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

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“Commemorate me where there is Water….”

Millenium Arch in April 2023


Good Friday Walk for the Hospice

Good Friday in Listowel is always a day for sponsored walking in aid of the hospice. Participants assembled at St. Patrick’s Hall on April 7 2023.

There were bicycles, dogs, prams, fast walkers, slow walkers and every pace in between. Many were remembering a lively presence on other year’s walks. Some were remembering loved one’s lost since the last walk and there were walkers who are living with cancer, and many whose cancer journey is thankfully behind them.

Back at base, a party was being prepared for the returning walkers.

On Charles Street I caught up with a few who started late.

They kindly posed for me at the Gaelscoil gate.


Fred’s Seat

Fred Chute R.I.P. loved the river Feale. I took this photo of Fred with his dog as he walked in one of his favourite places.

This is the seat his family and friends have dedicated to his memory just a little further along that same road.

Fred was my neighbour and friend and a huge supporter of everything I did here and in print. Listowel’s streets are the poorer for his passing.

May he rest in peace.


Calling all Quizzers


Spring Horse Fair

On Thursday April 6 2023 we had a fair on Market Street, Listowel. There were a few horses to justify the name but, in fact, there were as many goats and dogs as horses. I saw no farmyard poultry but there was lots of tack, saddles and horsey knick knacks.

I won’t mention the horrendous traffic disruption with road closures still ongoing as work continues on the bypass.


Par 3 at Augusta Masters 2023

Doting dad, Rory McElroy, watches as his daughter, Poppy, gives Ivy Lowry a hug during the family Par 3 event before the Masters 2023.

Things went downhill from there. The Par 3 family day may hold Rory’s best memories of The Master 2023.

Photo shared on Facebook.


A Fact

In 1555, Ivan the Terrible had St. Basil’s Cathedral constructed in Moscow. He was thrilled with the splendid result. He ordered that the two architects responsible be blinded so that they never build anything so beautiful again. He wasn’t called terrible for nothing.


North Kerry, Clounmacon boots, Eamon Kelly and Alison Spittle at the Young adult Bookfest 2018

St. John’s, Bryan MacMahon statue and Seanchaí

Entrance to Kerry Writers’Museum


Visiting North Kerry

Patty Faley took these photos on her recent holiday.

The visitors  were disappointed to find Carrigafoyle Castle closed.

Patty took this on the way to Lislaughtin.


Clounmacon and Boot wearing

From the schools folklore collection in Dúchas

“Some of people used not wear boots until they were eighteen or nineteen years long ago.”

Some of people used not wear boots until they were eighteen or nineteen years long ago. They used to work in the fields and in the dikes and the frost cracking under their feet. Jack Mahoney used never wear boots and he could walk on any thing and he would not feel it. he used to walk on bushes and on briars and he would not feel it.

Most of the children go barefoot in the summer but they put them on in the winter. They throw the water they use for washing wash their feet if they did not throw out the water after washing their feet they should get up in the middle of the night and throw it out.

Some people used to wear clogs locally. They used to wear them in the winter but they are not worn now at all.

There was a tannery in Listowel about three miles form here. The National Bank is now built where it stood. About fifty or sixty years ago brogues used be worn. They were made of cheap leather and stitched. In Listowel up near the top of church Street lived a man named Johnny the Cottoners or Johnny O’ Connor. He used make brogues and sell them at the big fair in Listowel and Abbeyfeale. In the same street lived two men named Mick 

the Nailer and Jacky the Nailer. They used make the heavy nails that were driven into the soles of the shoes.

Most shoemakers at that time used cut out the uppers themselves and sew them and the boots used hold a long time.

Collector- Martin Kennelly, Address  Dromin, Co. Kerry

Informant  John Shanahan- Age   69- Address,  Dromin, Co. Kerry


More Local Doors


A Seanchaí remembered at The Seanchaí

I took the two photos below at The Seanchí, Kerry Writers’ Museum. I grew up listening to Eamon Kelly on the radio. I was a child in pre TV times when people sat down and paid attention to the radio. My mother loved a good story and Eamon Kelly was far and away her favourite storyteller.

BryanMacMahon, John B. Keane and Eamon Kelly

Passing on the stories.


Young Adult Bookfest 2018

On November 15 2018 over 800 North Kerry and West Limerick second level students gathered  in Listowel Community Centre for a great day of entertainment and education, organised by Listowel Writers’ Week.

Among the inspiring speakers was Edaein O’Connell.

Eilish and Máire met Alison Spittle at the centre.

Alison was a photographer’s dream, willingly posing for all my snaps, with Kay Halpin, Catherine Moylan, Seán Lyons and Joanne O’Riordan.


1938 Ireland

This story, which I found shared on Twitter, falls into the category of truth stranger than fiction.

July 2017 Horse Fair and a taste of Home Ec. in the 1950s

Chick, Chick, Chick, Chick, Chicken

Vincent Higgins of Mallow Camera Club took this great photo.


Clounmacon Man in Tralee

 A roving photographer met Mr. Buckley in Tralee. He is 82 , was born in Clounmacon and now lives in Milltown.


Girl’s Education in 1950

This is an actual page from a 1950s Home Ec book. Lisa Carmody found it and posted it on Facebook. In case its too small for you to read here are a few gems;

Welcome your husband home with a warm meal.

Be rested, made up and with a ribbon in your hair when he comes home tired from work.

Tidy away all signs of family life and dust the place. It will give you a lift.

Wash and tidy up the children and plaster a smile on your gob.

Bring his drink and his slippers to his favourite chair for him.

Listen to him and don’t complain.

(Words fail me!)


Horse Fair July 6 2017

There were all forms of farmyard fowl on sale. This man told me that demand was very brisk for geese. One goose egg would make an omelette he told myself and Sheila.

 This young man was well set up to entertain the crowd.

The weather was clement, the atmosphere good natured  and there was lots of interest in the goods for sale. Long may this age old tradition continue.

Knock in 1885, the parade in 2017, Halo reopens and Clounmacon in the Listowel parade in the seventies

Dancing With the Stars;  Kerry is behind its favourite to win

A Kerry friend’s phone. Need I say more?

She’ll do it all over again on Sunday night.

When he was better known as a footballer, Aidan O’Mahoney brought the Sam Maguire to Pres. Listowel. Here he is with the late Sr. Nuala.

Photo: Breda Ferris


Knock, Co. Mayo 1885

(Photo shared by Billy Austin on Facebook)

The Story of Knock began on the 21st August, 1879 when, at approximately 8 o’clock in the evening, fifteen people from the village of Knock in Co. Mayo, witnessed an Apparition of Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, a Lamb and cross on an altar at the gable wall of the Parish Church.The witnesses watched the Apparition in the pouring rain for two hours, reciting the Rosary. Although they themselves were saturated not a single drop of rain fell on the gable or vision. There were fifteen official witnesses to the Apparition, most of whom were from the village of Knock and surrounding areas and ranged in age from just 5 years old to 74 years old. Each of the witnesses gave testimonies to a Commission of  Enquiry in October 1879. The findings of the Commission were that the testimonies were both trustworthy and satisfactory.


 More Photos from a very wet Listowel on St. Patrick’s Day 2017

I think these children were from Killocrim. Apologies if I’m wrong.


New Trees at St. John’s


Halo is Back on Church St.

 Elaine has taken a leap of faith and reopened her very popular Halo Health and Gift Shop across the road from her old location on Church St.


A Treasure unearthed by Liam O’Hainnín


St. Patrick’s Day in the 1970s

Tony Guerin shared some great old photos (mostly Clounmacon ).


Mothering Sunday

Mothers’ Day is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.  This year, 2017 that is next Sunday, March 26th.

The tradition began in England over 400 years ago when, once a year people visited the church in the parish where their mother was born. While visiting the church they also visited their mothers. This visit was special all that time ago because there were no cars and no public transport and making any journey was a big undertaking. This day became known as Mothering Sunday.

The USA and other parts of the world celebrate it on the second Sunday in May.

Halloween, Clounmacon bard, and Craftshop na Méar

Showing them how it’s done

Listowel Tidy Towns welomed Clonakilty Tidy Towns last week. They were in town to admire the work of the 2015 winners. Any rivalry between Ireland’s Tidy Towns is of a very gentle kind. Everyone shares the aim of making all of Ireland’s towns places of beauty for citizens and visitors alike.

The local committee were only delighted to display Listowel in all its glory to their Cork guests.



It’s pumpkin time again.

The folks at Xistance Youth Café are getting in the mood.


Famed in Song and Story

Clounmacon is a place that has produced bards and writers in numbers out of all proportion to its size. Because of this, poems in praise of this small place abound in local lore. One of these is the one below by the late Jerry Histon

( Thanks to Noreen O’Connell)


Craftshop na Méar

With Christmas just around the corner , it’s time to turn our thoughts to present buying. Why don’t we adopt the late Mary John B.s motto; “Support your local town or soon you’ll have no town to support.”

What better place to start your search for that unusual present than Crfatshop na Méar on Church Street where new products are arriving all the time. Below is a sample of some of the goods available there.


Flanagan’s in Church Street is in Halloween colors all year round.

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