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: festivals

Harvest Festival 1971, Canvassing in General Election 2016 and planning for the tourist season

Nature’s Songster

Ita Hannon’s Beale robin


Harvest Festival 1971

Kerryman  Saturday, 09 October, 1971; Page: 24; Listowel

THE fast pace of Listowel Race Week is over for another months and now
It is possible to see things in their proper perspective and in so
doing pride of place must be deservedly given to the Ballybunion Girls
Pipe Band It’s contribution to the festive spirit of the occasion was
considerable. The quality and rhythm of their martial tunes as they
paraded gracefully through the town was o say the least most

FINIS— Originality was the key note on Sunday the concluding day of
Listowel Race Week festivities, when a galaxy of our local stars
brought into the homes of a weary footed public a delightfully
entertaining variety show which had been recorded earlier in the week
by Radio Eireann.

Dr John Walshe chairman of the Harvest  Festival Committee opened the
show with an interesting history of the Pattern Day in Listowel, which
had its roots back 150 years ago. Larry Gogan was an excellent

One of the Dowling sisters gave a fine rendering of a very suitable
timed song entitled. “The Blackbird of Avondale”. Mrs Nora Relihan as
an artist of considerable achievement, needs no introduction to the
people of Listowel, had them “literally in Stitches” with a poem
entitled “cowdung” while dealing at some length with its rich
potential. And then came the irrepressible John B who sang the side
splitting number ”Matt Flavin You’re the Man”, accompanied by Phil
Flavin on the bodhrain. A number of other items brought the programme
to a close


Are you 85 years or older and living in rural Kerry?

If the answer is yes or if you know someone who answers yes to these two questions, a man called John Hastings has a proposition for you


Hello, I am looking to meet with men
who are aged 85 years or over to talk about their daily life in rural Ireland.

This involves:

Three meetings with me so
I can learn more about your everyday activities.

We will meet in a quiet,
comfortable location wherever you wish.

Your involvement is
confidential and this will be explained fully to you before deciding to take
part or not.

If this study interests
you please leave your contact details below. I will ring you to tell you more
about the study. Thanks.

Name: _________________________________________

Phone number:

This study has been reviewed by, and
received ethical clearance from the Clinical Research Ethics Committee
associated with University College Cork.

Contact details:

John Hastings,

University College Cork.

021- 4205308.


Canvassing the knitting vote

I was in Scribes with my fellow Knitwits on Saturday last when John Brassil and his election team called to canvass our votes.


Passing on the Smiles

Scoil Realt na Maidine, Listowel, February 2016


Festival Workshops

Photo: Tralee Today

Pictured in Main Street Listowel are Joan McCarthy Head of Tourism, Kerry County Council, with Damien Stack, Eilish Wren, Cara Trant and Máire Logue. They were gathered to promote a Kerry Festivals and Events Workshop. 


Planning for Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan

photos; Facebook


A Listowel Man in Abu Dhabi

Third from left in this picture (which I sourced on Facebook) is Tadhg Flahive, formerly of Church Street, Listowel.

The occasion of the photo was an interview with RTE radio presenter Damien O’Reilly. Damien was in the Middle East to record a show about Irish food, business and culture for Country Wide. The show featuring Tadhg and others from Abu Dhabi na Fianna GAA club was broadcast on Saturday last February 20 1016. You will be able to catch it on the RTE radio 1 player.


Preparing for Summer in Town

Joni Mitchell sang “It’s comin’ on Christmas, They’re cutting’ down trees….”  

Well, Christmas is well gone and they’re pruning trees in The Square, Listowel in preparation for new growth and abundant foliage come summer 2016.

 It can’t come a day too soon.


Meanwhile in Montreal…

Padraig O’Connor (in the centre with glasses) is a young man already making waves in the world of marketing. He is a final year Commerce student at UCC and this week he is in Canada as part of a team of 4 who are taking part in an international business competition for undergraduates.

Padraig is the son of John and Bridget O’Connor, of Bishopscourt, Ballyduff. 

Definitely one to watch!

Festivals galore, doggie loo and Petra Anderson

Next weekend everywhere you turn in North Kerry there will be a festival taking place. These are not rival festivals but all complementary, providing something for everyone. In short, North Kerrry is the very best place to be for the August bank holiday weekend because there is something on to suit every taste. You can learn about your Irish heritage, dance at the crossroads or take a walking tour of Listowel with the very knowledgable Vincent Carmody, you can visit local gardens and learn about flower arranging, you can give your dog a very enjoyable day out, you can visit a craft fair or dance to Declan Nerney all on next weekend in our very own backyard. Listowel will be THE place to be.


What in the name of all that’s good and holy is this?

It’s a doggy loo. I photographed one on the John B. Keane Rd. Your beloved pooch does his business, you scoop it up and deposit it in one of these dog toilets. I have heard no reports yet on the success or otherwise of this initiative. I hope these toilets will prove more popular than the one for humans in Market St.


This extraordinary story from last week’s cinema shooting in Aurora is true.

Petra Anderson, violinist.

Petra Anderson

It seems as if the bullet travelled through Petra’s brain without hitting any significant brain areas. The doctor explains that Petra’s brain has had from birth a small “defect” in it. It is a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull, like a tiny vein through marble, or a small hole in an oak board, winding from front to rear.  Only a CAT scan would catch it, and Petra would have never noticed it.

But in Petra’s case, the shotgun buck shot, maybe even the size used for deer hunting enters her brain from the exact point of this defect. Like a marble through a small tube, the defect channels the bullet from Petra’s nose through her brain. It turns slightly several times, and comes to rest at the rear of her brain. And in the process, the bullet misses all the vital areas of the brain. In many ways, it almost misses the brain itself.  Like a giant BB though a straw created in Petra’s brain before she was born, it follows the route of the defect. It is channelled in the least harmful way.


Finally, a poem for Monday from Kathleen Forristal who wants to share some of her happy memories of growing up in Listowel.

Clean and Happy

Reflection’s of flames upon the stone floor.

Sound of fire, damper open, chimney roars.

Clock in centre of oven door tells no time.

Hand moves slowly round but never chimes.

Tin bath with handles propped between chairs,

Pots of hot water, kitchen fills with steamy air

Immersed in warm water I make a bubbly lather.

Wrapped in a warm sheet, vigorously dried from hair to

Mother tells me the story of the little red hen.

Baby doll under my arm, innocent, sweet and warm.

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