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: Coco Kids

Coco Kids, Kerry Folk Tales, Safe Home Ireland, Aoife Hannon, Milliner and Poor Shorn Molly

1916 Memorial garden and The Dandy Lodge in Listowel’s Town Park in August 2019


One Corner of Town is looking Brighter


I’m loving this book. As well as myths and legends it has lots of true stories in the best traditions of folklore. It has the story of Gortaglanna, of the evacuation of The Blasket Islands, Roger Casement and plenty more. I see that one of the authors is due at The Storytelling and Folklore Festival taking place at The Kerry Writers Museum this weekend. Luke Eastwood will be in Kerry Writers’ Museum tonight, Friday September 6 2019 at 8.00.


Thinking of Coming Home

Safe Home Ireland

Safe Home Ireland is an emigrant support service. We provide advice, information and housing assistance to people who are thinking of returning or moving to Ireland.

I know many Irish emigrants in the UK are worried about where they stand after Brexit. This is a good website to visit even if you intend staying in Britain.


Couture Support

Aoife Hannon has a lovely pop up shop in Galvin’s these days. Here she shoes her support for the footballers.


Poor Molly

Molly has been to the groomers and she got a right basser. I hardly recognised my old friend when I met her in Cork recently


Listowel in Races Prep Mode

Ballybunion Country Market, The Lartigue Museum and Coco Kids

Ballybunion Country Market

I took this photo of a musician in Kilcooley’s Ballybunion at the Saturday morning market recently.

A basket maker was making an selling.

This potter has some absolutely beautiful pots.

I met this family buying hens at the horsefair recently. Today they were selling. I bought some eggs. They were delicious.

There were some beautiful crafts to buy.

There were organic food and cosmetic products.


Artefacts at The Lartigue Museum

You’d never know what you’d see at the Lartigue Museum I was talking here about  a Primus stove only the other day and here is one in The Lartigue Museum.

This comes from Banteer. When the train was leaving the station there was a kind of baton handover like a relay race when responsibility is passed from one person to the next. This was the one used in Banteer.


Listowel Skyline, August 9 2019


Coco Kids has Moved 

An Irish Coffee Afternoon Dublin and Jason’s Ballybunion

St. John’s, Listowel in Autumn 2017


I’m Only a Plasterer

My good friend, Mary Sobieralski gave me a present of her collection of John B. Keane books. I’m enjoying dipping into these literary treasures. Here is a piece of reminiscence of John B.’s about a phenomenon that is now only alive in memory.

It was Writers Week. John B. doesn’t give this essay a date so I’m presuming some time in the 1970’s. In those days Irish Distillers used to host an Irish Coffee Afternoon. “There’s many a steady man rolled home after one.” according to John B.

Anyway on this occasion John. B. was on his way to the reception accompanied by some visiting literary types, “sonorous poets, doughty novelists and peering playwrights.”

John B. takes up the story;

“As I neared the entrance I was saluted by two friends of mine. Neither had any connection with the world of literature. One had once put down a floor for me and it remains as good as the day he put it down. The other was also a member of the building fraternity. I knew from their dispositions that they wished to gain access to the celebrations inside. Certain that the sponsors would have no objection, I invited them in.”

Once inside the friends parted and, many Irish coffees later he met up again with the man who put down the floor. He was enjoying the hospitality, and as “the liquor had lifted all impediments from the flow of free speech” the floorman was now conversing happily with poets and playwrights. John B. joined the company and the conversation fell to matters relating to the writing trade.

 “Then one of the ladies addressed my friend. He had contributed his share to that most convivial of conversations but she felt that he has not declared himself sufficiently with regard to the work in hand. “Pray, what are you writing at the moment?”

Before John B. could explain that the man was a tiler and a plasterer, the floor man replied for himself.

“I’m only a plasterer,” he said.

“I’m only a plasterer,” repeated the poetess, lost in admiration of what she believed was a new and original title.

“It’s autobiographical, of course. I must get a copy when it comes out.”

It’s probably the best title I have come across in years.” said another.

My friend and I decided to keep our counsel. More Irish coffees appeared and from time to time one of the company would repeat the words. “I’m only a plasterer”, and exclaim with longing that they would have loved to have conceived such an intriguing caption. Very often titles sell books and my good friend who was responsible for this one assures me that he has no objection if some aspiring author would like to use it.”


Old Dublin

Bachelors Walk 1938 from Old Photos of Dublin


Ballybunion by Jason O’Doherty

You can see more of Jason’s photos on his Facebook page

Ballybunion Prints Beach


What could the great things be?

Con Colbert of Athea, Taur and when Moyvane won the Con Brosnan Cup

St. John’s Theatre and Arts Centre, Listowel Square, Early Morning


Con Colbert of Athea

Captain Con Colbert was 28 at the time of his execution in 1916. He was born into a republican family on a small farm in Athea. When his mother died, Con moved to Dublin to live with his sister. He is described as being full of fun but very serious about the cause of Ireland’s freedom.

He was in love with Lucy Smith whom he described as “the nicest girl in Dublin”. During the Rising he was involved in the takeover and occupation of Jameson’s Distillery. He was sentenced to death and he was shot by firing squad on May 8 1916. (Source; Simplified History 1916 by J. O’Reilly)

Athea remembers him in a street name, community centre and numerous organisations.

This recently erected bronze bust which was unveiled during a weekend of celebration is a fitting memorial to one of Athea’s most famous sons.


Coco pop up shop

I met the lovely Sharon in  Coco, a shop that has popped up in The Square recently.


Tour Roman Catholic Church

Dotted all over the countryside are beautiful churches which soon will be locked up and unused. Not so Taur, Co Cork. This little place a few miles outside Newmarket has a beautiful church perched on a hillside. Though a small and scattered parish they still have a priest. Will he be their last?

This is the view from the church door.


A Moyvane ballad


By: Cormac O’Leary

thoughts often hover to that day in October 

When footballing history was made

 When the boys from Ardfert thought that
Moyvane they’d best

 But their hopes very quickly did fade. 

In the
town of O’Dorney, we played them 

And the tale is quite easily told,

 For when the great game it was over ‘Twas a
win for the Green and the Gold.


I pledge you Moyvane men and the deeds they have

The gallant Con Brosnan, Tom Stack on Red Rum:

Their memories we’ll cherish those good men and

And here’s to the men Of Nineteen Eighty Two.

2. I’ll start with our goalie, The great-hearted

He cleared balls, from near and afar,

 And great at
full-back was the young Ritchie Stack, 

In football he sure will go far.

On the right was the gritty Noel Sheehan, He
stemmed the on rushing tide,

And sound as the Rock of Gibraltar Mike Mulvihill
held the left side.


3. And fit as a fiddle, Johnnie Stack in the

His fetching was something to see;

Those two gallant triers With dash and with fire, 

Eamonn Fitz and the young Bobby Sheehy.

Sean Walsh had a great game at centre, 

 high in
the air he did soar,

And Hamish was never once beaten,

And two lovely points he did score.


4. Now Thomas and Eamonn on the wings they were

 They played
with great dash and great flair.

Teddy Keane like a beaver Was ever so eager,

And Donal commanded the square. On the forty, sure
Johnny was brilliant,

And shone like the bright Polar Star

 And clever
in every endeavour, Paddy slipped a few over the bar.


5. Our substitutes too, All good men and true,

 Ever ready
to answer the call

To our Chairman and Trainer, Selectors all four,
Great praise to them one and all.

Old timers like us too were happy And our glasses
we quickly filled up

And toasted the young generation, Who brought home
the Con Brosnan Cup.



A Great Month for Music in St. John’s

Be sure to check out the programme of events in St. John’s in October because it has music for all tastes. The great RTE Vanburg Quartet are coming, as is Johnny McEvoy and, if you love Irish music, Cormac Begley of the well known  West Kerry musical family is in concert with special guests on Thursday October 27 2016.

A Friday roundup

This is a mixum gatherum of sequels and updates:

It’s on Monday! O’Quigley’s are celebrating their 100 years in Listowel on the 100th day of 2012.

Sorry! Misinformed! It was on Easter Monday and they had a great time.


Remember Puisín! 

She was the great talking point at Tadhg Horan’s veterinary practice in The Square. 

I am sad to report that she is missing. The last sighting of her is on Tadhg’s cctv at 4.30 on Good Friday when she was at the door of the shop.

Horans are offering a reward of €25 for her safe return. Hopefully someone is looking after her thinking that she is a stray and will return her to her cozy nest in Horan’s window shortly. Everyone is missing her very much.


This is definitely a cause for celebration. Good luck to Jennifer in her brave new venture.


The following are photographs of photographs displayed in Aiden O’Connor’s window.

Savannah MacCarthy and proud family.

Savannah and proud trainer, Dominick Scanlon.

Savannah in action in her international shirt.

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