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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

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Halloween, a New Shop and Eamon Kelly’s Suit

Halloween 2021 at Scoil Realta na Maidine, Listowel

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Halloween, Irish or American Style

I loved this column in Monday’s Irish Examiner. Enjoy!

Explainer;

Sheeple is a derogatory term to describe people who are docile and easily led. It is often used by people who oppose mandatory vaccine certs or any other government imposed restrictions that they disagree with.

“Do your own research” is a slogan used by people who are anti vaccine. Basically they are saying distrust the science and find like minded people on the internet.

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Stylish New Shop on Market Street

Rose and Crowm, Market Street, Listowel

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This poem will take you back to the bad old days.

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Eamon Kelly, Seanchaí

Some of us who were lucky enough to hear and enjoy The Seanchaí in our youth. Mattie Lennon tells us something about the man who was the consummate Irish storyteller

Brendan O’Shea (O’Sheas Tailoring, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin) told me the following story:

At the end of September 2001, Eamon Kelly brought a suit in to Brendan for some alterations. The suit was fifteen years old. Prior to one of his trips to America, Eamon had it made by another Dublin tailor who left the jacket minus an inside pocket and the trousers without belt-loops or a back-pocket. Now, Eamon, the perfectionist, asked his fellow-Kerryman to rectify the sartorial omissions, which he did.

When Eamon died on 24th October 2001, he had left detailed instructions with his wife, Maura, about the funeral arrangements and which suit he wanted to be laid out in. Yes, you’ve guessed it!

Did the man who wrote so lovingly of Con-the-tailor, who made his first Communion suit, and who had portrayed an unforgettable tailor in “The Tailor and Ansty” want to somehow, bring the work of a Kerry tailor out of this world with him? I don’t know. And neither does Brendan O’Shea.

As his coffin left the church, the Congregation gave a round of applause. The show was over and this time there was no encore. The final curtain had fallen on a one-man show, performed by a man of many parts. Actor, storyteller and writer, loving husband, devoted father and great Kerryman.

Shortly before his death, while lecturing North American Literature and Theatre students in the art of storytelling, he said: “My journeying is over. If the humour takes me, I may appear in some Alhambra, where angels with folded wings will sit in the stalls, applaud politely and maybe come round after and say;’ that was great’ “.

As he walked into that great Rambling House in the sky, can’t you imagine the opening line?: “Ye’re glad I came”.

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Savannah McCarthy, International defender

Photo; The WLN Show
Photo: The WLN Show

Savannah McCarthy of Listowel is establishing herself as a regular in the starting XI for the Irish Ladies Football team.

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A Fact

The Lion King or The Lion Queen

In the time between Disney’s 1994 version of The Lion King and its 2019 remake the world’s population of lions had halved.

Zoologist, Craig Parker, of the lion research centre at the University of Minnesota told National Geographic that lion societies are matrilineal. The lionesses rule the pride while the males come and go. It would have been Sarabi who hand over her dominion to Nala, Simba’s mate.

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A Poem, School Milk and a Night in St. John’s

The Big Bridge, Listowel in October 2021

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The Pebble

Remember Liz Chute’s story that inspired a Bryan MacMahon short story?

It also inspired a poem by Listowel born poet, Noel Roche.

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Halloween 2021

This year Halloween seems to be a bit low key. We seem to be skipping straight to Christmas. Maybe it’s time to abandon the Trick or Treating and fireworks and return to remembering instead our dead loved ones and visiting family graves instead.

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School Lunches!

Photo from Vanishing Ireland website

Did you bring milk to school in a Chef Sauce or YR bottle? If you did you’ll probably be about my age and you’ll be cringing in horror at this sight. No matter how much you washed and scoured, getting the smell of sauce or salad cream out of one of these bottles was impossible.

Don’t even mention breakages! These bottles were glass and broke easily. I remember the first Thermos flasks and their innards broke easily too.

Schooldays were the best days of our lives?

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Ballylongford in 1910

1910 Main Street, Ballylongford, Co.Kerry.

L to R John Thomas Carrig Sr. John Thomas Carrig Jr. M Mahoney, ? Dalton, The Kelly sisters.

Thanks to Geraldine Brassil for photo and information.

Ballylongford Snaps on Facebook shared this image and caption

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A Very Different theatrical Experience

There was something for everyone in the audience in St. John’s on Saturday night. We all got a taste of ” one he made earlier”.

Manchán Magan was our entertainer for the evening. Dressed in a tailored tweed trousers, grandfather style shirt and what looked to me like homemade pampooties, he told us in Irish and English about the connectedness of everything, about history, etymology and our close connection with the fairy world, all while baking a sourdough loaf and churning some butter.

It was an extraordinary evening’s entertainment brought to us by an extraordinary man. Manchán’s depth of knowledge and infectious enthusiasm for his subjects are a sight to witness.

After the show, he chatted, signed books and shared his sourdough starter and his delicious bread and butter.

It was my first night back in St. John’s since Covid.

What a show to return to!

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Believe it or Believe it Not

Once Gillette recalled 87,000 disposable razors because, thanks to a manufacturing error, they posed a cutting hazard.

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Halloween, Sarah Curran and Photos from the Launch of A Minute of Your Time

A Little Egret




Chris Grayson photographed this fellow in The National Park, Killarney

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Sarah Curran

Sarah Curran (1782-1808) was the daughter of lawyer and orator John Philpot Curran and love of Robert Emmet. After Emmet was executed she was disowned by her father who disagreed with their relationship and she went on to marry army officer Henry Sturgeon. She died at a young age suffering from tuberculosis and her wish to be buried with her sister in a grave at the family home in Rathfarnham Dublin was refused by her father, who had her buried in his original hometown of Newmarket Cork.

Bernard O’Connell posted the above picture and caption on Facebook.

Since she comes from my corner of the world I was interested to check the pictures I had posted here in 2017.

This is what it says about Sarah in Newmarket, Co. Cork

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Some people at the launch of A Minute of Your Time



Breda Ferris was the busy photographer on October 19 2019. She did a great job. My only apology to you is that I am in all of the pictures. I’m usually at the other side of the camera so not used to seeing myself in every photo.




Elaine Kinsella launched the book.

I was surprised and delighted to see Helen and Aidan. Helen and I knit in the knitting group in the library in Ballincollig. Helen is originally from Ballylongford and combined the book launch with a visit home.

Betty and Maria Stack bought an extra book to give to my old friend and now their friend too, Anne Leneghan.

Billy Keane took time out from his busy Saturday night  to attend.

Robert Bunyan was there.



One proud Nana with my 5 grandchildren

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Halloween Windows in Listowel



Lynch’s has a ver spooky window display




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Féile an tSolais 2019




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Lost and Found




Anyone missing this umbrella since the night of the launch of my book? It was found in St. John’s and I now have it and would like to reunite it with its rightful owner.

A Touching Note, Christmas goodies, Tidy Towning and Men at The Ballybunion Marconi Station

Phot: Lisa Egan of Mallow Camera Club

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A Love Letter found in an Old  Bible in Tralee


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Marconi Station, Ballybunion




Liam OHainnín posted this photo of workers at the Marconi Station in Ballybunion on Facebook. He was wondering if anyone had any names for these men. Maybe someone else has the phot with names or maybe it appeared in some publication.

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Christmas Goods on Display at Listowel Garden Centre

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Tidy Towning


I met Julie Gleeson freshening up the display at St. Mary’s. There is a lot of hard work and relentless slog goes into getting that Tidy Town gold medal.

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Halloween in Ballybunion and Knocknagoshel



Remembering, an anniversary poem, Convent Cross and Halloween at Kerry Writers’ Museum

Trees in John Paul 2 cemetery

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Poem from Richard Moriarty on a wedding anniversary

REMEMBERING

Just thinking back on yesteryear and how it used to be

When love was new to me and you, and life a mystery

How I’ve cherished all these special years, since we first said “I do”

Just like a dream, or it would seem, with someone as dear as you

I wander back to when first we met, we’d walk down by the strand

We’d kiss each other on the cheek and hold each other’s hand

How we strolled along the boardwalk and gazed out on the sea

Those endless days of happiness, the way ‘twas meant to be

Together all the things we’ve done, and all the things we’ve seen

The little gifts that we have shared and the places we have been

Those simple times like holding hands, when all the world seemed still

Or saying such things as “I love you” and I know I always will

And there were times when I felt down and life seemed all so grey

But you were there to show you cared, with a gentle word to say

And when things went wrong, as they sometimes do, and woe was all about

You’d smile and say

“Don’t worry now, this too we will work out”

All through these years of joy and tears, you’ve been a friend to me

A union blessed, at God’s behest, for all the world to see

And in years to come, on that special day, just like we’ve done before

We’ll hold each other in our arms and say it just once more

You bring me joy this very day as you have for all these years

We’ll kiss each other on the cheek while holding back the tears

Again we’ll stroll down by the strand, we’ll gaze out on the sea

And with love we’ll share some other care,

And another ANNIVERSARY.

Richard G. Moriarty

Richard now lives in San Diego, California but he hails from Lisselton.

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At Convent Cross




The postbox is Elizabethan.



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Thinking Ahead to Halloween





Dare to enter the Haunted Writers’ House at the Kerry Writers’ Museum, Listowel this Halloween where ghosts & ghouls lurk around every corner. Follow the haunted trail and find the clues hidden within. A thrilling, heart-stopping, fun-filled experience the whole family will enjoy.

Open daily from October 31st to November 2nd from 3 to 6 pm. Tours every half hour.

Suitable for children age 6 to 10 years.

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Molly was back



Molly came to Listowel with her forever family for the weekend. She has grown up a bit and matured …a bit.

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Positive Ageing



If there is a better depiction of active ageing, I haven’t seen it.

Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh abseiling…….photo from Twitter


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