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: Gooch

Colm Cooper in Woulfe’s, Memory of My Mother and Jowika in Germany

Wintry Morning in Listowel


Colm Cooper in Listowel

Never meet your heroes, they say. People were not taking that advice in Listowel on November 17 2017 as we waited for Colm Cooper, one of the greatest footballers ever to wear the green and gold, to arrive in Woulfe’s Bookshop.

These little boys waited patiently at the head of the queue for their hero to appear.

Brenda, Kevin, Maura, Mickey and Mary were also waiting patiently as the VIP guest was being given a tour of the racecourse by David Fitzmaurice. Colm hopes to be able to come to Listowel Races next year, an outing he has missed through footballing commitments for many years.

The queue was 3 deep snaking through the shop by the time Colm appeared escorted by Stephen Stack, an old friend and footballing and banking colleague.

Stephen introduced the footballer turned writer. He had to have his list of Colm’s achievements written down for him for it would be difficult for anyone, even Colm himself, to remember them all.

Stephen told us a story that was related to him by Shane Quinn. Shane got the job of marking Colm, then only 18, in a local game. Shane was taken off at half time as it was clear that he couldn’t cope with the rising star of Kerry football. 

“How did you feel about being taken off.” 

According to Stephen’s story, Shane said that his head was in such a reel that he climbed over the wall and went home to bed.

Colm didn’t delay us long with speechmaking.

Colm was here to sign his book and sign he did, patiently and tirelessly and he was more than willing to chat to everyone, to listen to stories, to send greetings to friends and to pose for endless photographs. He is a lovely man.


A Poem for November 

We all have memories of our mothers. In my mind I can hear my mother singing 

“Let him go, let him tarry, let him sink or let him swim

He doesn’t care for me and I don’t care for him.”

or the plaintive Teddy O’Neill

as she went about her daily chores.

Patrick Kavanagh’s poem recalls the simplicity of rural life and the ‘countless, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and of love” that we can all recall about our mothers.

My final choice from The Irish Hospice’s Stories of Love and Hope is

In Memory of my

Patrick Kavanagh

I do not think of
you lying in the wet clay

Of a Monaghan
graveyard; I see

You walking down a
lane among the poplars

On the way to the
station, or happily

Going to second
mass on a summer Sunday

You meet me and you

“Don’t forget to
see about the cattle.”;

Among your
earthiest words the angels stray.

And I think of you
walking along a headland

Of green oats in

So full of repose,
so rich with life-

And I see us
meeting at the end of a town

On a fair day by
accident, after

The bargains are
all made and we walk

Together through
the shops and stalls and markets

Free in the
oriental streets of thought.

O, you are not
lying in the wet clay

For it is harvest
evening now and we

Are piling up the
ricks against the moonlight

And you smile up
at us – eternally.


Jowika in Germany

Philomena Moriarty Kuhn recently posted some photos on Facebook. They were taken on a trip by workers at Jowika Listowel to Germany. I’m sure many of my blog readers will recognise people. If you see your self or someone you know, I’d love to identify people.


Holidays are Coming

Free Parking in Listowel from Friday 1st to 16th Dec from 1pm each day, then Free Parking from Monday 18th until Monday 1st Jan subject to a 2hr parking limit in a parking space.

Paddy Drury, a tree creeper and a Food Trail

November…a time for remembering


A Fascinating Little Bird

Chris Grayson who is one of the best nature photographers I know snapped this little tree creeper. Isn’t he well camouflaged.


Paddy Drury’s Epitaph

The late poet, Paddy Drury, was renouned for
his witty verses about other people. His tongue was caustic and many a one in
his time felt the lash.

Probably his best known lambast is his unjustified criticism of the lovely people of Knockanure.

Knockanure both mean and poor

Its church without a steeple

Hungry hoors looking out half doors

Criticising decent people.

Paddy composed his own epitaph

Here lie the bones of Paddy Drury

Owing their size to Guinness brewery

However, one of the good nuns in the
Killarney home where he died prevailed on him not to have it engraved on his
headstone. Paddy agreed, maybe because he was well aware that there was no
money there for a headstone anyway. However when a band of his friends, under
the leadership of  John B. Keane
collected enough to erect a gravestone to Paddy and the Drury family, they kept
to the usual conventions in these matters and put a more respectful and
dignified inscription on it.


A Few Late Tourists Still visiting us


Listowel Food Trail 2017

As part of Listowel Food Fair we took a trail around the town on Nov 11 and we stopped to sample some appetising fare at eateries along the wayWe started our trail at The Listowel Arms Hotel

The bar was set very high with lots and lots of delicious nibbles on offer. Like the bad sprinter who bolts like a greyhound out of the traps and then finds that there is nothing left in the tank for the last stretch, I ate way too much here. We had five more stops on our tour and I was beaten already.

On we soldiered to Allos

Here we settled down in the very comfortable back lounge while Armel told us the story of the food we were about to eat. I tasted friand for the first time.

In Café Hanna at John R.’s we had some delicious savoury and sweet treats

Our next stop was Mike the Pies and I told you all about that on Monday’s post

Then we strolled down William Street, well sated at this stage but we still had Jumbos, Lizzy’s and Gapos to come.

Damien served us turkey burgers and tacos. His butcher, Larry was on hand to verify the provenance of the ingredients. If you thought Jumbos was just beefburgers and chips you’d be wrong. This visit was an eye opener for me.

Lizzy is now a nationally acclaimed cook and her restaurant is one of the most popular in town. Food here was top class.

Lastly we went to Gapos. This is one of my favourite restaurants so I knew the food would be good. It was lovely to meet the chef and hear his story as well as tasting some of his native Armenian dishes.


V.I.P in town on Friday

Colm Cooper will be signing copies of his autobiography in Woulfe’s Independent Bookshop at 5.00p.m. on Friday next November 17 1017


A little birdie told me that Mickey MacConnell will be one the Late Late Show with his ballad of Lidl and Aldi.

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