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

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Our Little Stretch of Greenway

Rainbow over Listowel

Photo taken by Edel O’Connor as she left St. Mary’s on Sunday October 30th 2022


The Lartigue Little Theatre

The Kerryman April 1 1972

The Listowel Notes announced the beginning of this iconic Listowel theatre. The first fundraising efforts were very modest i.e. a jumble sale..


Local People at the Official Opening of the Listowel Abbeyfeale Greenway

Margaret, Daisy and guest
Damien brought his dog. Dogs are welcome on the greenway.
Christy, Damien and Moss were there to witness history being made

Keen cyclist, Jimmy Moloney, stopped for a chat with his neighbour, Marie Regan on his way home from the opening ceremony.


Our Newest Mural

Garrett Joyce has finished our latest mural by now. When I visited him on October 28th 2022 he was nearly finished.

If you can at all, do go and see it for yourself. My photos don’t do it justice.


End of an Era

Breda Canty, photographer, took the photo of fisherman on The Cashen at 5.30 am one morning. Breda was doing a big clearout of her stock at Listowel Food and Craft Fair. I bought this never to be repeated image,. I was tempted to buy the lot. She has some beautiful pictures of North Kerry.


Just a Thought or Six

Source; The internet


Sad Wartime Incident Remembered

Celtic Crosses in St. Michael’s graveyard, Listowel in October 2022


Leahy from Lisselton Wounded in 1922

This is just another in a long list of sad stories of young men caught up in the terrible conflict that was the civil war in Ireland. The story comes from Offaly Live blog of the Offaly Express website. I’m just printing here the bare bones of the story. Click on the link if you would like to read the full story.

Scene of the ambush near Tullamore, Co. Offaly

Raymond Cullen Offaly Live  

THE Lieutenant featured in this article was my granduncle Matthew Cullen and Monday the 29th of August 2022 marked the 100th anniversary of his death, when he, along with a small party of National Troops [Free State army] from Tullamore Barracks were attacked by about fifty Irregulars [Republican IRA) at Bonaterrin [Bunaterin] Hill, near Blueball, Tullamore.
Lieutenant Matthew Cullen, (3rd  Southern Division モglaigh na hノireann) was only 21 years old. Born 25th May 1901 in Ballymorris, Portarlington, County Laois, he was one of five boys born to Timothy and Mary Cullen. Matthew joined the Free State Army on 16th of March 1922 as did his two brothers Thomas and James (my grandfather) and by August 1922 were all stationed at Tullamore barracks. Matthew was also an ex-internee of the Rath Camp in the Curragh of Kildare and was there in Hut 9 on the 9th of September 1921 when the great escape happened.

Before he was stationed in Tullamore Barracks [the barracks was at High Street now Donal Farrelly’s house/ and Charleville Castle] Matthew spent over five months in the Nenagh Barracks, and since the opening of the Civil War was involved in almost every engagement in the Nenagh area. He was only a week in Tullamore when the fatal ambush happened.

First Reports: News reached Tullamore on Tuesday evening about 7.30 p. m, of a very painful and distressing character, which cast a gloom of sorrow and depression over the town and district. It was that a party of National troops had been ambushed at Bonaterrin, some four miles from Tullamore, and about a mile from Blueball, and that Lieut Cullen, a native of Portarlington, an ex-internee had been killed, and that Lieut Leahy, a native of Listowel, Co. Kerry, had been seriously wounded. Both were officers in the Tullamore garrison headquarters, were very well known, and much esteemed by the townspeople. Particulars to hand state that three cars carrying a party of about 20 officers and men from Tullamore, had been out in the neighbourhood of Kilcormac and Mountbolus engaged in clearing road obstructions.

When reinforcements arrived from Tullamore the attackers had disappeared, and no trace of them could be found. They had three miles of wood cover under which they were enabled to retreat. Lieut. Cullen was struck on the chest with two bullets, which made a terrible gash. The military are communicating with Lieut. Cullen’s family conveying the sad news, and with a view to arrangements for his interment.

They are also trying to get in touch with Lieut. Leahy’s people (who live on or near Listowel, Co. Kerry). Lieut. Leahy was Brigade Chemistry Officer to the Offaly No.1 Brigade. Lieut. Cullen took part in recent fighting in Tipperary, and was only a week in Tullamore.

Lieut. Leahy is a native of Lisselion Cross a place between Ballybunion and Listowel, Co. Kerry, and belongs to the farming class, his people been extensive farmers. He is a young man of fine- physique.

(I’m presuming Lisselion is a misprint for Lisselton)


Bush Kids

Bushcraft and survival expert, Tom Bán, takes to the wild in the second series of Bush Kids traveling across mountains and rivers, teaching the Bush kids how to find food and build shelter to survive.

Bush Kids follows four families, each brought to a different habitat to learn how to survive in the wild, where bushcraft survival expert, Tom Bán, will shares his skills. 

With just their backpacks, the Bush Kids, aged 5–12 years and accompanied by a parent, explore their given habitat and learn how to survive using only what they find around them. 

Join Tom and the Bush Kids and learn how to build camping shelters, light fires without matches, prep and cook food on the open camp fire, while they explore the wonders and discover the resources in some of Ireland’s most remote areas. 

Tom Bán is from Tipperary and spent most of his time growing up hunting, fishing and spending  countless hours outside exploring the landscape around him and learning local history. He is dedicated to learn the skills required to survive in the wild and the bushcraft needed to do so. Tom has brought his passion for the outdoors into his carrier and now teaches bushcraft and nature classes to groups of kids and adults all across Ireland. 

The Enright family from Kerry brave possibly the most difficult habitat in the series, the mountains and rivers!

Travelling with just what’s on their backs, Bush Kids Máire, Robert and Brian and their mum, Éilín, spend three days surviving in an area with very little resources and a terrain that would be difficult for any explorer. The Bush Kids explore hidden caves, travel through fast-flowing rivers, and catch and cook their own food. They encounter many challenges along the way, including rapidly changing weather and plagues of biting midges but Tom Bán is on hand to guide them on their journey.

Maire learning some survival skills

The episodes featuring the Enright children will be broadcast on Weds and Thurs. next and will be available on the rte player.

Proud mother Éilín, told me that they had great fun filming the series, despite being eaten alive by midges and encountering a little drama with an accidental cut. Dad, Darren, made himself useful on location with a few survival skills of his own.


Official Opening of The Greenway

This was unveiled on Friday October 28 2022.

We had politicians, advisers, media and dignitaries galore on a beautiful sunny morning.

Owen O’Shea was in change of getting the show on the road for Kerry County Council.

Our mayor, Aoife Thornton, praised everyone who had brought this great amenity to us.

Moira Murrell was delighted that this project had been delivered “in house” i.e. by Kerry County Council.

Our canon, Declan O’Connor blessed the venture and prayed for everyone who will enjoy this greenway.


Food and Craft Fair in Listowel Arms

Sunday October 30 2022

It felt like old times to be back in the ballroom of The Listowel Arms for the great food and craft fair at Listowel Food Fair 2022.

I met lots of lovely people , crafters and buyers.

Nora Sheahan was there with her son Noel.

Ruth OQuigley is a founder member of Listowel Food Fair. I met her with her three grandchildren. She told me that their roles are reversed nowadays and her lovely girls are minding her.


A Book, a Dancer and the Greenway

The Curragh ; Éamon OMurchú


Jimmy Hickey ‘s Big Birthday

His friends in Presentation Primary School helped their dancing teacher celebrate a big birthday lately.

They shared the pictures on Facebook.


A Poem about Ballinruddery

From North Kerry Landscape


Point to Point

I love this book. It’s the third in Healyracing’s horse racing books and, in my humble opinion, the best.

If you love horses; if you love history; if you love photographs; if you love stories, if you love people, they are all here in Point to Point.

Many p to p races are held in gorgeous settings, a photographer’s dream.

It’s not all glamour. Many big day winners at Cheltenham or Fairyhouse started off in muddy fields in rural Ireland.

There is the usual sprinkling of dramatic dismounts.

I love this book and I’ll be dipping into it for a while yet. You dont have to know anything about horses or racing to enjoy this one. It will be a best seller.


The Greenway

I went to investigate where the greenway enters the park. Here are a few photos to give you an idea. This section is not finished yet.


Treasures old and new today

The Curragh; photo by Éamon ÓMurchú


The Greenway at Sunset

Photos shared by Listowel


A Find

Marie Neligan Shaw was doing a clearcut when she unearthed these treasures.

Back in the days when we had old time and new time Listowel Musical Society crossed the border to hold a concert in Abbeyfeale.

Back in 1949 they used to have what they called “All night dances”. This is obviously one of those.

The Astor was where the Classic Cinema was more recently. It functioned as a cinema and occasionally as a ballroom.

Does anyone know who Pat Crowley was?


A Few More from Ladies Day

I met a former Kerry Rose, Anne Marie Hayes, always smiling and always friendly. She is a doctor in Crumlin now.

I also met the lovely down- to -earth Edaein O’Connell, the current Kerry Rose. She was a about her rosely duties.

Local people were out in force on September 23 2022


A Thought to Ponder

This one is sent to us by Mattie Lennon.


The donkey said to the tiger:

– “The grass is blue”.

The tiger replied:

– “No, the grass is green.”

The discussion heated up, and the two decided to submit him to arbitration, and for this they went before the lion, the King of the Jungle.

Already before reaching the forest clearing, where the lion was sitting on his throne, the donkey began to shout:

– “His Highness, is it true that the grass is blue?”.

The lion replied:

– “True, the grass is blue.”

The donkey hurried and continued:

– “The tiger disagrees with me and contradicts and annoys me, please punish him.”

The king then declared:

– “The tiger will be punished with 5 years of silence.”

The donkey jumped cheerfully and went on his way, content and repeating:

– “The Grass Is Blue”…

The tiger accepted his punishment, but before he asked the lion:

– “Your Majesty, why have you punished me?, after all, the grass is green.”

The lion replied:

– “In fact, the grass is green.”

The tiger asked:

– “So why are you punishing me?”.

The lion replied:

– “That has nothing to do with the question of whether the grass is blue or green.

The punishment is because it is not possible for a brave and intelligent creature like you to waste time arguing with a donkey, and on top of that come and bother me with that question.”

The worst waste of time is arguing with the fool and fanatic who does not care about truth or reality, but only the victory of his beliefs and illusions. Never waste time on arguments that don’t make sense…

There are people who, no matter how much evidence we present to them, are not in the capacity to understand, and others are blinded by ego, hatred and resentment, and all they want is to be right even if they are not.

When ignorance screams, intelligence is silent. Your peace and quiet are worth more.


Welcome the Greenway

At the Curragh; Photo by Éamon ÓMurchú


Colourful Restoration

At every stage of the loving restoration of this building, its facade offers us a new aspect to the Church Street streetscape. This premises has been looking neglected for many years. I predict it will be one of the most beautiful shopfronts on the street when it is finished. Thank you everyone involved.


The News is Out

All over town.

Signs have appeared alerting us all to our new amenity, The long awaited Greenway.


Writers Week 1973

Matt Mooney sent me this brochure from Writers Week 1973


Nadd, Co Cork

A rare sight nowadays! I was only too glad to wait as this Fresian crossing took me back a good few years.


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