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 Fair 2023

A Listowel Writer

April 2023


Irish for Adults

A very unusual textbook with illustrations by Jack B. Yeats for adult learners


More from last Thursday’s horse fair


Another Listowel Poet

It is always a pleasure to be contacted by a Listowel emigrant who is discovering Listowel Connection for the first time. Such emails are less frequent now as there is a great bush telegraph that alerts Listowel people to home news.

It was a great thrill to be contacted by John Leahy and to discover that he is a poet.

Here is his email;

Dear Mary

I have just found the Listowel on Line and subscribed.

Billy MacSweeney’s article was an absolute pleasure to me, since Jack 
Leahy was my grandfather.
My dad was Sean Patrick Leahy and I still remember his brother Patsy 
Leahy who had been a successfull boxer. (I remember well, Nora his wife)
There was also his sisters Maureen (married a vet in Sligo, name of 
Gilmore, their son Connor is a accountant living in Hammersmith), Peggy 
Murphy (married the barber in the square), Margaret Bennett (moved to 
Harlow) and his younger brother Michael Leahy (Who moved to Manchester). Of course last, But not least there was  Bridie O’Donnell (who owned Leahy’s Corner shop for many years with her 
husband Michael. I would sometimes go with Michael to buy cattle and 
horses, which he would then sell at the local cattle market.

I myself am a writer living in Brighton, Google: Leahy in Kemptown

All the Best

John J Leahy


I did the Googling for you. The site is here

The Kemptown Verses

Here is John’s photo from his website;

He has led a very varied and full life as a poet, painter, songwriter, writer, musician, DJ, political activist and more.

Many of John’s poems address the issues he cares about.

Here is his lovely love poem to his wife.

My Love


We sleep, we doze and closely nuzzle
We fit together like a jigsaw puzzle

You are my collaborator for life
My partner, my everything, my beautiful wife.

There could be no replacement, always together
We are one in harmony – forever and ever,

You are soft and gorgeous like butterfly’s wings
I’ll protect you from all – monstrous things

I tried to plan, for us in advance
If I was to lose you, I wouldn’t stand a chance;

Your qualities of dignity, kindness and allure
And your opinion on others – so true and so pure

I may not be very dynamic, rich nor clever
But at least you know, I’ll stand by you forever.

You have never, never been cruel
To animals, to people, too this incurable fool,

We laugh, we love, and we totally connect
For your insight is always completely correct.

When other people will never understand
You are always kind and take my hand

I am Yin and your are Yang;
You are my woman and I am your man.

We can respond each other – without blinking
Just cos we know what the other is thinking,

Most beautiful thing ever has happened to me
My undying love, is plane to see.

Affection I’ve given, returned a million fold
Necessitated this sonnet, twixed these pages told

When time collapses, I want to be with you
For the end of the world party, just for two.the kemptown verses poem footer


A Fact

There is a Procrastinators Club of America. It’s newsletter is titled Last Month’s News.


“Commemorate me where there is Water….”

Millenium Arch in April 2023


Good Friday Walk for the Hospice

Good Friday in Listowel is always a day for sponsored walking in aid of the hospice. Participants assembled at St. Patrick’s Hall on April 7 2023.

There were bicycles, dogs, prams, fast walkers, slow walkers and every pace in between. Many were remembering a lively presence on other year’s walks. Some were remembering loved one’s lost since the last walk and there were walkers who are living with cancer, and many whose cancer journey is thankfully behind them.

Back at base, a party was being prepared for the returning walkers.

On Charles Street I caught up with a few who started late.

They kindly posed for me at the Gaelscoil gate.


Fred’s Seat

Fred Chute R.I.P. loved the river Feale. I took this photo of Fred with his dog as he walked in one of his favourite places.

This is the seat his family and friends have dedicated to his memory just a little further along that same road.

Fred was my neighbour and friend and a huge supporter of everything I did here and in print. Listowel’s streets are the poorer for his passing.

May he rest in peace.


Calling all Quizzers


Spring Horse Fair

On Thursday April 6 2023 we had a fair on Market Street, Listowel. There were a few horses to justify the name but, in fact, there were as many goats and dogs as horses. I saw no farmyard poultry but there was lots of tack, saddles and horsey knick knacks.

I won’t mention the horrendous traffic disruption with road closures still ongoing as work continues on the bypass.


Par 3 at Augusta Masters 2023

Doting dad, Rory McElroy, watches as his daughter, Poppy, gives Ivy Lowry a hug during the family Par 3 event before the Masters 2023.

Things went downhill from there. The Par 3 family day may hold Rory’s best memories of The Master 2023.

Photo shared on Facebook.


A Fact

In 1555, Ivan the Terrible had St. Basil’s Cathedral constructed in Moscow. He was thrilled with the splendid result. He ordered that the two architects responsible be blinded so that they never build anything so beautiful again. He wasn’t called terrible for nothing.


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