington in Carnoustie in 2007 when he nearly lost The Open. I hope this lovely bridge doesn’t trip someone up as that other little one did Padraig on that day.


Outdoor Dining

Although we dont really have the weather for it, Listowel is adapting to outdoor dining for 2021.


Then and Now

Changes at 97 is now Listowel Physiotherapy Clinic

Blue Umbrella is now The Taelane Store


Ownership of The Alley

(information from Junior Griffin)

Lord Listowel had given permission for the handball alley to be built on the banks of the Feale but it was a fairly loose arrangement and ownership of the alley was unclear. At the AGM in 1962 and a subsequent committee meeting it was decided to clarify the matter.

Mr. Joe O’Mahony, the local representative of Lord Listowel informed a deputation from the club that Listowel Handball Club had no legal right to the land on which the handball court was situated. It belonged to Lord Listowel. He agreed to give the club first right if they decided to purchase the property. The members present bought the site for £140.

Then trustees were appointed on the legal advice of Paddy Fitzgibbon (senior) who advised that the club had no legal standing without trustees.

The 5 trustees were Tom Enright, Andy Molyneaux, Michael Keane, Brendan Macauley and John Griffin.

At a subsequent meeting Tom Enright withdrew his name, Mr. Fitzgibbon retired as chairman for personal reasons. He was replaced by John Joe Kenny.

(to be continued)


In The Magic Hour

I had a front row seat at this very different Arts experience on Friday 18 June 2021.

It was Listowel Ball Alley but not as we know it. A small audience of socially distanced 20 people were here to witness a very avant grade dance, mime and other media event.

It was one of those modern performances that look more enjoyable for the performers than for the audience. I must confess that this audience member was a bit lost.

However it was lovely to be outdoors and part of an audience again.

I’ll tell you more about it and put up a link when I download the photos I took with my camera. You will be able to see for yourself then.


Friday Market , Spike Island and a jostle stone on William Street

Colourful seating at Christy’s, The Well


Jed  Chute with daughter, Gillian and Family

I was having a cup of coffee with my friend, Marie Moriarty when I spotted this lovely family enjoying he sunshine. Marie posed with them for my photo.


Friday Market

There were many new traders at the Friday market when I visited on July 26 2019. And there was music.


A little poem on Spike

A friend went on an excursion to Spike Island and photographed this for us.

It goes 

My dearest Kerry (I think, or maybe, Harry) I am awfully sorry

If what I write here you don’t like

But writing out rhymes is a craze of the times

With which I’m fed up here in Spike.

Any ideas who, when or why?


How Old are our Jostle Stones?

Warren Buckley has been touch. He was fascinated by these stones ever before I took an interest and he has done a bit of research.

Warren found this one in the Lawrence Collection.  It must be at least 100 years old.

Could this local one which looks in size and shape very similar, be that old?

Listowel Library, a piece of doggerel, a funny picture and a great night out on February 27 2018

Photo: Ita Hannon


More Library Memories from Billy McSweeney

Billy has shared some more of his family and library memories with us.

Here is what he wrote;
Attached please find a copy of a brochure issued in 1995 about the

opening of the ‘New’ Kerry Co Council Branch Library. You can see that

‘Fake News’ about the burning down of the original Library in the Bridge

Road was still being spread in 1995.

I also include a photograph of my mother Maisie with my Grandparents Ned

and Annie Gleeson (nee Carmody). Annie was the very first Librarian in

the Bridge Road. She was later also Town Clerk.

You may not know that the top floor of the Church St Library was used

extensively as an infant classroom for the National School ; the teacher

was Mrs Scanlon (nee Pierce) from Market St. It was also occasionally

used for putting on ‘Entertainments’ by an adventurous group of locals

which, to my knowledge, included John B. Keane, his brother Eamon (‘The

Joker’) the actor and the Stack brothers of William St, among others.

The members of this group were the forerunners of the ‘Tom Doodle

Society’ of later fame.

Kind Regards,

Billy McSweeney


Thunder and Lightning Author unknown

The thunder crashed

The lightning flashed

And all the world was shaken;

The little pig curled up his tail

And ran to save his bacon.


Humour from the late Fr. Pat Moore


Mill Lane Store has moved

from here

to here


Night out with the Writers’ Week gang

We had a great team night out for nibbles in Christy’s and the Johnny Cash tribute concert in St. Johns.

Here are a few pictures of the local groupies.

Marie, Jim and Liz

Rose and Seán

Seán with the newly elected head of Kerry Vintners’ Association, Christy Walsh

We were not the only posse of Johnny Cash afictionados in the theatre. The ladies below are from Ballybunion.

I sat beside these lovely enthusiastic music fans who travelled from further afield to enjoy the show and enjoy it they did.


Shawnee visitors and a Mennonite choir in town

Visitors to Listowel from our twin town, Shawnee in the U.S. were  in Christy’s on Wenesday night last to wash down the hearty meal of bacon and cabbage that Seán Moriarty cooked for them. Also in my picture, on behalf of the host town, are Damien Stack of Tura Lura Tours and Norella OFlynn.

Joan Walsh was accompanied by her sister when she came out to greet the visitors. Joan’s late husband, Tom, was the Mayor of Listowel when the first Listowel group travelled to visit Shawnee.

These people are not from Shawnee. They were in Christy’s on Wednesday as well, having a good time.

Irish musicians provided the entertainment, in competition with the second semi final of The World Cup. The American visitors had no interest in the soccer. They loved the music.

The distinguished looking gentleman in this group is the mayor of Shawnee, Jeff Meyers.


Meanwhile, across the square in St. John’s……

This is an anabaptist choir, also from the U.S. They were visiting Listowel as guests of The Christian Fellowship of Listowel. There were 50 visitors in all staying with local families. They gave a heavenly concert of well known and some unknown (to me anyway) songs with a religious flavor. They used only the human voice, no instruments other than a tuning fork. They produced some beautiful harmonies and delighted their large and appreciative audience.

This is a Facebook picture of the group before their departure.


Rathea 1950

Tom Fitzgerald sent me the names.



Bettie Moloney R.I.P.

Last week we bade farewell to one of the town’s old stock. A familiar and stylish figure behind the counter in Robert Moloney’s in The Square or walking the streets of Listowel, Bettie was an affable and gentle lady. She will be missed.


As a postscript to the Munster hurling final here is Gary MacMahon’s lovely poem. I’m sorry about the quality of the photo.


Good news for all Irish people not living in Ireland

You now have a minister in The Dáil to represent you.

And he’s from KERRY!

Jimmy Deenihan


No night out tonight for the gang. NKRO intends holding these fundraising nights every second Friday. So this crowd will have to save themselves for next week. Thanks to Tom Fitzgerald for last Friday’s photo from The Saddle Bar in Upper William St.

A big thank you from NKRO to these musicians who made the night such a success.

The man who is organising the vintners end of things for us is Christy Walshe. His own well known (pun intended) Listowel premises is currently undergoing renovation.

Just in case you think it’s all work and no play for us, here we are in the Family Centre with Ger giving us an informal lesson in genealogical research. He and Maria travelled to UL yesterday to talk to the experts in The Irish Ancestry Research Centre. I’ll keep you posted on developments.

My usual appeal for material…..

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