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: Eamon OMurchu Page 1 of 2

North Kerry

Market Street, Listowel, December 2021


Ads for North Kerry Businesses

From Shannonside Annual 1958


A Christmas Window…Behan’s Horseshoe

One of these bunnies is a bit on the Kildare side. Maybe he overindulged in The Horseshoe.


A Poem

Today’s poem is by Éamon ÓMurchú. It arose out of a recent hospital stay.

Fear Turns to Awe

Thirteen years 

of fear and trepidation

Change in the space of two days 

To Gratitude  and Admiration

Everybody here Displays




Professionalism –

putting the patients first 

in all they plan and do

Front of House staff 

give warm and reassuring welcome

While in the pre-op room 

frenzied yet consistent attention to detail

Plan Prepare and Reassure

In the Operating Theatre 

one witnesses 

albeit briefly 





and Skill Sets 

that know no bounds

And there is the Patient’s room

where the Night Nurse

caring, patient, encouraging 

with kind demeanour makes a sleepless night 


-the patient coping 

by looking forward to her next visit and chat

And the Day Nurse –

Kind comforting reassurance

coupled with

firm but sensitive directives

which hasten recovery and healing

People gifted kind unique

We owe them; let’s not forget that

All personnel here share 

a humanity and concern for life 

in all its manifestations – 

so exemplary,

so necessary 

in our world today  

Conversion is their trade

Fear into awe

Worry into relief

Darkness into light

Sadness into joy

These people 

are of the same stock as you and me

Vulnerable and proficient

Deserving affirmation

Let’s not be wanting in our response

Let’s praise, applaud and celebrate

In deed and word

Joining them in their healing

Thus making a better world

Éamon Ó Murchú 



Which Crest?

A blog follower needs help from O’Connors or anyone well versed in heraldry.

She wishes to know which of these family crests is the correct one for her Kerry O’Connor clan.


Costing a Fortune

Mattie Lennon wrote a letter to The Sunday Independent. When he saw it in print he was surprised to see that someone had done the Math and came up with the answer to the question he posed.

I’d love to know did he arrive at the correct answer. It looks a bit big to me. I know that there are a few mathematicians among followers of Listowel Connection. Your help is needed.


One for those with a Limerick Connection

Vincent Carmody has produced another triumph. In this latest book he has been joined by his good friend, Tom Donovan to produce a pictorial account of Limerick commercial life between 1840 and 1960.

The book was launched in Limerick on November 30th.

Left to right in St. Mary’s Cathedral at the launch were Tom Ruddle, Deputy Mayor of Limerick, Tom Donovan, Vincent Carmody and Jimmy Moloney, Mayor of Kerry


Predecimal coins, listowel military, Fighting Gorse Fires and Some Lockdown Activities

Listowel Garda Station in May 2020


from Fogotten Ireland


A Gorse Fire

John Kelliher took this photo of a recent gorse fire.


Listowel Military

Maureen Barrett formerly of Ballylongford sent us this photograph. She only knows a few lads but maybe other people will know more.

I presume that this is the Listowel FCA/LDF members from away back.

I know only a few people that are from Ballylongford  

front in center in civilian clothes is Dave Neligan from Ahanagran, Ballylongford, 

first row standing 4th from the right is Tommy Hennessy (RIP) Ballylongford, peeking over his shoulder is Patrick Moriarty Ballylongford-sorry to say don’t know anyone else-some of your followers might be able to help-Maureen Barrett


Keeping Busy in Lockdown

Breda Ferris has been to the bog in Ballylongford.

In Switzerland, Laura, granddaughter of our friends Jim and Liz Dunn of Athea, looks after her chickens.

In London, Maria Sham, formerly of Listowel is busy baking and barbecuing.

Bernie Carmody visited St. Batt’s Well.

In Dublin, Eamon ÓMurchú went for a spin on his bike.

Eamon at the Eccentric Orbit sculpture in Portmarnock.

Listowel ICA at St. Patrick’s Day, St. Michael’s and Malahide Castle

An Old Gate

This gate is a kind of folly. You can see it on the John B. Keane Road near the Ballygologue Crossroads. It is beside a back lane into Ballygologue. It serves no purpose except to remind us that this was once the countryside and this was a gate into a field.


John B. Keane Road in March 2020

Cahirdown in lockdown


St. Michael’s extension

This is the newly built extension to St. Michael’s College. It’s quiet and deserted now but will see teenage boys enjoy its facilities in the not too distant future.


Listowel ICA in St. Patrick’s Day Parades

(Photos provided by Máire MacMahon)


The Healing Hand of Nature

(photos from Eamon Ó Murchú taken in March 2020 before the lockdown)


A Poem from John McGrath

Missing the Last Waltz

My mother wears her bitterness

Like a dark shawl tonight.

Turf-smoke curls about her smoke-grey hair.’Your father had two left feet,’ she spits
Grasping the tongs with blue-veined fingers,
She pokes the fire to coax the dying flames.
‘I should have married a dancer,’ she sighs
And now her eyes are filled
With the hornpipes of memory
As the ghosts of a thousand hopefuls
Swirl her round the room.
‘O, how we loved to dance.’
We lose her for a moment
In the ashes of lost chances,
Until once more the fading embers flicker.
‘We could have had our pick,
Kathleen and me.’
Twin heartbreakers in pleated dresses.
They left the dancers standing,
Dashing down Oxford Road
For the last train home,
Missing the last waltz.

John McGrath

Old Indian Marriage Customs, Holy Water, Pres. Girls and a John ODonoghue poem

Ita Hannon took a great photo of this beautiful pheasant.


Indian Marriages in the late Nineteenth Century

Lyttelton Times, 21 July 1882
By Kbor. (Adelaide Observer)

The wedding season in India lasts two months. The number of marriages which take place there may be guessed when it is remembered that the population in British India alone is nearly 200,000,000, and that marriage is practically universal there. The happy months—the merriest time of all the glad new year—are February and March, whose every day sees a thousand hearts plighted and a thousand couples bound by the bonds of law if not by the silver cords of love. From morning to night the sound of marriage music strikes upon the ear.



When we were free to wander around, Eamon Ó Murchú went to Malahide Castle.

Here are a few of his photos.


This is the Time to be Slow


Pres. Girls

Sixth class 97/98 Presentation Primary School Listowel


The Benefits of Holy Water

There is a most interesting and edifying notice on Holy Water in the porch of Castleisland Church, just above a Holy Water font. It reads as follows:

“Untold spiritual wealth is concentrated in a tiny drop of blessed water… and we give it so little thought!

Did we realise now, as we shall realise after death, the many benefits which may be derived from holy water, we would use it far more frequently, and with greater faith and reverence.

Holy water has its great power and efficacy from the prayers of the Church, which its Divine Founder always accepts with complacency.


“O God… grant that this creature of Thine (water) may be endowed with devine (sic) grace to drive away devils and to cast out our diseases , that whatever in the houses or possessions of the faithful may be sprinkled by this water , may be freed from everything unclean, and delivered from what is hurtful… Let everything that threatens the safety or peace of the dwellers therein be banished by the sprinkling of this water, so that the health which they seek by calling upon Thy Holy Name may be guarded from all assault.”


These prayers ascend to Heaven each time you take holy water and sprinkle a drop either for yourself or for another, whether he be present or absent; and God’s blessings descend for soul and body.


The devil hates holy water because of its power over him. He cannot long abide in a place or near a person that is often sprinkled with this blesses (sic) water.

Do Your Dear Ones Live at a Distance?

Holy water, sprinkled with faith and piety, can move the Scared Heart to bless your loved ones and protect them from all harm of soul and body. When worry and fear take possession of your heart, hasten to your holy water font, and give your dear ones the benefit of the Church’s prayers.

The Holy Souls long for it.

Only in Purgatory can one understand how ardently a port soul longs for holy water. If we desire to make a host of intercessions for ourselves, let us try to realise now some of their yearnings, and never forget them at the holy water font. The holy souls nearest to Heaven may need the sprinkling of only one drop to relieve their pining souls.

Remits Venial Sins.

Because holy water is one of the Church’s sacramental, it remits venial sin. Keep your soul beautifully pure in God’s sight by making the Sign of The Cross carefully while saying, “By this holy water and by Thy Precious Blood wash away all my sins, O Lord.”

There is another notice underneath the above one; it covers over the empty holy water font, and reads as follows: “Holy water Fonts are empty due to COVID 19 Coronavirus.”

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.


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…


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!



Brotherly Love

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


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.


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.


One for the Diary

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

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