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: David Clifford

Politics and Sport

Childers’ Park Listowel

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Club is Family

12-11-2022: Man of the Match Football SuperStar David Clifford and his brother Paudie (captain) celebratesafter their team Fossa won the Kerry Junior Premier County Final when they defeated Listry in Killarney on Saturday. Photo: Don MacMonagle

“If he was a soccer player he would be worth €20m, but becuase he is a GAA man he is priceless.”

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An Old Card

I found this in a book on my shelf.

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Christmas Customs

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deValera and an Unlikely Friendship

The truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. This was my first reaction on hearing this story.

After The Rising of 1916, Eamon de Valera who was one of the leaders was taken into custody after he surrendered. The soldier to whom he surrendered was a man named Hitzen. The soldier confiscated de Valera’s belongings, one of which was a pair of “field glasses’, binoculars to you and me. The soldier kept them.

“Eamon de Valera escorted to Ballsbridge Barracks after his surrender to Captain EJ Hitzen. De Valera is the figure on the far left of a group of three marching behind the flagbearer. Captain Hitzen is on the far right of the group carrying a flag under his arm (29 April 1916).”

Years later in 1938 when the Prime Minister of Britain, Neville Chamberlain, was coming to Ireland to effect the handover of the Treaty Ports, Hitzen contacted him and said he would like to return the field glasses.

The Prime Minister did just that.

Dev contacted Hitzen to thank him and a friendship developed between the two men. Such was Dev’s regard for Hitzen that he persuaded his old IRA brigade to make Hitzen and Honorary member and he got Michael O’Connor to draw up a scroll celebrating that fact.

This extraordinary story was sent to us by Stephen Rynne who tracked down the letter and the certificate. It was in The Isle of Man with a grand niece of Hitzen’s.

Truth stranger that fiction, surely.

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Booking Essential

Friday December 9 2022

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Barbara In Galway

St. John’s Listowel in August 2022

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Beloved Kerry Footballers

The man who posted this image on Twitter assures us that David Clifford is in there somewhere. Whenever his team, Fossa, play nowadays he is likely to be mobbed by admiring fans as soon as the final whistle is blown.

No mob here, unless its puffins or gannets. The great O’Sé’s on a trip to Scellig.

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The Griffin Family, Bridge Road. This old photo was shared online by a family member.

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Barbara’s Road Trip Takes her to Galway

When we got to Galway City, we had the evening to ourselves.   Knowing the area well, what do I do?  I walk almost 4 miles out to Salthill.  One of my favorite promenades in Ireland!!  

 I walked to the amusement park and then took the bus back to Merchant Street and shopped in the shops.   I shopped at Faller Jewelry.  Back in the 80’s, I was with my mother and got my first claddagh ring.   I misplaced my last one and I had to get a new ring.   I got one with my birthstone on it- a ruby stone!  A trip down memory lane.  

Inis Oirr

Next morning, we head to the seaside town of Doolin, one of my favorite towns along the Wild Atlantic Way.  Did you know there are 168 signs along the Wild Atlantic Way?   You could do a separate blog about that one! 

Inis Oirr

We boarded the ferry to Inis Oirr, the most easterly of the Aran Islands, which translates to East Island!  Ferry ride back treated us to the majestic beauty of The Cliffs of Moher, truly breath-taking. 

Cliffs of Moher

The best way to see the cliffs up close!  After that, we spent the night at The Lahinch Coast Hotel with the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, not my room.   A beautiful walk that evening was well worth it and of course, the 1st ice cream 99 cone!

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1940’s Listowel boys

Picture from The Advertiser shared by Mike Hannon

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Wedding of Mary and Dave

I had a lovely day at Mary and Dave’s wedding. The music as expected was out of this world. Thank you to Mary’s friends from Listowel Folk Group.

Members of Listowel Folk Group at the recent wedding of Mary Moylan and Dave Murphy; Denis O’Rourke, Mike Moriarty, Cathriona O’Neill Eileen Leen, Mary Moylan, Emer O’Neill, John Kinsella, Tina Kinsella and Mary Fagan

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A Fact

A horse’s age is determined by looking at his teeth. The term ‘long in the tooth” meaning old came about because of this fact.

As horses age their gums recede so their teeth appear longer. This gave rise to the assumption that the teeth were growing. They weren’t.

So a horses age can be determined by how much his gums have receded rather than by how much his teeth have grown.

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GAA and More

Listowel Courthouse and Library in July 2022

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Planning Your Weekend?

Two local festivals are back in full swing next weekend. Here are the details.

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The GAA is all about Family

Pic: Kerry GAA Fans Facebook page

There are some families that are steeped in GAA lore. Football is in the DNA of OSés, Griffins, Cliffords etc etc. But Pat Spillane’s farewell speech has to be the most poignant reminder of how much winning an All Ireland medal can mean even to families who have biscuit tins full of them under beds.

“My father never saw us play. The three sons have 19 All-Ireland medals and his two grandsons today, Killian and Adrian, have two more. He would have been a proud man, 21 senior All-Ireland football medals brought in to his house. It’s just a special day. A special day.”

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Stephen Fernane in this week’s Kerryman tells us why he also remembers his father on Ireland final day.

Photo; BBC Sport

Ogie Clifford in the Sam Maguire cup with his father, David, and his uncle, Paudie in Croke Park on Sunday, July 24 2022.

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Summers Past

“…Oh, for the touch of a vanished hand,

Or the sound of a voice that is still….”

This lovely photo is from The Irish Examiner archive. It was taken in a meadow in Wilton in Cork but it could be anywhere in Ireland in the 1950s and 60s.

I remember the gallon of tea and the sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper from a sliced pan.

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Obituary to a Man who Kept Lartigue History Safe

by David Kissane for The Ballydonoghue Parish Magazine

The Ballydonoghue Parish Magazine was saddened by the death recently of one of its original members, Mick Barry of Ballingown. Mick was an advertisement for mental and physical vigour, with a curious mind and a challenging nature.Well into his 90s, he had a long and interesting life, spent mostly on his farm in Ballingown where his father had passed away when Mick was quite young.

He was well rooted in his own townland and parish, and knew every inch and every person in the locality. He fulfilled many roles in his long lifetime, from farmer to enginerer to mechanic to historian to taxi driver to husband to father to grandfather to philosopher to much more.

He was a fear iol-dánach, a man for all seasons of human life. He was a valued companion of his friend John B Keane, a writer who valued the Kerryness of Mick. Mick contributed this Kerryness to his work with Listowel Writers Week and the Ballydonoghue Parish Magazine. His creativity was displayed on many occasions in his membership of the latter, creating the concept of the photo-story where he took an old photo and generated an article about the people in it, the time it was taken and the latent emotive potential around it. In times of doubt and division at a meeting, he could unentangle the algebra of issues and cast light on the possible road ahead.

An hour spent in Mick’s company always became three hours as he had the ability and nous to draw one into the fresh pastures of his tales, memories and histories. He was also, of course a humorous man and a rogue when it suited! A twinkle in his eye at the start of a story meant that his listener was going nowhere fast.

He was inspired by many things in the parish around him, not least the sulphur green and the bottle green and the lime green and the sea green of the Hill that looked down on him sometimes under a cobalt blue sky. He had the sunny side of that Hill as his first vista every morning, drawing a deep energising breath as he indulged his eyes over its raw and changing face for over 90 years. It was under that Hill that he recreated a section of the Lartigue Train to relive the Lartigue experience of the late 1800s and early 1900s, to the amazement and delight of neighbours like Páidín Roche and Joe Kennelly.

To see Mick in the company of his late wife Sheila at a meeting or on a night out was to experience a team of two who worked well together. They added a colour and texture to many a Lisselton night. Together they rinsed the mundane from many a flat ordinary occasion and rendered it special with a half smile, a knowing nod or a ripened word.

The BPM offers its sincere sympathy to the Barry family.

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Killarney Post Box, David Clifford,Killarney Shops

Is a female kingfisher a queenfisher?     Photo by Chris Grayson

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Post Box in killarney


Its not in use but I’m glad that they have left this important piece of street furniture.

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If Football is a Religion in Kerry then David Clifford is The Messiah

from last week’s Kerryman

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Some Killarney Shops where you can buy A Minute of Your Time



Farranfore


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Duhallow Knitwear



Duhallow Knitwear, known in Kanturk as “The Hosiery” gave much needed employment locally when I was growing up. It was famous for its good quality hard wearing classic knitwear.

This newspaper ad was shared on the Facebook page, Kanturk Memories.

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