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

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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

Frederick Chute R.i.P., Facebook Friends and Saturday’s Guided Walk

Bobby Cogan and Molly on a trip to Teampall Bán


Frederick Chute R.I.P.

In response to my request for information on the people commemorated on the new park benches I got a lovely letter from Judith Cannon

“A friend told me to look online at Listowel Connections, and I saw that you would like some information on the new benches installed at the Town Park.  I had a new bench recently installed in memory of my husband, Frederick (he didnt like to be called Fred, because that was his cousin’s name, the painter – RIP).

You have an excellent photo of Frederick’s new bench on your Listowel Connections website.

I think the new bench is lovely and it overlooks the River Feale, which Frederick loved.  He grew up in Church Street (no 57) Listowel,   and Betty Chute was his mother.  Arthur Chute, was his father.

I have done a little story about his life, which I will attach to this email, so if you need any information it will be on there, or I am happy to answer any questions about him.  He loved Listowel, and enjoyed the football and hurling and used to go to matches with Pat Whelan and Eric Browne. He played football in his younger days for Listowel and North Kerry. His best friend and lifelong friend, was Jimmy O’Quigley, and they went to Primary School together as well as getting up to all sorts of mischief in later life!

Frederick passed away in 2018 and his ashes were interred at his parents’ grave at the graveyard in Listowel as well as some of his ashes scattered in Ballybunion beach, one of his very favourite places.”

I will post Judith’s story of Frederick’s life shortly.


Making Friends the Facebook Way


Another Saturday, Another Walk

Guided Walking Tours of Listowel start off from The Kerry Writers’ Museum every Saturday until the end of August 2019 at 11.00a.m.  Last Saturday, July 27 2019 I was the volunteer guide.

This is the lovely group I escorted around our lovely town. There were Listowel people, returned Listowel emigrants, Canadian people, English people, Irish people and Californian people and we even had a newly engaged couple.

You’d never know who you’d run into on a walk around Listowel. Billy Keane took time out from his very busy schedule to talk to the group.

Jimmy Hickey danced for us on the junction of Charles Street and Colbert Street, where his father once ran a shoemaking business, making shoes for the clergy and for the gentry. Jimmy promises to tell me all for a future blog and Jimmy is a man of his word.

A Donegal visitor sang The Rose of Tralee for us.


A Few More Entente Florale Photos

Going a step beyond! The “dawn raiders” doing their very best to make sure Listowel gets gold.

The adjudicators went to John Paul 2 graveyard. I’m sure they loved this wild flower grave.

This is the community fruit and nut orchard.

I posted this last week without saying where it was and people are anxious to know. This lovely door is in The New Kingdom on Church Street.


Molly checking out the bug hotel

more herbs

Our riverside picnic area

The Big Bridge

1916 commemorative garden

Lovely Listowel

Lovely Listowel, My Home Town

Every emigrant knows that you can have two homes. It is no disloyalty to the place where you were born to love your now home, the place where you were welcomed and made to feel at home and part of the community, the place where you raised your family, where you worked and lived and made so many friends. 

For me, Kanturk was my first home and I give it my love and loyalty always. Listowel is my home now. It is the town that took me to its heart, welcomed me and made me feel at home. It is where I have lived, worked and loved for nearly a quarter of a century in the midst of a generous community that nurtured and took care of me and mine. It is where I now feel most at home.

I was never more proud of my town than I was yesterday, July 25 2019 when the Entente Florale adjudicators came to town.

We rolled out the red carpet, we baked the cake, we painted, clipped and washed and the lovely Tidy Town folk picked up every last bit of litter.

Whenever we have important visitors coming to our homes it is usual to do a bit of tidying before they arrive. This might consist of pushing the newspapers under the cushions, hoovering like a mad thing and putting everything untidy under cover. This was not what happened in Listowel yesterday as the finishing tidying was being done for our VIP guests. I was in town with my camera and today I am devoting my whole blogpost to images of my beautiful second home; beautiful, beautiful Listowel in July 2019.

Flower boxes, hanging baskets and window boxes appeared in places where we weren’t even aware there was a ledge or a window.

Then the shops came on board and business people arranged window displays with symbols of the participating countries

The local Tidy Towners were out in force on the morning of Judgement Day.

The judges were given a whistle stop tour of a list of pre agreed venues. They gave nothing away, made no comment or appeared to enjoy or be impressed by the display Listowel put on for them. They are impartial judges after all.

I went around slack jawed with my camera in obvious awe at what was on display. I am only giving you a small taste of the showcase Listowel people gave our lovely town on July 25 2019.

The Garden of Europe with its new planting looked its best ever.

By the river there was some plain air painting going on.

The Square was buzzing. Ballydonoghue Comhaltas was putting on a concert. John Stack’s set dancers who were still celebrating their Fleadh Cheoil success at the weekend danced a set and Katie MacNamara’s musicians played.  Heavenly!

Visitors from Dubai were delighted they hit town on just the right day.

The proud mammies and supporters were holding the coats.

Brian Mulvihill, home with his family from the Caymen Islands was enjoying the spectacle.

As I approached the Small Square I ran into the judges and entourage. I ignored them in case they thought I was trying to influence their decision in any way. There was a mini market going on here with lots of local crafters and producers displaying their wares.

Kissane Candles and the Olive Stack Gallery had a display.

Breda, the less camera shy of the two “Dawn Raiders” who head out at the crack of dawn every morning to pick up litter, was admiring Woodford Pottery display.

Mon’s Porter cake sold out everything she brought.

You could buy Kefir, a hat, some veg for the dinner or organic seaweed cosmetics in the Small Square in Listowel yesterday.

The Tidy Towers posed for a quick pic.

Everywhere a Tidy Towner

Local ladies dressed in the native costumes of the seven participating countries. I’m told that Olive Stack and her mother made the costumes. What an achievement!

The very best of traditional music  by the very best musicians

 appreciative audience enjoying the sunshine the music and the craic

Hard working Listowel people taking a welleparned rest

I went to The Listowel Arms where the red carpet was out metaphorically and literally.

Lots of floral displays here (and mirrors)

Some American visitors were enjoying a taste of Listowel at the Tidy Town seat.

and Martin Chute got Jumbos painted in time.

Well done Listowel…definitely a winner in my eyes.

A Fascinating Fact, Athea, Entente Florale and another guided walk to look forward to

The Square, Listowel, July 2019


Molly in Ballybunion

She loves the seaside.


Water level was very low last week. That is not the case this week.

The back of the castle by Carroll’s Yard


Fascinating Fact

The animal that has saved most lives is not your faithful dog, your trustworthy steed or even your brave carrier pigeon. No, that honour goes to the horseshoe crab.

An extract of the blood of the horseshoe crab is used by th pharma industry to test that drugs, vaccines and medical devices are free from dangerous microbes.

The blood of the horseshoe crab has no haemoglobin, which uses iron to carry oxygen. Instead it has haemacyamin, which uses copper. Their blood is blue. They are not killed for their blood.  The crabs are gathered by hand and brought to the lab alive. 30% of their blood is harvested. They quickly recover and are returned to the water. The blood is freeze dried and shipped around the world.

 Horseshoe crabs can endure extremes of heat and cold and can go for a year without eating.



Athea is a beautiful little village. In summer 2019 it is more beautiful than ever. Its history is laid out in a well told story in blue plaques around town. Here are a few.


Entente Florale in Listowel

The judges are in town today. Listowel is looking beautiful. Seven European countries are taking part in the Entente and local Listowel shopkeepers have decorated their windows in the theme of these countries.

Perfect Pairs Irish theme

Utopia’s Netherlands window

Olive Stack’s Gallery is so so beautiful, full of flowers and mosaics and lovely things.


Come and Join a Guided Walk of Listowel

On Saturday next, July 27 2019, I will be leading my second (and last) guided walk. Why not come along and tell me a Listowel tale or two.

The guided walks continue for the summer starting from Kerry Writers’ Museum at 11.00 on Saturdays.

Flowery Listowel, U.S. Visitors and a crane in the Listowel skyline

Lovely Tidy Listowel

Monday next, June 17 2019 Nationwide on RTE1 will feature Listowel.

Everywhere you look in Listowel these days you will see flowers. Hanging baskets are everywhere. As I passed by one of Listowel’s most famous public houses I spied a workman putting up brackets for hanging baskets.

This planting in the plaza outside the courthouse is coming along nicely.


U.S. Visitors with Deep Irish Roots 

Some U.S. Irish people absolutely love this country and are constantly drawn back to us. I’ve mentioned Mike and Sue Nilsson before. Here they are at Writers’ Week with Máire and Eilish.

On Monday, June 10 2019 I met this lovely couple who love Ireland in general and North Kerry in particular as much as any native. This is John and Lillian Linehan of Florida and formerly of Moyvane. The Linehans have roots in Kerry, Cork and Mayo. They lived for 12 years in Moyvane where they happily lit their open fire even at the height of our summer. They come to Ireland for their holidays every year. They have only missed one year in the past 19. John is a loyal follower of Listowel connection. It was lovely to meet them again.

I photographed John and Lillian on the Tidy Town seat in Listowel Town Square, at the heart of things.


Crane in Listowel Skyline

During the Celtic Tiger era we came to see cranes as a sign of progress to prosperity. This one is to be seen at Greenville these days.


Summer Time is Story Time at Woulfe’s Bookshop

If the children in your life love books, Woulfe’s Bookshop, Church St. is the place to be on Saturdays, beginning  Saturday next June 15 2019. Brenda’s very popular children’s story time is back again this year.

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