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: Eileen Moylan Page 1 of 5

Rattoo, Sr. Ignatius Moore, River Walk, An Gleann Footballers and Claddagh Design

 Sunset at Rattoo

Photo: Bridget O’Connor


Pushing up Daisies

I took this photo in St. Michael’s Graveyard  in Listowel. I apologise if this is your family grave. I mean no disrespect by the caption.


An Extraordinary Irish Missionary Sister

Southern Cross Adelaide, SA – Fri 20 Mar 1931

Madras (India) .—One of the most remarkable missionary careers of modern times came to a close with the death at 91 years of age of Mother Ignatius Moore, of the Presentation Order, at Kodaikanal, Diocese of Trichinopoly, India, on January 11. 

Possessing a striking personality, thevenerable nun was well known throughout Southern India, and four generations of children passed through her hands in her 67 years of active life spent in the country. She never returned to her native land of Ireland after leaving it in 1863. When Bishop Fennelly, vicar Apostolic of Madras, visited Ireland in 1863 seeking workers for his mission, Mother Ignatius offered  her services, and set out with a small group of Sisters for the perilous journey. The shorter route through the Suez Canal was then unknown as also the swift and safe steamers of the present day. 

The voyage” to India was made in a sailing vessel via the Cape Of Good Hope, the trip covering five months. 

Mother Ignatius was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind Medal by the Government in 1917, in recognition of her long and meritorious services in the cause of education. In 1922 she celebrated her diamond jubilee, which marked the close of her 5oth year-as a religious.
When the pioneer Nun arrived in Madras there was but one Presentation Convent. Now there are six, besides the one at Kodaikanal. She lived to see the great-grandchildren of her former pupils, to see Madras develop from a small seaside town to a great  modern city, and to see the immense progress in almost every field of missionary endeavour in Southern India.


River Walk

This photo was taken on the footwalk under the bridge about 5 years ago.

I took that walk again recently. The level of water in the river was very low

Has anyone any idea what this is? It was in the river.


An Gleann photo shared by Noel Roche. I have no names or year.


They’re Back

Behan’s The Horseshoe and John R’s foodhall are open again.


Never out of Fashion

Listowel’s Eileen Moylan’s timeless jewellery business is featured in the Fashion section of this week’s RTE Guide.

Claddagh Design is open for business throughout the pandemic and Eileen ships to anywhere in the world where shipping is allowed during the crisis.

I am a great fan of Eileen’s work and I am the very proud owner of several pieces created by her.

This is the beautiful bracelet I got for my birthday.

My family worked with Eileen on the design and materials for this piece which is made from my late husband’s wedding ring and a sapphire from the first ring he gave me.

As well as her bespoke pieces, Eileen makes off- the- shelf treasures as well.

You may remember Eileen in Craftshop ns Méar as she introduced her very popular Listowel range which, with the blessing of the MacMahon family, she called “My Silver River Feale”.

I have featured here before some of her gorgeous one off pieces.

Eileen also does big pieces like awards, mayoral chains and presentation pieces.

The Kerry Chain

Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Brendan Kennelly at Listowel Writers’ Week

Listowel Writers’ Week award to Edna O’Brien.

 Eileen also makes wedding jewellery.

She works from her studio in Co. Cork but she is still very attached to her Listowel roots.

Remembrance Sunday, Garda Recruitment in 1923 and Celebrating A minute of Your Time


Listowel Town Square, November 10 2019

Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, November 11 is a day to celebrate peace but to also remember the horrors of the two world wars that changed our world beyond recognition.

This poem by a little known Scottish poet captures the ‘shell shock” and post traumatic stress of survivors.

When you see millions of the mouthless dead

Across your dreams in pale battalions go,

Say not soft things as other men have said,

That you’ll remember. For you need not so.

Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know

It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?

Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.

Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.

Say only this, ‘They are dead.’ Then add thereto,

‘Yet many a better one has died before.’

Then, scanning all the o’ercrowded mass, should you

Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,

It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.

Great death has made all his for evermore.

Charles Hamilton Sorley


Freestate Police Recruits

This advert which I posted a while ago aroused great interest.

Vincent Carmody had this to say on the matter;


I was interested in the advert for the new police force. At one time I made a lot of esquires when I  was researching details of an uncle of mine, Patrick Walsh of Pollough, who joined the new force in 1924. 

When plans for the new force were been drawn up,  Michael Collins was very anxious to have a crossover of serving R.I.C. officers and constables join the new Irish Police force. This was,  of course, to avail and use their expertise. However there was a lot of bitterness and resentment among many of the men who had been active in the I.R.A. and who would still have regarded these ex- R.I.C. men  as the enemy. This movement would have spawned the Kildare Mutiny, 

From figures that I have since gleaned from that wonderful historian, ex Chief Super. Donal O’ Sullivan,  between 150 and 200 from the R.I.C. would have signed up initially, with many of these resigning through intimidation, of the total number who joined, 60 men stayed in the Garda Force until their proper retirement age.

Back to my uncle Patrick, I checked with Garda Archives  and found that he had served in the old I.R.A. and then joined the pro Treaty side during the Civil War. He joined the Guards on the 28/8/1924 and his first posting was to a town in Co. Cork on 8/1/1925. He remained there until he resigned on the 5/9/1928. The official reason was that he was intending to emigrate to America.

However like all family history, I found that there were stories behind the story. Patrick would have been the eldest son of the Walsh family and as Irish tradition goes, he would, if he had wanted, been likely to inherit the Walsh family farm, My grandmother Mary Walsh, however, had a wish that her eldest son to go for the priesthood as soon as he had completed his time at St. Michael’s. After his leaving certificate, and deciding against the priesthood, he joined the local I.R.A. along with his cousin and friend Con Brosnan and many others from the Clounmacon and Moyvane areas. Following the Treaty, he, again like Con, joined the new Free State Army as a private. Following the Civil War and reluctant to return to farming he joined the Gardai. 

According to Con Brosnan, who once told me, Patrick was an above avarage footballer and when based in Cork, he played with distinction with the Cork Junior team beaten by a point in Killarney by Clare in the Munster Junior Final of 1925. Football was to figure again in the story of his early retirement from the force, whereas the official line was that he resigned voluntary as he had intended to travel to America, I have found out the he, along with the rest of his team-mates from the club which he was playing for, had won a divisional championship and were celebrating in a number of local pubs on the Sunday night of the final. In those days, Sunday drinking was taboo, so people found on, if caught, would be taken to court and fined. In Patrick and his teammates case they were caught in two different pubs by the Sargent of the Gardai, who was on duty that night. Whatever about the general public, it would have been regarded as a major scandal for a serving Guard to be found drinking outside regular hours. So, in order to avoid an inquiry, my uncle took the easiest way out and made a clean break, voluntary retiring, saying he wished to go to America. Instead of which, he went to Australia, where he lived until his death in the late 1960’s.

In John Bs, ‘Self Portrait’, he describes how, when in England, he and his friend, Murphy,  saw joining the British Navy, would have been an ideal way of seeing the world, having filled up the entry forms and listed themselves as been Irishmen, the petty officer having read the forms, duly told them that they were British as were their parents. Unwilling to give way in terms of nationality, John B and Denis Murphy retreated, with John B later recalling in his book, ” The Royal Navy suffered a terrible defeat on that day, even if it doesn’t know about it. It lost a probable Drake and a possible Nelson. 

In that sense and in the same vein  I wonder, did the Gardai lose a possible future  Commissioner when Pat  Walsh resigned in 1928 !!!!


And Nicholas had another insight into the eligibility or otherwise of some candidates;

Hi, Mary,

Most interesting advert for An Garda Síochána from Eoin Ó Dubhthaigh, Commissioner.  Might I point out that, as Gaeilge, it specifies that anyone who had NOT worked for Ireland’s cause in the battle against England would NOT be accepted- hence many applicants sought and received ‘nominations’ from ex-IRA members of standing to show that they had been active in the fight. We must assume that these were true. But if they were handled the same as pensions for some such warriors, then….. Nicholas.


A Book That Changed my Life

A Minute of Your Time has brought a shower of blessings into my life.

I’ve received umpteen personal messages, handwritten messages, emails, an apple tart and buns, cups of coffee and more. I feel truly valued. Thank you everyone.

 I am now well known to the postal services. These letters reached me but I would advise if you are ordering a book for me to post, its best to send me an email first and I’ll send you my land address.

The biggest surprise has to be this unexpected endorsement from Michael O’Regan in his Call from the Dáilon Kerry Today on Radio Kerry on Friday.

When your friend is a silversmith and you have this box delivered to you……

 Eileen Moylan of Claddagh Design made me this beautiful solid silver bookmark. My cup runneth over….

As well as all the celebrating and self absorption I have been signing my book for local shops and next Friday I will be having a Cork launch in Kanturk in the Edel Quinn Hall at 7.30. I’m looking forward to taking my book back to my roots.

Claddagh Design News, Reading The Advertiser and An Emigrant Returns

Photo: Ita Hannon


Boston to Boston with Delta Airlines

( and the Listowel Connection)

This is the very talented silversmith/goldsmith Eileen Moylan of  Claddagh Design

Eileen is well known for her award winning jewellery and one-off presentation pieces.

Eileen was in Boston last week on a really exciting adventure.

 She was the guest of Delta Airlines because she was chosen to be part of their celebration. I’ll tell you the story from Paula who writes the Claddagh Design blog.

Eileen Moylan of Claddagh Design joins forces with Delta Air Lines on their upcoming creative project: Boston to Boston Souvenir Shop.

The concept behind this exciting project: Bostonians love Boston. So much so, why would they ever want to leave? With Delta, they don’t have to. If you love Boston, Delta can take you to other Bostons around the world.

Delta and Wieden+Kennedy New York celebrate the pride Bostonians take in their city with The Boston to Boston Souvenir Shop.

The mobile souvenir truck will be making it’s way around the city over three days, offering a limited edition curated collection of Boston themed pieces. Each piece from 10 different artisan makers, merchants, and creators from Boston destinations Delta travel to around the world.

The collection includes Eileen’s very own limited edition Claddagh Ring, handcrafted in our Claddagh Design workshop. Representing Boston Ireland, Eileen will share the Claddagh Design story. Her beautifully handcrafted Sterling Silver Claddagh Ring will be available to purchase.


Catching up with the Listowel news 

Reading The Advertiser in the Indian summer sunshine in Listowel’s Main Street.


Welcome Home, Noel

I finally met Noel Roche in person. Noel Roche is a loyal and appreciative friend of Listowel Connection. I met him on William Street with his sister, Dolores and his old neighbour and friend, John Hennessey.


We Won Silver

Our Mayor, second from left in front, receiving Listowel’s silver award in Entente Florale 2019

Still More from Opening Night LWW 2018, Listowel Hospice fundraising and Edna O’Brien’s award

Photo; Graham Davies


Three ladies who starred on Writers’ Week Opening Night, May 30 2018

 Catherine Moylan, vice chair of Listowel Writers’ Week was first up. She conquered the nerves and we all relaxed along with her.

 Elizabeth Dunne, in her final year of her three year stint as chairperson, played a blinder as usual. She has worked tirelessly at this job and it’s a tribute to her professionalism that she insisted on mastering the Irish bits herself. She could so easily have called on the services of a native but that’s not Liz’s way.

The star of the night was Edna O’Brien who received the Lifetime contribution to the Arts award. She was a worthy winner and proved a big hit throughout the festival.

The magnificent silver piece which is presented to the recipient of Listowel Writers’ Week John B. Keane Lifetime Achievement Award is designed and made by Listowel silversmith, Eileen Moylan.

Each year, Eileen designs a bespoke piece uniquely relevant to the recipient. The photos don’t really do this piece justice. It is engraved all round with the titles of Edna O’Brien’s books. 

Not only is the award a singular honour, much to be desired, but the silver trophy is a unique piece of Irish silverware, to be treasured and valued.

Photo by the official festival photographer, Ger Holland

There was to be another strong woman doing the official opening. Poet, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill was ill and unable to perform the task. In her stead, American poet, Billy Collins took on the job at short notice.

Billy Keane told us that, when he met the prince of Wales in Killarney, he did his bit in securing a really big name to open the festival next year. Wouldn’t Camilla be perfect for the role?


A Few More famous and not so famous people who attended Opening Night Writers’ Week 2018 and a few lucky volunteers who were ‘working’ on the night


Hospice Flag Day

I met these volunteers last week out collecting for the Listowel branch of Kerry hospice.

Opening Night LWW 18, Gerard Mulvihill, a Living Art competition and Camilla and the Listowel Connection

Feeding Time

Photo; Graham Davies


The Great and the Good arrive for Opening Night, Listowel Writers’ Week 2018

Two lovely Listowel ladies who always love to support Writers’ Week are Nora Sheahan and Betty Stack

Singer/songwriter, John Spillane arrives for Opening Night.

Seamus Hosey of Rte, a regular at Writers’ Week.

Con and Catherine Kirby of Listowel love Writers’ Week.

One of the stars of the festival in 2018 was the great Pauline Bewick. She came to opening night with her daughter, Poppy. The artists were greeted by fellow artist and chair of Writers’ Week Art Committee, Jim Dunn.

Vincent Carmody of Listowel brought some Newcastlewest friends.

Canon Declan O’Connor, whose father was once a chairperson of Listowel Writers’ Week arrived accompanied by Bishop Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry.

Breda Moore came with her daughter.

Joan McCarthy, Head of Tourism in Kerry County Council, appreciates her native town’s magnificent tourism offering.

Tom McEllistrim was there.

Journalist, Gerard Mulvihill, arrived with family and friends.

Gerard Mulvihill is one of five students from Kildare, Kerry, Dublin and Galway about to commence their summer internships as part of the HRI Student Internship Programme. The interns will be based in HRI’s head office at Ballymany, Kildare in the Marketing and Communications Departments and Tote Ireland and at Leopardstown Racecourse.                  Source; Go Racing on Facebook

Our own Fr. Martin Hegarty came to enjoy yet another Writers’ Week.


Listowel Folklore recorded by children in 1938

Peggy’s Leg

Kevin Sheehy of Church St. interviewed Dan Broderick also of Church Street.

Dan remembered a woman called Peggy Carey who used to make a confection called Peggy’s Leg. It was made from sugar and farmers’ butter. Peggy also sold seagrass. Peggy used to  sell her wares at “Listowel Cross out in Newtown”. I’m presuming this refers to Moyvane.  The Peggy’s Leg cost  two pence. 

Another local confectioner was Bridge Conway. She used to sell penny bars which she made herself. 


Have a go at this novel competition


John Hannon Archive Photos Revisited

I posted this picture of these two handsome devils before and no body could help me with names. The reason no-one had names is because they were not local men at all but apparently came to town with a “Wall of Death” attraction. They rode motorbikes around a cage climbing higher and higher up a mesh ‘wall”.

I met this handsome devil, Batt O’Keeffe and he remembered the occasion well. It was the first date for himself and his now wife Gertie in Banna.


The Duchess, the Silver Bookmark, Presentation 75 Commemorative book, A nun, a poem and The Listowel Connection

On Friday last we had a working meeting for the Presentation Commemorative Book. 

Sr. Mary MacMahon and Sr. Consolata hard at work on choosing photos for inclusion.

People have been really generous with memories and memorabilia and we are in the work of drawing it all together, so if you have promised and haven’t done it yet, time is running out.

One of the contributions was a poem from Sr. Una Harman. You’ll have to wait for the book to read it in full but the theme is around opportunity and the doors that are opened to Pres. girls all thanks to four pioneering sisters who brought education to Listowel girls.

The poem mentions a yearbook which was sent to Sr. Una by her nieces, Darina and Elaine from Ireland in 1994.

“We should find that yearbook,” says I and put it with the poem.

The yearbook cover in 1994 was designed by none other than Eileen Moylan, now a very successful artist in silver, gold and precious stones.

I return from the school and I’m trawling through Facebook as you do, and in a little piece of synchronicity, there is account of the very same Eileen who has designed a piece which was presented to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall by the deputy Lord Mayor of Cork.

This photo was taken as the deputy lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Ian Doyle is showing Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall around the headquarters of Irish Guide Dogs during her visit on June 14 2018

The duchess was presented with a bookmark designed and executed by Listowel silversmith, Eileen Moylan at her studio in Macroom.

This is the bookmark and the translation of the lines by Cork Poet, Seán ORiordáin.

AND Eileen also made the chain of office which is being worn by the deputy mayor.

Page 1 of 5

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén