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: Dave O’Sullivan

Round the Square, Morning walk at Listowel Writers’ Week 2019

I’m Back

And this is where I was. At least this is where I was on Saturday June 2 2019. Elizabeth Brosnan and Bridget O’Connor are our photographers. The man on the left is Sean Stack. He was in charge of the sound. The man on the right (seated) is a man who comes every year to Listowel Writers’ Week . He is P.J Kennedy from Cavan.

Left to Right; Mike Moriarty who gave us a potted history of Listowel Castle and who sang for us. me, my daughter, Clíona McKenna who read, Mary Moylan whose beautiful voice enchanted everyone, Eamon OMurchú who read from Joseph O’Connor’s Hostage to Fortune. Behind Eamon and Mary is John Keane, formerly of this parish and beside Eamon is John’s brother-in-law, Simon O’Flynn

Our morning walk was curtailed this year owing to the sad and unexpected passing of Jimmy Moloney, brother of Kay Caball who was to have been one of the contributors to the walk.

So, turning a negative into a positive, we walked from the Tidy Town’s seat to the Kerry Writers’ Museum and there the audience sat on the amphitheatre and we presented our show to them there. I think it was a better idea really since the crowd was very large and the traffic heavy so it would have been hard to hear if you were at the end of a line of walkers.

This is David Browne, director of Listowel Writers Week and here is an “only in Listowel'” story. 

Paddy McElligott was to sing John B. Keane’s Sive songs BUT….

Paddy, who swims in the sea every day had an unfortunate experience on Saturday morning. He accidentally trod on a weever fish. If you have never heard of a weever fish, look it up and prepare to be frightened. This agonising experience delayed him considerably and it is a tribute to the trooper that he is that he came at all. He, for one, was grateful that the walk was short.

Another great trooper, Mike Lynch agreed to sing the first song in Paddy’s absence and he made a great job of it, revealing to his fellow committee members in Listowel Writers Week  a talent that he had kept hidden from them up to now.

Mike Lynch accompanied by Mary Moylan  (photo by Bridget O’Connor)

At The Seanchaí, Paddy, in the pandemonium in the wake of the weever fish accident,  realises that he has forgotten his bodhrán  and the words to the songs. He opens the nearest door to go in search of a bodhrán and who does he find but a man who, not only has a bodhrán but whose party piece is singing the Sive songs… ……    only in Listowel.

Dvid Browne was one of the surprise highlights of the “walk”.

Mary Fagan and Dave O’Sullivan read a short extract from Sive. Local people will know Mary from her Horizons programme on Radio Kerry and Dave, who is a Kildare man, is just returned from the All Ireland Drama Festival in Athlone where his drama group, Prosperous Dramatic Society won the overall award for their production of An Enemy of the People.

Dave’s name will be known to followers of this blog as a great researcher who contributes much of the newspaper archive research for us.

As well as his bit of acting as Thomasheen Seán Run he gave us a great insight into the history of the library in Listowel.

Mary Fagan gallantly held the microphone for experienced and reluctant-to-be amplified performers. Here she is with Eamon OMurchú, son of the late Luaí OMurchú who was the very first chairperson of Listowel Writers’ Week.

Sr, Una Harman was pleased that we paid tribute to the Presentation sisters and their work for Listowel, particularly during the Famine.

Most of us on the steps of Listowel Castle

The shortest walk in the history of Writers’ Week morning walks ended with Mike Moriarty leading us in a verse or two of Lovely Listowel.

I am delighted that so many of my family, friends, neighbours and fellow Listowel people joined the Writers’ Week visitors for my little contribution to #Listowelww19


Lots more Writers’ Week stuff in store over the next few days.


Ard Curam Concert, Bogs, Convent Street and Moyvane Post Office closure

Irish Wildlife Trust Photography Competition Finalist

Martin MacNamara; Irish short- eared owl

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Ard Churam Choir



Recording is done on the EP and practice is continuing for the Listowel Writers’ Week concert. Be sure to book your ticket in good time. The concert will take place in Listowel Community Centre on Thursday May 30 2019. Tickets may be booked online

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Bog Bodies


These items of children’s footwear were dumped in a bog not far from Listowel. I don’t think it was the children who dumped them.

Nearby in the same bog, beautiful Nature flourishes despite man’s indifference.

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Convent Street aka Gleann an Phuca


Photo: Johnny Hannon

This is how Convent Street used to look.

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Listowel Man Remembered in Chicago

Mark Holan who writes a marvellous blog about things Irish spotted this memorial paving stone in Chicago.

It is on the pavement outside the Irish American Heritage Center.

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Moyvane P.O. 



Northkerry blog marked the retirement of the last Moyvane post mistress with this snippet;

FAREWELL Mass and tribute was paid to Mary Collins in the Marian Hall on Tuesday night 30th April 2019. Mary was Moyvane’s last Post Mistress. Previous postmasters include; Bridie Sheehan for 21, her husband, the late Dick Sheehan for 41 years. Catherine Shine, died 1983; J C Shine died 1965; Nora Richardson died 1922. Richard Barrett, Post Office, Newtownsandes, there in 1857; Regulation 1914, In future all female officers will have to resign on marriage, but will be eligible for a marriage gratuity on resignation.

Currently in 2019, An Post is spending €5million on rebranding. The title Post is being changed to An Post, the green colour is being changed to an lighter shade of green. There is another small tweak or two planned but basically the changes are cosmetic , not so the loss of a post office to a rural community.

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Three Generations of “Scribes’ ladies




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Winners Alright




This is the Prosperous Dramatic Society who yesterday won the RTE All Ireland Drama Festival in Athlone.

On the far left of picture is Dave O’Sullivan who does so much work for Listowel Connection. He played the part of Peter Stockman in Prosperous’ winning production of An Enemy of the People. Well done all.

Morning Walk in Writers’ Week 2018, Craftshop na Méar and Listowel Visual Arts Week 2018

Feeding Time photo by Graham Davies

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My Walking Tour of the Square during Writers’ Week 2018



Ger Holland’s photo tells its own tale. I was totally overwhelmed by the number of people who turned up at 9.30 a.m. on Saturday June 2 2018 to take the walking tour of Listowel Town Square with me.


At the door of The Listowel Arms I met Dave O’Sullivan, Paddy McElligott, Cliona McKenna and Mary Fagan, four of my able assistants.

 Mary was getting into character as Mena in Sive as she met Thomasheen  Seán Rua, the matchmaker, played by David O’Sullivan.

“Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch….”

Local historians, Michael Moore, Liam Grimes and Vincent Carmody were taking the tour.

Clíona’s parents in law, Mary and Tony McKenna, great supporters of Writers’ Week, were looking forward to a leisurely walk in the early morning sunshine and to maybe learning a thing or two about Listowel and Listowel people.

Musician and singer, Mary Moylan and Mike Moriarty, singer and historian, two more of my able assistants, were ready for the off.

I mounted the podium, aka the Tidy Town’s seat, and the tour began.

Paddy and Mike Lynch did a great job on Goodbye to the White Horse Inn.


On the steps of Listowel Castle we had history, songs and drama.

At Gurtenard House we had more history, more songs, an anecdote or three. Eamon ÓMurchu was hastily press ganged into being an able assistant but acquitted himself like the trouper he is.

We stopped at the beautifully restored Butler Centre, where Antoinette Butler told us what happens nowadays in this historic edifice.

We finished up our walk on another stage in the Town Square where we all sang a few verses of Lovely Listowel by Bryan MacMahon.

The morning walk was a great success, thanks to all the hard work put in by everyone involved.

Most of these photos were taken by able assistants, Tony McKenna, Breda Ferris and  Elizabeth Brosnan.

Follow the link below for some of the highlights of the walk recorded by Charlie Nolan;

Saturday Morning Walk 2018

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O’Connor’s Pharmacy with weighing Scales



Photo: John Hannon

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My Time in 53 Church Street Remembered



As 53 Church St. prepares to reopen as a barbers’ I’m looking back at the early days of Craftshop na Méar.



Namir Karim opens the door to Craftshop na Méar

Namir gets a weaving lesson

Some of the early crafters

Crafters with the late Dan Green who was

 a great supporter of the shop in its early days. At the far right in the picture is Miriam Kiely who knew 53 Church Street as her family home.

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First Ever Listowel Visual Arts Week


It’s Visual Arts Week and the shopkeepers of Listowel are getting behind Olive Stack in her new venture.

Then in the Square, local artist, Jim Dunn is showing us how. He is crafting a beautiful celtic style mural before our very eyes. He worked on it for hours and hours today and he’ll be back tomorrow.

He has to work through all the distractions, people chatting to him, photographing him and having a go at helping him.

Will you look at the state of his hands? And let me tell you he is an exceptionally neat worker.

Convent Street, Pitch and Putt and Athea Mural blown down

From The Irish Farmers’ Journal

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A Quiet Corner of Town undergoing renewal


This site has gone Sale Agreed so we await developments.

One is sold and the other is for sale

This is the area of Convent Street that is about to change.


These houses in Convent Street are boarded up too so it will be good to see life return to this corner of town.

And in another corner of town…

A little bird tells me that Iceland is coming to Listowel shortly.

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Listowel Pitch and Putt Club


Dave O’Sulivan, a loyal follower and supporter of the work of your blogger replied to my appeal for history of the Pitch and Putt Club.



My photos taken at different times of the year show the variety and abundance of planting in the course over the years.

Here are the cuttings that Dave found for us;

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Athea Revisited on January 19 2018




That was then

This is now

The high winds last week flattened the lovely mural with the whole history and mythology of the village on it. I have no doubt that the good people of Athea will see it restored to its former glory.

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And the Winner is



The Dublin Kerry Association have announced their Kerry Person of the year

There was a goodly attendance on the night.

Colm Cooper was revealed as this year’s choice and he got a standing ovation as he entered.

Colm was a very popular choice.

Colm Cooper with  Keelin Kissane of  Listowel, chair of The Kerry Association in Dublin


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