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: Curraghatoosane

An Emigrant Returns, a Lovely Gift and more from the Open Day at Curraghatoosane

Holocaust Memorial in Listowel’s Garden of Europe


Welcome Home, Maria

Maria Canty Sham made a very enjoyable visit home recently. She reunited with family and friends and I was delighted to meet in the flesh one of the greatest fans and supporters of  Listowel Connection.

I met Maria and her sister, Kathleen shopping with Anne Dillon and while we were talking another cousin joined us.

Cousins, Muireann, Maria, Kathleen and Doreen meeting up for a trip down Memory Lane


Catching up with Friends

Regular Flying Saucer customers, myself, Maureen Hartnett, Joan Kenny and Helen Moylan met up with Sr. Helen Hartnett on Monday. Sr. Helen is visiting her Listowel family from South Africa, where she works.


A Gift from a Gifted Needlewoman

I received this lovely present from Jurga who made it herself using four needles. Isn’t she so talented and she knew just the kind of thing I would love. Thank you.


Visiting the Site of an Old Cottage

Very interested local people at the site of the old O’Connor cottage on the Open Day, July 30 2019


Reroofing in Main Street

Carmody’s Corner, Listowel, Athea, Patrick O’Mahony and Entente Florale in Listowel

The tennis clubhouse looking flowery for the Entente Florale judges.


Carmody’s Corner

These wooden wall plaques are on the Charles Street gable of Carmody’s


Summer Visitors

Bikers at John R.’s


Athea’s Heritage Trail

I enjoyed a lovely sunny afternoon in Athea, discovering its new attractions. These are soon to be shared with the world on Nationwide.

The Fairy Trail has been completely upgraded and decorated with cute little painted stone installations.

The bug hotel even has a few bugs at the door to welcome guests.

I met some lovely local people.

I met these lovely folk at the garden centre pet farm. They had brought food for the donkeys.

Mrs. Duck was there too.


Patrick O’Mahony   Dancer

From the INEC facebook page, Meet the dancers

Meet the Riverdance dancers! PATRICK O’MAHONY

Patrick is a native of Rusheen, Ballylongford, Co Kerry. He began his dance training at age two with Rinceoiri Na Riochta. His first of many titles came in 1993, and he became All-Ireland champion in 1995. Moving to the U.S state of Virginia in 2004, he spent eight years dancing with Irish Thunder in Busch Gardens, Williamsburg. Back in Europe, he toured extensively with Gaelforce and performed in the Breandan De Gallai productions Noctu and the Rite of Spring. Patrick joined Riverdance in 2012, and was a principal dancer in Heartbeat of Home in 2015. Riverdance returns to the INEC Killarney for a limited run from Sept 12-16th. Tickets


Archaelogical site Open Day Today, Tuesday July 30 2019

( Source; Tralee Today)

ARCHAEOLOGISTS working on behalf of Kerry County Council have uncovered a number of archaeological sites on the route of the N69 Listowel Bypass, including burnt mounds (prehistoric cooking sites) and charcoal-production pits at Coolnaleen Lower and the remains of a 19th-Century dwelling at Curraghatoosane.

A team of archaeologists from Archaeological Management Solutions (AMS) employed a variety of techniques to determine the presence of previously unknown archaeological remains along the bypass route.

These included a geophysical survey followed by the excavation of exploratory test trenches and then open-area excavations.

The site at Curraghatoosane is located just off the R553 Ballybunion Road to the west of Listowel Town. Here, the remains of a 19th-century building are clearly visible and comprise wall foundations, cobbled surfaces and the remains of a fireplace.

On Tuesday, 30 July, there will be an open day during which the public are invited to visit this site. Archaeologists from AMS will be on hand to discuss the findings and answer questions. The site will be open to the public between 3pm and 6pm.

Access to the site will be signposted from the Sive Walk. Access will be via the R553 Ballybunion Road. There is no parking available at the site so visitors are encouraged to visit by foot. Appropriate footwear is recommended.

Funding for the project is provided by Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the excavation is carried out in accordance with National Monuments Act Directions issued by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.


Another Jostle Stone

At Church Street

Ladies’ Day and rabbits

Celia Holman Lee, judge

Maria Murphy, the winner

I thought you might like to see some of the diverse styles on show at yesterday’s Ladies’ Day. The weather was horrendous, a huge test of stamina, but many many brave ladies came out in their finery to defy the showers.

This is the great Ruby Walsh on Laganbank in the parade ring. They went on to win.

I have lots more photos which I will share with you all in due course. Now it’s time for tales from times past, long before Ladies’ Day became a feature of The Races.  Money was tight but there was no end to local youngsters resourcefulness and enterprise.

Here is the story in Noreen O’Connell’s words

John was a young lad in the early 50’s and for weeks before the Races he and his gang would search the dykes and ditches for glass bottles and jam crocks. The cache was then washed in the cows’ water trough and transported to town in the asses cart where they were sold for ½ d and 1d per item. A small shop , near Jerome Murphy’s in Charles St bought the glass wares. This money was added to the Races kitty, along with the Blackberry-picking earnings.

 Youngsters picked buckets of blackberries and took them to a designated shop for collection. They were purported to be used for dye but who knows some may have ended  up as succulent blackberry and apple preserve ! 

(Perth Dyers had an agency in town at the time.   M.)

 A few glistening shillings were garnered from looping rabbits and selling these on to a well-known victualler for 1s 6d,  He preferred rabbit meat to his own prime steak. Rabbits were also sold to the greyhound fraternity, for what use John cannot recall !!  Rabbits then were everwhere and regarded as pests which would nibble through a cabbage garden overnight .

The spoils were then divided up and this was their betting  and hurdy-gurdy ride funding.

Back in The Island they reminded one another to keep their eyes glued to the ground for any pennies that might have dropped from the rich punters’ pockets!

Curraghatoosane was  prime cabbage growing land and every small farmer sold cabbage to augment his meagre income. John took an ass load of cabbage to town on Saturday mornings and would travel along Convent St and Market St and O’ Connell’s Ave selling his provisions and encountering bargain- seeking housewives who were well versed in the art of haggling for the best price. 

Cabbage then was 6d a head.

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