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: Greenlawn

Greenlawn, Road works on William Street and The New Kingdom

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

I met this little fellow in Listowel Town Park early one morning last week. He likes to have his breakfast at the table.


Lovely job at The Kennedy Home


William Street Road Works

Signs pointing the way to the free car parks are beginning to appear on our streets. This is in preparation for the upcoming roadworks on William Street when on street parking will be limited.

Here is the low down.

  • Work will commence on Monday September 26th 2016.
  • Work is expected to last 9 weeks.
  • William Street, in 2 phases, will  be closed day and night.
  • Church Street will be 2 way. 
  • On street parking on Church Street only on the side of the Garda Station.
  • Shops and footpaths on William Street will remain open throughout the upgrade.
  • Phase One from Lynch’s Corner to the Market Street junction: Traffic from Market Street will turn left at McKenna’s corner.
  • Phase Two from McKenna’s Corner to Charles Street junction: Traffic from Lower William Street will turn left into Market Street.

The whole thing will cost €600,000. Water, Gas and other underground works will all go on at the same time as the road resurfacing. I’m presuming there will be an archaeologist on site. Who knows what they might dig up when they go do delving under our town?  Remember they found a well under the road in The Square.


New Kingdom Reopens

1972 communion in Knockanure, Some Listowel Placenames, a Listowel Marathon and works begin at Greenlawn

 The King of all Birds

Wren photographed by Ita Hannon



Yesterday’s announcement was a bit premature. When I passed through William Street today there were the roadworks….gone! Looks like it was only a temporary patching job which leaves the surface marginally more drivable. Be warned! the margin of improvement is small.

Please accept my apologies for getting your hopes up.


First Holy Communion in Knockanure in 1972


Some Listowel Placenames and their meaning

Ballinruddery;  I used to think that this one came from Baile an Ridire, meaning the home of the knight. The Knight of Kerry did have a house close by.

Dan Keane’s great book on the placenames of North Kerry, Tralee and Ballymacelligott set me straight.

Baile an Riodaraigh means the home of the riddles or Ruddles. A family of Rddles lived in the area.

Ballyduhig: This is in Irish Baile an Dhufaigh, meaning the home of the Duffys.

Ballygologue: Baile na Gabhlóige. A gabhlóg was a fork in a road.

Ballygrennan: Baile an Ghrianáin:  The home of the elevated sunny place.  True enough!

However Bedford has no Irish root whatsoever. An English man (probably from Bedford in England) built his home here and he called it Bedford House and the name stuck replacing the previous name for that area: Ath an Turais meaning ford of the journey or pilgrimage. The ford was on the Listowel Ballylongford road which is now crossed by Shrone bridge. There are two holy wells across the river, Tobar Rí an Domhnaigh ( The King of Sunday’s well) and Tobar Naomh Parthalán ( St. Bartholomew’s well)

Behins: Na Beithiní  means little birch trees.

Here endeth today’s lesson


A Few Photos I took during last week’s marathon


Another premises being refurbished


The Country Boy at St. John’s

Drama is thriving in Listowel in 2016. The latest offering was The Country Boy from the resilient Lartigue company. It was sad, funny and sweet  and very popular with Listowel audiences.

Norella Moriarty and Batt O’Keeffe took Joan Kenny’s ticket and gave her a programme.

 The cast take a curtain call

The Very last Ladies Day photos, a Christmas shop opens in Listowel and a fire in Greenlawn

Photo;   Timothy John McSweeney


Saturday Oct. 10 2015

Yes, I have the date right. Bank of Ireland Listowel was open last Saturday for a mortgage event. Could the Celtic Tiger be creeping back on to our streets? If so, let’s hope we have learned the lessons of history.


Some more well dressed ladies at Ladies’ Day 2015


Where did you get that hat?


Big Houses in Tralee in the 19th century

IN the early to mid 1800 s The principal gentlemen’s seats in the Tralee area were :

  • Ballyseedy, the finely planted demesne of Arth. Blennerhasset, Esq., occupied by Sir Edward Denny, Bart.; 
  • Oak Park, the residence of John Bateman, Esq., situated in grounds well wooded with oak, among which are some trees of singular size and beauty, and open to the public; 
  • Belmont, of the Rev. A. B. Rowan; 
  • Ballard House, of Fras. Crosbie, Esq.; 
  • Spring Lodge, of F. J. Martelli, Esq.; Lower Cannon, of J. Eagar, Esq.; Magh, of W. Seely, Esq.; 
  • Chute Hall, of W. Chute, Esq.; 
  • Spring Hill, of Captain Chute;
  •  Arbella, of Fras. Feet, Esq.; 
  • Plover Hill, of George Gun, Esq.; and 
  • Frogmore Lodge, of the Rev. Barry Denny.

fromHistorical Tralee


The countdown has begun

All the elves at Listowel Garden Centre have been really really busy. They opened their Christmas shop on October 7 2015. Every year I think their display just can’t be better than last year’s and every year it is. Do drop in and see for yourself.

Danny Russell tells me that he has seen Christmas displays in Harrods and Brown Thomas and he thinks that Listowel Garden Centre Christmas Shop 2015 is better.

I dropped in early to take some photos before all of this beautiful stock starts to walk out the door.


What a Shame!

Greenlawn Nursing Home has been vacant  and neglected for some years now. On Thursday last, October 8 2015 it was extensively damaged internally by fire and smoke.

Guerins/Garveys, Greenlawn and Dromin House

Thirteen years ago today’s Garvey’s SuperValu was Guerin’s Londis. I took some photographs as the changes took place and here they are.

Guerins in 2000

The site is cleared
Construction underway
Taking shape

August 2003


Greenlawn in 2000
Greenlawn today


Today’s  big house is Dromin House. I took the information from Vincent Carmody’s recent book

Dromin House

Dromin House was built for Lord William Fitzmaurice. The construction
replaced an earlier house. It was started in 1661 and completed in 1668.
Fitzmaurice, 20th Baron of Kerry (1633-1697) succeeded his father in
1660.  The house was surrounded by gardens and orchards.  The original walled in
orchard/ garden section now contain two bungalows built in the 1970s.

The Raymond family  leased the
property at  first from Dame Deborah
Fitzmaurice in 1690. They then bought it and remained in continuing ownership
through good times and bad until the death of the last of the direct male line,
James (Jim) Raymond in 1965. His wife Letitia Muriel (nee Smith) remained in
the house until her death in 1968 when it became the property of Mr. Donavan

 Dromin house and the surrounding
19 acres was bought by Sean and Liz Ryan(nee Heaphy) in 1999. Over the
following 3 years they carried out extensive renovations and improvements.  


If you are looking for a great night out, Vincent and Jessica tell me that a swinging night is promised in The Listowel Arms on Friday night. I’m alerting you in plenty of time so that you get your outfit in order. Come as any of your favourite 50’s icons.


Jer sent me word of the passing of this multi- talented lady.

The late Margaret Doody Scully with Gabriel Fitzmaurice in October 2012

Margaret Doody-Scully, of Farrihy, Broadford, died 13th January 2013 at the Mid Western Regional Hospital. A native of Feohanagh and previously of Kilfinny, she was an active member of the Castlemahon History Society. In October 2012  Margaret published her second book, Inside Looking Out, which was a collection of her poetry on the history, folklore and natural beauty of West Limerick. The 200-page book launched by Gabriel Fitzmaurice with 165 poems about Broadford,  Dromcollogher, Feohanagh, Killeedy, Newcastle West and Knockfierna to name a few In 2005 she published her first book, a history of the church in Feohanagh-Castlemahon parish titled From the Bog to the Bishop. Margaret helped with  material on Castlemahon parish for the Limerick Diocesan Heritage project. She was camogie player and long distance runner  also, in the late 1960s she represented Ireland in senior ladies cross-country. Margaret Doody-Scully was a  contributor to Limerick’s Live95fm on farming matters and on ‘In the County’ with John Prendergast.


Chilling historical fact:  During WW2,  over 100,000 German prisoners were taken at Stalingrad. Only 5,000 would ever return home in 1955 after years of forced labour.


Kerryman at The Super Bowl

Greenlawn and Jerry Ryan

Listowel Town Square resplendent in the sunshine of yesterday. You can’t beat summer in Ireland, if we only knew on which day it was going to be.

While out and about with camera I took a few photos of the old Greenlawn or Kennedy Nursing Home. You will remember it was the residence of the very first TD for Kerry, James Crowley. Sadly, I found it looking very overgrown and neglected.

What a shame!


By contrast, isn’t this only magnificent1

Puffin on Sceilig photographed by Laura Vaughan.


Every now and again something happens in town. I hear it when its over and I am kicking myself that I missed it. Such an event was the retirement of Jerry Ryan. Jerry cleaned our streets for years and his smiling amiable presence was part of what makes Listowel unique. My photograph was taken on the Monday after the Races a few years back.

 I wish Jerry a long and happy retirement, and a well deserved rest.


A Friday smile

These cute pictures are from the Pathé war archive. At least the poor children would have great eyesight!

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