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: dew

Castleisland, McAuliffe Plasterers, the benefits of dewand Last Week’s “Thoughts” from Radio Kerry

A Feral Goat by Neil T. Halligan, photo finalist in the Irish Widlife Trust photography competition.


Old Chapel Lane

On the day I was in Castleisland this road would have been better named Mart Lane. Every car that went down while I was there had a trailer of cattle behind it,

When you have a really wide footpath you have room for some lovely trees without interfering with the flow of traffic.


Listowel MacAuliffes, Plasterers extraordinaire 

A great grandson of Pat MacAuliffe who contributed so much to Listowel’s unique streetscape put the above picture together for us. Warren Buckley, in the course of his family research discovered that many of  his family had distinguished  careers in plastering. It’s not just Listowel that has been enhanced by McAuliffe plasterwork. We share that distinction with Jamaica, New York, Havana and Boston.


In the Early Morning Dew

Apparently there was a May custom in Ireland of collecting dew. The following account I found in a website called  Our Irish Heritage in a blog by Mike Rendell

The collecting of dew would take weeks of preparation. In April, May and into June the girls would get up before the dawn, go to the green fields (wheat was best) and harvest the dew – either with their bare hands, or more especially by spreading a sheet out over the moist grass, and then wringing it out and collecting it in a glass jar. This would be topped up every day, and for the whole year would sit in the sunlight by a suitable window. Every few days the concoction would be purified by carefully straining off the water so as to leave behind any sediment, dirt, or other impurities. And so, after nearly a year in which the freshest of fresh waters was imbued with sunbeams, it could be splashed on the face! Dr Boate’s book opined “The dew, thus thoroughly purified, looketh whitish, and keepeth good for a year or two after.”

The distillation was at its most powerful if applied before sunrise on 1st May, and in an age when we consider it beneficial to rub avocado extract into our hair, or spread unmentionable products over our skin to prevent wrinkles, who is to say that a spot of early morning dew water is not just as magical in its properties?

The practice gave rise to the riddle

I washed my face in water

That had neither rained nor run,

And I dried it on a towel

That was neither woven nor spun.

The answer lay in the fact that having washed your face in dew you always allowed it to dry in the fresh air – you would hardly go to all that trouble and then wipe it off afterwards!


Just a Thought

Last week I was the “preacher” on Radio Kerry’s Just a Thought. My Thoughts are


Dan Mulhall, Listowel Races 2017, Ladies Day

Photo: Chris Grayson


Dan Mulhall, New Irish Ambassador to the U.S.

Text: Mark Holan

Waterford-born diplomat Daniel Mulhall has begun his tenure as Ireland’s 18th Ambassador to the United States. He was scheduled to meet President Donald Trump 8 September at the White House.

They may talk about Twitter, in addition to more touchy topics.

Mulhall tweets Irish poetry and other messages to highlight Ireland’s achievements via @DanMulhall. His 13.2K followers are shy of @realDonaldTrump‘s nearly 38 million, but far more literary.

He is also planning to write regular blog posts to explain his role as ambassador, and deal with issues related to today’s Ireland and its links with the U.S., including culture, literature, and history.

“When the world changes, diplomacy has to change,” Mulhall said during a private reception I attended.

His priorities as ambassador, he said, include working with Trump and Congress on issues of importance to Ireland, including immigration; economic promotion; and engaging the 35-million-strong Irish-American community, “a huge asset for Ireland.”

Mulhall specialized in modern Irish history at University College Cork. He is the author of A New Day Dawning: A Portrait of Ireland in 1900, and co-editor of The Shaping of Modern Ireland: A Centenary Assessment.


1930s Transport

This photograph of Tom Langan is being shared widely on Co. Limerick websites.


Early Morning Dew in Listowel


Harvest Festival 2017

Patrick Godfrey took this photo of the firework display to mark the end of The Races for 2017. I only got to the Island on Friday and Saturday. I will share my photos over the week.

 On Friday which was Ladies Day there were well dressed people everywhere. It was lovely to see so many men making the effort to co ordinate with their women folk.

 Stylish Eilish was ,as usual, living up to her name.

Eilish’s beautiful hat is a Aoife Hannon creation.

Lovely mother and daughter combination

Betty can always be depended on to look cheerful and colourful.

Betty made her own hat, definitely a contender for jazziest hat. In my opinion much more jazzy that the chapeau that won.

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