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: golf

Looking back and Looking Forward

Listowel Town Square, March 2022


Look Up!

William Street above shopfront level


Pres. Yearbook 2009, the Sr. Consolata interview


Sr. Consolate with some of the parish choir. R.I. P Anne Marie


Faces in the Parade on March 17 2022


First News of Reimagining Listowel Town Square

We have some very exciting news to share here at Brendan Mahony Butchers🍦🍦We will be selling soft serve Angilito ice cream cones, all minerals and chocolate and more for Summer months☀️☀️ from our specially designed window hatch at the front of the shop. Any customers for ice cream won’t need to enter our shop just come to the hatch outside. I think it will be a fantastic addition to the square, plenty of seating right outside the door. Our new venture is called the Square Cone. And 1 last thing on opening day which hopefully will be the start of May, free cones to everyone on the day.


A Photo and Caption from WLR Fm

What a sight this is Séamus Power, Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry all on course before a 4-ball session at Augusta.


Danny Hannon R.I.P.

Ballybunion photo by Sharon of Simple Snaps by Sharon


Golf in Wartime

Ger Greaney found this one and posted it on Facebook.


Our Very Own Penny Black

A story from the 1983 Presentation Schools’ Magazine


+ Danny Hannon R.I.P.+

A Power is passing from the earth
To breathless Nature’s dark abyss;
But when the Mighty pass away
What is it more than this,

That Man, who is from God sent forth,
Doth yet again to God return?—
Such ebb and flow must ever be;
Then wherefore should we mourn?

We will not see the like of Danny Hannon again. We are so lucky that we did see not only his like but we saw the man himself.

Danny was a Colossus of the Arts. He was top and tail of artistic Listowel.


The most important person in Danny’s life was his dear dear wife, Eileen. They were inseparable.

Danny and Eileen in 2018, a picture of enduring love

Danny and Eileen were great supporters of local enterprises. Here they are with Noreen O’Connell in Craftshop na Mear.

Meeting the Hannon family on the street was always a treat.

Danny was always happy in the company of his friends. Whether in The Listowel Arms or Lynch’s, Danny loved to hold court.

This is the last photo I took of Danny Hannon. In the midst of a pandemic he had ventured from his home the short walk to the church.

Danny loved to travel. In his lifetime he travelled the world with his Lartigue Players.

In his declining years, when his health had deteriorated, Danny had everything he needed within easy reach of his home in The Square.

Danny left his mark on many many aspects of Listowel life. He was a builder, an auctioneer and a bookseller as well as a founder of The Lartigue Little Theatre, a founder of the George Fitzmaurice Appreciation Society, Listowel Writers’ Week’s first artistic director, supporter of St. John’s, Kerry Writers’ Museum and everything to do with Kerry writing and drama.

Danny with some of his Lartigue friends

Danny in his happy place, at his home in The Square with his beloved family on the occasion of his lifetime achievement award from Listowel Writers Week.

Danny’s funeral mass was celebrated in St. Mary’s Listowel on January 19 2022. We had songs from his beloved Listowel Folk Group who gave him his greatest triumph in John B. after Ten, poetry, prayers and laughter. The chief celebrant was Danny’s old schoolfellow and lifelong friend, Fr. Seamus Linnane.

Danny Hannon gave the eulogy at John B. Keane’s funeral. Fittingly Billy Keane returned the favour at Danny’s. He turned St. Mary’s into a theatre and the congregation into an audience. There were memories, anecdotes and even some audience participation as Danny was applauded off the stage in his beloved Listowel Town Square for the final time on January 19 2022.

May the sod rest lightly on his gentle soul.

John Kelliher’s footage of the funeral as it made its way through the streets of his beloved Listowel is at

Funeral of Danny Hannon

Listowel laid a favourite son to rest in the winter sunshine of Wednesday, January 19 2022.


Bill Clinton in Listowel, Joe Murphy of St. John’s ,The Fancy Warehouse and St. Patrick’s Day 2019

Jim McSweeney


St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2019

You’d never know who you’d run into at the St. Patrick’s Day parade. On Charles Street I met up with neighbours and friends.


2019 parade in Charles’ Street

Liam Brennan is a convincing St. Patrick  figure.

Proudly flying the flag for Listowel were this year’s victorious Tidy Town Committee.

The Listowel convent girls marching band are an essential part of Listowel’s parade.


Bill Clinton Whizzes Through

What is it with U.S. presidents and golf?

Since Eizenhower in 1954 the White House has had a putting green. It’s been installed, allowed to grow over, reinstalled and eventually relocated by President Clinton, an avid golfer.

Photo of the then president and vice president in 2009 from the internet.

Flash back to September 1998 and US President Bill Clinton is on a visit to Ireland and part of that trip is a round of golf in the famous Ballybunion links.

The plan was for POTUS to stop in Listowel for a photo op. drinking the obligatory pint in John B.’s. His itinerary was known and a group of peaceful protesters gathered in the small square. US security got a bit windy for the president’s security and hastily changed the plan. Listowel was bypassed and the cavalcade instead stopped in Lisselton. It had to stop somewhere, else it would arrive ahead of schedule in Ballybunion. So Listowel’s loss was Lisselton’s gain and he was greeted enthusiastically by the lovely people of that borough.

Mike Guerin was out with his camera and here is his recording of the scene at McKenna’s Corner on that historic day.

Clinton’s Cavalcade Drives Through Town

Mike Guerin wasn’t the only cameraman present to record the day. Junior Griffin took a lovely photo of John B. at the door of the pub as he waited for the customer that never came.


End os an Era at St. John’s

Listowel’s very own man in black, “Vicar” Joe Murphy, is in his last year at the helm in St. John’s. Anyone who knows Joe will agree with me that he is force of Nature. He has run St. John’s with charm, dedication, enthusiasm and lots and lots of hard work. The place wont be the same without him.


The Fancy Warehouse

When I came to Listowel first in the mid 1970s this shop was called The Fancy Warehouse and it was run by a Miss O’Brien. It sold knitting wool, notions and other haberdashery. The name os the shop always fascinated me. Up to then I imagined a warehouse as a big store but this shop was tiny. If you look closely you can just make out the old shop name as it is stripped down for refurbishment.

Miss O’Brien’s sister ran a shop across the road called O’Brien Hartnett’s. That sold shoe polish, polish brushes and other small goods.

Synchronicity, Casement, golf and old phones

Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner. The concept of synchronicity was first described in this terminology by Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychologist, in the 1920s.[1] 


Remember Mike O’Donnell the portrait artist who painted the striking portrait of Con

Houlihan that now hangs in Castleisland library. That same Mike O’Donnell’s latest exhibition was on the theme of Roger Casement. 

This week I had an email from Bernard O’Connell of Listowel and Canada. It was on the subject of Denis Guiney, cousin of the Cleary Guineys, but had an unexpected connection to Casement. 

Here is Bernard’s message:

I saw the article about Denis Guiney on Listowel Connection. Well here is a bit more about him. He was married to Julie Griffin from Castleisland, well she was my Gran’s sister on my dad’s side, My Grans maiden name was Catherine Griffin, and her Uncle was Dan O’Mahony, he was the guy in charge of his Battalion  that went to meet Roger Casement at Banna Strand but was a day late because of the intel that he got, actually Dan O’Mahony spent some time in Africa as a young man but was injured by an Elephant when he was thrown up in the air by one. As they say we all have stories to tell.”

I have had another email from Liam Murphy of New York. He also knew Denis Guiney of Church St.

 With interest I read Martin Sheehys comments of Denis Guiney, my late father, aunts and uncle were great friends with Denis and would spend time there on all visits to town. Many the visit I made there and listened to events of his life, born in Brosna and about his first cousin of the same name the proprietor of Cleary’s. My sister who lives in Kildare and some cousins used to help at the time of the Races making sandwiches, for sale in the pub.. When he heard I was emigrating to the U.S I told of some of the tough times he experienced in the U.S. way back then of been ill and of this woman who took care of him, of the time he would take a bottle of tea for his lunch and because of the extreme cold it would be  be frozen solid when he went to drink it. I visited with him a few times after on my visits home, he always wore a sports jackets with leather around the elbows, a hat and chewed some gum.

(Those elbow patches are now the height of fashion.)


Rory McIlroy celebrates the European win in the Ryder Cup. He is sporting the biggest watch ever as he pokes fun at himself for nearly missing his tee time. All’s well that ends well.

Golfers from nearer to home: this is the Newcastlewest team celebrating their historic victory in The Pierce Purcell Shield ; their own Ryder Cup.


A few pieces of nostalgia from the internet

If you are my age, you will remember these telephones. In the days before mobile phones this is what a public telephone looked like and this was your only method of contacting someone when you were away from your home. These ones are in an airport but we had them in train stations, pubs, schools and in any location where people might need to use a phone. 

You lifted the receiver from its cradle. You lined up your money on the black box. If you needed a local number, you put in your coins and dialed the number on the clunky metal dial, one number at a time. When it was answered, you pressed button A and the coins were gobbled up by the machine. If there was no reply you pressed Button B and got your money back. There were no answering machines in my day. You spoke to a human being if there was one there or you spoke to no body.

If you needed a long distance number, you called the operator and she told you how much you needed to have ready in coins and she rang you back when she had dialed the number for you. If your message was for one particular person at the other end, you could book a “person to person” call and then you did not waste your money talking to her mammy or her flatmate or whoever was passing by the phone when it rang.

Ah, those were the days!

Old love

Open wide: these boys are lined up for their weekly dose of aperient (Maybe Castor Oil!)


This is a link to the names of Irish men and women on the commemorative wall of veterans of the Vietnam War in Washington.

John Ashe: Golf: Eugene Brosnan

Did you watch The Open yesterday? Ernie Els had an unexpected victory as poor hapless Adam Scott suffered a dramatic collapse. It was painful to watch.

Maradona said “Football isn’t a game or a sport, it’s a religion.”

Some wag replied, “Football is not a religion. It’s far more serious than that.”

If football is not a religion, golf certainly is.

Check out this incredible story from wartime Britain;

As the Battle of Britain began to take hold in 1940, a bomb fell on an outbuilding belonging to Richmond Golf Club in Surrey, England. As a result, the club — rather than halt future rounds of golf — issued an incredible list of temporary golf rules to all members that took into account the potentially life-threatening conditions on the course.

The list read as follows.

(Source: Richmond Golf Club; Image: Policemen inspect a bomb crater at North Shore Golf Course in Blackpool, 1940. Source.)

  1. Players are asked to collect Bomb and Shrapnel splinters to save these causing damage to the mowing machines.
  2. In competitions, during gunfire, or while bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play.
  3. The positions of known delayed-action bombs are marked by red flags placed at reasonably, but not guaranteed safe distance therefrom.
  4. Shrapnel/and/or bomb splinters on the Fairways, or in Bunkers within a club’s length of a ball may be moved without penalty, and no penalty shall be incurred if a ball is thereby caused to move accidentally.
  5. A ball moved by enemy action may be replaced, or if lost or destroyed, a ball may be dropped not nearer the hole without penalty.
  6. A ball lying in a crater may be lifted and dropped not nearer the hole, preserving the line to the hole without penalty.
  7. A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may play another ball from the same place. Penalty, one stroke.

This must be taking the exhortation to “Keep calm and carry on ” to the extreme.


I had a photograph of Bunny Dalton last week. I am told that the people in the photo with him are Dr. Johnny and Vincent Walshe and Tim O’Sullivan and the photo was most likely taken in Walshe’s Ballroom and not in Ballybunion.


I had an email last week from a lovely young lady who stumbled upon my blog at a time of deep sadness in her life. She is Niamh Ashe. She lost both of her parents within a short timeframe. Her beloved father was John Ashe of Church St.

Niamh contacted me because she was sorting through some of her father’s memorabilia nd she found some newspaper cuttings and photographs that she though I might be interested in. She will send these in due course but, in the meantime, at my request, she sent me a photograph of her dad and the obituary she wrote for The Kerryman. At the time she wrote it her mother was still alive .

John Ashe of Derrylea, Tralee passed away peacefully on 4th
March 2012 after a short illness.

John was born on 12th September 1937 in Listowel, Co. Kerry,
son of Michael and Julia Ashe.  He was
the middle child with two brothers and two sisters, Mary, Hallie, Thomas and
Aine. John grew up on Church Street Listowel and attended Listowel National
School followed by St. Michael’s College. He had many a colourful story
recalling his childhood and school years. He was also a regular to the dance
halls in Ballybunion and it was there that he met Mary Hickey, from Rush Co.
Dublin one weekend. They were later married in 1965. John worked in London for
a number of years in the late 50s to early 60s. He worked for Murphy
Construction in their accounts department and lived in Shepherd’s Bush. On his
return from London, he married Mary and they lived in Limerick for a brief
period, before moving to Raheny in Dublin. In Dublin John worked with Bord na gCon
from June 1962 and then undertook a position as senior clerk with Co. Dublin Vocational
Education Committee (VEC) in 1969. It was while he was with Co. Dublin VEC that
the opportunity arose in 1972 for him to take up a position with Kerry VEC and
it was then he relocated back to Kerry. John and Mary lived in Bridge Street
initially, before moving into Derrylea in 1973. They were the first residents
in Derrylea at the time and moved in just before the birth of their third

John was very popular within the VEC and served under Seamus MacDwyer,
John Falvey and Barney O’Reilly, before retiring in 1997. He was well known
amongst the principals and teaching staff throughout Kerry. It was during his
time with Kerry VEC that John became involved in many ventures and
organisations, including Cospoir, The Kerry Way and Tralee Credit Union, to
mention just a few. In 2002, he was honoured to be awarded a beautiful piece of
Valentia slate in recognition of his contribution to the Kerry and Dingle Way. He
was also greatly involved in Cappanalea and organised sailing events throughout
the schools each summer. It wasn’t unusual for him to be seen on the roads, dragging
a sailing boat behind his car. He was also greatly involved in the Oakpark Residents’
Association for many years. John was a very popular character in Na Gael GAA
where he was happy to debate religion and politics amongst his friends. He was
a fantastic story teller and he was always guaranteed an attentive audience. He
was a keen gardener and spent hours tending to his various shrubs and plants.
He was well known for his crops of gooseberries, blackcurrants and strawberries
each year and was quick to donate shrubs to anybody who was starting their own garden.

He was a loyal husband and devoted father to his four children. He was
always encouraging and full of advice. He adored his seven grandchildren and
spoke very proudly of each of them. He was a very likeable character with a
great sense of humour and plenty of stories.

John will be missed greatly by everyone who was fortunate enough to have
met him but especially by his wife Mary, his four children, Michael, Gregory,
Niamh and Brendan, as well as his brothers and sisters, his grandchildren, his
daughters-in-law, his nephews and nieces, his many friends and wonderful

John’s family would like to express sincere gratitude to the Palliative
Care Team in Tralee General hospital and the staff of Fatima home, Oakpark
where he received excellent care in the later stage of his illness.

+  Ar dheis láimh Dé go raibh  anam John agus anam a bhean, Mary.  +


Barefaced plug coming up:

Give a listen to my cousin, singer/ songwriter, Eugene Brosnan singing Spring Wind here:

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