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: Daniel O’Donnell

St. Patrick’s Day 2018 in Listowel and a family outing to Ballybunion

Listowel Folk on their way to mass on St. Patrick’s Day 2018

 Mary and Joe Hanlon were celebrating 45 years of wedded bliss.


Ballybunion, March 18 2018

Molly was the only one of our little troop with a fur coat in Ballybunion on March 18 2018. The rest of us were as cold as we have ever been in our lives.

Meanwhile Daniel and Majella were playing golf


Music, Poetry and Craic

All roads lead to Ballydonoghue this weekend for their first ever Bardic Festival.

Look what’s in store

Ballydonoghue Bardic Festival 2018

Bowling, Daniel O’Donnell and an electric car in Listowel

Denis MacSweeney took this photo of a menacing looking falcon


Daniel and Majella’s Road Trip

The above photo is from Daniel O’Donnell’s Facebook page. Daniel and his wife, Majella recorded a series of programmes in the B &B’s of Ireland and it is being broadcast at the moment. They picked the very worst summer ever to showcase our lovely country. Everywhere they go it’s peeing down rain and they are in the geansaís and rain gear in every episode so far. The programme is fairly cringe inducing. All the landladies are fans and the fawning and kowtowing goes on for the whole show.

There is a running joke in the programme about baked beans. Daniel loves a dollop of these with his full Irish.

Watching this I was reminded of the story that is told about the late Moss Keane. He was in a B.and B. on some away trip and the landlady was enthusing about the breakfast she had prepared for the players. She had porridge accompanied by a little bowl of cream and another little bowl of honey. Then she had the sausages,  rashers, eggs tomatoes etc. 

“So much of this is our own organic produce,” says she. ” We have our own hens, we grow our own tomatoes……. ”    

 Moss takes a look a his little portion of honey and he says, “I see you have a bee too.”


Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Stadium 

This picture from a forthcoming 1916 Book is of Dick Fitzgerald. 

Killarney’s GAA stadium was named after him.


Bowling Buddies

It was years since I had been bowling. With all the grandchildren to entertain in their mid term break this seemed like a good time to rectify that.

Bowling Buddies in Tralee doesn’t open until 11.00. We were the first customers through the door.

The children explained the rules to me as we got the feel of the bowling balls.

This yellow gadget is new since my day. With its help to steer the ball, even the 4 year old could bowl.

With the aid of this gismo, the six year old jumped into an unexpected and more than a little resented lead. A kind of Oscar Pistorious moment threatened before peace was restored. It’s only a game.

This is a photo of the actual winner in action. I won’t mention any scores or anything because it’s not about who wins or loses. It’s the taking part that counts. Isn’t it?


Yes,  it is in use

Earlier this year I said that I had never seen an ecar refueling in Listowel. Well, now I have and here is the proof.


Award Winning Photographer

Pat Healy collected the award on behalf of his dad, Liam Healy at the Horse Racing Ireland bash. Proud night for all the Healys and for Healyracing.


Tea Dance in Lyre

Lyreacrompane Development Association shared this photo from yesterday’s tea dance.


Kerry Motors in Banna yesterday

Photo; Kerry Motor Club

Listowel Castle, new Garda Station in Castleisland and success at Newcastlewest Show

Beauty on our doorstep

Ita Hannon took this haunting picture of Littor Point, Asdee.


Back in the Saddle

Johnny Joy and Finuge Freewheelers out for an evening spin.


Daniel O’Donnell on Tour

Daniel O’Donnell is on a tour around Ireland for a TV show he is making. Here he is having a game of draughts with his Donegal neighbor, Hughey Sweeney who is 104.


Listowel Castle

May Langan pictured earlier this summer at Listowel Castle.

The castle is open every day to visitors. It is one of the many great Listowel attractions that every Listowel person should visit at least once.


Song of the Sea

Have you ever heard of  a selkie?


Well, they are mythical creatures who are women on land and seals at sea. Song of the Sea is a film all about selkies. It is a lovely Irish made animated full length family film.  The dialogue is lovely and you will recognize many familiar voices, the animation is simple but forceful, the pictures are lovely and the music superb. You will never look at a seal again without wondering.

What’s not to love about Song of the Sea?

 Bring the whole family.


CastleIsland have a new Garda Station

On Ftiday last, July 17 2015 Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and Minister for The Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan opened a new Garda Station in Castleisland. The following photos are from the Garda Síochána Facebook page.

members of the Garda band at the opening
Garda Commissioner, Nóirín O’Sullivan
Minister Deenihan inspects a guard of honour


Latin in Kerry Catholic church registers

Above is a link to Kay Caball’s site. It has a translation of some of the most common names as they are entered in Latin in Kerry parish records. This is very useful if you are researching online through the old registers now available at National Library of Ireland Catholic parish registers


Newcastlewest Agricultural Show 2015

I had a great day out last Sunday at Newcastlewest Show. I took lots of photos. Here are a few. When news is in short supply next week I’ll post a few more.

This minion, created from 2 round bales and tyres greeted us on arrival.

My brother, Pat and my niece, Elizabeth won the champion’s cup for the best ridden hunter with their horse, Sonny Bill.

There is always a Listowel connection. I met Mike Laffan of Kerry Group and his wife, Margaret supporting their local show by showing a bullock.

Listowel lady, Kelly St. John had a beautiful array of crochet goods for sale.

Christmas in Cork, Ballybunion castle and A living Crib in St. Mary’s

Christmas in Cork

On a recent trip to Cork I photographed a few of the Christmassy features to share with you.

 This is the Tree of Remembrance in Patrick Street. Each yellow ribbon commemorates someone lost to suicide. It is a timely reminder that Christmas is not a happy time for everyone.

 Santa’s giant post box at the entrance to the GPO in Oliver Plunkett Street.

Stylish doorway into a very stylish shop.

A group of carol singing school children were gathering outside the now closed Moderne.

Keane’s jewellers on Oliver Plunkett street looking resplendent


And Then…….

Patrick Street in the 50s and 60s from a site called random Cork Stuff


Job Finished

(photo: Ballybunion Angling and Coastal Views )


Dancing on the Roads

(photo: Thomas Holmes Mason is the photographer and the photo is part of the Irish Archeology collection)

The year is 1909 and the place is a mountain outside Ventry, Co. Kerry.  A group of people is  dancing on the road and another group is watching from the nearby roadside bank.


Daniel and Majella, the Listowel Connection

Jackie and Máire from Listowel Writers’ Week met up with Daniel and Majella at The Irish Book Awards recently. Majella O’Donnell’s book, It’s All in the Head, won the John Murray Show listeners choice award.


In St. Mary’s yesterday

Everywhere I looked there was a shepherd. I was in St. Mary’s for the Youthreach Nativity pageant. The weather was wet and dirty so the parade was curtailed and the children gathered in the church for a lovely Christmas ceremony.

A Stack with a Listowel connection and a mural

Fr. Michael J,. Stack and his brother Bob Stack from Listowel, pictured in Dublin in 1940. (photo from the internet site Man on the Bridge) Fr. Stack was later parish priest of Ballydonoghue.


Jack Maguire and his wife Margaret (nee Hughes) 1940 in Dublin



Daniel O’Donnell and Dolores Keane phtographed in Killarney recently  (photo from Daniel’s Facebook page)

Honor Heffernan before her recent concert in St. John’s


McKenna Stack Listowel connection

Recently among the claims for compensation that I included in the blog there was an account of Jack McKenna and the losses he suffered during the Troubles.

Across the seas in South Carolina a regular blog follower read this item with interest and this is the email she wrote;

“I thank you so for your newsy notes and photos.  John Mckenna of Market St is an ancestor of mine though my Great great grandfather Edmund Mckenna and Ellen Stack.  I have been in contact with his daughter in law Susan Mckenna and her husband Jack, through written letters in the past year.

Each morning I look forward to opening up your email with a “cuppa” coffee and smile as I read and view your postings.

Sheila Ryan Falkowski

South Carolina”

I replied to Sheila. The gist of my email,  “Tell me more”

Sheila’s reply;

“Miss Mary, I am only too pleased to share anything with you.  I am 73 and have been doing my Ancestry for about 2 years. I am 100% Irish as I had DNA done also.  All my dads family came from Waterford (the Walls) and Wexford, (the Doyles) and Nenagh, Tipperary, (the Ryans and Guilfoyles).

My moms side are the Mckennas, Stacks, and a Jane Ffoulkes, (I guess originally from a place called Thurles? evenutally to Kerry- my Edmund Mckenna( B: abt 1802, married an Ellen Stack , birthed abt 9 or 10

children of which I have 8 baptismal records, one of their daughters, Bridget Ellen born abt 1840, came to the USA about 1852, lived in Macon, Georgia during Civil War-married a Philip William Flood in 1860 in Macon.  He came from Cty Cavan and was a mason, served for the South during the Civil War-  they moved to Manhattan, NY in 1868 and had 11 children, 8 of which survived.

Ellen Stack was my great great grandmother on my moms side and her name is listed as Ellen Stack on my great grandmothers death cert from New York City in 1926.  I just can’t seem to find Ellen Stacks fathers name, but suspect it is perhaps Maurice as Maurice is a name featured several times starting with a son of Ellen Stack and Edmund Mckenna.  I am surely aware of the Irish naming patterns.  Oh the mysteries of life as we search for our dearly departed and ponder their trials and tribulations and imagine their clothing and daily lives.

Every time I see “Listowel connection”  a little butterfly flutters in my “tum” and what a lovely start to my day!

I am more than happy to extend an email invitation to my Ancestry trees as they are public, but will only do so if you are interested.  And I shall continue to comment if you don’t mind.  I do hope Jack and Susan are faring alright-they are of an advanced age however very strong and of good health.


Sheila Mary”


Unusual image from WW1

photo from Limerick 1914 on Twitter

“A German messenger dog races to the rear to deliver a message.” (c. 1916)


Listowel Mural

Work is underway on this mural at the side of Existance Youth Café


Rose of Tralee sculpture

(photo: Official Rose of Tralee twitter feed)

Some Roses take a photo of escorts at the new sculpture on a roundabout just outside Talee

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