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: Cleveland

More from St. Patrick’s Day 2024

Meanwhile in Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland has a vibrant American Irish community. My nephew lives there with his family. He sent these from their parade. It was a very big affair with a magnificent troupe of unicyclists.

Big year for Willie Mullins at Cheltenham

Ceoltóirí na Ríochta

Our young Kerry musicians, singers and dancers in New York for St. Patrick’s Day 2024


By Mattie Lennon.

  MORE than a million people lined the streets of New York’s Fifth Avenue for a colourful St Patrick’s Day parade in 2001. Despite the cold many stayed for hours watching over 150,000 marchers pass by, police, army, firefighters, hundreds of bands and people from every county in Ireland.

   Our green and misty island was well represented. The marchers included the Finglas Concert Band as well as a contingent from Dublin Bus while Garda representatives joined the New York Police Department at the head of the parade.

   I was one of the 100 from Dublin Bus participating.  The late Barney Coleman had put years of work into organising it, ably assisted by Dublin Bus Management. One of our group was Limerick man, Joe Collins, who was the PR man for Dublin Bus for many years, and knew New York City like the back of his hand. No matter what information or help we needed all we had to do was (if I may borrow a phrase) “talk to Joe” .

     We met many who wanted to talk about their Irish roots. One man said he had stood in exactly the same spot for the parade for 50 years. “It’s a great day for the Irish,” he said. His comments reflected the enthusiasm of many New Yorkers, for the parade, even those without Irish connections.

   Among the dignitaries was Mayor Giuliani who was wearing a green woollen scarf over a green turtleneck sweater. He was hugely popular with the inhabitants of the Big Apple some of whom shouted: “We love you baby”.      Members of the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organisation were underwhelmed since they were once again refused permission to take part. They chanted: “We’re Irish, we’re queer, and we’ll be here every year”. Their protest was peaceful unlike the previous year when there were 11 arrests.

On the days on either side the march our group divided into splinter groups. The shopaholics among us seem to spend most of their time in Macys and such establishments.  I was one of a small group who stood on the roof of one of the twin towers, looking down at the small planes going up and down the Hudson. Little did we know the fate that the same building and its twin would suffer six months later. 

   On the Sunday I compiled and presented a one hour radio programme Ceol na  nGael on  WFUV20.7  broadcast from Fordham University. It is the most popular Irish radio program in New York, and according to the feedback my presentation was all right. One of my fellow travellers had told me, “You have the perfect face for radio.” I had prepared most of it before I left home and I brought Dublin Bus driver/ singer Angela Macari who gave a memorable, live,  rendition of Grace.

  Our little group were also in a world-famous submarine. It wasn’t submerged, of course. I’m referring to the nuclear sub,  Growler.

   At the time Growler was  the only nuclear missile submarine available open to the public in the United States. As the information areas about the sub on Pier 86 are spacious, visitors were encouraged to learn and take in as much information as they could in the early parts of the tour before entering the submarine. Once on board, lines can move quickly and the ability to ask questions of the staff is limited, but encouraged. A couple of us there didn’t need and encouragement to ask question. I prefer to think of us as having inquiring minds but unkind people described us as “inquisitive hoors.

   In September 1998, 40,000 people showed up to catch a glimpse of the President of the United States Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary in Limerick. At a public event on 5th September on O’Connell Street, Bill Clinton was granted the Freedom of the City by my old friend, the Mayor of Limerick, Joe Harrington.   As Bill was mounting the platform Joe whispered something in his ear and the world’s media didn’t find out what it was. But on March 18th two and a half years later I made a trans-Atlantic call, did a live on-air phone  interview with Joe and he told me, and the Stateside listeners, what he had whispered to the President. I won’t share it with you but it was a piece of advice which Bill eventually took.

There have been many changes,  both  good and bad, on both sides  of the Atlantic since that memorable day twenty three years ago.

(Maybe Joe will spill the tea exclusively to Listowel Connection.)

A Fact

St. Patrick was never canonised. In fact when he died in A.D. 461 there was no canonisation. That only came in in the 12th century, when an official process for canonisation was introduced by the pope and the curia.

St. Patrick has always been regarded as having saintly status so we give him the title.


Honouring our Dead

In Listowel Garden Centre Christmas shop 2023


Ethel Corduff, Author


Listowel Food Fair Food Trail 2023

Look at me, delighted with myself with celebrity chef, John Relihan on Listowel Food Fair’s great food trail through Listowel on Saturday November 11 2023.

This is not a stock photo. I took it with my phone in John R.’s on Saturday November 11 2023. And we got to eat the food!

I have had a busy week, book launches in Kanturk and Listowel, new café opening, the 2023 food trail and more . Look out for a few photos from my travels in the coming days.

Honouring our Dead

Below is the list of St. Mary’s parishioners who have died since last November. The list is displayed in our church.

This year we have a new way of remembering. We have a special November candelabra

I have a nephew who lives in the US. Here is how they celebrate The Day of the Dead in Cleveland. Thank you Philip for the pictures.


When you have a Party for the lads to celebrate a great year

Mick O’Callaghan got this artefact from a friend of a friend. No, drink wasn’t cheap in 1971. Wages were low. A principal teacher earned £770 per annum, a female principal earned £100 less.

So what were the brave boys in Leixlip United celebrating?

Dave O’Sullivan did the research for us.

Just cause for a knees up I’d say.


A Fact

If it were removed from the body, the small intestine would stretch to 22 feet.


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