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: Fungie

Athea people and Countess Markievicz and Rith in Listowel on St. Patrick’s Day

Fabulous picture of Fungi, the Dingle dolphin by the people behind Fungie Forever


Signs of Spring

Bulbs are sending up green shoots, a reassurance that this cold snap will end.


Athea and Countess Markievicz

Last week I mentioned how I thought the good people of Athea were kind and friendly. A blog follower responded with this;

“Every word is true about Athea- especially the people of Athea. Years ago, I had interactions with the then attendant at the Mortuary in Limerick Regional Hospital- as it was then known. This man dealt with all remains deceased persons, whether they died peacefully in their beds at a good age, or died tragically- in many circumstances. 

He was extremely helpful to all grieving relatives and was much respected and liked. He told me once that he ‘loved’ to see a crowd from Athea coming to the mortuary, as they were the grandest and ‘dacentest’ people in the county. In their loss and grief, they came armed with a gift for the attendant (a bottle of whiskey) which no-one else ever bothered to do. Athea people are a special type- they have big hearts and appreciate a kindness.

Another story about Athea in the long-ago: Countess Markievicz (after whom a local Athea housing estate is named) visited Con Colbert’s Athea and was giving a speech when she was interrupted by by an old man, probably unused to see a woman in such a prominent position. He called out, “Can you bake a plain cake of bread, Ma’am?”  The Countess replied instantly,  “I can,”  and I can drive a four-in-hand!” A four-in-hand, as you equestrians will know, is a carriage drawn by four horses with the driver controlling and directing all four with a set of reins- an operation requiring special skill and strength, and beyond many men,  I believe.  That settled the old man’s hash pretty quickly!”



This good man whom I featured a while back is Fr. Bowen and not Bohan as I stated.


The late Bryan MacMahon and Brendan O’Carroll


Rith go Lios Tuathail

Rith is a national festival which runs every second year as part of Seachtain na Gaeilge,

March 11 to March 17 2018.

A 1,500km. course has been mapped out and it will be run in relays from Belfast to Listowel in 2018.

A special hand carved baton carrying a secret message of support for the Irish language will be carried as far as Listowel and the message will be read out from the stage at the viewing of the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The reading of the message will be followed by a street party.


As if that wasn’t enough excitement for St. Patrick’s Day, the mass on RTE will be broadcast from St. Mary’s, Listowel. It will be sung, in Irish, by Listowel Folk Group, pictured below at their annual Christmas party.

Corpus Christi procession 2014 continued and Kilflynn’s Enchanted Fairy Festival

Ballygologue Park was looking lovely on Sunday June 22 2014


Lovely new signage in Duagh


Enchanted Fairy Festival

Maybe it’s got something to do with our present love affair with everything vintage and retro but fairies are definitely enjoying a come back. Everywhere little girls are adopting fairies into their families and setting up little doors for the fairies to come and go as they please. 

Kilflynn capitalised on this trend at the weekend of June 28 and 29 2014

On Saturday evening crowds turned out to see a magical parade of fairies, elves and fairytale characters.


On  Sunday June 29  there were wizards, potions, a fairy trail, storytelling, a craft fair and lots of fairy related events. This super event was enjoyed in glorious sunshine by everyone who attended.

All the photos are curtesy of Jean Thomas.

The hard working committee have already pencilled in June 27 and 28 2015 for their next Enchanted Fairy Festival.


Our friend, Fungi, the Dingle dolphin now has his very own video on Youtube…..Wow!

My Silver River Feale, Dromclough, St. Mary’s and Fungie

My Silver River Feale

“My heart tonight is lonely for my sireland,

Though many miles of ocean lie between,

My heart tonight is home again in Ireland

Upon thy banks, my silver River Feale.”

The words of Bryan MacMahon are the inspiration behind a beautiful piece of jewellery soon to be unveiled in Craftshop na Méar.

This is Eileen Moylan of Claddagh Designs pictured at her work bench in Macroom.

This is a sneak preview of her Listowel piece, My Silver River Feale which will be launched in Craftshop na Méar, Listowel on Saturday May 31 2014 as part of Listowel Writers’ Week fringe. The solid silver hallmarked piece will be available as a pendant, bracelet or cuff links. The design shows St. John’s, Listowel Castle and The Bridge over The Feale.

If you love Listowel you will want one of these.

Everyone is welcome to the launch. Standing room is limited. We will have to close the doors when the shop is full so come early and browse some of the lovely crafts in the shop. We plan to have a little music, a few nibbles and a video showing how the silver piece was designed and crafted. Owen MacMahon, son of the author of My Silver River Feale will be the guest of honour on the night,

May 31 2014 at 7.00 p.m.


A newspaper picture of the opening of Dromclough National School


St. Mary’s in Listowel Square is due to close its doors for refurbishment for the months of June and July 2014. Daily masses will be celebrated in St. John’s and Sunday Mass in St. Michael’s College.

Below are some photos of the lovely interior of our parish church.


Fungie the Dingle dolphin

Two more recent action shots from his friends at Fungie Forever


Nano Nagle award

Eileen Keane, Acting Vice Principal, Clodagh Kissane with her Nano Nagle Award and Elaine Kinsella who presented the awards on Awards Day at Presentation Secondary School, Listowel


Dingle in April 2014 and Listowel Military Tattoo 2014


I enjoyed a lovely day out on the Dingle peninsula recently.

This friendly fellow we met at Slea Head.

Cycling was always a favoured means of transport for student and visitor alike.

I don’t know if the coin machine works. I did not hazard my money in it although I have done in the past. You put in a euro or two and you “mint” yourself a souvenir (worthless) coin.


 This piece of outdoor art is rather nice.

We met Róisín and Joan at The Halla in Ceann Trá. We helped them make somme clay pots.

 Our pots when fired would hold a candle and would be released from Milltown Bridge as part of Féile na Bealtaine.

A bit of humour is always welcome. This sign was at Dick Mack’s back door.

More humour, this time in Murphy’s Ice Cream shop. It was very busy on the day we visited. The staff were super friendly plying us all with free samples. We just had to have some more. I would recommend the sea salt.

This lovely lady was minding the Dingle Candle Shop for her sister in law. She has her own business, making lovely oil cloth bags. Her business is called Pins and Needles. I bought this bag. You’ll see me carrying it around town.

This knitted sheep farm caught my eye in a shop window.

I bought some really nice soap.

Onion sets, shallots and seed potatoes in a shop window in Dingle in April 2014.

Everywhere people were preparing for this:    Féile na Bealtaine


The best Fungi photo?

There are two people who photo Fungi regularly and post great images on Facebook at

Fungie Forever


Old photo

Fr Keane from Ballygrennan and Parish Priest in Newtownsandes

and Con Brosnan footballer and member of Free State Army


Some action from Listowel Town Square at the weekend.

On Saturday May 3 2014 we gathered in The Square to watch a re enactment of the taking of the French town of Caen during WW2.

The local Caen citizenry were hanging out, drinking wine and lounging in the sun.

Suddenly, German soldiers arrived and took over the town.

A fierce battle ensued.

Local people were arrested.

The soldiers frog marched the local prisoners off to be executed the next day.


It was a great lesson in history for all of us present, particularly the young people.

I photographed the real French people in my family with one of the “fake” French people who were taking part in the re enactment. 

Why are they laughing?

He did not understand a word of French.


Haiku for our times

Along Emmet Road
politicians’ promises
blow like plastic bags.

– Michael Hartnett (Inchicore Haiku, No. 55)


Irish TV

A new channel especially for the diaspora. Listen to the story from Batt Burns if you like an innocent old fashioned Seanchaí type tall tale.

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