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

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Casa Mia, Jed and Danny, Donal Ryan and The Races back in the Day

 Corner of William Street Upper


Outdoor Dining

Two of the town’s Patricians, Jed Chute and Danny Hannon enjoying the Indian Summer 2020 in Listowel’s Main Street.


Old Age

In the 19th century they had a very poor view of the senior years.

Thank God we live in an age when 70 is the new 50

Nicholas Leonard wrote the following

What do you make of the following item, published in 1838 and  from, I believe, a U.S. origin?


Periods of Human Life, from the Wexford Conservative, 1 August 1838.

Decrepitude – From 71 to 77: The age of avarice, jealousy, and envy.

Caducity– (Senility) From 78 to 84. The age of distrust, vain-boasting, unfeelingness, suspicion.

Age of Favor – From 81 to 91. The age of insensibility, love of flattery, of attention and indulgence.

Age of Wonder– From 92 to 98. The age of indifference and love of praise.

Phenomenon – From 99 to 105. The age of insensibility, hope and the last sigh.

‘Caducity’ I never heard of, but on checking online, it refers to senility, dotage, perishable…

Not sure that the future is all that rosy- not much to look forward to in the above list, apart from the ‘last sigh.’



Happiness is…..

I’m really enjoying this one.


Listowel Races in the Papers

Eileen Sheridan came across these old 1977 newspaper photos and and Dave O’Sullivan unearthed a great Kieran OShea article from the same paper. 

The 1977 Harvest Festival Committee

The 1924 Race Committee

Friday Market , Spike Island and a jostle stone on William Street

Colourful seating at Christy’s, The Well


Jed  Chute with daughter, Gillian and Family

I was having a cup of coffee with my friend, Marie Moriarty when I spotted this lovely family enjoying he sunshine. Marie posed with them for my photo.


Friday Market

There were many new traders at the Friday market when I visited on July 26 2019. And there was music.


A little poem on Spike

A friend went on an excursion to Spike Island and photographed this for us.

It goes 

My dearest Kerry (I think, or maybe, Harry) I am awfully sorry

If what I write here you don’t like

But writing out rhymes is a craze of the times

With which I’m fed up here in Spike.

Any ideas who, when or why?


How Old are our Jostle Stones?

Warren Buckley has been touch. He was fascinated by these stones ever before I took an interest and he has done a bit of research.

Warren found this one in the Lawrence Collection.  It must be at least 100 years old.

Could this local one which looks in size and shape very similar, be that old?

Danny Hannon’s Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, Thurles train station and Munster Championships for Listowel

The Tidy Town corner of Listowel Town Square


Danny Hannon Honoured at Writers’ Week 2019

Danny held his beloved Eileen’s hand at his big night at Listowel Writers Week, May 29 2019.

The Hannon family at the door of the family home as they prepare to take the short walk to The Listowel Arms for Opening Night.

Maurice escorted his mother while Joanna Keane, daughter of his great friend, John B. escorted Danny.

The night was filled with emotion, love,  pride, affection and a tinge of sadness.

The story of Danny’s contribution to the Arts was told as this very humble gentle man listened. There was talk of drama and books, of plays and playing and particularly innovation in the field of theatre. Many of Danny’s family and friends were there to celebrate him.

 V.I.P. guests Joseph O’Connor, Colm Tóibín and Carol Drinkwater listened enthralled.

And still Danny held Eileen’s hand. He later joked about the manicure.

The hall was packed. Danny has a long association with Mercier Press who co incidentally sponsored the trophy.

Danny and Eileen posed with Eddie and Helen Moylan, parents of Eileen who designed and crafted the beautiful presentation piece at her Claddagh Design studio in Macroom.

His good friend, Jimmy Hickey was on hand to congratulate Danny. He was just one of a long line of well-wishers.


Joys of Free Travel

 I had a little rail trip last weekend and I took a photo of this Victorian post box in some train Station but I cant remember which one.

This is Thurles.


Listowel Pitch and Putt

I was walking in the park yesterday when I spotted that the pitch and putt course was closed. There is a good reason. The hard working club members are getting the course ready for the Munster Championships at the weekend.

The always beautiful course is looking even more beautiful today.

The Slate House, Sinn Féin in 1919,St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2019 and a Marconi Centenary in Ballybunion

Ballybunion March 17 2019


The Slate House

This Ballybunion house recently featured in the TV programme Home of the Year. It didn’t win but it came close.

It is a luxury architect- designed house with stunning views.

I saw it recently advertised on Air B and B at a rate of €700 per night.


A Rabble Rousing Speech from 1919

Kerryman  Saturday, January 11, 1919
Nationalist Meeting in Listowel (Edited)

…..The speaker then proposed the resolution to the meeting which was seconded by Mr. T. J. Walsh, and passed with acclamation.

The Rev. Father Charles O’Sullivan, C.C., then came to the front of the wagonette and was received with a perfect storm of applause. The cheering having ceased, he said—Men of this young and unconquerable Ireland, the weather has put a serious strain upon our endurance this morning, but it is as nothing in comparison with the discomforts of soul and body suffered by those fellow-countrymen of ours those men of the breed and stuff of heroes who are enjoying the cold plank beds and the comfortless fare of British Imperial hospitality (cheers). 

Our first word to-day is congratulation to Cathal Brugha (hear, hear). He is not a Polish Jew, nor a Russian Bolshevist, nor a German spy (laughter). He is the elected representative of Waterford County who was arrested the other day for the crime of bearing and using his father’s name (laughter). Surely Johnbulism in Ireland has long since become a laughable farce, and if it had not been a stumbling block in the way of human liberty it would be a laughing stock indeed (hear, hear). We thank John Bull for this now piece of stupid buffoonery, and for this fresh bit of merriment in these serious times (laughter). 

Our second word is to offer to our own Sean McKenna our most hearty congratulations (loud cheering, which continued for some minutes). He appears with us to-day—(cries of he is welcome and cheers)—invested with a now title to our honour and esteem (hear, hear). Everybody in Kerry—yea in Erin knows what this title is. On this deathless combat between the Celt and the Saxon which is now in its last throes—in this strife between two forces divergent in their ideals and purposes as Columkille and Luther (laughter). In this combat John McKenna became a prisoner of war, he fell into the clutches of a tyranny as has never been conceived by Prussian, Russian or Turk to outrage the spirit of liberty and to extinguish that sentiment of racial self-respect, self-dependence and self-reliance, which is the very foundation of free national community life. How like and how familiar is the monster tyranny in all climes and ages the same old maws and the same old paws; (laughter). The old dragonheaded monster known abroad as Prussianism, Russianism, Turkism has for long centuries been seeking to devour this noble land of ours under the name of Saxonism. They never will (cheers). Now is the day, now is the hour for us to rise from slumber and to be up and doing, and watching and guarding from the hill tops of Gael-land (cheers). All Ireland asked to-day was to be allowed to take her place in a league of free peoples, in equal rights and equal chances in the pursuit of prosperity and peace (hear, hear, and cheers).


More from St. Patrick’s Day 2019


Rescue Services

On the day of the Marconi celebrations Radio Kerry provided live coverage of the whole event and a great account of the Marconi story.


On March 19 2019 at the Marconi centenary celebration in Ballybunion, as well as wireless station memorabilia and early wirelesses there were many of our rescue personnel and rescue vehicles on display.

Jed Chute is here chatting to Liam OHainnín of Beale who is an expert in all things wireless and he had some of his many wireless related artefacts on display on the day.


There were lots of children there when I was there and they were very interested in the rescue vehicles and the work of the rescue people.

Ballybunion in March, St. Patrick’s Day 2019 in Listowel, Marconi remembered and Masked Ball in 1919

Róisín Darby playing in the foam churned up by the gale in Ballybunion on March 17 2019

When any of my family visit, a trip to Ballybunion is always part of the adventure.

March 17 2019 and Ballybunion is skinning cold.

Yes that is a man wearing only swimming trunks swimming in Ballybunion on March 17th 2019.

Molly loves the beach.

 The family huddled together for warmth until they grew accustomed to the wind chill.

It was all fun  and games in the foam but one little lady wasn’t wearing wellingtons.

Molly had to endure a freezing cold bath before she could get in the car.


Remember Pól ?

It’s always lovely to meet an old friend. Pól used to teach Irish in Presentation Secondary School a while back. He now lives in Tralee and works in Killarney.


Watching the Passing Parade

Many people braved the cold to come out and watch the parade


December 12 1919  : Kerry News

Dance held in Listowel, most enjoyable for many years. Catering by Kidd’s of Limerick and music supplied by Seaward’s band. Masks were removed at 1 O’Clock and dancing in ordinary costume till morning did appear.

Thanks to Messrs. D W Judge, Bank of Ireland, the hon Secretary and R Sweetman the greatest possible credit is due for the energetic manner in which they principally worked up the pleasant event and made it a success it was. Thanks also due to Messrs Jack Rice, sub manager National bank. Killeen, Bank of Ireland and E Boylan. While the ladies category. Mrs Foran, V.C. P.L.C. and Mrs Sweetman, also Mrs Crowley, Mrs Leane and the Misses Buckley, etc.

They also had electric light.

(It was remarked that most of the patrons were Sinn Feiners, but there was some small irresponsible element mentioned).


Marconi Centenary

On March 19 2019 Ballybunion remembered it’s role in communications history.

Jed Chute and Martin Griffin were there to represent the role of the Lartigue Railway in this piece of history. Martin and Jed told me that all the components for the broadcasting station were brought to Ballybunion on the monorail. All the components that is except the generator.

Because the Lartigue was a monorail and the passenger and goods carriages were balanced on either side of a central raised rail on trestles, a delicate balancing act had to be performed at embarkation.

The generator for the Marconi station was too heavy to put on the train so it had to be brought by road. It was too heavy for the road as well and it got bogged down at Dirrha. Steel girders had to be got and these laid across the road to reinforce it. These reinforcements had to be taken up after the load had passed over them and relaid in front of the lorry.


Winners alright

Listowel had great success at the recent Irish Hospitality Awards 2019.

Jumbo’s won the award for the best family restaurant. Jumbo’s is a Listowel institution. If you grew up in Listowel no trip back home is complete without a trip to Jumbo’s. Curry chips and stuffing anyone?

Máire and Catherine picked up a highly commended award for Listowel Writers’ Week, another Listowel institution.

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