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: GST

Christmas Trees, The Den, John B. and friends and The Great Southern Greenway

 Some Listowel Christmas Trees

The custom of the Christmas tree is thought to have been introduced by Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. It certainly was not an old Irish tradition. Irish houses traditionally were decorated with holly and ivy and paper garlands and ‘mottos”. These traditions seem to have died out. No one now streams paper garlands and I don’t know anyone who still puts a sprig of holly behind the pictures.

Here are some Listowel trees for 2015

In the window at John R.’s

Listowel Community Centre

Listowel Arms Hotel

Changes Hair and Beauty

At Craftshop na Méar

This is the best tree by a country mile… the best window dresser at Finesse Bridal Shop


Ray Darcy in The Den

photo; Irish Abroad


Memories, precious memories

Joan Relihan, John B. Keane, Elaine Keane and Maureen O’Connor

Maureen and Joan with Gay Byrne    (Photos; Ita Hannon)


Love is……

reading a story to your baby sister when you are just about able to read yourself.


Great Southern Trail

A group of local campaigners are working might and main to secure this invaluable amenity for us all.

Michael Guerin sent me the photos and a copy of this letter which was sent by the minister to Liam OMahony

Dear Liam

​I refer further to your email regarding the Great Southern Trail (GST).

As I am sure you will appreciate it was not possible for me to make reference to all greenways of merit in my interview on the “Morning Ireland” show on the 30 October last.

I am well aware of the importance of the GST and look forward to seeing this greenway extended as far as Listowel. As you will be aware Kerry County Council (KCC) submitted a proposal under the National Cycle Network funding call 2014-2016 to deliver this section of the GST, however, it was not successful in securing funding on that occasion.  I would hope that KCC will continue in their efforts to secure funding for this project under future funding calls.

With best wishes,

Minister Paschal Donohoe

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport


Con Colbert Memorial Card


Listowel Parish choir, Christmas 2015

ClickHERE for Karen Trench, Seán Ahern and the Listowel parish choir at their recent recital in St. Mary’s Listowel

Christmas windows and a new bridge over The Oolagh river

Redden the hearth and sweep the floor,

Let the candle through the pane be showing,

Bring sweet well water, and leave the door

Loose on the hasp, for who would be knowing

What poor and lonely and travelled far,

Walking the world on the naked highway,

Might follow the gleam of a candle star,

And its welcome win in this lonesome byway.

So, for the sake of two who went out from the city

By bridle lanes down to Bethlehem

And who failed to find there for love or pity,

A kindly soul who would welcome them,

Redden the hearth, let the comfort-sharing

Glow of the peat fire shine fair and bright,

And may a tired poor man and a maiden wearing

A mantle of blue be our guests tonight.

This poem called Christmas Wayfarers by Cathal O’Byrne was
published in a primary school anthology in 1951.


The new Kingdom has two really artistic Christmas windows.

Here is the artist, Pia Thornton, at work.

Here is the finished product.

Across town another very artistic person, Trish Horgan of Manctuary, in Charles St did these beautiful windows.


Tae Lane Boutique has relocated to Church St. to the premises previously occupied by the Blue Umbrella.


Red Letter Day on Great Southern Trail at Abbeyfeale 7/12/12

plus Celebratory Walk on Dec. 27th at 2.15pm.

On Friday Dec.7th 2012 a new bridge was installed over the Athea Road at Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick to provide access to the latest 3km of the Great Southern Trail[GST].  Forty kilometres of the GST has now been developed between Rathkeale and the Kerry Border [at Rathoran townland]. These works have been undertaken by Limerick County Council with National Cycle Network funding. The GST group welcomes this initiative by the County Council and now looks forward to the continuation of the Greenway into County Kerry to the finali termini at Tralee and Fenit. At Limerick County  Council level the project was led by Anthony Coleman with the resurfacing being supervised by Pádraig Vallelly and Richard Gleeson. The overall Consulting Engineer was Tadhg McGillicuddy who also co-ordinated the installation of three new bridges. These were manufactured and installed by Fergus O’ Keeffe, Kerry Mechanical Engineering, Kilmorna [over the Athea road at Abbeyfeale Station]; Pádraig Nolan, Nolan Steel, Castleisland [over the River Oolagh outside Abbeyfeale] and Mike Condon Trackcare, Devon Road, Templeglantine [over a farm roadway at Purt, Abbeyfeale].

The GST will now host the first walk along the new route on Thu. 27th December at 2.15pm from the old Abbeyfeale Station. The round trip is 4 miles and refreshments will be provided afterwards at the adjacent Railway Bar, Abbeyfeale. All the faithful supporters of the GST over the past 21 years are cordially invited as are all those who worked so diligently on the new extension and completed the job so quickly. Tá fáilte romhaibh go léir!

Coach House Travel are kindly providing a complimentary bus at 1.30pm from Rathkeale Old Station [now the Palatine Museum] and which will pick up at Ardagh[Church] 1.40pm, Newcastle West[Square]1.50pm and Templeglantine[Church] 2pm. Those travelling by public transport to Abbeyfeale should take the 12.35pm bus from Limerick; 1pm from Tralee or 1.30pm from Listowel.

The GST paved to the Kerry border

Richard Gleeson , Lk.Co.Co. with Denis McAuliffe, Mike
MacDomhnaill and Liam O’Mahony of the GST at Abbeyfeale Station for the installation of the new bridge over
the Athea Road on Fri. 7th Dec.2012

The new Bridge is put in place.

This story and accompanying photos was brought to us by a great friend of this blog, Jer. Kennelly. Thank you, Jer.


Watch this space! Photos from the launch of Vincent Carmody’s book tomorrow

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