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 O’Sullivan

In Listowel

Agri Auto Parts in November 2022


A Doubting Thomas Punished


Lovely People I met

I was in town with my visitors on Saturday Nov. 26 2022. Here are some of the people we met.

Aoife met P.J and Joan Kenny on William Street.

In the Vincent de Paul shop (now open on Saturday afternoons) we met Eileen O’Sullivan who gave Aoife a beautiful book. Thank you, ever generous Eileen.

Eileen was having a look around with her sister.

On Church Street we met Mags and Liz and the adorable Jaycee.

Mary and Clíona are old friends from schooldays. Here they are , now both mothers, with Maisie and Aoife.


Listowel Pantomimę

Tommy Moore shared these photos a while back.

Have fun naming the actors.


Commemorating 100 years of An Garda Síochána in Listowel

November 30 2022

This was the first garda I met on the day. Her smile says it all. Everyone was in great form. The weather was perfect. The buzz was mighty.

Schoolchildren lined the streets around the Garda Station.

Look at this lovely little man saluting the Garda car.

Everyone had a garda friend on the day

Teachers and pupils loving the break from class and learning a bit of history at the same time.

Lots more to come….


Somethings to look forward to


Sunday Morning in Listowel and photos from the Launch of The Personals and he Jimmy Hickey DVD

Rutting Season 2019

Photo: Chris Grayson


Sunday Morning, Coming Down

” There ain’t nothing short of dying half as lonesome as the sound

Of the sleeping city sidewalks, Sunday morning coming down.”

The streets are quiet in Listowel too on Sunday mornings. It’s a good time to snap the streetscape. The light wasn’t great on the morning I took my stroll so the photographs are a bit dark.

Eileen O’Sullivan was coming from mass. She stopped to offer a few words of encouragement.


Launch of The Personals

I have a few photographs for you from the launch of The Personals in Waterstones on October 3 2019

This book by RTE journalist, Brian O’Connell, is a look at the stories behind the small ads; the classifieds as we called them.

Brian bravely contacted the sellers of interesting items he spotted in his trawl through the small ads in the papers and on Done deal and he met with them and more often than not, got an interesting story.

The launch drew a a packed house with a few celebrities in attendance.

Seán O’Rourke told us a few tall tales of a great grandmother who regularly washed her burial shroud or habit and hung it out on the line to air it so that it would be ready whenever…. He told us of a mother who made sheets from flour bags, and he mentioned a few of the more unusual items for sale that Brian tells us about in The Personals.

The author, Brian O’Connell watching on as his book is launched.

Will you look who I met. Evelyn O’Rourke is a colleague of Seán’s and Brian’s. She remembered our time making a programme for TG4 with great fondness. It was she who presented the programme where Julie Evans came from Australia to research her gr. gr grandmother who had left from the workhouse in Listowel under the Earl Grey Scheme. Below is the link to the story which was picked up by the makers of the Tar Abhaile programme.

Earl Grey Story

Me in  between Evelyn O’Rourke and Sean O’Rourke.

Brian O’Connell signing my copy of The Personals. Look what he has in his left hand. I invited him to the launch of A Minute of Your Time. You’d never know. He just might come.


Jimmy Hickey’s DVD

This DVD has been years in the making. It was a labour of love for Jimmy Deenihan and a few more and I’m delighted it got such a good reception in The Listowel Arms on Sunday last and I am so sorry that I couldn’t be there.

John Kelliher took some great photos on the night. These are just a few, click on the link for more.

The man himself enjoying his big night.

Jimmy in the company of his friends and fellow dancers with the North Cork music maestro, Liam O’Connor

Listowel’s Public Toilet, Listowel, A Printer’s Legacy U.S. launch and Old Friends meet up

Ballybunion Sunset, March 2019. Photo: Bridget O’Connor


A Listowel Lavatory Saga

Dave O’Sullivan was fascinated by Michael Guerin’s video account of the battle for the location of Listowel’s public toilet. So he did a bit of research on our behalf and he found that finding a spot for the convenience proved very inconvenient. Here are some old newspaper stories chronicling the story

 This takes us up to 1968. The saga continues tomorrow.


The Book Tour

Vincent Carmody combined a family holiday with the launch of his latest book, Listowel, A Printer’s Legacy in Chicago and New York recently.

Here are a few photos of the very enjoyable and successful trip.

A section of the attendance at the Chicago launch.

Vincent with members of his family in Chicago


Old Friends Share a Moment

In Listowel’s Vincent de Paul shop recently


Remembering Dad

I got the following email from Anne Lodge.

Hello, I was just looking up my Dads hometown and came across you.

My dad was (RIP) Peter Muldowney and he grew up with his 7 siblings on O’Connells st ? Before he left for London in the late 50’s. 

Would be lovely if you remembered them

Kind wishes

Anne x

Peter had left Listowel before I came to town but I know I have lots of readers from The Avenue. Any of you have any memories, stories or photos of Anne’s late dad?

Holy Well in Coolard, The Ball Alley, the Vincent de Paul shop and Michael Healy Rae in Woulfe’s

Sunday Morning Walk

Childers’ Park, Listowel Co. Kerry November 18 2018


Well in Coolard  (Dúchas Collection)

There is a holy well in Coolard and many people visited it on certain days. The same prayers are said at every well and whilst saying it they make nine rounds. When people visit the well they take a bottle of the water home with them and some moss. The water of the above well cures sore throats and rheumatism. The water of the well is never used for any domestic purpose. There was a scarcity of water and the people took the water from the blessed well. They couldn’t get it to boil.

Rinn Tuirc School collection 10 5 1938.

St Bartholomew’s Well, Coolard, Lisselton

Collector Nancy Hanrahan-Informant- Michael Hanrahan, Age 60

The blessed well is situated in a thick wood near Coolard. The well is shallow and a stream of fresh water flows from it. Many people in the district visit the well three times a year, to pay rounds. They go around the well nine times and they say three rosaries. If they have not the rosaries finished when going around, they kneel by the well and finish them. When they are going home they leave money or holy pictures or pieces of cloth on the tree beside the well. Anyone having sores washes them in the water. They also take three sips of the water and also some water with them. The people living near the well use the water for household purposes. It is said that the well was situated farther up on the wood once. A woman washed clothes in it. Then it moved down to where it is at the present time.

Holy Wells 17 – 11- ’38


Woodford Pottery Nativity

I love my Woodford Pottery crib. I will light a tea light in it every evening from now to Christmas.


The Ball Alley

Listowel men of a certain age remember the ball alley with great fondness. There have been essays and poems written about the exploits of Listowel’s handballers. I don’t know if the Sheehy brothers who are commemorated on this seat were among the champions but they would have certainly enjoyed being reminded of the days when the ball alley was the centre of young men’s social calendar.

Some years ago in a project undertaken by the young people of Xistance Youth Café the walls of the now disused alley were decorated with graffiti. Over time the pictures have taken a battering from the weather but most are still intact and looking beautiful.

These Pictures are on the side walls. The end wall has had to be replastered.


Second Time Around

One of my favourite Listowel shops is Second Time Around, the St. Vincent de Paul shop on Upper William Street. It is always staffed by smiling friendly volunteers and there are always great bargains to be had from the stock donated by some really kind  (and stylish) donors.

On Wednesday week when I called in I met these two lovely ladies, Ingrid and EileenR looking after the shop.


A Booksigning at  Woulfe’s

Michael Healy Rae signing John Hartnett’s copy of his book, Time to Talk

Michael with John and the shop staff, Fiona, Mary and Brenda


Lyre Postman Retires

(Photo and text from Joe Harrington on Facebook)

Our Postman, Seán O’Connell, on his last day as Lyreacrompane Postman delivering the mail to Norrie Connell, Carrigcannon on Friday November 30 2018. Seán has been the postman in the Lyreacrompane district for 38 years! Happy retirement Seán.

A Chick Party, John B. Keane’s Cuckoo and a few Listowel people

Noreen Murphy’s image for Mallow Camera Club’s People at Work project.


A Family Walk in Lovely Listowel in April 2017


A Little Ones Hen Party

Do you remember I was at a
hen party recently?  Well, there was an unwritten rule that you had to be over
18 to attend. This ruled out three very important members of the bridal party….
the three flower girls.

Clíona, the bride, was
anxious that they would not feel completely left out, so, with the help of The
Listowel Arms, she organized a little mini hen or maybe chicken party for them.

This type of party was new to
the Listowel Arms but they pulled out all the stops and made it an afternoon to
remember for the girls.

We had afternoon tea at  a lovely round table dressed in a lace
tablecloth and set with vintage cups and saucers. In the table centre was a
wooden trencher decorated with tea lights and fresh flowers in a vintage tea

The hotel’s wedding co
ordinator, Patrice O’Callaghan, came to greet the girls. The chef left the
kitchen to attend to their requirements and brought them an extra helping of
chocolate triangles. They were waited on like royalty and they had the best and
most exclusive hen party ever.

We are all looking forward to
the big day when we will be back in the hotel again. The girls have requested
that apple and rhubarb crumble be put on the menu. It is absolutely delicious.


Cuckoo Cuckoo by John B.

The summertime is coming

And the birds are sweetly

So runs the evergreen chorus.
Summer’s PRO, to wit the bark- brown cuckoo, freshly arrived from Morocco, has
already made several pronouncements in places as far apart as Knockanure and
Newcastlewest. The gist of his revelations is that the season is legitimately
under way now and he has established himself in a ready-made nest, manufactured
to measure by a brace of innocent and well meaning blackbirds, whose offspring
he simply heaved over the side to make way for his ample African posterior. For
thirty years or so now, since I first started to write for money I have
unfailingly made mention of the cuckoo’s arrival.

I have published every report
I ever received, devoting lengthy paragraphs to the more meritorious. Yet there
are people who regularly come along and ask me why I never write about the
cuckoo. These people know very well I write about the cuckoo. What they are
really asking is why I do not write about their own special cuckoos or rather,
the individual cuckoo that only they have heard. How true the old saying that
there is no cuckoo like your own cuckoo. On reflection I must honestly add that
maybe there is no such old saying. If this is so then I hereby sponsor it for
inclusion in the next anthology of old sayings.

(more next week)


Newcastlewest circa 1900


Snapped in Listowel Town Square

Eileen O’Sullivan and her friend were enjoying the April sunshine in Listowel on Saturday April 22 2017

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