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: Greenville

Typhus Cork, The Cuckoo, Maurice McGrath and the origin of Street Leagues in Listowel

Photo: Liam Downes from the internet


Another Time, another Pestilence


First Cuckoo

 Photo and caption from David Kissane on Facebook

Welcome to Kilmoyley! This is possibly the first cuckoo in the Ardfert Kilmoyley region for 2020, photographed yesterday by Hubert Servignat who lives a short distance away. Tá an samhradh ag teacht!

Cuckoo (Neil Brosnan) 

I blame the parents more than the youngsters

Those most deceitful of our refugees.

Planners and plotters, ingrained imposters,

Covertly winging from far overseas.  

‘Shush,’ snaps the dunnock from under the sedge, 

The marsh warbler’s song cut short in his throat

Mute pipits cringe at the still meadow’s edge

As high up above resounds the next note. 

Tunefully perfect, evolved to enthrall

Proclaiming his realm; his objectives clear

Shamelessly calling from dawn to nightfall

Stark confirmation that summer is here. 

Have we ever heard this cuckoo before?

Will he return here – once, twice, or no more?  


Maurice McGrath

Vincent wrote this article two years ago on the occasion of the North Kerry Final.

The 1920s hurling team with Maurice McGrath

I cannot recall all the names, however I can name some, I wanted to show this one as it is the only one with Maurice McGrath

Back row,

 (1) Jim Henderson – (3) Brendan .McEnery- (5) J.J. Kenny – (6) Stanlish Kerins – (7) Tony Chute – (8) Maurice McGrath – (9) Brendan Nunan – (10) Brud Roche.

Middle Row,

(5) Ml (Ginger) Kelly- (6) Wm. (Jacques) Guerin – (7) Tommy (Tucker) Stack) (8) Martin Holly.


includes, Maurice McAuliffe, Bob Slemon, Jim Joe Buckley, Jack Harmon.

(Jim Henderson  was a Guard in Listowel and retired to Ballybunion, he was from Kilkenny, I think he was an uncle to the great Henderson’s of the  Kilkenny teams of the late 60s ,70s and 80s.)

Vincent came up with a few more names;

Back row, 

(2) John Nolan – (4) Paddy Allen – 

Middle Row,

partly covered, (1) Joe O’Carroll – (3) Eddie Flaherty – (4) Nelson McAuliffe – (6) Should read, Ned (Spud) Murphy ((not Wm Guerin) 


(1) Matt (Curly) Walsh – (2)  Moss McAuliffe – (3) Dandy Leahy (laying sideways)  – (4) Bob Slemon – figure in white ? (6) Jack Brown – (7) Jim Kenny  (with cap) (8) ?


The cup was bought for £15 by  Maurice McGrath and presented by him for National school league competition 

Following 1927,  the cup went AWOL, and remained so until 1987 when Vincent Carmody went searching and finally found it 60 years on from 1927. It is now a treasured piece of the Emmets historical archive.

Greenville, 1927, first school league winners of McGrath cup. Cup held by John Sayers.

(all photos and story from Vincent Carmody)

Flowery Listowel, U.S. Visitors and a crane in the Listowel skyline

Lovely Tidy Listowel

Monday next, June 17 2019 Nationwide on RTE1 will feature Listowel.

Everywhere you look in Listowel these days you will see flowers. Hanging baskets are everywhere. As I passed by one of Listowel’s most famous public houses I spied a workman putting up brackets for hanging baskets.

This planting in the plaza outside the courthouse is coming along nicely.


U.S. Visitors with Deep Irish Roots 

Some U.S. Irish people absolutely love this country and are constantly drawn back to us. I’ve mentioned Mike and Sue Nilsson before. Here they are at Writers’ Week with Máire and Eilish.

On Monday, June 10 2019 I met this lovely couple who love Ireland in general and North Kerry in particular as much as any native. This is John and Lillian Linehan of Florida and formerly of Moyvane. The Linehans have roots in Kerry, Cork and Mayo. They lived for 12 years in Moyvane where they happily lit their open fire even at the height of our summer. They come to Ireland for their holidays every year. They have only missed one year in the past 19. John is a loyal follower of Listowel connection. It was lovely to meet them again.

I photographed John and Lillian on the Tidy Town seat in Listowel Town Square, at the heart of things.


Crane in Listowel Skyline

During the Celtic Tiger era we came to see cranes as a sign of progress to prosperity. This one is to be seen at Greenville these days.


Summer Time is Story Time at Woulfe’s Bookshop

If the children in your life love books, Woulfe’s Bookshop, Church St. is the place to be on Saturdays, beginning  Saturday next June 15 2019. Brenda’s very popular children’s story time is back again this year.

William Street, Bridie Gallagher and The Armstrong family of Gurtinard House

Then and Now

William Street


A Big Night in Town

Liam O’Hainín on Facebook


North Kerry Sweet Factory

Dave O’Sullivan found this in the old newspapers

Before he opened the sweet factory and gave employment to so many “respectable girls’ Mr. Armstrong had not been in favour with the local community. Before he bought Gurtinard House, he lived in it as a tenant of Lord Listowel. 

During his tenure he closed the demesne (now the town park) to the local people who during Lord Listowel’s time were free to roam it at will.

The Armstrongs, a short time after opening the factory suffered a tragedy with the death from T.B. of Armstrongs young wife .

Dave discovered on that Mrs Katherine Armstrong was only 38 when she died, and, contrary to what is stated in the newspaper, she is registered as having died in Dublin.


Greenville, January 2019

Work has begun at this site on the Greenville Road.


Listowel Man Features in Off The Scale, Ireland’s Leading Angling Magazine

Fisheries Officer:  Darren Halpin

From:  Listowel, Co. Kerry

River Basin District (RBD):  Shannon River Basin District

How did you become a Fisheries Officer? 

I was always fishing as a young fella. My uncle was in fisheries for over 30 years so I was always intrigued about what he did. He was a good influence in my life and I followed his footsteps right into my career.

What does an average day look like?

I go into the office in the morning, meet the Assistant Inspector and go through any emails that have come through. Then we plan out our day and what we’re going to do – it might be a spawning patrol, estuary patrol or coastal patrol.

What is your favourite part of the job? 

There’s a lot to be said about getting up in the morning and wanting to go into work. You’re outdoors, out walking, you’re allowed work on your own initiative a lot of the time, too, which is great.

I’m interested in nature and wildlife. I love walking the banks of the rivers just to see the fish and wildlife along the river. There is such variety in the job – you could be doing boat patrols, estuary patrols, jet ski or kayak patrols. There is always something different.

What is the most challenging thing about the job?

Sometimes dealing with the public can be challenging. You could be dealing with a pollution incident on a farm – one farmer might be very accommodating and there is no issue and then another farmer could be argumentative or confrontational. You have to be able to handle that.

You do a lot of unsocial hours, too. But you get used to it.

What do you think are the most important skills needed for the job?

Communication skills are important. You are dealing with the public all the time. Every situation can be different – there are different ways in how you communicate and react to situations.

Teamwork is also a big thing, you are working as a team all the time so you need to be comfortable with that.

What would you say to someone considering a job in fisheries?

If you’re really into the outdoors and fishing, then it’s definitely the job for you. You will get as much out of it as you put in.

Source; Off the Scale Magazine online

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