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More from 1997

Market Street, Listowel on Tuesday Mar 8


Two related pieces of Good News

Mayor of Listowel Aoife Thornton, Kerry Rose Édaein O’Connell, Joan Flavin of the Community and Business Alliance with, front, Trevor Horan of the Community Centre and Alliance chairperson Rose Wall launching the Listowel Community Rose selection.

(photo and caption : The Kerryman

On March 31 2023 in The Listowel Arms Hotel the selection of our community rose (there are 8 in all) will take place. These 8 will compete to replace Edaein O’Connell as Kerry Rose.

Co-ordinator and Festival Director Suzan O’Gara said. 

“In the spirit of supporting local and creating a positive community buzz in each of these locations, we are inviting all interested young women between 18 and 29 years of age, and young men aged 21 to 31, to send in their application forms via as soon as possible to ensure they’re on time to enter their local Community Rose selection events.”

Funds raised by Listowel Community Rose selection will be shared with the community centre to help with refurbishment expenses following the recent fire.

The second piece of good news


The Moving of the Dandy Lodge

Dandy Lodge in 2020 before the Pitch and Putt Mural was painted

The Dandy Lodge was built in 1875. In 1997, when it had fallen into disrepair, it was taken down, moved and rebuilt stone by stone in the town park.

Tom O’Halloran R.I.P. who lived nearby was a citizen journalist before the term was invented. He took the following photos of the demolition in progress on his doorstep. His family are now sharing them with us.


A Forgotten Food Fact from 1916

I told you this before. You have probably forgotten it. I certainly had.

Bovril operated a distribution warehouse at Eustace Street, Dublin. In the aftermath of the Rising there were grave food shortages, caused mainly due to the forced closure of bakeries. Many Dublin people were starving. Bovril was distributed free to the citizens to ease their hunger.

(Fact learned from Ireland’s Own)


Listowel Emmets


Adopting a Native American Child in the U.S.

Apropos of yesterday’s story from 1952, Kathy Reynolds wrote;

I have long had an interest in Native American culture maybe first because of Sunday afternoon cowboy and Indian films on RTE as a child but really because of a visit to petroglyphs at Monument Valley in 1988. As we looked at these ancient petroglyphs 2,000 or more years old the Americans around us on hearing British accents could only talk of our long history and the USAs lack of history. They saw no merit in Native American history. This was underlined as we toured the Navajo Tribal Park when our guide said how much he enjoyed taking Europeans around as they appreciated the history will the Americans only saw them as a curiosity.

In case you have forgotten yesterday’s letter here it is;

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Seely, 

Thank you very kindly for your donation of 10.00 for my little Indians. Yours is the first invitation that was ever extended to one of our papooses [Native American children] to come and spend the vacation somewhere. We have a few little boys and girls who have noone at all interested whether they live or die or come and go. 

I would send a little boy of six years or older or a little girl whatever you prefer. These Indian children are very little trouble, especially the one I have in mind. If you really mean it, I will see that we get him ready; you may have him any time you desire. I am not making any inquiries about you, because it takes a good person to make an offer as you did.

Please, let me know. 

With kindest regards, 

Father John

The Fr. John was Fr. John Pohlen of Tekakwitha Indian Mission in South Dakota.

“The boy that Malcolm and Suzanne Seely wound up adopting is now 71 years old as of March 2018. Dennis Isaac Seely told us in a phone interview that he was an infant in 1946 when he was forcibly taken from his mother, a Dakota Sioux woman living on the Lake Traverse Reservation in Sisseton, close to the North Dakota-Minnesota border:”

Kathy sent us the link to the whole sorry story;

Thank you, Kathy, for opening our eyes to this awful chapter in the history of Native American people.


Some Dandy Lodge History

Photo: Chris Grayson


Running Repairs

Helen Dunlea took this great photograph of my brother holding someone’s horse while the farrier, Mr. Palmer reattaches a shoe. Horses need to wear shoes to protect their hooves from the hard road. It’s handy to have the farrier among the riders at the meet.


The Dandy Lodge

The late Tom O’Halloran of Bridge Road realised that he was witnessing history when he saw the careful relocation of The Dandy Lodge from Bridge Road to Childers’ Park. He also realised that he was in a unique position to chronicle the event in photographs. The O’Halloran family have shared his great photographs of that piece of Listowel history with us.

This view from the back shows how the cottage had fallen into disrepair.

This is the view as work commenced. The old phone box was demolished at the same time.

This closeup shows detail of the eaves. You can see the numbers clearly on the bricks. Every brick was numbered and then reconstructed like a paint by numbers job.

This is one of the old windows. The new ones replicated them to the T.

(more of this story tomorrow)


A Weekend on the Sidelines

My granddaughters play soccer so I spent a pleasant Saturday supporting their teams on my visit to Cork.

Spare a thought for the mentors and match officials. Our young people owe so much to these individuals who give up so much of their time to them.

I feel sad to hear of all the abuse and ill-treatment meted on to this cohort of civic spirited and underappreciated individuals.


Horror of Horrors

Source: The internet

It’s over 70 years ago now but still within living memory!


All Fine and Dandy

The Curragh; Photo: Éamon ÓMurchú


Dandy Lodge Facelift

Kerry’s Eye


A Book Recommendation

I haven’t seen this one yet so I’m giving you advance notice of what sounds like a must for all local historians.

Lyreacrompane native, Joe Harrington, has just published a book on very first Butter Road from Kerry to the Cork Butter Market.  Joe describes the book, ‘Once Upon a Road’ as a “search for the olden days on a sixty-mile journey through 275 years of time”. 

The subject of the book is the road from Ballyduhig, near the Six Crosses, through Lyreacrompane, Castleisland, Cordal, Tooreencahill, Millstreert, Aubane, Vicarstown, to Kerry Pike outside Cork City.  It was originally built as a tollroad/turnpike, under a 1747 Act of Parliament. The man behind the venture was a John Murphy from Castleisland.  ‘When I was growing up, I remember the dispensary at Pike, halfway between Lyreacrompane and Listowel. I often wondered why it was named Pike. Researching the history of this road over recent years I discovered that Pike in fact alluded to a turnpike/toll gate on this spot from the early 1750s to 1809.  It was one of six that John Murphy was entitled to erect on the road all the way to Cork up until the latter date”, Joe explained.

The book ‘Once Upon a Road’ with 364 full colour pages and 315 images, maps and photos which Joe was delighted to have printed locally by Walsh Colour Print, Castleisland with graphic design by Easy Design, Causeway.

Joe has been researching the history of the road for the past five years and it initially led to him writing a song on the subject; ‘The Road John Murphy Made’, which won the Sean McCarthy Ballad Competition a couple of years back.  “The ballad was about one man’s trip on the road in the 1750s and the book broadens the story of the road that connected the dairy lands of north Kerry and the famous Cork Butter Market”, Joe explained.  

‘Once Upon a Road ‘dips into the local history of the townlands, towns, villages, and settlements through which the road passes. Every mile on ‘The Road John Murphy Made’ has a story to tell and along the way we will meet Whiteboys and Hedge Schoolmasters, Freedom Fighters and Moonlighters, Famines and Natural Disasters, Mass Rocks and Wedge Tombs, Bronze age hoards and Bog Butter, Lost Estates and Evicted Tenants”, Joe explains. The road even played a part in the slave trade he reveals.

From Ballyduhig, where the road began near the present day Six Crosses, to Kerry Pike near Cork City the book is a travelogue in time and place.  Like the rest of the book, the Listowel to Lyreacrompane section is packed with the happening in the area since the road was built in the 1750s. The killing of the Earl of Desmond at Gleanageenty is revisited as is the adventures of the Earl of Kerry who owned much of the land through which the turnpike was built.  Matchmakers, bog slides, new and ancient, and the story of the Lyreacrompane man who oversaw at least three hundred executions in an American Prison fill the pages as do heroes like Amelia Canty and villains like Lucy Ann Thompson. The visit of William Makepeace Thackeray, of Punch fame (or shame) to Listowel is recounted.

I would like to thank all the local historians along the route who unstintingly related to me all they had discovered about their own area and, on a road known for its ‘straight as a gunbarrell’ stretches, to Kay O’Leary, who, so to speak, kept me on the straight and narrow.  

Once upon a road is widely available including from Joe Harrington, Lyreacrompane. Joe can be contacted at 0872853570.


A Few More from Ladies Day 2022


A Piece of History

the source


Back in 1949

This was Marie Neligan Shaw’s found treasure which I shared with you yesterday. I had found no one to tell me who Pat Crowley was. No one that is until Dave O’Sullivan came to our rescue.

Dave searched the papers and found that Pat Crowley was a big name on the dance scene in 1949 and for years afterwards. Here is what Dave found

Now this begs the question; Does anyone remember Des Fretwell or the Pavilion?


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


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