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: Eddie Moylan

More cartoons, The Joys of Being Cocooned, a poem and a fact

Millenium Arch and Bridge Road, Listowel in March 2020


Love in a Time of Pestilence

“Let us live that they may say of us, when things were at their worst, we were at our best.”

I have to take a minute today to thank all the people who have been so nice to me in my cocoon.

 I have the very best neighbours in the world.

As well as doing my shopping, I get the newspaper delivered to my door, a care package for my birthday, a bottle of wine when my cellar was running low and I feared wine may not qualify as essential supplies, and a surprise lunch from Lizzie’s Little Kitchen. This is in addition to the usual jobs the Moylan family do for me, like mowing my lawn, spraying my weeds and providing

over -the- wall chats.

My pharmacist, Oonagh Hartnett made a special delivery of my medication.

I was blown away by this gesture from my friends, Liz and Jim Dunn.

Below is my present from my beloved goddaughter, Elizabeth Ahern. The inscription on the lovely Eileen Moylan bracelet says “Storms make the oak grow deeper roots.”

The oak is the symbol of the Ahern clan, my birth family.

I have become an expert on many social media platforms like Zoom, Hangouts and Houseparty. I video conference with my family and friends on these. My children ring me every day. I have never talked to them so much since they were children and lived with me. I play Pictionary with Cliona on  Houseparty and  I’ve even joined a quiz with Orla Kennelly and her friends. I’ve been to a Zoom birthday party.

I may yet make a TikTok!

The postman has brought me some gems to treasure.

One of the pleasant side effects of this lockdown is the daily contact with my family and friends. My phone has never rung so often.

Photos keep me abreast of what is happening with my family.

My daughter in law, Carine, is making me some facemarks.

I’m baking the recipes my friends share on Facebook. Thank you, Maria Sham, for this one.

I didn’t get to taste this one my sister in law made for Easter.

I’m reading and puzzling.

I light a candle for the front line soldiers and victims of this deadly virus.

Of course I am very grateful to all the blog followers who have offered me thanks and encouragement. I am especially thankful to everyone who is helping me out with content.

I know it’s not over yet, not by a long way, but I’m registering my thanks at this juncture.


A Picture Paints…….

Mike captioned this one Escape from the Nursing Home


 A Covid Rhyme

Today we have a new poet on the block. This is Daniel Murphy’s Banjaxed Limerick.

Banjaxed Limerick #19

There once was a Canon named Caoimhin

Who, wanting no Face Masks in Heaven,

Announced that ’Due to Viral Strife

Not Coviding thy Neighbor’s Wife  

Is now our Commandment Eleven.’


I Know for a Fact

The French company Bich changed its name to Bic to stop people in English speaking countries calling it Bitch.

The Owens of Ballyhorgan, Bibiana Foran and A Wireless Museum

Victorian Post box

This victorian post box in beautiful condition is in the railway station in Thurles. Isn’t it so much nicer than our modern rusting functional boxes?


Harriet Owen …A History

This is Harriet Owen who has family roots in Lixnaw with Paul Kennelly at a recent family reunion and celebration in Sheahan’s Cottage in Finuge.

Here in a nutshell is Harriet’s family connection to North Kerry

Harriet Owen

In 1750 William Owen (Miller) came from Wales to Rathdowney with his wife, Rebecca and three children. These were Rowland who married Isabella Scissons, They had no children, Robert married Sarah Hely and they had 8 children and Rebecca Owen.

The 7thchild of Robert and Sarah was John Hely Owen (1793-1870). He married Frances Smith in 1827. They had 6 children.

Henry Amyrald Smith Owe, son of John and Frances married Maria Frances gentleman in 1874. They lived in Ballyhorgan, Lixnaw. In 1860 Maria’s father  was instrumental in bringing the first bank to Listowel, The National Bank. Until then the nearest bank was in Limerick. Henry and Maria had 2 sons, John Hely Owen and Henry George Owen.

John Hely Owen (1877- 1952) married Lurline Ellis (known as Kitty) of Glenashone near Abbeyfeale. Her father, Richard Whateley Ellis was singer with  Carl Rosa Opera Company. The Ellis’ can trace their lineage back to Thomas Ellis of Co. Monaghan in the time of James the second. John Hely and Kitty lived at Ballyhorgan in the house known as The Cottage which had been built by old Goodman Gentleman as a dower house. They later moved to Glenashrone, formerly an Ellis house. When this house was burned during the civil war in 1922, the family moved back to Ballyhorgan. They had 5 children. The eldest, Henry Robert Owen sold the house and farm at Ballyhorgan in 1952.

Henry George Owen (1879-1955) married Olive Margaret Jane Eva Eager in 1910. When he married he moved to Aghatrohis, Bedford near Listowel. His wife Olive was the daughter of Major Oliver Stokes Eager, an army surgeon who served in the Ashanti War of 1873/74. The Eagwers were an old Kerry family The first Irish Eager , Robert was granted land in Queen’s County in the reign of Charles the First. His son, Alexander sold it and settled at Ballymalis, Co Kerry in 1667. The Stokes family had also lived in Kerry for many generations, being descended from The Knights of Kerry.

John Hely Owen and Frances Smith Owen’s granddaughter Frances Ayres married Sir Thomas Myles in 1888. He was a distinguished Dublin surgeon. As surgeon on duty, he attended Lord Cavendish and Mr. Burke in the Phoenix Park. He was an active supporter of Charles Steward Parnell’s Protestant Home Rule party. He owned a yacht, Cholah. In 1914 he was recruited along with Erskine Childers and Conor O’Brien to help in the importation of guns for the Irish Volunteers. Childers landed his part of the consignment from The Asgard at Howth on July 26 1914. A week later Myes’s cargo which consisted of 600 Mauser and 20,000 rounds of ammunition was landed by the Cholah in Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow. From 1900 to 1902 he was President of The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and was knighted on completion of his term of office. He was honorary surgeon in Ireland to King George V and during World War 1 he was consulting surgeon to HM Forces in Ireland. For this he was made a C.B.


Who was this lady?

I’m only a little bit wiser as to who this lady was and I have found no-one yet to tell me what the os in her name is all about. Could it be Oide Scoile? Was she a teacher?

Bibiana was a member of the Board of Guardians. They were originally in charge of the workhouse but their roles expanded to include all issues relating to Health and Welfare and it is here that this lady came into her own.

Bibiana from Ballyahill was the wife of a local well -to -do merchant, Jeremiah Foran. She was a friend of Lady Aberdeen and she was very supportive of this lady’s Health Train initiative. This was like a travelling clinic that went round the country advising on women’s health.

Bibiana also initiated school meals and she backed the purchase of a field close to the town for the purpose of putting up a sanatorium.


Listowel Vintage Wireless Museum

Eddie Moylan, collector, restorer, curator, owner and guide at Listowel Vintage Wireless Museum is a Corkman. He has made his home in Listowel and he fits right in with this town’s great respect for artefacts from a bygone era. No town deserves Heritage Town status more than Listowel.

In his privately owned museum, Eddie has collected a mind blowing array of wireless, gramaphone and broadcasting memorabilia. Eddie is often visited by radio enthusiasts and people with a love for the old sounds and the old voices. He very kindly gave my visitors a tour recently and they were mightily impressed.

Breeda used to work in the post office and she remembered well the old radio licence.

Opening Night Listowel Writers’ week 2018, Elizabeth Stack’s New Post and Emmetts Under 16s

Charming mosaic picture in the window of Olive Stack’s Gallery


Photos taken at Opening Night, Listowel Writers’ Week 2018

Niall MacMonagle was here to work, but not tonight. Also working were Máire Logue, Maria McGrath, Maria Leahy, Noel Twomey and Louise Lyons.  Eddie Moylan came to support his daughter, Catherine who introduced proceedings on the night and Robert Pierce and the Walshes of Aspire Technology were there to present their prizes. The rest were heading to the Listowel Arms for a night out, one of the highlights of the Listowel season.


Emmetts Abú

I spotted this story and photos on Listowel Emmetts’ website

Emmets U16’s choose the bog over the beach 😀

Fair play to our U16 team and mentors who spent this evening in the bog with Seamus Stack. It was all for a great cause too as the turf will be sold to raise much needed funds for The Nano Nagle School here in Listowel. 


 Listowel Lady doing well

This is the account in this week’s Kerryman of Elizabeth Stack of Listowel and her new job.

This is what it says in The Irish Echo;

The Irish American Heritage Museum has a new director.

Elizabeth Stack has taken the helm and has plans to extend the reach of the museum beyond its physical location in New York’s state capital, Albany.

“I have lots of plans for the museum and am excited to settle in to the capital region,” said Stack, who previously worked at the Institute of Irish Studies at Fordham University.

“I am looking forward to meeting the wider community,” said Stack who indicated her intent to extend the museum’s activities beyond its home city.

The museum describes its educational mission as “To preserve and tell the story of the contributions of the Irish people and their culture in America, inspiring individuals to examine the importance of their own heritage as part of the American cultural mosaic.”

The museum was first organized in 1986 by the New York State American-Irish Legislators Society and was initially financed by the State Natural Heritage Trust, the State Council on the Arts, and private donations.

Initially, and after it opened in June, 1990, the museum was located on the grounds of the Irish Culture and Sports Center in East Durham, in New York’s Catskills region.

In 1992, the museum was permanently chartered by the Board of Regents of the State of New York as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

The museum was relocated to downtown Albany in 2012. The 3,250 square foot space opened on January 17, 2012 and includes the Paul O’Dwyer Library and the Ancient Order of Hibernians’ archives.

Exhibits at the museum have included: “Irish in the Civil War,” which looked at Irish Americans in the American Civil War; “The Irish and the Erie Canal,” which highlighted the contributions of the Irish in all phases of the Erie Canal construction, and “Dublin: Then and Now,” which included photographs of the streets of Dublin in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

States the museum on its website: “Our museum….provides year-round access to our exhibits, our Paul O’Dwyer Library, lectures, presentations, film screenings, book signings and other special programs and events.

“The Museum was an integral force in providing instruction in New York State’s public schools about the Irish Famine of 1845-1853.  Further, we are the first Museum of its kind here in America to have exhibited at the National Library in Dublin.”

The museum is located at 370 Broadway in Albany.


Remembered with Love

Sunday, June 10, would have been Fr. Pat Moore’s birthday. In this age of social media, people find solace in posting messages on a dead loved ones’ page. I visited Fr. Pat’s page on his birthday and it was lovely to see the old pictures of his smiling brave presence among us.

Ní imithe uainn atá sé, ach imithe romhainn.

Snow, Storm Emma, Writers’ Week team, Some words of wisdom and some old stuff

The Week we went Mad

Today is March 5 2018 and Ireland is picking itself up after one of the strangest weeks I have yet witnessed. We had an extreme weather event when a snow storm from the west met a wind storm from the east and we witnessed blizzard conditions.

We went mad. I think everyone ate sandwiches and soup for a week as supplies of sliced pans and vegetables sold out faster than they traditionally do on Christmas Eve. 

Slimming World  and Weighwatchers will make a killing from this.

Marie Moriarty took these photos in Garvey’s Super Valu, Listowel on March 1 2018 at 10.30 a.m.


Then we went outdoors and we made snowmen, snow women and snow dogs, igloos and even a sneachtapus.

A Kerry snowman…more specifically a Kilflynn snowman.

A Lithuanian/Kerry snowman

An igloo under construction in Kanturk. Igloos and snow sculptures were popping up everywhere.


This creation trumps them all.

A video appeared on Facebook of downhill skiing in Moyvane.

Aisling and her sisters made a Cork snowman in Ballincollig.

Meanwhile my Kildare based family were snowed in.

I am so lucky to have neighbours who look after me. Eddie Moylan shovelled the snow from my drive and Helen Moylan brought me a delicious dinner when our trip to Allos had to be called off.


Glentenassig by Deirdre Lyons


Ladies Who Lunch

No, they are not really ladies who lunch. The Writers’ Week team were bidding farewell  to their German intern when I met them in Scribes last week.


On 3/4/17 Fr. Pat Moore posted on his blog.

Worth repeating 

“Be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you will not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now.”


Everything that is in God, is God”

Meister Eckhart 


Listowel girls?


Drink Aware

Billy MacSweeney found this poster which was issued as part of an anti drink campaign in 1919. I think they’d put you off drink alright.

1908 in the workhouse and people at a book launch

Today’s account of Christmas in Listowel workhouse is from the Kerryman of 1908 and I’ll give it to you as Junior Grifin wrote it to me. 

He came across the article when he was researching the origins of badminton in Listowel.

“What was Listowel and Ireland like when they commenced Badminton?

The year of 1908 was still in living memory of the great famine, Ireland’s own holocaust.

There were several workhouses set up around the Listowel area to cater for the destitute men, women and children during the famine period and there was at least one still in use in the early years of the 20th centaury.  This was located around the area where the hospital is today; indeed many older people still refer to the Mass in the hospital church as “the workhouse Mass”.

The workhouse was under the auspices of the “Listowel Board of Guardians” and the “Kerryman” report of the childrens Christmas party under that body in 1907 read as follows;”


Christmas treat to the Children of Listowel Workhouse

“The Xmas treat entertainment which has become a pleasing annual event in the lives of the little children of the Listowel Union, was carried out in an admirable manner on the night of New Year’s Day.

Mrs. Foran, Lady Guardian for Listowel, and vice-chairman of the board, was-as been her wont since she became a guardian of the poor-the central figure, as well as the originator of this year’s Xmas tree entertainment, and the manner in which the various details incidental to such pleasurings were carried out, as well as the considerateness with which she contrived to give pleasure to the individual little ones of the Workhouse by her kindly and tasteful distribution of the good things provided, gives evidence of her thoroughness of head and heart. The delight of the little ones was apparent in every nook and corner, where they could be seen gloating over their presents either singly or in groups.

The Ladies who were present were and who assisted in distributing the toys, etc., were- Miss J. Broderick, Miss Hartnett, Miss Lyons, Miss Nolan, Miss D. Nolan, Miss McElligott, Miss O’Donnell.  The Matron of the workhouse and the school mistress were most assiduous in securing comfort for the children.

The band of the Listowel Total Abstinence Society attended the entertainment, and ably rendered choice selections of music from 8 to 10 o’clock.  This did much towards enhancing the pleasure of the little workhouse children, and enough credit can hardly be given to the band, individually and collectively for their decent, humane and manly action in their giving to the children of the very poor, if even for only two short hours in the year, a glimpse into the joyful and mirthful things of life, which are by forces of circumstances to them denied, and which to the more fortunate little ones outside the workhouse walls are matters of daily, perhaps hourly occurrence. It is particularly creditable that each individual member of the band played his part with much zest and earnestness for those little waifs and strays of humanity as he could have done in the palace of a King and for the most select of audiences.  They well merited the thanks which Mr. Maurice Griffin, editor of the “Kerryman”, bestowed on them, and the proceedings terminated, leaving everyone with the pleasurable knowledge that those for whom the treat was inaugurated were for this one night as happy as if there was never a shadow of a care or sorrow in this vale of tears.

The following are the contributors- Mrs. R.H. McCarthy, The Glebe, box of toys; Miss McElligott, Mount Rivers, beautiful dressed doll, boxes of sweets, cakes, chocolates and picture books; Miss Hartnett, two gipsy dolls; Miss Foynes, mother-hubbard doll; Miss Stewart,  Sailor doll; Miss McAuliffe, box of toys; Mrs. Barry, tin of biscuits; Mrs Crowley, 2 boxes candy; Mr. T Walsh, oranges; Mr. Daly, oranges;

Mr. Corridan, box of sweets; Mrs. Foran, £2.


Some Christmas windows

Listowel Travel

And a Christmas window dresser


This is the view up up Church St.      Do you like our new Christmas light feature?

St. John’s with tree


People who attended the launch of Vincent Carmody’s book


Some photos of Listowel people in the Memory Lane section of this week’s Kerryman


Don’t forget the Santa parade at 1.00p.m. on Sunday and the Craft Fair in The Seanchaí.

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