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: Convent Cross Page 1 of 3

Convent Cross, 1916 Commemorative Manhole Cover, Kennedy Home, Holy Wells and Buying a Duck

 Calvary at Convent Cross


Manhole Cover

Because Listowel was undergoing road repairs in 2016 when these special commemorative manhole covers were commissioned we have a few of these at locations around the town. This one is on Upper Church Street.


Kennedy Home Then And Now


Holy Wells on the Move

( from Dúchas school folklore collection)

Local Place Names
Collector Jeremiah Clancy- Age 11-Informant, Patrick Ahern, Age 70, Occupation, labourer
In a farm in Gortdromagowna owned by Thomas OConnor there stands a well called St. Mary’s well. The field is known as the Blessed Well Field. People from this parish and the surroundings go there to pay their rounds in May.

The Blessed Well
Collector Annie Heffernan, Tarmon West.
There is a blessed well in Mr. John Buckley’s field. It is St. Senan’s Well. There is a story connected with this well. First it was situated in Kelly’s land and now it is relocated to its present loacation.

It is said that the servant of the house took water from this well to wash clothes and next morning it had disappeared.

Many people go to the blessed well during the year to pay rounds. They go on the Saturday before May, and on the Saturday before St. John’s Day.


Buying a Duck at the April Horsefair

On April 4 2019 on Market Street Listowel I came upon this family taking a great interest in the poultry seller and particularly his ducks. He had  a variety of healthy looking young ducks for sale.

This little man was very adamant that this was the one he wanted. Even though the duck was heavier than he anticipated, he was delighted with his new purchase.


Good Job, Firemen

Photo; John Curtin

Extensive damage was done to this Ballybunion premises on Friday night. Our hard working fire  fighting personnel did a good job and thankfully there was no loss of life.


Women in Media

The full programme has been revealed.

official promotional photo

See what’s in store;

Women in Media 2019

Remembering, an anniversary poem, Convent Cross and Halloween at Kerry Writers’ Museum

Trees in John Paul 2 cemetery


Poem from Richard Moriarty on a wedding anniversary


Just thinking back on yesteryear and how it used to be

When love was new to me and you, and life a mystery

How I’ve cherished all these special years, since we first said “I do”

Just like a dream, or it would seem, with someone as dear as you

I wander back to when first we met, we’d walk down by the strand

We’d kiss each other on the cheek and hold each other’s hand

How we strolled along the boardwalk and gazed out on the sea

Those endless days of happiness, the way ‘twas meant to be

Together all the things we’ve done, and all the things we’ve seen

The little gifts that we have shared and the places we have been

Those simple times like holding hands, when all the world seemed still

Or saying such things as “I love you” and I know I always will

And there were times when I felt down and life seemed all so grey

But you were there to show you cared, with a gentle word to say

And when things went wrong, as they sometimes do, and woe was all about

You’d smile and say

“Don’t worry now, this too we will work out”

All through these years of joy and tears, you’ve been a friend to me

A union blessed, at God’s behest, for all the world to see

And in years to come, on that special day, just like we’ve done before

We’ll hold each other in our arms and say it just once more

You bring me joy this very day as you have for all these years

We’ll kiss each other on the cheek while holding back the tears

Again we’ll stroll down by the strand, we’ll gaze out on the sea

And with love we’ll share some other care,

And another ANNIVERSARY.

Richard G. Moriarty

Richard now lives in San Diego, California but he hails from Lisselton.


At Convent Cross

The postbox is Elizabethan.


Thinking Ahead to Halloween

Dare to enter the Haunted Writers’ House at the Kerry Writers’ Museum, Listowel this Halloween where ghosts & ghouls lurk around every corner. Follow the haunted trail and find the clues hidden within. A thrilling, heart-stopping, fun-filled experience the whole family will enjoy.

Open daily from October 31st to November 2nd from 3 to 6 pm. Tours every half hour.

Suitable for children age 6 to 10 years.


Molly was back

Molly came to Listowel with her forever family for the weekend. She has grown up a bit and matured …a bit.


Positive Ageing

If there is a better depiction of active ageing, I haven’t seen it.

Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh abseiling…….photo from Twitter

Kerry Ancestors, Sheehys of main Street and Altered Images

Bridge Road, July 2018


My old Friends Remembered

There is a lovely little shady corner in Listowel Town Park dedicated to the memory of three great Listowel brothers. I first came to know Martin, Michael and John Sheehy through the internet where I came to know them as men who retained a great love for their native Listowel even though they all had spent more years away from it than in it.

I “met” John first when I started contributing to the Listowel thread of My contributions to that forum were very much an early form of this blog. I used to post photographs and snippets of news and John invariable replied and encouraged me. There was a time when he used to return “home’ every year but that time had passed by the time I knew him so we never met.

John still retained a great grá for his hometown. His time growing up in Main Street and summering in Ballybuinion held very special memories for him. Of course his twin brother Jerry still lives here and once when I posted a photo of Jerry, John emailed me to tell me to urge him to wear his cap because it was getting very cold.

I kept up a correspondence with John right up to his untimely death. He shared many stories and photographs with me over the years and I regarded him as a friend.

The Sheehy brothers were one of those extraordinary Listowel families who raised bands of really intelligent men. Marty was probably the brightest of them. If I recall correctly he achieved a first in Ireland in Leaving Cert Greek (or was it Latin?). He went on to forge a very successful career in medicine and later medical insurance in the U.S. I met him often on his annual trips home. He was very appreciative of what I do and gave me every encouragement to keep going with the news from home.

Michael used to come every year for Listowel Races. He and his family were regulars every day on the racecourse. He told me once that Listowel Connection was one of the highlights of his day.

They have all passed to their eternal reward now. Whenever I am in the park I will sit on their seat now and remember them and say a prayer. I think they’d like that.


Beautiful Paintwork at Altered Images

I was delighted last week to spot Fred Chute back painting again. This beautiful painting of the plaster work of Pat McAuliffe is done best by a Chute and Fred is the best of them all.

I hear that we are going to see many more of these old facades preserved, repaired and repainted in the future. They will add greatly to the overall beauty of our lovely town.


Strange Tales from the Petty Sessions

Did you read lately how Stormy Daniels was arrested for allowing a person to touch her while she was performing in a skimpy costume?

She broke an Ohio law that says that nude employees cannot touch or be touched by patrons other than family members while on the premise of a “sexually-oriented” establishment where they appear on regular basis.

The charges were later dropped.

Believe it or not our ancestors were very quick to take to the law to sort out their disputes and Kay Caball found some very interesting cases when she read through some of the transcripts of the Petty Sessions courts.

Nothing as ludicrous as the Ohio law but some interesting cases nonetheless and you can read about them in Kay’s very interesting Kerry Ancestors’ blogpost:

“Did your Kerry Ancestor pawn a coat, own a wandering pig, or ‘commit a breach of the Sabbath’?  While Genealogy in its purest form is defined in the English Dictionary as ‘a line of descent of a person or family from earliest known ancestor’, my training in Family History and Genealogy goes much further.  We don’t just concentrate on the dry details of date of birth, marriage and death without trying to find out how the person lived, in what circumstances, what was going on in their lives around their Kerry location at the time they lived and/or emigrated.   And lots more – if we can get a flavour of their personality, all the better.

One way of doing this is checking the Petty Session Registers.

The Petty Sessions handled the bulk of lesser legal cases, both criminal and civil. They were presided over by Justices of the Peace, who were unpaid and often without any formal legal training. The position did not have a wage, so the role was usually taken by those with their own income – in practice usually prominent landowners or gentlemen. Justice was pronounced summarily at these courts, in other words, without a jury.”

This is just a flavour. Read the full post here;   

Kerry Genealogy in The Courts


Molly at Convent Cross

One of the advantages of having a dog is that it forces you to get out and walk. While Molly is with me for her Kerry holiday she obligingly poses for me at local landmarks. Here she is on the seat beside one of the oldest postboxes in town.

A Fun Fact about a postbox

For three weeks in 1979 Ballymacra, Co Antrim had the world’s most inconvenient post box.

In March 1979 workmen replaced the telegraph pole to which the pillar box was affixed. The workmen did not have the keys needed to release the clips that held the box in place so they raised the box over the top of the old pole and slipped it down the new one. 

The new pole was thicker than the old one and the box came to rest 9 feet above the ground. It remained there for 3 weeks and in that time people using the post box accessed it by stepladder.

Source: Foster’s Irish Oddities by Allen Foster

Craftshop na Méar, Convent Cross, The Irish Nillsons and a Stunning Ballybunion Sunset

Bog Cotton on Stack’s Mountain

Photo: Máire Logue


Craftshop na Méar is No More

This premises is soon to be a high end barbers’

Does it say something about us as a society that we are not prepared to spend our money on hand craft?  We will spend it willy nilly on titivating ourselves.


Convent Cross, June 12 2018

Convent Street.


A John Hannon Photograph

Brother and sister, Marie and Seamus Buckley of Upper William Street


The Swedish Connection

You may have seen this handsome couple around Listowel or in St. John’s and wondered why they love Listowel so much and keep returning.

That love goes back a long way. Here is the story as told by Bryan MacMahon of Ballyheigue.

Mike Nillson loves North Kerry and Irish history and literature so much that every year his family  sponsor a prize at Listowel Writers Week. The prize is awarded to the best work of Irish local heritage.


Thank God for the Weather and the Sunsets

This stunning photograph was taken by Ita Hannon from The Nuns’ Beach, Ballybunion on June 22 2018. Heaven’s Reflex!


Love’s Last Gift:  Remembrance

Photo by John Stack on Jim Cogan’s last birthday, two months before his death.

He is never far from my thoughts in the last five long short years.

Convent Cross, Kerry lorries in the seventies and Christmas cards

Convent Cross in January 2017

This is on the wall beside the cross near the secondary school. It looks like some sort of hatch. Its concrete.

Ballybunion Road at Convent Cross

 The path to town


Happy Days

To counteract the sad photos of the convent, Vincent Carmody sent me these two photos taken on the convent grounds after his daughter Norma’s wedding to Mark Boyle from Co. Waterford. The picture shows the Carmody and Boyle families at the main door to Presentation Convent, Listowel in 1998. Norma and Mark were married in the convent chapel while the parish church was under repair.


Postbox at Convent Cross

This Christmas there were less Christmas cards posted then ever before. Are we witnessing the end of an era? 

Snail mail is far too slow for the millennial generation. But surely the custom of connecting with people at Christmastime is too precious to lose. Ideally it is a time for visiting and partying. The next best thing to a personal encounter is a greeting card, carefully chosen and written, bringing good wishes from afar.

Christmas card buying, writing and sending is a custom passed on to us from our parents. Carrying on this tradition connects us to our forefathers and keeps happy memories alive.


From The Kerryman archive


Big Plans for Áras Mhuire

Áras Mhuire are fund raising and they’re doing it in style. All the information is on the

Aras Mhuire

The story is that they have acquired valuable jerseys to auction to raise funds for their vital services.

Dublin jersey signed by the All Ireland winning team

All Blacks jersey

Ireland rugby jersey signed by all of the Irish team who defeated the All Blacks in Chicago in 2016

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