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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Dick Spring’s Favourite Poem

Bunting at St. Mary’s to welcome the bishop and the young people who were confirmed on Friday last

Redevelopment of the Neodata Site

Jimmy Moloney sent us this letter…

Dear Cllr.,

Thank you for attending the briefing today on this project. As discussed, please find attached plans and particulars for the proposed Trailhead Facility at the Neo-Data site.

This project is going out for Part 8 public consultation tomorrow 24th of April 2024 – with a closing date of submissions on the 5th of June 2024.  The plans will be available online and on display at the Council Offices in Listowel.

The Project is for the development of fully accessible ‘Trailhead Facilities’ at the former Neo-Data site at Bridge Road Listowel to service members of the public,  users of the North Kerry Greenway and users of the Childer’s Park amenities. The construction of the Trailhead Facilities is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) and Kerry County Council (€550k). In summary the proposed facilities will provide vital infrastructure for people of all ages and abilities who enjoy walking, cycling, fishing, nature and spending time outdoors. 

Alongside this project, Kerry County Council is currently developing a masterplan for the larger riverside sites including the remainder of the Neo Data site, the Ball Alley and the Town Council Depot (see figure below). The masterplan shall examine and propose the potential other uses of the area as possible location for other outdoor recreation and sporting facilities which will add to the existing offering of sporting facilities in the surrounding area. These further sporting facilities will include for a hub building including showers and changing facilities which could also service users of the proposed Blueway on the River Feale. The development of the masterplan for the area is funded Under the Department of Rural and Community Development under Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) and Kerry County Council. 

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Micheál Lyons


Capital Development Unit North

Gaeilge ar na Sráideanna

More photos from a 2007 TY project


This book was compiled by students at a Dublin secondary school. They wrote to well known people and asked them to nominate their favourite poem for inclusion in a fundraising book.

Flowers of the Fairest

Maurice Walsh

I’ve told you before that discovering treasures in the swap box at the library has become a delightful occurrence in my life .

(N.B. If you are a Maurice Walsh fan you won’t want to miss this;

Public lecture on the Listowel literary tradition by Dr Deirdre Serjeantson: ‘Landscape and Memory in the Novels of Maurice Walsh’. on Sunday June 2 at 3.00 p.m…part of the Writers Week programme)

Look what I found last week. Thank you to the donor.

More tomorrow

Sad Tale from the Newspaper Archives

Today’s Fact

In April 1843 William Wordsworth was appointed Poet Laureate to Queen Victoria.


Flowers in Listowel, a Trip to Teampall Bán, Radio Kerry’s Opening Day and John Lynch’s Funeral

Listowel Parish Presbytery, July 2019


More from A Book of Ignorance

My book (above) is English but this following applies equally to Ireland.

People asked to name three species of mouse will probably get House Mouse, Harvest Mouse, Field Mouse and maybe Wood Mouse. No marks for Dormouse though. The dormouse is more a squirrel than a mouse.

The dormouse is much furrier than a mouse. This is because it hibernates, the only British rodent that does. The “dorm’ part of its name refers to this. The dormouse has been known to sleep for seven months of the year.

You’ll thank me if it ever comes up in a quiz.


Halo Health

Elaine Dee Worth’s great health food shop and café in Upper William Street.


Listowel Awash with Flowers in July 2019


Teampall Bán

I took my visitors to Teampall Bán. They were moved and impressed. This is one of Listowel’s treasures. Everyone should visit and pray.


Radio Kerry Opening

Photo and text from MacMonagle Photography on Facebook

Happy 29th birthday 📷🎼🍾🎂to Radio Kerry on Sunday. Our historic photograph looks back to the opening day on July 14th 1990 when Dan Collins was presenting the programme with Liam Higgins on sport, dj Paul Sheahan and the one and only Sean Hurley from Killarney, who still presents his ever popular programme on the station. How many original staff are still with the station?

Photo: Don MacMonagle 


Don’t Forget!


Good News from Talkabout on Radio Kerry

Yesterday’s Story

Today’s Story

“On today’s show, we hear how the Kerry community in London turned out in force yesterday, for the funeral of John Lynch, originally from Ballylongford, who died with no living relatives. Pictured: left to right: Tommy Flaherty, Martina O’Gorman, Gary Noone, Amy Canavan, Trish Madden, Noreen Buckley, Dermot O’Grady, Vince Harty and Gerry Rochford.” Deirdre Walshe on Talkabout


Since I posted this I have had an email from Martina OGorman which I am posting below. The North Kerry contingent did themselves us all proud.


I notice that you posted the death notice for John Lynch.

We attended the funeral yesterday and it was a great turnout.   Attached is the photo I sent to Radio Kerry, which they published.  Names as follows :

Left to right

  • Tommy Flaherty – Listowel
  • Martina O Gorman – Listowel
  • Gary Noone – Ballycastle, Mayo
  • Amy Canavan – Listowel
  • Trish Madden – Ballydonoghue/Ballylongford
  • Noreen Buckley – Keel, Castlemaine
  • Dermot O Grady – Tralee/Ballybunion
  • Vince Harty – Ballinskelligs
  • Gerry Rochford – Ballyduff

I was made aware of the call out by Radio Kerry at lunchtime Tuesday and by the power of facebook and emails I was able to get the message out to a lot of local Kerry people to see if they could attend the funeral.    It was magnificent because almost 100 people turned up and gave John a great send off.   I took a spare Kerry Flag that I had and draped it over his coffin as he was an avid Kerry supporter.   Also a few of us wore our Kerry Jerseys as a mark of respect for John.

Unfortunately a lot of the younger kerry people here in london could not attend due to work commitments.

Thought I would share this with you as you have a lot of followers all over the world.

All the best for now

The Loo Hullabuloo Part 3, Some Wild Flowers, A Tree Planting Project and a Horse Fair

Cherry Tree in Blossom

On the John B. Keane Road, Listowel in March 2019


Looking to The Future

Photo: Listowel Tidy Towns

Friday April 5 2019 was a very significant day in Listowel’s history. In an initiative from Kerry County Council and facilitated locally by Listowel Tidy Towns Group, young people from Listowel schools planted 420 saplings in and around Childers’ Park. All the trees are native Irish species. Future generations of Listowel people will enjoy this important legacy.

Hard working Tidy Towns’ volunteers Imelda and Bridget are the school liaison officers. They are pictured here with some of the Junior Tidy Towns’ Group before the tree planting.

Photo credit: Listowel Tidy Town’s Group


Listowel’s ‘s  Public Toilet

For those who have been following this story which began back in 1942 we are now in the 1970s and the headline writers are having a field day. Everyone seems to be about to lose patience with the saga when eventually a solution is reached , a site acceptable to everyone is secured and the toilet built. 

Thanks to Dave O’Sullivan for the research.


Flower Miles

Flowers on the right travelled many miles across Europe to a hall table in Knockanure. The flowers on the left came from outside the window.


April Horse Fair 2019

The traditional horse fair has morphed into a street fair. You could buy just about anything from a needle to an anchor on Market Street on April 4 2019.

Here are a few snapshots of the fair.

Church St, Conditions for Listowel Children in 1915 and juvenile tennis players

Then and Now

Lower Church Street


Mrs Bibiana Foran of Listowel

Mrs. Foran was a kind of Lady Bountiful whose name comes up often in accounts of charitable acts in Listowel.

In 1915 she wrote this letter to The Kerryman

Dear Sir.—The present time of stirring events has, perhaps, been needed to bring home to us the importance of guarding the lives and preserving the vitality of our children. To those whom fortune has favoured in the way of wealth, there is no need to speak. The well-being of their children is taken as a matter of course; but the children of the poor—the future working assets of our nation, are those which must engage the thinking members of our population. We see around us every day, thousands of little lives dropping out, or children who go through life with maimed, deformed bodies, without considering why it should be so, or if it could be prevented. 

See what they are doing in other countries, spending thousands of pounds to have even proper playgrounds while here we seem to be centuries behind time in everything considering child welfare. In England the State provides, free meals, medical examination of schools, dental clinics, free books, grants for baby clubs, and maternity centres, where the expectant poor mother has received advice for months before her baby is born.

 A Child Welfare Committee has been formed in Dublin, of which the Solicitor-General is chairman, the views of which has secured the sympathy and support of Irish, Liberal, and Unionist Members of the House which guides our destinies, and it only remains now for you, sir, to arouse public opinion on the subject to strengthen their hands and obtain for the children of this country the same privileges as prevail in the Sister Isle. 

You already know what the Id. dinners have done for the poor children in Tralee, and our small experience here has shown us what the lunch given at our school has done for the little boys who have been receiving it for the past few years. £10 donation towards the Samaritan Funds of the W. N. H. A. enabled us to begin the lunch one cold, raw winter’s day to about 35 children. Since then, the number has been raised to 80 and all honour to the generous people of our town and district, we have never since been in want of funds for carrying it on. 

Our Queen’s Jubilee Nurse attend; three days every week during the lunch hours and any little boy showing signs of delicacy has been attended to quietly at her own cottage. And I venture to say the 80 odd little men were, in consequence, so much improved mentally and physically, within one year, a not to be known as the same. A little experience is worth volumes of writing and why not this be carried out in every school in Ireland by the State? We know that the present grant is absolutely inadequate and it only extends to urban districts, while the poor – children in country schools are labouring under the same, if not worse, conditions. Even one good, nourishing meal a day, medical inspection of schools where ailing children will be attended to in time; Dental Clinics, free books and a public playground in every town and city where children would be free to have that play so necessary for them, would change the whole aspect of those little ones in five years. While Baby Clubs and Maternity Centres would give them a chance -a fighting chance—for their lives with all the other nations of the earth.

It is only the Nuns and the Teachers who have been so nobly trying to battle with those drawbacks that could tell what it is costing us—and them—and surely leaving sentiment entirely out of the question is it not money well spent to preserve and fashion to its best the children of our race—THE FUTURE ASSETS OF OUR NATION. 

The child makes the man. How can you expect a man to emerge with brain, bone and sinew whose veins were starved in childhood on bread and tea, what fills our jails, workhouses and asylums, and places such burdens on the rates? Perhaps the answer is here

 Yours faithfully.



Tennis Club Championship Finalists in the 1980s

 Photo : Danny Gordon


Early Floral Display, January 2019

This lovely raised bed is on Market Street outside the old mart wall.


Juvenile Tennis Players Named

Photo; Danny Gordon.

Names with a little help from Elaine

Back L to R; Dympna Galvin, Paul O’Neill, J.J. Walsh, Laura O’Neill

Front: Shane O’Connor, Elaine Kinsella, Sinead Finnegan and Dan Browne

Apologies if I have misidentified anyone. The year was 1987.


Dance hall Devils

Hi, Mary, your dance-hall article reminds me of what Dan Paddy Andy ‘said’ (in J. B. Keane’s book) of such a ‘devil’ who was feared would arrive in his dance-hall. The devil was supposed to have been  a clerical student.  He was blamed for the ruination of so many young dance-hall women that he was christened, not the Lamb, but  ‘The Ram of God.’ Dan Paddy Andy proclaimed that if the ‘Ram of God’ ever came to his hall at Renagown, he would go home a wether! As you know, if that happened, he would be (harmlessly) leading a different sort of flock!!

Listowel June 2017, the convent and Listowel Celtic Under 12s in 1990

Church Street June 2017


Gurtinard Wood


Down Memory Lane with The Advertiser

This photo appeared recently in The Advertiser. Apart from Bunny Dalton at one end and Roly Chute at the other I dont recognise any other men.


The Steady Decline of the Convent and Chapel

June 2017


Listowel Celtic Under 12 team 1990/91

I posted this picture with no names back in 2013. Now Kevin Donovan (front left in the photo) has given me these names. Can anyone supply the few that are missing?  The trainer is Henry Molyneaux.

Back row L-R

Donald Griffin

Don’t Know

Enda Galvin

Simon Adams

Noel Kennelly

Don’t Know

Ger Galvin

Front Row L-R

Don’t Know

Maurice Carmody

Taigh Kennelly

Kieran O’Sullivan

Don’t Know

Connor Hayes

Kevin Donovan


A Thought provoking poem for you

the nation whose people are sheep,and whose shepherds mislead them.

Pity the nation whose leaders are liars,
whose sages are silenced,

and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.

Pity the nation that raises not its voice,

except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero

and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.

Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own

and no other culture but its own.

Pity the nation whose breath is money

and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.

Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode

and their freedoms to be washed away.

My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.”

― Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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