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: Corpus Christi 2013

Corpus Christi Procession, May 2013 and JFK visit

Here are a few more photos of local people at the Corpus Christi procession in May 2013.

This photo shows the procession at the end of Library Road. The other photos I took from the gate of Gaelscoil Lios Tuathail, at Denis Kelly’s Corner.


Only in Kerry

Sign on Listowel Tralee road



Because of The Obama family visit and the Kennedy clan gathering in Wexford JFK’s visit has been much in the news lately.

Ah! I remember it well.


Pat Healy is in Royal Ascot

McKenna’s Social, Corpus Christi and a Moloney family from Duagh

 McKenna’s Social from Junior Griffin  (continued)

At the request of the staff members I organised another trip in 1963, this time to Galway taking in Salthill also. The new Galway Cathedral was almost completed at that time and we spent a long time walking through and admiring this beautiful church.

My most abiding memory of that day was our stop in Ennis.

Through our then local travel agent, the late Michael Kennelly  I had organised lunch at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis and on arriving we all trooped in.There was many non staff members on this tour  also and I finished up at a table with just Tim Shanahan and myself. Many will remember Tim from the paint department and from the glass cutting at McKenna’s.

We were all viewing our menus when the swing doors from the kitchen area were literally burst open and in a John Wayne like swagger, what I would call a portly, pompous gentleman wearing a dickie bow  confronted us.

Standing in the middle of the room and clapping his hands he exclaimed, “Attention please, who is in charge here ?”.  I’m afraid the eyes of my colleagues turned to me and like a frightened school-boy and putting up my hand I retorted, “I am sir”. Turning to the waiter and clicking his fingers and then pointing towards me , “Waiter,” he said, “that gentleman  is free”

Yes, I did get my free lunch but it proved to be a costly one  for many years to follow, as when any discussion of food came up at shop level Tim Shanahan would always remark;  “Ah, you did me out of a meal. If you had said that I organized that trip with you, I would have got a free meal that day above in Ennis as well.”

Just a few memories of days gone by, as said previously our staff social went from strength to strength for many years after, even getting tickets for McKenna’s social at times were harder to come by than a ticket for a  Kerry/Dublin All Ireland final. 

Thank you Junior for those lovely memories


Some more photos of people walking in the Corpus Christi procession 2013


Fr Denis Moloney with  his sister and his father, John Moloney of Islandanny, Duagh.



Máire MacMahon’s picture is quite a talking point. Maura Brennan of Colbert Street and now New York contacted Margaret Dillon to give us 2 extra names.

Back Row second from left is Sheila Brosnan of Woodford.

Second from right is Noreen O’Connor McAleer of Ballygologue and now Chicago 

McKenna’s social, Corpus Christi procession 2013

I posted this photo a while back with names supplied by Jer Kennelly. The photo was much commented on  and a few of the names were corrected. I asked Junior Griffin to take a look. He did better than that. He gave me the names and the back story so here you have it, in Junior’s own words.


this on Thurs. afternoon but God only knows when I will complete it.

re the list for photo that Jer sent you, he has a lot of the names correct but not
all. I list as follows;

left to right; Angela O’Flaherty (maiden name Hayes), A.N.Other but definitely
not Kathleen Clifford, Maureen O’ Connor (Buckley), Kathleen O’Regan.

row, standing; Eileen O’Mahony (O’Connor), Kathleen O’Brien (Murphy), Mikey
O’Connor, Pat Walsh, Junior Griffin, Sean Lynch, Dick Kiely, Willie Barrett,Tim
Shanahan, John O’Mahoney,Tom O’Connell (a brother of Ned’s who worked in
McKenna’s), Michael Crowley, Margaret Crowley(Stack). Note; behind the
Crowley’s are three faces. I would be almost certain that the face looking over
Ml. Crowley’s right shoulder is Kathy O’Connor, Mikey’s wife; other 2

row; Michael O’Neill, Brendan Daly, Kathleen Daly, Tom O’Connor, Mickey
O’Mahoney, John Daly

a small follow up on our first social held in the Hotel on January 8th, 1962. 

It all originated from a Ring of Kerry staff  tour that I was asked to
organise on the last weekend of August. With 10 shillings left over and a chat
with Michael O’Neill down in Waterville on the day of our trip the social seed
was planted.

don’t remember who we booked the hotel with but I remember well on New Years Day, which was one week before the social date, the four of our committee,
Michael O’Neill , Brendan Daly, Dick Kiely and myself being summoned to the
Square by John Joe Kenny, the butcher , where the Veterinary Centre is
now based . I can’t place whether we were working then on new Year’s Day
or not but being a Monday it would have been a half day.

his door John Joe met us. “Lads,” he said, “ye will have to call
off that do next week. I won’t be able to supply the turkeys. Put it off for a
week.” We were literally stuck to the ground and there was no chatting
back with John Joe. 

remember well the four of us standing on a snow clad Square and wondering what
in the name of God would we do, with tickets printed and at that stage many
sold. We decided to go to the Hotel to see could we change the date.

met the manageress who was a Miss Olivia Featherston,  a native of County
Roscommon and who, not too long after that, was to marry Tommy Murphy of
William Street.  

asked her was it possible to change our social date for a week. She queried why
and we told her that Mr. Kenny could not supply the turkeys. She looked at us
and exclaimed, “you are not serious”.

said it was I engaged the fowl from Mr Kenny and he had no right what so ever
to consult ye.  If Mr Kenny cannot supply me with what I want I have
many other contacts who would be only too delighted to supply my order.

make my story short, our social went ahead as booked on Jan. 8th, and John
Joe did supply the turkeys. Miss Featherston certainly put John Joe in his

year, of course, the hotel was called “The White Horse Inn” and was
owned by renowned singer Josef Locke. The name of the hotel called after
one of his great numbers.

Locke was on tour at that time but to our luck he returned the evening of our
social and went on stage during the night for us and sang  several of his
well known numbers including Blaze Away, Hear my Song, Goodbye and  The
Drinking Song amongst others. It really made our night for us and indeed it was
the talk of the town for a long time afterwards that Josef Locke sang at
McKenna’s social.

me personally it was a wonderful thrill as I have always been a great fan of
Josef Locke.

on in his career it was the operatic scene that Locke had in his mind.

the death of Enrico Caruso in the 1920’s two of the world’s most acclaimed
tenor’s of that era were Italy’s Beniamino Gigli and our own John

the 1940’s Gigli was in concert in Covent Garden, London and his under study was
none other than Josef Locke, such was the esteem that Locke was held in around
 that time.

advice from John McCormack, however, who felt that Locke’s voice was more
suited to the lighter repertoire rather than the operatic career he had in
mind, McCormack urged Locke to find an agent, thus he found the noted
impresario, Jack Hylton, who booked him but could not fit his full name on the
bill, thus Joseph McLaughlin became Josef Locke, and the rest, they say, is

year, 1962, saw the Arms Hotel change hands and I can’t exactly remember the
reason but our second social was held in Tralee, the hotel was unavailable for
a period of time but we did return to the renamed  Arms Hotel for many
years to come. 

yes, many happy days (and nights).



( to be continued tomorrow)


Presidential candidates and their spouses 1990


Some photos I took at the Corpus Christi procession this year.


Warning: the following is in French. It is an interview with my 7 year old grandson who, last week, was “expat of the week ” among French children in Cork.  Indulge a proud Nana or simply ignore.

haut de ses 7 ans, Seán est un petit garçon qui apprécie les plaisirs de la
vie. Il aime beaucoup faire la fête et rigoler. Même s’il prend beaucoup de
plaisir à vivre en Irlande, son pays natal, c’est en France qu’il s’amuse le
plus. Il attend donc les grandes vacances avec impatience

L’année scolaire
en Irlande

 Né en Irlande,
Seán a une maman française et un papa irlandais. Il vit à Cork depuis
qu’il est né. C’est aussi là qu’il va à l’école. Aujourd’hui, c’était :
“la Journée sur l’Inde”, car il y a une petite fille d’origine
indienne dans sa classe. Il a découvert des danses indiennes, mais aussi des
chansons et de la nourriture de l’Inde. “C’était bien,“dit-il
en souriant. D’ailleurs, Seán apprécie l’école. Il trouve les maths assez
facile, par contre il pense que la langue irlandaise est fort compliquée car
les mots sont très différents.” Il est très content de savoir
parler deux langues, comme ça tu peux parler avec beaucoup plus de

Seán aime s’amuser et bouger 
Quand il rentre de
l’école, il y a une nounou qui s’occupe de lui et de son frère jusqu’à ce que
sa maman rentre du travail. Seán est un garçon bien actif. Après les devoirs,
il fait beaucoup de sport. Il va jouer au football et prend des cours de tennis.
Il aime aussi beaucoup nager. Même son anniversaire, il le fête dans un lieu où
l’on bouge et s’amuse. Il se souvient que sa maman les a emmené à Chuckies. Il
pouvait faire du rodéo sur un “bull et si tu tombes, tu perds
ton tour
.” Il y a là plein de jeux pour se distraire et s’amuser.

vacances en France, c’est la fête 

Seán attend les vacances avec
beaucoup d’impatience. Avec son frère jumeau et ses parents, ils vont les
passer en France. Rien que d’y penser, c’est déjà la fête. Le voyage est assez long
car ils prennent le bateau entre Cork et la Bretagne, mais qu’importe. Il y a
“beaucoup de gens. On a une cabine, il y a un restaurant, un cinéma et
aussi un spectacle de magie.
” Et puis en France, “on peut se
coucher plus tard. On va à la plage, on joue et il y a les cousins.

Et en plus, “je peux manger des moules et des crevettes.” nous
dit-il ravi. Seán ajoute : “Il y a trop de pluie en Irlande“.
Il n’y a pas assez de plages à son goût. Car son rêve secret, “c’est de
voir beaucoup de plages dans le monde. En Amérique, parce qu’il fait plus chaud

Propos recueillis par Isabelle Barth,


Safe Tractor Driving Skills Course for youths aged between 14-16 years will be held in Listowel Mart on Tuesday June 25,2013 between 10am and 4pm. The Course costs 30 euro or 15 euro if your family is in receipt of social welfare payments or an employment scheme such as CE, RSS, TUS etcetera. For more information or to book a place for your son or daughter please contact North and East Kerry Development reception on 068 23429 before Wednesday June 19.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén