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: fairs

Fair Days, Turf and Lovely Cluain Doire

Photo; Chris Grayson


Bord na Mona in Kerry

“This is a tipper at Barna Bog, Co. Kerry. The caption states the photo was taken by Mr. E. Switzer in April 1948. However Barna didn’t officially start producing turf until 1950, so is it Barna or Lyrecrumpane? Switzer worked for BnM in the early days, he was reputed to have lost an eye in the first World War and the family had a shop in Grafton Street.” From Bord na Mona Living History.

This country has a long history with turf and peat harvesting. Bord na Mona have now pivoted into wind energy and sustainable living. Maybe in time all that history will be preserved and housed in a visitor attraction for future generations to see how we lived once.


Cluain Doire in Cahirdown, Listowel

Cluain Doire, meaning Oak Meadows, is a beautifully landscaped small estate just off Cahirdown. All the trees that line the road into the estate are surrounded by colourful planting in circles around their bases.


One Hundred Years Ago

Fair Days were very important one hundred years ago. The above notice is from the Cork Examiner and the following account is in the schools’ folklore collection

The fairs nearest to the people of locality are those at Abbeyfeale and Listowel. The buyers never transact business in the country. The only country fair which the old people can remember is Port fair. Port is the name of the townland and it is in the parish of Abbeyfeale. The fairs were held four times there. These are the dates; the second of May, the 15th of July, the 13th of October and the 15th of December. Cows horses, calves, and bonhams were sold there. There is a castle situated near where the fair used to be held. It is called Port castle and the ruins can still be seen.

The fairs held in Listowel are held in the street and in the square. A penny each is paid for pigs and sixpence for every cow.

When an animal is sold “luck” is given in money and is called “luck money”.

When a bargain is made the parties concerned show their agreement by hitting the animal on the back. When an animal is sold the halter is kept.


Séamus Ó Roileacháin


Séafradh Ó Conchubhair


Foildarrig, Co. Kerry


Best Weekend of the summer so far

Glorious sunshine, crowded beach, amazing sunsets, Ballybunion was heavenly.

On Saturday June 17 2021 Ballybunion hosted its first triathlon. A huge willing band of volunteers, rescue services personnel and gardaí ensured that everything ran smoothly.

Thank you Lil MacSweeney and Carine Schweitzer for the photos.

Introducing Clint, Dún Laoghaire, Fairs and Closures

Working from Home

Not so easy when you have a new kitten. His name is Clint and he’s helping Clíona with her spreadsheets.


Dún Laoghaire

 Eamon ÓMurchú, was out and about with camera during the week and he took a few lovely photographs.


Local Fairs

(From the schools folklore collection)

The local fairs nowadays are held fortnightly in Abbeyfeale and Listowel. There area two big fairs in Abbeyfeale one on June the 29th and one on September the 24th.
The two big fairs in Listowel are May the 13th and the 24[?] of October.

How the bargain is made.
The buyer comes up to the seller and inquires what he wants for the animal. He asks at least two or three more than he expects and if he happened to get what he asked for he’d be terribly upset as he didn’t ask more. The buyer offers a few pounds less than the value and the bargaining goes on for a while, then a third party steps in and clinches it by getting each to split the difference.

The animals sold are marked with raddle or sometimes by clipping off some of the hair.

Luck penny

The seller gives a few shillings luck penny to the buyer and in case of a horse the halter is given to the buyer.

Old fairs
In olden times the fairs were held in Purt fair field convenient to Purt Castle and toll was collected there on all cattle to be sold.
Another fair used to be held in a big field near the village of Athea. These local fairs drew big crowds + apple carts and the like were greatly in evidence. It was a gala day for the Parish. The fairs were monthly.

Contributed by
Shelia Brosnan, Shronebeirne, Islandanny, Kilmorna, Duagh school.

( apple carts?)


2015 Listowel

Five years has made a big difference in the business life of our small town. These are just some more of the businesses that have been and gone.

St. Patrick’s Day in the 90s, Charles Street, Local Fairs and Ita Hannon’s stag is a winner

Photo: Chris Grayson


Charles Street Then and Now



St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the 1990s

Photos; Danny Gordon


Ballybunion Folklore

(from the Dúchas collection)

Local Fairs

Fairs are not held in this district nor does anyone remember fairs being held here. They are held in Listowel which is the nearest town to us. Very often before a big fair buyers or jobbers went around to the farmers houses to buy calves and sometimes cattle. This is still carried on.

 There are no accounts of former fairs being discontinued or of fairs being held on hills, near churchyards, near castles, or near forts. In Listowel the fairs are held in the streets, in the square, and in the market place. No toll was collected in the streets but for every cow you’d carry into the square you’d have to pay seven pence and for every pig you’d carry into the market place you’ have to pay a penny. This money was given to Lord Listowel.

 Luck money is always given. It is called luck money. For every pig or bonham a schilling is given and for a cow half a crown. If prices are high a pound is given as luck money for a horse but if prices are low five schillings is given. When a bargain is made the seller holds out his hand and the buyer strikes it with his clenched fist. A piece of hair is cut out of the cows side to show she is sold. A dab of paint is then stamped on it. This is done sometimes on the cows back.

(There is no name recorded for the pupil who collected this piece of folklore)


Look Up

If you look up here you might forget for a minute that you are in Market Street, Listowel.


Winner Alright

Ita Hannon’s brilliant photograph of a magnificent stag was awarded photograph of the month by The Irish Wildlife Trust.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén