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: Fuchsia Centre

Building, Painting and Feasting

William Street Upper in July 2023


A Corner Reconfigured

Work on our new relief road involved knocking the wall at the John B. Keane Road side of the Sluagh Hall. It is now being rebuilt.

Sluagh Hall, July 2013


Martin Chute, Mr. Signs

I was walking down Church Street when I saw my favourite signwriter at work.

Martin isn’t much into family history but he told me that Jed is the man with all the Chute stories.

Here’s one;

The Chutes came originally from Jutland where they were Juts. By a long process some of them made their way to the UK and then to Ireland. It’s the UK branch that this story is about.

Jed told me that Chaloner Chute, the head of the English branch of the family, was a man of substance, a parliamentarian and a country gentleman. His estate adjoined the the property of Jane Austen who lived with her parents in the vicarage. The Chutes and the Austens rode to hounds together and engaged in other country pursuits.

Jane Austen wrote a story about an adopted child. This story is thought to be based on a member of the Chute family.


More from The Fuchsia Centre Opening

Christina Enright and the Tánaiste

I don’t know what this was about but Micheál was very interested in it anyway.

Norma Foley and Mary Dee

Three men and a plate of food; Robert Bunyan, Con Kirby and Mike Moriarty.

Enjoying the craic

Tumbleweeds were part of the entertainment. Mary Moylan was missing on the day. This group of musicians and singers perform regularly in the hospital, home, nursing home and day centres in this HSE complex.

Mary Pierse with Sid Sheehan who was our chef for the day.

Look at just some of what we got to eat. It was the best finger food I’ve tasted.

There were savouries as well of course, sausage rolls, samosas, tartlets, gougons etc etc.

When the committee of Art Chúram throw a party, they do it in some style.


July Horse Fair 2023

By the time I got to Market Street around mid day the horse fair was all but over. Just a goat, a donkey and a few hens remained and the street was already open to traffic.


Today and Yesterday

Garden of Europe July 2023


Writers’ Week 1974

This is a long shot but worth having a go.

Wolfgang Mertens kept the list of participants who attended Bryan MacMahon’s short story writing workshop at Writers Week 1974.

Does anyone know any one on this list? I’d love to hear any memories or stories from that time.

Short Story Workshop, Writers’ Week, Listowel 1974

Director; Bryan MacMahon

Workshop Committee:

Mrs. Peggy Walsh, Mrs Eileen Fitzgibbon, Miss Oonagh O’Shea


Mrs. Eileen Kissane, Lisselton, Co. Kerry

Mr. M.F. OHolohan,  Drumcondra, Co. Dublin

Mr. Tim Cronin, Roscommon

Mrs. Sheila Gleeson, Limerick

Mr. Thomas Gormley,  Foxrock, Dublin

Mr. John Phelan, Fountainstown, Co. Cork

Miss Nora O’Sullivan, Brighton, England

Mr. J.J. King, Virginia, Co. Cavan

Miss Mary O’Sullivan, Ranelagh, Co. Dublin

Mrs. Joan McEvoy, Kiliney, Co. Dublin

Mr. Patrick W. Smyth, Tralee, Co. Kerry

Mrs Anita Mertens, West Germany

Mr. Wolfgang Mertens, West Germany

Mrs. Madeleine J. Beckett, Dundreum, Dublin

Mr. Walter Hayes, Droghedas Co. Louth

Mrs. M. Coffey, Newbridge, Co. Kildare

Mrs. Susan Poole McGraw, New York


Listowel Fuchsia Centre

Some more photos from the official opening of the Fuchsia Centre on Friday July 7 2023.

Brenda O’Halloran with local ladies including Mary Pierse, Marie Moriarty and Beatrice Hayes

Denis O’Rourke and Robert Bunyan

John Kelliher and Church of Ireland Canon Joe Hardy

Helen Moylan and Mike Laffan

Robert and Olive Pierse

Micheál Martin, Norma Foley, Tom Pierse and Mike Kennelly

Helen Moylan, Mary Lynch and Mary Cogan


A Dog and a Photograph

Upper William Street on July 8 2023

Listowel Tidy Towns have planted a beautiful display of flowers atop this wall.

Look at Molly doing everything to get in the picture.


A Date for the Diary


A Fact

The word mortgage comes from the French. It means death contract.


Music, Sport and Jewellery

Hi ho, hi ho, a working we will go. Heading out for the calves, Kilbrin,

July 2023



Pickleball is the latest racket game sweeping the ranks of more mature players. This group of Listowel ladies took part in the pickle ball global event in UCD recently.


The Hanging Gale

This stone is an example of primitive stone carving. Stephen Rynne brought it to Listowel. It was found in a field in the midlands and it says “Home Rule; Down with Landlordism. We have no idea who did it or when but landlords have been a hated class in Ireland for a long time. Here is an extract from Fr. John ORiordáin’s book. He is writing about North Cork but the story was replicated all over the country.


Celtic Art in Listowel

Listowel has produced Celtic artists unlike any other town in Ireland. Michael O’Connor is acknowledged as the foremost illuminator calligrapher. At the top of the list of jewellers working in the global celtic design field is Eileen Moylan of Claddagh Design.

If you have one of these treasures, keep it safely because it will in time be a collector’s item

Stephen Walker is a US based jeweller and designer. He is an expert in the area of Celtic Design and he has published several books about modern celtic art. He is the founder of the international conference of Celtic Design.

Here is what he says about Eileen Moylan’s work;

“The very nature of Celtic design and traditional Irish jewellery is a reference to the past. The challenge of our modern Celtic Renaissance is to preserve that style and those traditions in a way that goes beyond mere copying.  Eileen Moylan’s jewelry work is an excellent example of adapting the ancient style for a contemporary audience. Her designs preserve a sense of nostalgia and identity, yet are solidly contemporary. It is artists and designers like her, whose skill and imagination continue to innovate, that insure that Celtic design will continue to produce meaningful treasures into the future.”

Claddagh Design Celtic Cross


Friday July 7 2013 in Fuchsia Centre

While the occasion was the official opening of the Fuchsia Centre , our party was in Art Chúram.

We were serenaded on our arrival by the delightful Ukrainian family musicians.

Thank you Marie Moriarty for sharing and Jim Ryan for helping me to post this clip of these superb musicians playing the national anthem.

Amhrán na BhFiann

So young and so talented. The Russia Ukraine war is a dreadful occurrence but we are so lucky in North Kerry that it brought these charming and talented musicians into our midst.

Mike Moriarty was excellent in his role as MC.

Finbar Mawe eloquently reminded us of all the effort that had gone into getting the project to completion. He remembered all the fundraisers and he had a special mention for people like Brendan O’Sullivan who made a huge contribution to the project but passed away before the official opening.

The quality of speech making on the day was admirable. Speakers were well prepared and stuck to the script.

Una Buckley stole the show. She spoke movingly of her family’s interaction with Art Chúram.

Bobby and Mary Buckley

Una’s parents live in the country and now that they are no longer driving, they are dependent on family and friends to get them out and socialising. Una thanked the community nurse who introduced them to Art Churam. Now they look forward to their weekly outing. She spoke of the welcome and respect with which they are always treated. Her father has been known to sing a song or two.

Bobby and Mary are just two of the service users whose lives have been enriched by Art Churam. Una spoke for many families who are so grateful to see their parents engaged and happy.


Your Help Needed

Charlie Nolan found this very old photo of boys and girls in the convent school yard. We have no date . Sr. Claire and her fellow sister are in the old habit which puts it probably in the 1950s.

Maybe someone could enhance the photo. We’d love to identify some few of the pupils.

There wasn’t a school uniform in those days but the nuns used to give material and knitting wool to families and they could get a skirt made and a jumper knitted. If you remember wearing one of those skirts or knitted jumpers we’d love to hear from you


Fuchsia Centre

Molly in Kerry 2023


Ard Chúram

On Friday July 7 2023, Tánaiste Micheál Martin was in town to officially open the new Fuchsia Centre at Árd Chúram.

This wonderful facility for older people who suffer from dementia will mean that more and more people are enabled to stay in their own homes for longer and the task of caring is eased for the family.

The committee who worked so hard to bring this project to fruition will leave an invaluable legacy to the area.

The celebration of the opening was planned for outdoors but poor weather forecast for the day meant that we were entertained indoors at the Árd Chúram Day Centre.

The HSE is a vital partner in the delivery of services to the older people in the community. Caroline Doyle of the HSE is here with Mike Moriarty of the Árd Chúram committee.

Caroline Doyle, HSE with Helen Moylan of Listowel Laundry for the Elderly and Marie Reen of Árd Chúram

Some of the friendly welcoming people who work in Árd Chúram.

Micheál Martin and Norma Foley enjoying the Cork/Kerry banter

(More photos tomorrow)


Modern Celtic Art in Listowel

Stephen Rynne had no connection with Listowel until he began studying the work of Michael O’Connor, illuminator.

When he came to town and discovered the many many local artists working in the celtic genre, he fell in love with the town.

In Kerry Writers’ Museum on July 6th he made his first foray into opening our eyes to the treasures around us.

On the left is Stephen Rynne and on the right is a great friend of Listowel Connection, our super researcher, David O’Sullivan. Dave has uncovered many stories related to Listowel artists and their prestigious commissions.

The local connection; Fr. Brendan O’Connor, son of the artist, was delighted to meet up with his Kerry cousins on the evening.

This beautiful piece, Michael O’Connor’s alphabet, was handed over to Kerry Writers’ Museum. It is not clear to us which alphabet it is, certainly not English, maybe Irish or Latin. Any insight would be gratefully welcomed.

Cara Trant on behalf of Kerry Writers’ Museum, accepts the piece from Stephen.


Forced Emigration

One of the dreadful results of the Famine was the devastation of the population due to deaths and emigration.

Worse was to follow in evictions and forced emigration.

Maybe your ancestors emigrated on The Nimrod or another of the ships that took so many of our fellowmen to the U.S and further afield.


Strange tales from Knockanure and Ballybunion

In rainy Mount Usher Gardens, photo; Éamon ÓMurchú


More Shannonside Memories from Tom Linnane

(Shannonside Annual 1956)

On St. Martin’s Night it was customary


Carroll’s of Course

Beautifully repainted building in Listowel’s Town Square


Lower Church Street

Recent refurbishment at Perfect Pairs has uncovered this old name, Molyneaux.


Ard Chúram News

Listowel has a new dementia day care centre, Fuchsia Centre


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