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: Garvey’s Super Valu Page 1 of 2

Writers’ Week and other things

Listowel Town Square in June 2022


Listowel Writers’ Week 2022

What a great few days, (Writers’ Week is not really a week) we had. I enjoyed every moment from start to finish. I haven’t had such a hectic time since before Covid.

I’m going to tell you all about it, not necessarily in the order in which it happened.

This event happened in St. John’s on Friday June 3rd. 2022. The ladies onstage are best selling authors, Catherine Ryan Howard, Carmel Harrington and Hazel Gaynor. They write in three very different styles. What they have in common is that they are all really successful, they write full time and their work has been categorised as commercial fiction as if that was somehow inferior to literary.

As Catherine said, they write the books people read.

With them on stage is Catherine Moylan who is chair of Writers’ Week. Catherine is passionate about including these writers in the festival of writing. It was a great event.

Catherine Ryan Howard wrote a brilliant thriller set in lockdown Dublin. It is called 56Days and I’d highly recommend it. Her Nothing Man is great too.

Carmel Harrington writes what is called up lit. Up Lit is a new trend. It stands for uplifting literature, stories with kindness at their core. Carmel is hugely popular. She is on her 11th book. Her tenth, A Mother’s Heart is in the shops now.

I particularly love Hazel Gaynor’s books. She writes historical fiction and she is a meticulous researcher of sometimes little known topics. Many of her books are available in audio book form or for Kindle.

I’m delighted these three ladies came to Listowel. They have proven that they deserve their place in a festival that celebrates writing.



While I was enjoying plays and books, another exciting thing was taking place.

A lovely lovely Listowel girl was being picked as Kerry Rose for 2022.

Édaein O’Connell has everything you could want in a Rose. She is “lovely and fair as the rose of the summer”. She is also media savvy, well able to account for herself, a witty and entertaining journalist who appeals to readers at home and abroad.

I hope she sings The Night Visiting Song as her party piece. It will bowl the judges over. My money is on Édaein to be the first ever Kerry Rose to win the contest outright. Even if she doesn’t, she will be a brilliant Kerry Rose for the year.

Édaein was sponsored by Garvey’s Super Valu and one of her first tasks as Rose was a visit there.


A Half Century Ago

This class of Leaving Certs. from 50 years ago had a reunion lately but I got no pictures unfortunately.


A Request

Dear Mary 

I am writing because I found your blog, and I was wondering if you could help me with some research I am conducting.

In particular I am looking for fifth and sixth year class photos of the Presentation Secondary School, for girls in Listowel for the following years: 1957, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62 and 63. 

I would really appreciate if you could help point me in the right direction, or if indeed you might know anyone who might have a yearbook with class photos, that they could send me by taking a picture of the yearbook themselves.

Kind regards,

Mel Cannon


Knocknagoshe, a Halloween Window and a Look Forward to Listowel Food Fair

The shadows lengthen as the sun declines

at St. John’s Tralee in October 2019


Promoting A Minute of Your Time

 With the lovely Sharon in Garvey’s Super Valu, Listowel


A Stroll Around Knocknagoshel

The Village Park


A Little Ditty

Three wise men of Gothan

Went to sea in a bowl

If the bowl had been stronger

My song had been longer.



Craft Fair


Listowel Florist Halloween Window


Listowel Food Fair 2019

Check out the great things in store for us next week.

Listowel Food Fair 2019

Listowel Public Toilet (Part 2), Helping to Research North Kerry Ancestors and Tidy Towns Awareness Day

Ballybunion Sunset, March 2019

Photo: Bridget O’Connor


The Hullabaloo about the Loo

We’re at 1972. The saga continues next week.


Harriet Owen in Listowel

Harriet Owen is pictured here with Tom Fitzgerald and Jimmy Deenihan. Harriet is a frequent visitor to Listowel. Her ancestors come from North Kerry and she is doing some genealogical research, helped by Tom and Jimmy.  She is very much at home here now. We will be seeing her again soon.


Tidy Towns’ Awareness Day

When I was in Super Valu on Friday March 29 2019 I ran into my friends from the Tidy Town Committee raising awareness of their work for the environment.

Listowel Tidy Towns win, Super Valu, Teampall Bán, a Tidy Town project

Our Heroes

The jubilant Listowel Tidy Town Committee pose with their trophies after their well deserved success.


A Poem of Tribute by local poet, Mary McElligott


Thank you all in ‘Tidy Towns’,

For doing this for us,

Working early or late at night,

Ye did it without fuss.

We all reaped the benefits,

‘She’s a Beauty to behold’,

‘Love Listowel’, it’s easy,

As ye won for her a Gold.

Thank you for your determination,

For the long hours ye all put in, 

For being passionate about yer home town,

With a belief that ye could win.

Writers’ week and the races,

Put Listowel on the map,


Yet another accolade in her cap.

Be proud of yer achievement,

It will be enjoyed by young and old

Come visit us down here in Listowel,

And walk on our streets of Gold.


Tributes from the diaspora

Since Listowel’s big win in the Tidy Town competition I have been posting photographs of the town looking splendid.  Here are a small few of the email messages I received.

Congratulations to lovely Listowel on winning the All-Ireland Tidy Town.  The good news must put some spring in the step of the John B. statue, and everyone else.

Is’nt it fantastic, so proud of that bunch.

Mary thank you sincerely for such photographic detail of our beautiful Listowel. Now through you, we and our diaspora know how blessed we are to live in Listowel and we are so grateful to you for “ broadcasting”  this globally, as you have a world-wide readership. 

Well done listowel tidy towns winner well deserved. I am so proud of you all and the town!

Thanks for the tour of Lovely Listowel 

My thanks and congratulations to everyone associated with the Tidy Towns Overall and Small Town Awards!

The Tidy Towns win is a timely milestone to say thanks to you also Mary for your great work for Listowel.

You have a great eye for a photo too.


Garveys Super Valu and Trant’s Pharmacy Convent Street


Teampall Bán, Listowel’s Famine graveyard

As I walked on the Ballybunion road I passed the entrance to the Sive Walk on my left.

On my right was the old Lartigue bridge

The Tidy Town sign will need to be updated.

This is the entrance to Teampall Bán.

This little statue on the pillar looks like the last supper.

The Stations of the Cross are in a circle around the chapel. The burial ground is a well kept lawn. It’s a lovely peaceful prayerful place.


Breast Cancer Flag Day

I saw these photos on the Cancer Society’s Facebook page. Local ladies were out in force on Friday October 5 2018 selling pink badges and ribbons.

Super Valu opening, Nostalgia and an 80s Junior Infant class

Seán Murphy, Blackwater Camera Club for The Rebel Cup


Garvey’s Super Valu Opening

My granddaughters came to Listowel for their Kerry holidays during their Easter break. While they were with me we spent a great morning at the Super Valu official opening of their refurbished shop. Stars of Kerry football and Dancing with the Stars were in attendance, face painting, free footballs, singing and dancing were the order of the morning.

The scene at Super Valu on April 20th 2017

Radio Kerry was broadcasting from the store. The free magnets and mugs were long gone by 11.00 when we got there.

The man of the moment: Aidan O’Mahoney, retired Kerry footballer and Dancing with the Stars winner for 2017 posed with the children.

 Des Cahill was a big hit with SuperValu staff.

No, he didn’t do a Hughie Maughan job on the fake tan. He was just back from holidays he said.

 Stylish Eilish was there, looking resplendent, as usual.

The girls spotted a lull in the queue for face painting and they were lined up before I knew it.

Paul was making sure that as many people as possible got to meet the star.

Meanwhile Rosaleen was doing a great job on Róisín’s face.

3 happy girls.

Dominick Scanlon was interviewing Des Cahill.

I grabbed him for a minute for a photo.

They met a Star as well.

This young footballer, Shane Enright, was infinitely patient, signing the free footballs and little boys’ jerseys.

The girls were lucky enough to secure some of the free footballs, but they were not inflated and as you can imagine, Super Valu staff were not really anxious to have footballs being kicked around the shop. So I called in to JK Sports next door where the lovely Edel sorted us out.

Three happy girls, very grateful to Edel for saving the day.

Homeward bound with the loot.



I read this extract from a book which is now out of print. It describes well why so many of my blog followers enjoy a taste of how it used to be at home in days gone by.

Fr. Pat Carroll

Scenes and memories: scenes
from places I know; memories of people I love. The quiet country herein
described still remains−the flat land, the white road, the little town, the
river, and the hill’s crest. The people who appear and speak for a brief period
are grown very old, or gone away. What is written, then, is written as a record
of what was, and what, for me, will never be again: today’s memories of a
yesterday back in Ireland when the gray dew was on the clover and the cuckoo
called from the blossomed alder. Maybe certain scenes and memories here set
down will recall to you also your springtime in the Old Land, with dear, kindly
people all around you, the wide, white Shannon a few flat fields away, and the
sea’s sweet breath coming from Kerry Head.”

─P.J.C., in Round
About Home (1914)


Junior Infants who are now Young Ladies

Clodagh O’Sullivan unearthed this old photo of her Junior Infants class.

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