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: Guided Walk

Gleeson’s now Jumbo’s, Garden of Europe, Fitzmaurice ancestors and The Harp and Lion

Property House, Grand Parade, Cork


Jumbo’s Then and Now

Eddie Gleeson and Edward Gleeson at the door of Gleeson’s, now Jumbo’s

photo: Eileen Sheridan


Garden of Europe in August 2019

View from the entrance

 New flower border




Guide to the Garden by Amy Sheehy


 Holocaust Memorial

John B. Keane


Old and New

The newly restored and painted stucco looks a bit different to the old one.


In Search of Fitzmaurice Ancestors

Carol Burns wrote to us following her visit to Kerry;

We visited the Fitzmaurice castle in August. 

There were 10 of us from the United States. 

My husband’s grandmother was Johanna Fitzmaurice. 

This is some of what we know about the family. 

The name begins with Walter who was a Norman 

and royal officer for William the Conqueror who invaded

England in 1066.  They were invaders of Ireland in 1169. 

Johanna’s parents were Michael Fitzmaurice, born in 1834 in Ardagh and died in Renfrew, Canada in 1910.  Her mother was Johanna Culhane, born in 1836 an died in 1920.

Johanna’s grandparents were John Fitzmaurice born in 1807 in Ardagh  and died in Renfrew, Canada.  Her grandmother was Johanna Holly born in 1797 in Ireland and died in Renfrew, Canada. 

Our Fitzmaurice ancestors lived in Rylane, Duagh.

Members of the Fitzmaurice family were blacksmiths and moved 

to Renfrew, Canada in around 1860. 

A few of the Fitzmaurice ancestors attended St. Brigid’s church 

in Duagh, County Kerry. 

Is there more information about members of this Fitzmaurice ancestors?


Were you a Basketballer?

A Pres. Listowel winning basketball team. I need help with names and dates.


My Last Guided Walk of 2019

Only four lovely English visitors for my walk on August 31 2019. Small but mighty as they were interested and engaged and we had a lovely stroll around town. I think they will return home to install some jostle stones at the entrance to their London home.

Frederick Chute R.i.P., Facebook Friends and Saturday’s Guided Walk

Bobby Cogan and Molly on a trip to Teampall Bán


Frederick Chute R.I.P.

In response to my request for information on the people commemorated on the new park benches I got a lovely letter from Judith Cannon

“A friend told me to look online at Listowel Connections, and I saw that you would like some information on the new benches installed at the Town Park.  I had a new bench recently installed in memory of my husband, Frederick (he didnt like to be called Fred, because that was his cousin’s name, the painter – RIP).

You have an excellent photo of Frederick’s new bench on your Listowel Connections website.

I think the new bench is lovely and it overlooks the River Feale, which Frederick loved.  He grew up in Church Street (no 57) Listowel,   and Betty Chute was his mother.  Arthur Chute, was his father.

I have done a little story about his life, which I will attach to this email, so if you need any information it will be on there, or I am happy to answer any questions about him.  He loved Listowel, and enjoyed the football and hurling and used to go to matches with Pat Whelan and Eric Browne. He played football in his younger days for Listowel and North Kerry. His best friend and lifelong friend, was Jimmy O’Quigley, and they went to Primary School together as well as getting up to all sorts of mischief in later life!

Frederick passed away in 2018 and his ashes were interred at his parents’ grave at the graveyard in Listowel as well as some of his ashes scattered in Ballybunion beach, one of his very favourite places.”

I will post Judith’s story of Frederick’s life shortly.


Making Friends the Facebook Way


Another Saturday, Another Walk

Guided Walking Tours of Listowel start off from The Kerry Writers’ Museum every Saturday until the end of August 2019 at 11.00a.m.  Last Saturday, July 27 2019 I was the volunteer guide.

This is the lovely group I escorted around our lovely town. There were Listowel people, returned Listowel emigrants, Canadian people, English people, Irish people and Californian people and we even had a newly engaged couple.

You’d never know who you’d run into on a walk around Listowel. Billy Keane took time out from his very busy schedule to talk to the group.

Jimmy Hickey danced for us on the junction of Charles Street and Colbert Street, where his father once ran a shoemaking business, making shoes for the clergy and for the gentry. Jimmy promises to tell me all for a future blog and Jimmy is a man of his word.

A Donegal visitor sang The Rose of Tralee for us.


A Few More Entente Florale Photos

Going a step beyond! The “dawn raiders” doing their very best to make sure Listowel gets gold.

The adjudicators went to John Paul 2 graveyard. I’m sure they loved this wild flower grave.

This is the community fruit and nut orchard.

I posted this last week without saying where it was and people are anxious to know. This lovely door is in The New Kingdom on Church Street.


Molly checking out the bug hotel

more herbs

Our riverside picnic area

The Big Bridge

1916 commemorative garden

A Fascinating Fact, Athea, Entente Florale and another guided walk to look forward to

The Square, Listowel, July 2019


Molly in Ballybunion

She loves the seaside.


Water level was very low last week. That is not the case this week.

The back of the castle by Carroll’s Yard


Fascinating Fact

The animal that has saved most lives is not your faithful dog, your trustworthy steed or even your brave carrier pigeon. No, that honour goes to the horseshoe crab.

An extract of the blood of the horseshoe crab is used by th pharma industry to test that drugs, vaccines and medical devices are free from dangerous microbes.

The blood of the horseshoe crab has no haemoglobin, which uses iron to carry oxygen. Instead it has haemacyamin, which uses copper. Their blood is blue. They are not killed for their blood.  The crabs are gathered by hand and brought to the lab alive. 30% of their blood is harvested. They quickly recover and are returned to the water. The blood is freeze dried and shipped around the world.

 Horseshoe crabs can endure extremes of heat and cold and can go for a year without eating.



Athea is a beautiful little village. In summer 2019 it is more beautiful than ever. Its history is laid out in a well told story in blue plaques around town. Here are a few.


Entente Florale in Listowel

The judges are in town today. Listowel is looking beautiful. Seven European countries are taking part in the Entente and local Listowel shopkeepers have decorated their windows in the theme of these countries.

Perfect Pairs Irish theme

Utopia’s Netherlands window

Olive Stack’s Gallery is so so beautiful, full of flowers and mosaics and lovely things.


Come and Join a Guided Walk of Listowel

On Saturday next, July 27 2019, I will be leading my second (and last) guided walk. Why not come along and tell me a Listowel tale or two.

The guided walks continue for the summer starting from Kerry Writers’ Museum at 11.00 on Saturdays.

Athea, Green Oranges, Ignorance Dispelled, a Boland Poem and a Walking Tour

Listowel’s Carnegie Library

This is Listowel’s Carnegie Library, now KDYS Youth Centre. Andrew Carnegie was an American philanthropist  who endowed communities all over Ireland with free libraries. Kerry seems to have benefited more than many other Irish counties. This year we are commemorating 100 years since Carnegie’s death. An Post is bringing out a commemorative stamp. The stamp is going to feature Athea’s Carnegie Library.

(Below photo and text are from Athea Tidy Town on Facebook)

Delighted to learn that our Carnegie Library here in Athea will feature on a postal stamp to be released on August 8th to mark the centenary of the Death of Andrew Carnegie who provided the grant to build the Libraries! Stamps will be available to preorder online shortly.


Athea Mural

I finally got to Athes to see the restored mural and all the recent developments.

This Jim Dunn mural is still my favourite. Every time I see it I enjoy it afresh. If you haven’t seen it yet, put it on The Bucket List today.

The other celtic style mural featuring local people, and celebrating Athea talent and legends has been fully refurbished and is looking vibrant and striking. It’s absolutely lovely. It is now preserved from the elements as well.


A Charity Shop Find

I found this gem in the Irish Wheelchair shop in Listowel.  It’s full of interesting pieces of information, stuff most of us get wrong. I’m proposing to drip feed some of my newfound wisdom to you here.

Once a teacher……..

Are oranges orange?

No, is the short answer. In many countries, oranges are green, even when ripe, and are sold that way in shops.

There are no oranges in the wild.  An orange is a cross between the tangerine and the pomelo, which is pale green or yellow. They were first grown in South East Asia. The first oranges were green and Vietnamese oranges are still green. Thai tangerines are green on the outside and orange on the inside.

In Honduras the people eat their oranges green at home and orange them up for export. They do this by blasting them with ethylene which removes the green outer layer, allowing the orange layer to show thorough.

So if you are visiting Vietnam or other really hot country, buy the green oranges. They are fully ripe and delicious. I verified the ‘fact” with Google.


Bob Boland’s Heartfelt Plea

Bob Boland, Farnastack poet and agricultural contractor, lived through World War Two and all the privations of rationing that accompanied it. Here he pleads with the Dept. to give him a permit for fuel so he can do his job and work for the local farmers at the harvest.


Guided Walk, Saturday July 13 2019

These lovely people walked with me on my first guided walk around town on Saturday. They came from Listowel, Duagh,  from Lithuania, from Canada, from the U.S. and the U.K. and there was a brave family from Mayo there too. They heard some stories and I heard some stories too. Great morning!

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