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: Claddagh Design Page 1 of 3

Rattoo, Sr. Ignatius Moore, River Walk, An Gleann Footballers and Claddagh Design

 Sunset at Rattoo

Photo: Bridget O’Connor


Pushing up Daisies

I took this photo in St. Michael’s Graveyard  in Listowel. I apologise if this is your family grave. I mean no disrespect by the caption.


An Extraordinary Irish Missionary Sister

Southern Cross Adelaide, SA – Fri 20 Mar 1931

Madras (India) .—One of the most remarkable missionary careers of modern times came to a close with the death at 91 years of age of Mother Ignatius Moore, of the Presentation Order, at Kodaikanal, Diocese of Trichinopoly, India, on January 11. 

Possessing a striking personality, thevenerable nun was well known throughout Southern India, and four generations of children passed through her hands in her 67 years of active life spent in the country. She never returned to her native land of Ireland after leaving it in 1863. When Bishop Fennelly, vicar Apostolic of Madras, visited Ireland in 1863 seeking workers for his mission, Mother Ignatius offered  her services, and set out with a small group of Sisters for the perilous journey. The shorter route through the Suez Canal was then unknown as also the swift and safe steamers of the present day. 

The voyage” to India was made in a sailing vessel via the Cape Of Good Hope, the trip covering five months. 

Mother Ignatius was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind Medal by the Government in 1917, in recognition of her long and meritorious services in the cause of education. In 1922 she celebrated her diamond jubilee, which marked the close of her 5oth year-as a religious.
When the pioneer Nun arrived in Madras there was but one Presentation Convent. Now there are six, besides the one at Kodaikanal. She lived to see the great-grandchildren of her former pupils, to see Madras develop from a small seaside town to a great  modern city, and to see the immense progress in almost every field of missionary endeavour in Southern India.


River Walk

This photo was taken on the footwalk under the bridge about 5 years ago.

I took that walk again recently. The level of water in the river was very low

Has anyone any idea what this is? It was in the river.


An Gleann photo shared by Noel Roche. I have no names or year.


They’re Back

Behan’s The Horseshoe and John R’s foodhall are open again.


Never out of Fashion

Listowel’s Eileen Moylan’s timeless jewellery business is featured in the Fashion section of this week’s RTE Guide.

Claddagh Design is open for business throughout the pandemic and Eileen ships to anywhere in the world where shipping is allowed during the crisis.

I am a great fan of Eileen’s work and I am the very proud owner of several pieces created by her.

This is the beautiful bracelet I got for my birthday.

My family worked with Eileen on the design and materials for this piece which is made from my late husband’s wedding ring and a sapphire from the first ring he gave me.

As well as her bespoke pieces, Eileen makes off- the- shelf treasures as well.

You may remember Eileen in Craftshop ns Méar as she introduced her very popular Listowel range which, with the blessing of the MacMahon family, she called “My Silver River Feale”.

I have featured here before some of her gorgeous one off pieces.

Eileen also does big pieces like awards, mayoral chains and presentation pieces.

The Kerry Chain

Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Brendan Kennelly at Listowel Writers’ Week

Listowel Writers’ Week award to Edna O’Brien.

 Eileen also makes wedding jewellery.

She works from her studio in Co. Cork but she is still very attached to her Listowel roots.

Remembrance Sunday, Garda Recruitment in 1923 and Celebrating A minute of Your Time


Listowel Town Square, November 10 2019

Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, November 11 is a day to celebrate peace but to also remember the horrors of the two world wars that changed our world beyond recognition.

This poem by a little known Scottish poet captures the ‘shell shock” and post traumatic stress of survivors.

When you see millions of the mouthless dead

Across your dreams in pale battalions go,

Say not soft things as other men have said,

That you’ll remember. For you need not so.

Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know

It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?

Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.

Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.

Say only this, ‘They are dead.’ Then add thereto,

‘Yet many a better one has died before.’

Then, scanning all the o’ercrowded mass, should you

Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,

It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.

Great death has made all his for evermore.

Charles Hamilton Sorley


Freestate Police Recruits

This advert which I posted a while ago aroused great interest.

Vincent Carmody had this to say on the matter;


I was interested in the advert for the new police force. At one time I made a lot of esquires when I  was researching details of an uncle of mine, Patrick Walsh of Pollough, who joined the new force in 1924. 

When plans for the new force were been drawn up,  Michael Collins was very anxious to have a crossover of serving R.I.C. officers and constables join the new Irish Police force. This was,  of course, to avail and use their expertise. However there was a lot of bitterness and resentment among many of the men who had been active in the I.R.A. and who would still have regarded these ex- R.I.C. men  as the enemy. This movement would have spawned the Kildare Mutiny, 

From figures that I have since gleaned from that wonderful historian, ex Chief Super. Donal O’ Sullivan,  between 150 and 200 from the R.I.C. would have signed up initially, with many of these resigning through intimidation, of the total number who joined, 60 men stayed in the Garda Force until their proper retirement age.

Back to my uncle Patrick, I checked with Garda Archives  and found that he had served in the old I.R.A. and then joined the pro Treaty side during the Civil War. He joined the Guards on the 28/8/1924 and his first posting was to a town in Co. Cork on 8/1/1925. He remained there until he resigned on the 5/9/1928. The official reason was that he was intending to emigrate to America.

However like all family history, I found that there were stories behind the story. Patrick would have been the eldest son of the Walsh family and as Irish tradition goes, he would, if he had wanted, been likely to inherit the Walsh family farm, My grandmother Mary Walsh, however, had a wish that her eldest son to go for the priesthood as soon as he had completed his time at St. Michael’s. After his leaving certificate, and deciding against the priesthood, he joined the local I.R.A. along with his cousin and friend Con Brosnan and many others from the Clounmacon and Moyvane areas. Following the Treaty, he, again like Con, joined the new Free State Army as a private. Following the Civil War and reluctant to return to farming he joined the Gardai. 

According to Con Brosnan, who once told me, Patrick was an above avarage footballer and when based in Cork, he played with distinction with the Cork Junior team beaten by a point in Killarney by Clare in the Munster Junior Final of 1925. Football was to figure again in the story of his early retirement from the force, whereas the official line was that he resigned voluntary as he had intended to travel to America, I have found out the he, along with the rest of his team-mates from the club which he was playing for, had won a divisional championship and were celebrating in a number of local pubs on the Sunday night of the final. In those days, Sunday drinking was taboo, so people found on, if caught, would be taken to court and fined. In Patrick and his teammates case they were caught in two different pubs by the Sargent of the Gardai, who was on duty that night. Whatever about the general public, it would have been regarded as a major scandal for a serving Guard to be found drinking outside regular hours. So, in order to avoid an inquiry, my uncle took the easiest way out and made a clean break, voluntary retiring, saying he wished to go to America. Instead of which, he went to Australia, where he lived until his death in the late 1960’s.

In John Bs, ‘Self Portrait’, he describes how, when in England, he and his friend, Murphy,  saw joining the British Navy, would have been an ideal way of seeing the world, having filled up the entry forms and listed themselves as been Irishmen, the petty officer having read the forms, duly told them that they were British as were their parents. Unwilling to give way in terms of nationality, John B and Denis Murphy retreated, with John B later recalling in his book, ” The Royal Navy suffered a terrible defeat on that day, even if it doesn’t know about it. It lost a probable Drake and a possible Nelson. 

In that sense and in the same vein  I wonder, did the Gardai lose a possible future  Commissioner when Pat  Walsh resigned in 1928 !!!!


And Nicholas had another insight into the eligibility or otherwise of some candidates;

Hi, Mary,

Most interesting advert for An Garda Síochána from Eoin Ó Dubhthaigh, Commissioner.  Might I point out that, as Gaeilge, it specifies that anyone who had NOT worked for Ireland’s cause in the battle against England would NOT be accepted- hence many applicants sought and received ‘nominations’ from ex-IRA members of standing to show that they had been active in the fight. We must assume that these were true. But if they were handled the same as pensions for some such warriors, then….. Nicholas.


A Book That Changed my Life

A Minute of Your Time has brought a shower of blessings into my life.

I’ve received umpteen personal messages, handwritten messages, emails, an apple tart and buns, cups of coffee and more. I feel truly valued. Thank you everyone.

 I am now well known to the postal services. These letters reached me but I would advise if you are ordering a book for me to post, its best to send me an email first and I’ll send you my land address.

The biggest surprise has to be this unexpected endorsement from Michael O’Regan in his Call from the Dáilon Kerry Today on Radio Kerry on Friday.

When your friend is a silversmith and you have this box delivered to you……

 Eileen Moylan of Claddagh Design made me this beautiful solid silver bookmark. My cup runneth over….

As well as all the celebrating and self absorption I have been signing my book for local shops and next Friday I will be having a Cork launch in Kanturk in the Edel Quinn Hall at 7.30. I’m looking forward to taking my book back to my roots.

Claddagh Design News, Reading The Advertiser and An Emigrant Returns

Photo: Ita Hannon


Boston to Boston with Delta Airlines

( and the Listowel Connection)

This is the very talented silversmith/goldsmith Eileen Moylan of  Claddagh Design

Eileen is well known for her award winning jewellery and one-off presentation pieces.

Eileen was in Boston last week on a really exciting adventure.

 She was the guest of Delta Airlines because she was chosen to be part of their celebration. I’ll tell you the story from Paula who writes the Claddagh Design blog.

Eileen Moylan of Claddagh Design joins forces with Delta Air Lines on their upcoming creative project: Boston to Boston Souvenir Shop.

The concept behind this exciting project: Bostonians love Boston. So much so, why would they ever want to leave? With Delta, they don’t have to. If you love Boston, Delta can take you to other Bostons around the world.

Delta and Wieden+Kennedy New York celebrate the pride Bostonians take in their city with The Boston to Boston Souvenir Shop.

The mobile souvenir truck will be making it’s way around the city over three days, offering a limited edition curated collection of Boston themed pieces. Each piece from 10 different artisan makers, merchants, and creators from Boston destinations Delta travel to around the world.

The collection includes Eileen’s very own limited edition Claddagh Ring, handcrafted in our Claddagh Design workshop. Representing Boston Ireland, Eileen will share the Claddagh Design story. Her beautifully handcrafted Sterling Silver Claddagh Ring will be available to purchase.


Catching up with the Listowel news 

Reading The Advertiser in the Indian summer sunshine in Listowel’s Main Street.


Welcome Home, Noel

I finally met Noel Roche in person. Noel Roche is a loyal and appreciative friend of Listowel Connection. I met him on William Street with his sister, Dolores and his old neighbour and friend, John Hennessey.


We Won Silver

Our Mayor, second from left in front, receiving Listowel’s silver award in Entente Florale 2019

The Garden of Europe, Ogham and the cliff walk in winter 2018

Lesser Redpoll

Photo credit:  Graham Davies


Garden of Europe in Winter 2018

 The trees are bare and, after weeks of relentless rain, the ground underfoot is soft and soggy.

An evergreen tree relieves the uniform greyness.

Schiller is framed by the bare arms of the willow.

This lovely green hedge at the side of the lower entrance is coming along nicely.

The plaque indicating the MacMahon tree needs a facelift.

The McMahon tree is a bay which once grew in Bryan and Kitty MacMahon’s garden in Church Street.

 There was a solitary daffodil in bloom beside the sleeper steps.

The Town Council Depot is a bit unsightly from this path into the Garden.



Listowel silversmith, Eileen Moylan, of Claddagh Design engraving a name in Ogham on a ring

Seven Facts about Ogham

Ogham is the oldest form of writing found in Ireland. It dates from the 4th to the 6th centuries.

Ogham is an alphabet with letters based on the names of trees

All outstanding Ogham inscriptions are proper names.

Ogham was carved in stone.

Typically the name of a chieftain would be engraved in the edge of a stone monument.

Ogham reads vertically from the bottom up.

Ogham is now popular on Irish designed jewellery


Ballybunion Cliff Walk

I took advantage of a short break in the wet weather to take a walk along the cliff at Ballybunion.


Sive at the Gaiety

This is now

That was then.

A modern interpretation of Sive is wowing audiences at the Gaiety.  Back in Feb 1959 Listowel people knew they were witnessing something groundbreaking. I think no one realised quite how enduring this great play by a local lad would be. 

Sive tells a story as old as time. It’s Romeo and Juliet. It’s Westside Story. John B. always had his finger on the local pulse. He was a great observer and recreator of characters. While Mena may be seen as the villain, I can’t help but feel sympathy for her. Look at the hard life she had and the bad match she made. She genuinely saw the advantages of marrying Seán Dota. John B. understood here well.

Dave O’Sullivan has been trawling through the newspapers for review and stories from the fifties. Here are a few of the cuttings he unearthed as the play swept the boards at the All Ireland Drama Festival in Athlone.

I still think that local folk are the best interpreters of the play. As I listen to people these days, I am reminded of nothing but the crowd who claim to have been in the GPO in 1916. The whole of North Kerry, it would appear, was in Walsh’s fully heated ballroom for that first spine chilling production. Almost to a man and woman, they cite the stand out memory as the tinkers. The drum beat of the stick and the thud of the bodhrán added a dramatic dimension they had not seen before. It has been dinned into their folk memory ever since.

Lawlors Cake Shop, An Heirloom with a Listowel Connection and Train Station in 1969

Photo Credit; Pauline Dunlea of Mallow Camera Club.


Listowel Food Fair

The Food Fair will take place from November 9 to 12 2017. Bookmark their page HERE and you will be able to keep up to date with all that’s planned. The organisers are gathering information and photos about food related businesses in Listowel and North Kerry. Below are photos shared by Áine  MacGuinness of Lawlors Cake Shop. These brought back happy memories to me. I remember Sheehys delivering trays of fresh eggs and the creamery bringing buckets of fresh cream. No wonder everything was usually sold out by 4.00p.m. Good old days!


A Precious Present

Patty Faley wrote to me recently all the way from Maine to share a photo of her treasured pendant with a Listowel Connection

Patty is married for 40 years to her husband, John. John wanted to buy her something special to mark their ruby anniversary. He knew she would like nothing better than something from her spiritual home, Listowel

Above is the very special piece made by Eileen Moylan of Claddagh Designs. Eileen worked with Patty on the design and she incorporated Patty and John’s initials into the finished piece. I’m sure Patty will be wearing it when she visits Listowel again in the near future.

The photo is of me with Patty and John on their last visit.



Bastille Day 1992

Marguerite and Seán Wixted

Marguerite sent me these photos which were taken in Panissieres, France on July 14 1992. The Listowel twinning group were on their annual visit to the town.

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén