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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

Tag: Darina Allen

Poem to an Umbrella Thief, Brothers and Writers at a Book Signing in Mallow

Killarney Stag

The annual rut is coming to an end but Chris Grayson snapped this magnificent fellow earlier this autumn.

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A Lost or stolen Brolly

I posted this photo last week. It is an umbrella that was left behind in St,. John’s at the launch of A Minute of Your Time.

Seeing the photo, my friend Nicholas was reminded of another incident involving an umbrella which prompted him into rhyme.

This is what he wrote:

The lost umbrella mention  sparks memory of an incident in Abbeyfeale on St. Patrick’s Day in 2012, as the parade proceeded in heavy rain-showers. A good friend of mine left her umbrella down when the rain cleared, and went to chat with her friends. When the rain re-commenced, she went for her umbrella only to find that it had been stolen! A hearty soaking did not cool her ire. I penned the following ditty to commemorate the event, – there might be a sort of  John B. line there too- but she, of her charity has forgiven the thief, I think… To avoid the  risk of upsetting the fairer gender, I have decided the thief must have been a male, though I am not sure…

ON THE STREET IN ABBEYFEALE

Or, The Theft of a Lady’s Brolly,

Which dastardly crime occurred in Abbeyfeale on a Rainy 

St. Patrick’s Day, 2012)

On the street in Abbeyfeale

Loud and high the bagpipes pealed,

And the banners on the breeze did proudly soar;

As the sun came shining bright,

And the rain-clouds dark took flight,

I left my brolly down, the rain being o’er.

To some folks I went to chat,

And sure where’s the harm in that?

It being Patrick’s Day, my pals were all in town;

As the gossip fast did flow,

Of good news – and tales of woe,

A shower of rain once more came pelting down.

Well, I turned to grab my brolly

But then soon realised my folly,

For light-fingers mean had stolen it away!

I had paid for it good money

And it isn’t one bit funny;

That snaky wretch in hell will surely pay!

May the rain and sleet come down,

With no mercy on his crown,

May the sun ne’er heat his bones for evermore.

May his good luck go astray,

May the rain sweep off his hay,

And may Bank and Bailiff ever haunt his door!

Nicholas. 


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Brotherly Love


 These two Athea brothers, I’m told, are still working hard.

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Cuteness overload here. The two lovely little boys, pictured below, are twin brothers, Eamon and Brendan ÓMurchú.

This is how they look today, pictured at the launch of A minute of Your Time with their brother, Aidan.

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A Minute of Your Time


I was in the company of 5 other  writers in Philip’s Bookshop in Mallow on November 2 2019.

Here am I standing out in pink with Darina Allen, Clodagh Finn, Philip O’Flynn, Alice Taylor, Kevin Quaid, me and John Spillane who was the singing M.C.

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One for the Diary



We are very lucky to be getting this chance to hear this popular motivational speaker and writer in Listowel

St. Michaels Graveyard, the Ball Alley and my day in Philip’s Bookshop, Mallow

November 2019

November is the month when we remember our loved ones who have gone before us.

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Listowel Ball Alley

For many men of a certain age, growing up  in Listowel is narked by memories of hours spent in the town’s ball alley. Below is the poem Junior Griffin wrote, remembering those halcyon days when his childhood entertainment revolved around the alley.


Memories of the ball alley in Listowel

When school was o’re, our hearts would soar,

At meals we would not dally,

With homework done, to seek our fun,

We’d wander to the alley.

To toss that ball against the wall,

And combat every rally,

With pouring sweat we’d play‘til death

Those games within our alley.

With left hand or right we’d try our might,

Until the grand finale,

But win or lose, how we’d enthuse

On those games played down the alley

Each game was fought, the prize was sought,

The marker counts his tally,

The match was won at twenty one,

‘Twas victory in the alley

But time moves on, the youth now gone,

No more do young men sally

To toss that ball against the wall

Of my beloved alley

Yet, memories hold of comrades old

Until the last reveille,

Of times gone by which brought such joy

Those days spent down the alley

Junior Griffin


 This is how the alley looks now, replastered and repainted in preparation for the light show that was part of Féile an tSolais 2019.

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What a tree!

On the banks of The Feale

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My Friends, Mary and Paddy

I ran into  this lovely couple, Mary and Paddy McElligott  on Bridge Road. They were in town for a wedding and were fitting in a quick walk  before the wedding feast.

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A Minute of Your Time in Good Company





Flavins’of Church St. Listowel

I’m in the new Irish titles section in Philip’s Bookshop in Mallow, between Listowel’s Billy Keane who came to my book launch and RTE’s Brian O’Connell who didn’t.

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My Mallow Signing



Since I come from that corner of the world, many of my Cork friends and relations were in Philip’s Bookshop on Saturday to celebrate with me.

My two most loyal supporters and friends, Bridget and Geraldine came from The Kingdom to hang out with me in Mallow.

This is Marion Moynihan, my late sister’s great friend who has never forgotten her over all these years. Marion came from Ennis.

Margo Anglim and I met on our first day in UCC and we have been friends since. Here we are with her husband, Eamon Kelly. They came from Dublin to support me.

Anne Leneghan is the daughter of my old Kanturk neighbours, Peter and Rita. I used to drive Anne to school when she was a pupil and I a teacher in Scoil Mhuire. Anne, a nurse was just off night duty but she made it to Mallow.

Elizabeth Breen is my niece just back from the rugby world cup in Japan. Next to her is my first cousin, Norah Ahern Rahilly. Norah and I are doubly related. Our fathers were brothers and they married first cousins., Norah’s daughter  is next and then me .

Darina Allen was signing her books with a sharpie.

There were 6 authors signing on the day. One of them was Darina Allen and she was also the judge of the Bake off. My granddaughter, Róisín, who was the youngest entrant won a special prize for her lemon drizzle slices . She got a big rosette and a copy of Darina’s latest book signed for her by Darina.

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