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

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Remembering Old Times

The Dandy Lodge


Another Friend Gone

The late Joan Carey walking her dog near her home on Church Street

When you reach my age you have to accept it as a fact of life that friends will pass away.

I got to know the late Joan Carey as part of my knitting group. How we used to enjoy our Saturdays in Scribes before Covid. Neither of us was too interested in the knitting. It was an opportunity to meet people and to chat. Joan was always gentle and peace loving. When the odd disagreement broke out, Joan always stayed well out of it.

Joan had a long battle with illness over the last two years.

She will be sadly missed by her family, neighbours and friends.

May she rest in peace.


From the 2006 Pres. Yearbook

A trip down Memory Lane to 1953


Amateur Drama Remembered

One of the great stalwarts of Listowel drama was the late Bill Kearney. It was fitting that his three daughters were guests of honour at the launch of the new exhibition, Raise the Curtain, in Kerry Writers’ Museum.

The Kearney family have contributed much of their late father’s memorabilia to the museum.

This photograph was shared by Paul Murphy a few years ago. It is Bill Kearney at the mike at one of the famous Doodle dinners.


A Fairy Door

This fairy door is in Ballybunion. I knocked but no one answered.


The Square Cone

Derry O’Carroll hard at work in Listowel Town Square, installing our new ice cream kiosk. Official opening June 1 2022.

Because the weatherman says it will be fine this weekend, they’ve decided to open early. As well as ice cream they will have brownies, cream cakes and other treats.


John B. Keane dramas

Church Street, Listowel, November 2021


Did you Know?

The Dandy Lodge, built between 1845 and 1897, was the only house on the Bridge Road. There were no other houses on Bridge Road until 1929. The Gurtenard Estate wall ran along the left hand side of the road and a mud ditch bordering a wood ran along the right hand side.

The Carnegie Library was the only other building on Bridge Road. It was burned down in 1922 during a period of violent civil disturbance in Listowel.


Sive at 50

To mark the half century of John B. Keane’s Sive, the Listowel Players staged a special production of the play.

These pages from the programme take us back to the glory days of drama in Listowel. We remember all the good people who were involved, some no longer with us.


A John B. Keane Play in Listowel in 2021

(Photos from Patsy and Frances Kennedy)

From November 25 to 29 2021 St. John’s Theatre Group will present Moll, a drama by John B. Keane in St John’s, Listowel, nightly at 8.00 p.m. Strict Covid guidelines will be followed so capacity will be limited. If you don’t want to miss it, book early

Batt O’Keeffe and Frances Kennedy in character

The P.P. and curates


Great News

We have free wifi in Listowel Town Square

This is a screenshot from my phone yesterday, November 17 2021.


From The Advertiser


Danny’s at Halloween, Griffins and The Dandy Lodge

This is definitely one of my favourite of Éamon ÓMurchú ‘s photographs. He took this magical image in Cloughleah in Co. Wicklow


Danny’s Halloween Window

Main Street, Listowel, Halloween 2021


Lovely paint job at Griffins of William Street

Beautiful sign by Mr. Signs’ himself, Martin Chute.


A Piece of Dandy Lodge History from Barry O’Halloran

Dandy Lodge under reconstruction in Childers Park in 1995.

Below is the letter to potential sponsors of the project.

Barry O’Halloran’s late father, Tom, was the Hon. Sec. of the restoration committee. Barry sent us this.

It looks like our letter writers may have taken a few liberties with historical accuracy. It looks like the titles, groom and lady-in waiting may be a bit of an embellishment of their true status. On his marriage cert and on his death cert, Mr. Whelan’s occupation is given as a slater and Mrs. Whelan’s as wife of slater.

It would also appear that there was no riding accident. Mrs. Whelan passed away tragically at the age of 21 due to complications following delivery of a baby girl. That girl, Lillie, was taken in and raised in the home of her maternal grandparents, Hugh Jones and his wife of Charles Street.

Thanks to Kay Caball and Dave O’Sullivan for the research.

Kay thinks that the Dandy Lodge was just an ordinary house or lodge on the Bridge Road (or Babies’ Wood as it was known then) and had nothing to do with Gurtenard House, Lord Listowel or his agents. Lord Listowel’s tolls were collected nearer to town at the Custom Gap at the top of Canon’s Height. Kay feels that it would seem more likely that if there were to be a gate lodge it would have been at the gate of Gurtenard House.

Remember that saying about never letting the truth get in the way of a good story.

There they are, as promised, the names of the kind donors who contributed at least £50 to the Dandy Lodge Restoration Project in the 1990’s. The account of their generosity is preserved forever in a bronze sponsors’ board with names engraved by Tony O’Callaghan.

I hope you can read them.

Dandy Lodge now


Tragic Letter

(From Tragedies of Kerry 1922 – 1923 by Dorothy Macardle)

His final request “Dont let anyone do anything” is a plea that there be no reprisals.

The siege of the caves is a reference to Clashmealcon. James McEnery was one of the men executed as a result of that tragic siege. The priest brother to whom he is writing this letter came from England in the days following the capture of the survivors of Clashmealcon to beg for mercy for his brother.


Pitch and Putt, a Poem, and Bridge Road, Listowel

The Florist; Photo by Paddy Fitzgibbon


Listowel Pitch and Putt Clubhouse

The clubhouse of the pitch and putt club is located next to the Dandy Lodge. Martin Chute has done his usual lovely job on the gable wall. I took the photo on a sunny day. Hence all the shadows.


Contented Diner

Glass House

John McGrath

I must have ordered onion rings for two.

They’re stacked above my steak like lifebelts;

Pepper sauce and wedges on the side,

salad and a subtle Chilean Red.

Beyond the glass I watch the river rise

swiftly with the tide.  Swans

feed frantically, bottoms in the air.

Mine hugs lime-green leatherette.

The waiter smiles, tops up my wine

and leaves.  I watch his bottom too,

then raise my fork and stab my plate

like a Polynesian fisherman.

Out on the river, the swans swim on,

pedalling frantically against the tide, 

Diving, feeding, pedalling again.

I marvel at their weight-loss plan.

I put down my fork and sigh contentedly,

raise my feet onto the lime-green leatherette,

smile at the waiter as he takes my plate and muse

on why others choose to swim against the tide.


A Mystery Procession

Éamon ÓMurchú found this marvellous photo among his late father’s things. It was unusual for Luaí ÓMurchú not to note the date and occasion on a photograph but, in the case of this one, he did not so we need your help.

Dave O’Sullivan tells me that the car on the right was registered in Dublin between January 1949 and June 1950. “I’d be 90% certain it’s a Vauxhall Wyvern LIX. They were made between 1948 and 1951. Top speed 62 mph from a 1442cc engine.”

Surely some petrol head will remember the car.

The girls faces are very clear. Someone must recognise them.


Bridge Road 2021


Juvenile Tennis in the 1980s, Frank Greaney’s Garage and 1975 pantomime

The Dandy Lodge in Listowel Town Park in January 2019


 Juvenile Tennis Players 

Photo: Danny Gordon

Do you spot yourself in this photo?

Do you remember that day or other great days on the tennis courts?

We’d love to hear from you.


Frank Greaney’s Garage

Frank and Jim R.I.P. were great mechanics. Their love of cars and their knowledge of how they worked saw them offer a great service to us in Listowel for many years.

I don’t think today’s computerised everything would be able to diagnose what needed to be done to this car.


The Panto, The Old Folks Home and the Day Centre

Dave O’Sullivan found this great photo of the cast of the 1975 pantomime. There are only a few names. Please tell us who the others are.


Yes, he is Irish and Proud of his Roots

My U.S. followers will immediately recognise this colourful New England Patriot. He is quarterback ,Tom Brady and he was one of the stars of Sunday evening’s victory which sees his team into the Super Bowl.

Brady’s Irish roots are in Cork {maternal) and Cavan (paternal) 

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