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: dancing

Art and Books

Back Lane behind Church Street in Summer 2023


Dancing Down the Years

Photo and text from Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan


The dance tradition of North Kerry has extended its influence far beyond its borders, to different places around Ireland, across Europe, and over the Atlantic to America.

Dance has been part of the culture in this region for centuries, passed down through the generations by the Dance Masters, like O’Ceirín in the 1700’s to Mooreen, Ned Batt Walsh, and to the great Geramiah Molyneaux, affectionally known as Munnix, who passed on the dance, to the young girls and boys, of the area.

The Dance masters travelled, often on foot, from town to town, village to village, 

such was their love of, and desire to pass on their art to the younger generation.

Munnix pupils like Jack Lyons, Jerry Nolan, Sheila Bowler, Liam Dineen, Liam Tarrant, Paddy White, Phil Cahill and many more would perform the old steps with great pride.

Long live the dancers! Long live the dance! 

Featuring Dance Master Jimmy Hickey, Musician Greta Curtin.

Devised and choreographed by Jonathan Kelliher, Artistic Director, Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland.


Celtic Artist, Tony O’Callaghan

When your grandad is an artist, you are lucky enough to have some marvellous bespoke piece of his work made especially for you and celebrating your name.

Few nameplates are as beautiful as these pieces that Miriam brought to share with the audience on July 6 2023.

Tony O’Callaghan, among many of the prestigious commissions he did, designed the logo for Listowel Writers’ Week.

This information comes to us from Wolfgang Mertens’ 1974 LWW memorabilia.



My latest summer visitor, Aoife McKenna, from Kildare loves, loves, loves Listowel library.


A Smile from the Internet


Dancing and Georgia Salpa

The big day is approaching and we in NKRO are hoping that you will all come along and have a great time at our first St. Patrick’s Day Tea Dance.

Read the following account of dancing in 1930’s Listowel and you will be delighted to be able to come along to an afternoon dance without any fear of clerical retribution.

1930s in Kerry——The evil
that was  dancing

This is an article from The
Kerryman of 1936 and recently reproduced in the programme of The Listowel Drama
Group’s production of Dancing at Lughnasa.

“There is only one way to
deal with all night dances, and this is as the soupers were dealt with in olden
times – by excommunication.” So said Very Rev. Fr. Browne P.P. Lixnaw at the
annual licencing sessions at Listowel District Court, when he made a slashing
attack on all-night dances, which, he said, are going to be the curse and ruin
of the country. The stopping of the cross roads dances was responsible for the
raising of the dancehalls, said Mr. R.D.F. Johnson, D.J. who adjudicated. The
ideal hall was run by a parish committee under the supervision of the clergy,
he said.

Fr. Browne also strongly
denounced people who came in motor cars from Tralee and elsewhere to attend
dances. He suggested the imposition of the three mile or parish limit to
exclude “ these packs of scoundrels of the lowest type, devils incarnate.”

Ml. Regan Billeragh,
Listowel, applied for the renewal of his dance licence for his hall known as
“The Six Crosses”. Inspector Flood, Tralee said that there was no objection
from the guards.

Fr. Browne objected to the
hours applied for and also to all-night dances. He went on to say that there
was only one way to deal with the dance-hall craze and that was by

When John Horgan, Killocrim
applied for a renewal of a dance licence for his hall at Killocrim, Rev. Fr.
Browne objected to the hours and said that 10.30 to 11.30 was too late in
winter time. He suggested that dancing would only be allowed from 6.00 to 9.00
p.m. He also objected to the allowing of all night dances.

The application was granted.
The hours were fixed from 6.30 to 10.00p.m. No one was to be admitted who came
from outside the 3 mile radius.


Have you seen An Post’s new vans. I spotted this one on Church St. last week.

Windows are taking on a festive air.


And guess who’s coming to town: only the most overexposed Irish model.

Whatever would Fr. Browne of Lixnaw have to say about that?


Here is a link to a short film about young Irish emigrants in Canada:

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