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: Comics

The Well, Coburg St. Cork, Beano and Storied Kerry

Main Street, Listowel


Water fromThe Well

The following extract is taken from Jim Costelloe’s great rural memoir of Asdee in the 1940’s and ’50s

In the days before group water schemes were introduced to rural areas, domestic water was sourced from wells and pumps. If the water supply lasted through the summer and into October it was the sign of a good spring. I well remember trips to the local well with a white enamel bucket and trying to move the green moss on the surface of the well water so that it would not get into the bucket and make the water in the pure white bucket appear dirty.

Getting clear water into the bucket was a skilful job, between trying to avoid the green moss on the surface and the “dirt” at the bottom of the well. How wonderfully cool and refreshing a mug of water was straight from the well. There was always a mug beside the well and we often drank from it during those warm summers that we seemed to get long ago.


Random Item

From Random Cork Stuff on Twitter

Incredible snap of Coburg St, Cork, with Shandon in the background, from 1905. (found by Joe Healy)
Random fact: Coburg was the old family name of the British royal family before they changed it to Windsor to make it sound less German.


When I Made a Little Girl’s day

Yesterday I told you about my child minding on polling day in Ballincollig and the find we made in the charity shop.

These pictures were taken when we got home with our haul.

Oh to be nine again!


Storied Kerry Meitheal Saturday October 27 2018

This man is Professor Joseph Sobol, professor of storytelling at the University of South Wales and, as far as we know, the only professor of storytelling . He was reluctant to claim that distinction as he sees everyone as a storyteller. He told us about story tellers who have influenced him and he told us how the story is centralised in all our lives.

At the seminar we were divided into eight districts to discuss where we go from here.

Mary Kennelly was the board member of Storied Kerry in charge of our North Kerry breakout group.

Here we are, ready to discuss the North Kerry story. We got a bit bogged down in the story of decline, pub, shop and post office closures, rural decline and rural isolation. We touched on the rambling house and festivals as a way of keeping the story alive. We decided on tourism as the most likely industry to keep our story going. we decided to meet again and to spread the word.

A Braddy Cow, Local Historians, old Santa letters and rare book finds in a charity shop.

 Church Street, Listowel


The Braddy Cow

( The word braddy comes from the Irish bradach, a bó bradach was the thieving cow who was forever breaking into the neighbours pastures)

The following extract is taken from Jim Costelloe’s great rural memoir of Asdee in the 1940’s and ’50s

Every herd of cows- although I doubt if the few short horn cows we had could be called a bawn- had a leader. When given the task of minding the cows she had to be supervised at all times. After all she was the inquisitive one and led the others around the boundary ditches when they were first let in to the aftergrass. While most of the cows were content to feed on the new grass which was a feast in comparison to the bare grazing fields, the braddy cow chose to roam around the field and, of course, she had to inspect the tilled area. The important part of minding the cows was to prevent any of them from getting a taste of the garden. Once the cows got the first taste of the growing turnips or cabbage at all, the job was twice as hard. The forbidden fruit was all that was on their minds after tasting the garden produce and the aftergrass, while welcome, was only to be eaten when the animals were prevented from going into the garden.


My Fellow Local Historians

I met Charlie Nolan and Jer. Kennelly in The Square. Charlie is the greatest supporter of Listowel Connection bar none and without Jer. I wouldn’t have half the great stories from the papers or photographs. It is always a pleasure to meet these two gentlemen. We are ploughing the same furrow, preserving the stories, the sights and the memories. We are  keepers of the flame.


A Listowel Supplement to The Kerryman in 1994

A blog supporter found this great old paper and he gave it to me to share. I’m sure these girls will be thrilled to see their innocent letters to Santa reproduced here. School off for two months, Helen!


On Being a Nana

I enjoy a privilege not granted to everyone. I have lived long enough to get to know my grandchildren.

These are three of my five grandchildren. I got to spend a day with them recently when they had a day off as their school was being used as a polling station for the presidential election.  Here we are on Station Road, Ballincollig on our way to the shops.

Then this happened. We hit the Balance charity shop in Ballincollig on the day that some Beano lover had donated his old stash of comic albums. Róisín loves nothing better than a vintage comic. She literally danced and leapt around the shop when I bought the lot. This has to be one of my best days as a Nana.


In Lixnaw, the cradle of Kerry hurling, they are celebrating

Photo from Twitter

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