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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

Tag: Craftshop na Mear Page 1 of 9

Brent Geese, Craftshop na Méar, Hosiery Explained and a Magpie Drops in for a Take away

Brent Geese at Sunset in Beale

Ita Hannon

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John Kelliher’s Drone Photos


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Craftshop na Méar


Tom Fitzgerald took this photo of the Listowel Writers Week gang at  a craftshop Christmas event;

Mary Cogan,  Una Hayes, Eilish Wren, Bernie Carmody, Seán Lyons, Maureen Connolly and Masiréad Sharry

The late Eileen Hannon with Danny and Noreen O’Connell at the same event.

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Deja Vu


Noel Roche

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Hose and Half Hose


The question of hosiery came up last week when we were discussing Duhallow Knitwear and how it was always referred to in my home town as The Hosiery.

Our friend, Nicholas, did a bit of research on the internet and this is what he found.

I  believe it all started with mens’ wear – (late 13c., “covering of woven cloth or leather for the lower part of the leg, with or without feet,” from late Old English ‘hosa’ “covering for the leg”) and developed into basically everything that covered the leg from the knee to the ankle. 

At first, the hoses on the two legs were separate pieces of material- a solution was necessary to preserve modesty, so a cloth codpiece was invented to cover the gap in material.  this was amended to metal to cope with  a certain vulnerability to injury. In the 400s,  following a widespread outbreak of what we would now call (to spare blushes) a ‘social disease,’ the codpiece was essential to cover the effects and visible signs  of the disease and the manifold ‘medicines’ applied to combat it. I believe Gucci revived the codpiece in modern times as a fashion statement rather, I suppose, than as a ‘nod’ to the more indelicate associations.  And it was an unexpected motif in the Spring 2020 menswear collection by American designer Thom Browne, shown in Paris in 2019. Like everything else connected with male vanity, it is believed that codpieces were much aggrandized and exaggerated in size by some…. Henry the V111 was one who did this, as depicted in Holbien Junior’s portrait. I presume Kings, depending on male heirs to keep the line going, would at least, have to appear capable of doing so (or be prepared to behead his Queens and kick out the Pope).  

There is a contemporary male-worn item commonly used contact sports, and in ballet: the ‘jockstrap.’  


It is time to call a halt on this somewhat  distasteful topic. It may not all be suitable for your Blog. In any case, you have the final editorial call and you may disregard any or all of the above as you wish.


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Piazza Express


During lockdown we are all taking time to observe Nature all around us. Part of that observation for a photographer is also capturing the moment in a snap.


Tom Fitzgerald was fascinated by this magpie who swopped down to take away the remains of his piazza.




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The Confirmation Class of 2020




When the story of the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is told these boys will be saying, “I remember it well. It was the year I was to make my Confirmation but….”



Photo: Scoil Realta na Maidine


Craftshop the Méar, Scoil Realt na Maidine



The River Lee, Cork in January 2020

Photo: Chris Grayson



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Feeling Nostalgic


Today Im back in 2013 in Craftshop na Méar in Church Street. Happy Days!

We used to have this mascot pig in the window. The shop owner, Robert Corridan, brought him all the way from the U.S. where he used to be blue and was the mascot for one of Robert’s favourite restaurants,  The Blue Pig. The late Dan Green, who was a great supporter of the shop, named him Crubeen.

Mary Boyer and Una Hayes were looking after the shop on this day, which, judging by the stock, was near Christmas time. The beautiful crochet work on the top left is the work of Brigitta who now runs Scribes.

Maureen Connolly is sitting by the range working on one of her crochet rugs Beside her in his bawneen is Dinny.

One day as we were having a Christmas event, Alice Taylor dropped in to listen to the songs and stories.

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Scoil Realt na Midine 1960



A Christmas Candle, Craftshop na Méar and Kerry Writers Museum Craft fair


Listowel Arms at Christmas 2019

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Another lovely Christmas window

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Kerry Writers’ Museum Craft Fair

Here are some of the crafters I missed when I posted these last.

These lovely colourful mandalas all all unique. They would make a lovely display grouped together on a wall. Great value too from this really talented lady.

Eimear was at her first craft fair and enjoying the experience.

Mary and her friend, Angela were recycling and up cycling. They had lovely affordable Christmas decorations.


Kerry Writers Museum was just the place to start your Christmas shopping for 2019.


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Looking back and remembering




This photo was taken at the opening of Craftshop na Méar on Church Street.  It shows some of the early crafters, Maureen, Mary, Una, Namir, Mary, Kelly, Mairéad and Mary with Miriam Kiely in whose old home the shop was located. Front left is the late Dan Green who died so tragically soon after.

The Craftshop verdict ; Sad its over but glad it happened.

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A Candle Story from the Schools’ Folklore Collection

Long ago an old woman who lived in a thatched house before going to bed on Christmas night took her candles, quenched them and put them into a drawer in the table for fear that during the night the house might go on fire. She got out of bed early next morning to light the candles again. On opening the drawer to her surprise she found the candles lighting at both ends. She took it as a lesson that the Christmas candles would not burn anything.

Collector, Teresa Fitzmaurice- Address Beal Middle, Co. Kerry
Informant- Mrs H. Fitzmaurice, Age 42 Address, Beal Middle, Co. Kerry.
Location: Ballybunnion, Co. Kerry- Teacher: An tSr. Aodán.

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Event Guide


If you want to know what’s on in Listowel over the holidays, Listowel.ie has a great new page detailing everything that ‘s on.

Here’s the link

Events in Listowel

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+  R.I.P. Martin Hickey  +



I took this photograph on Church Street in 2013. Fred Chute took time out from his painting to chat to his old friend, Martin Hickey.

Sad to say that Listowel has lost both of these old stock in 2019.

Martin has been absent from our streets for a while now and you’d miss him. He was a great servant to his beloved Listowel Celtic and they appreciated their “boss”, installing him in the well deserved office of president.

May the sod rest lightly on Martin’s gentle soul.

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Christmas is a Time for Friends



I met Cathuy Mawe and Eithne Galvin in The Listowel Arms on Saturday Dec. 14 2019.

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

Bog Cotton on Stack’s Mountain

Photo: Máire Logue

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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.

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Convent Cross, June 12 2018


Convent Street.

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A John Hannon Photograph



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

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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.

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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!

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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.

Craftshop na Méar, Fast Fashion and recycling and Fr. Gerry Roche R.I.P.

Photo: Pat OMeara, Mallow Camera Club

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Memories of Craftshop na Méar

This photograph was taken at our Cois Tine event at Christmas 2013

Alice Taylor happened to be in town that day and she dropped in.

The canon blessed the venture. Here he is greeting his good friend, Anne Moloney.

In the early days, craft classes were a great success.

Some of the lovely local crafts which were sold in Craftshop na Méar

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No One Wants your Used Clothes anymore


This headline in an online article by a man called Adam Mintner caught my attention. Because I am a great fan of pre loved clothes and a firm believer in recycling, I read on and my eyes were opened for me.

You buy clothes. You wear them. You give them to the charity shop or pass them on to a friend. But at the end of the cycle when they are too tatty to be of use to anyone, what then?

A global network of traders collect all the useless garments and recycle them in poor countries either to be worn again or turned into stuffing or into a new material to be used again in cheap clothing.

Panipat in India is the centre of the industry that recycles clothes into yarn. There are 200 business in Panipat devoted to recycling clothes!!!!

They make a cloth known as shoddy. The cloth is made from low quality yarn recycled from woolen garments.

In the year 2000 Panipat’s shoddy factories made 100,000 blankets a day, 90% of the relief blanket market.

But things have changed since then. Now Chinese factories can produce new polar fleece blankets more cheaply than recycled ones. These Chinese factories are locating in Panipat and replacing the recycled shoddy with a new cheap material.

Here’s a shocking statistic; Between 2000 and 2015 global clothing production doubled.

Thanks to the new phenomenon of “Fast Fashion” the tide of second hand clothes is growing as the market to reuse them declines.

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On the very same day as I read this article online I read in the newspaper that the chain, Dealz is introducing a clothing range. Most of the garments will cost under €5 and there will be 100s of product lines.

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Fr. Gerry Roche of Athea R.I.P.

While I was in Athea last week inspecting the damage done to the mural I strolled up to their lovely church.

On the left of the door is a memorial to a local hero. The whole story is carved in stone,  in this lovely tribute.


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