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: Horse chestnut

Mohammed Ali in Dublin, The Wind the Shakes… and John B.s Poor Relations

The old church tower after which Church Street was named


A Poem for the Emigrants

There’s music in  my heart today,

I hear it late and early,

It comes from fields are far away,

The wind that shakes the barley.

Above the uplands drenched with dew

The sky hangs soft and pearly

An emerald world is listening to

The wind that shakes the barley

Above the bluest mountain crest

The lark is singing rarely,

It rocks the singer into rest,

The wind that shakes the barley.

Oh, still through summers and through springs

It calls me late and early.

Come home, come home, come home, it sings,

The wind that shakes the barley. 


Poor Relations     (an essay by John B. Keane)

It is
a melancholy truth that even great men have their poor relations….Dickens

When misfortune smites the poor they have
nowhere to turn but to their rich relations. When I was young I had no rich
relations. A few were well off alright but the remainder were like ourselves,
up one day and down the next.

The tragedy is that there aren’t enough
rich relations to go round. While I have no figures at my fingertips I think I
would be safe in saying that for every rich relation there are twenty poor
ones. Maybe there are more. Only those who are very rich could say for sure.

This puts a of of pressure on rich
relations and because of this they are always on the defensive They are obliged
to manufacture a large stock of ready made answers such as ;”Every penny I have
is tied up,” or” My overdraught is sky high as it is.”

Other ploys resorted to by rich relations
are to be abject of appearance and poor of mouth or to surprise the borrower by
trying to borrow from them first.

For lesser appeals such as the price of a
drink or the loan of a fiver there is the ritualistic turning out of the
trousers’ pockets to show that the besieged party has nothing on him. Another
useful trick is to hand over a wallet with nothing in it, at the same time
telling the victim that he can keep all the money he finds in it.

For large amounts, something more effective
is required such as a visible feeling of concern for the problems of would-be

(continued tomorrow) 


Horse Chestnut Season


Great Photo of Cork

Autumn in Cork from the best named Twitter site yet; Féach News


Popular Listowel Couple

The Listowel Arms Hotel love to post pictures of the happy couples who celebrate in their hotel. Usually the happy pair have just been married a few hours. Recently they held a party for a couple who have been married just a few few years longer. The hotel was delighted to be the venue chosen by their next door neighbours, Danny and Eileen Hannon to celebrate a significant anniversary.


Rubbing Shoulders with Football Royalty

Margaret O’Sullivan  (right) was in Killarney for the launch of Colm Cooper’s autobiography.

(photo; Tralee Today)


Meanwhile In Kanturk

The cup may be small but the celebrations are huge.

All Photos; Donal Desmond

The club is at the heart of the GAA and nowhere is that better exemplified than in my native Kanturk  where club is family and hurling is their meat and drink.

On Saturday evening October 7 2017 in Páirc Uí Rinn, Kanturk’s premier hurling team defeated Mallow in a hard fought final.

There were flags flying, bunting up and a victory parade and that is only the start of the celebrations.

Horse chestnut tree, Knockanure Vintage Day 2017, Ballybunion and the Florida Rose in Town

Lovely Kerry Bridge

Photo; Ita Hannon


Magnificent Listowel Horse chestnut Tree

This beautiful tree is located at the gate of Gaelscoil Lios Tuathail.


Knockanure Vintage Day 2017

Sunday August 20 was the date chosen for the annual Vintage Day in Knockanure. It must have been one of the worst days of a summer memorable for bad days. However a few brave souls ventured abroad and of these Elizabeth Brosnan and Jer took a few photos.


Hydrangeas at Coláiste na Ríochta


Upper Church Street

At the corner by Ballygologue Road

St Michaels’ College

I met these lovely girls after their summer camp in Listowel.


A Blustery Day in Ballybunion 

While I had my two lovely boyeens with me for their Kerry holiday we decided to brave The Cliff Walk on a day so windy it was fit for little else but walking.

The windswept boys viewed the incoming clouds.

We encountered a band of brave souls coming in the opposite direction. They were the U.S branch of the Kissane family who were in town for their clan gathering.

We could watch sea erosion at work before our eyes.

We briefly sheltered in this shepherds’ cottage.


Up the Kingdom

Elizabeth with her Rose of Tralee escort.

Elizabeth with her mom, Mary Kay and her sister Sarah

At a reception in The Seanchaí, Listowel on August 23 2017 Sarah and Elizabeth Marince, granddaughters of the late Tom O’Donoghue of Tanavalla and Pittsburg sang his favourite song

Up The Kingdom

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