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: Craftshop na Mear Page 1 of 10

in Cork and Listowel

Lees Solicitors, Church Street in March 2023


St. Patrick’s Day 2023

Stewarding, policing and commentating are important jobs on the day of the parade.

Some of the participants in the 2023 parade

Convent marching band


Card Game in the Pitch and Putt Clubhouse

(Photos by Tom O’Halloran R.I.P.)

Card playing was enjoyed by members of Listowel Pitch and putt club.

In Tom O’Halloran’s photo Denis O’Donovan R.I.P., Con Whelan, Jerry Brick, Brendan Kenny, Bill Hartnett R.I.P. and Peggy Brick.


Reggie’s Guide to Social Climbing

I enjoy Reggie from The Blackrock Road on Facebook so my family knew I’d enjoy him live. We saw him in his one man show in The Everyman in Cork. It was a great laugh, a snob’s guide to “bettering yourself”.


Cork Murals

I was early for the show in The Everyman so I explored a bit nearby. These lovely murals were done during the pandemic.


Upper William Street

Bernard O’Connell once shared this old photo on his Facebook page. Bernard grew up on this street in the house with the TV aerial. The two donkeys on the way home from the creamery are probably waiting for their owners to pick up a few messages in the nearby shops. The railings and wall lead to the railway bridge that used to be over that part of the street.

It is interesting to note that the houses in this historic part of town are still very much the same today as they were back in the 1970s.


Ten Years Ago

The late great Mary Keane officially opened Craftshop na Méar ten years ago. The lovely little craft shop traded on Church Street for seven happy years thanks to Namir Karim.


Planning for Easter?


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

Brent Geese at Sunset in Beale

Ita Hannon


John Kelliher’s Drone Photos


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.


Deja Vu

Noel Roche


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.


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.


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


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.


Scoil Realt na Midine 1960

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

Listowel Arms at Christmas 2019


Another lovely Christmas window


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.


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.


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.


Event Guide

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

Here’s the link

Events in Listowel


+  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.


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


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.

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