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: Jerry Ryan

A Poem about Loss, Jerry Ryan R.I.P. and the Old Chapel in Asdee

Waterfall at Conor Pass by Éamon ÓMurchú


Another Poem from Poetry Town


A Permanent Reminder

This recent mural with a quotation by Brendan Kennelly is a poignant reminder of how fleeting all the living voices are. The man whose distinctive voice enthralled so many has left the stage. R.I.P.


+ Pat O’Flaherty R.I.P.+

Pat O’Flaherty of Chic Boutique has passed quietly away. She will be a huge loss to Mary and to her many friends. May she rest in peace.


A Fact stranger than Fiction

According to a story in The Sunday Times there are more than 50 billboards in the UK fitted with cameras and equipped with facial recognition technology. If you are walking past one of these billboards it can recognise your age, sex and mood and it will then display an advertisement it is programmed to “think” suited to you.


The Old Chapel in Asdee

from Shannonside Annual 1956

Continues tomorrow….


+Jerry Ryan R.I.P.+

Nobody’s child; everybody’s friend

“No Mommies’ Kisses and no Daddies smiles” but Listowel took Jerry Ryan to its heart and he was a valued member of our community.

The Monday after Listowel Races 2014

Jerry Ryan who passed away recently was the salt of the earth. He did his job diligentlty, keeping our streets clean for many years before his retirement from Listowel UDC. He always had a smile and a friendly word. He didn’t know my name. “Friend,” he called me. Jerry had many friends.

With Mark Loughnane
With Pat Hickey

I took these pictures of Jerry at work.

He was part of the fabric of Listowel life for years.

I invited Jerry to come to the launch of my book, Listowel Through a Lens, in 2009. He had never been to a book launch and he was a bit dubious about whether it was his kind of thing.

This is the photo of Jerry and Jim Cogan in Listowel Through a Lens

I can tell you all that it was my honour to have Jerry there and there was no guest more appreciative of the invitation.

May his gentle soul rest in peace.


A Football game and a Miracle, Listowel Feis and William Street in 2014

Listowel Celtic Oskars

 In the presbytery the cast of Fr. Ted filming for Listowel Celtic’s Oskars. Award ceremony and after parties were held on Feb. 29 2020,


The following poem was written by Noel Roche of Listowel now living in the US. 

He says “Field of Dreams is about a game of Soccer that took place in the Mart Field ( now Feale Drive)  in late 70s/ early 80s between Listowel Celtic and Gleann Rovers. As a Prelude to the poem  I would like you to state that the Poem has enough truth to be Fact but it also has enough Fiction ( poetic license) to be entertaining. “

Field of Dreams 

Noel Roche 

The biggest bunch of misfits,

That you have ever seen.

Ran out onto the mart field,

Wearing the red and green.

To take on the might of Celtic,

That was their quest on that day. 

And erase the tag of second best,

This was the only way.

The Celtic team arrived on time,

And got out of their cars.

They had shiny boots and Munster youths,

They looked like soccer stars. 

Eric made the team favourites, 

He said, “they’re the best in town”.

But he forgot eleven misfits,

Who called themselves “The Gleann”.

The people manned the side-lines,

They came from near and far.

And one man said “t’won’t be no game,

This will be bloody war.

Unless the ref can keep them quiet, 

I’m not so sure he can.

But if anyone can do it, 

Then ‘The Sheriff’ is that man”. 

Three o clock, the whistle blows,

At last the game is on.

Now it’s down to soccer,

Coz the hype and talk is done.

The Gigs runs up the side-line,

With a fury never seen.

For months he gave his heart and soul,

To the boys in red and green. 

Then Celtic got a free kick,

Which prompted Gigs to call.

“Don’t let em in boys, stand in front,

And build a human wall”.

But they bent the ball around the wall,

Twas buried in the net.

And the Gleann boys said “don’t worry Gigs,

The games not over yet”. 

The Gleann played hard and furious,

And moved the ball upfield.

A Celtic defence, a tower of strength,

Now would these Gleann boys yield.

Come on said Gigs, you have em now,

As a tear came to his eye.

And they passed to Noel, who scored the goal,

That made the game a tie. 

What happened next is history,

Of which people often talk.

The miracle of the mart field,

That made Jack Galvin walk.

The crowd was stunned in silence,

As the ball hit Celtics net.

But Jack jumped out of his chair,

And said, “that’s the best one yet”. 

Soon the game was over,

And the Gleann boys jumped for joy.

And Gigs who could not hold it back,

Cried like a little boy.

And for the other Gleann boys,

This I’d like to say.

We did not feel like misfits then,

We felt like kings that day.

Now years later, the field is gone,

And I am far away.

I close my eyes, it takes me back,

To the mart field on that day.

I hear Gigs screaming, “C’mon boys”,

Till he could hardly talk.

And the goal we thought was holy, 

Coz it made Jack Galvin walk.


Jerry Ryan cleaning up on William Street during race week  (2014 I think)


Listowel Feis 1912

Kerry News  Wednesday, June 05, 1912; Page: 3


The Feis.
The arrangements for Listowel Feis are now well underway, and this year’s one promises to surpass all those of previous years. For many years the people of North Kerry have looked forward with no small amount of interest to the fixture, and they were never disappointed. The date fixed is July 7th, and nothing is being left undone to make it an unqualified success.
The Syllabus.
The syllabus, which is slightly an improvement on previous ones, includes within its scope competitions in the language and history of our country, vocal and instrumental music, storytelling, dialogue, recitation and dancing. It also includes, harp, flute, and Irish war pipes competitions. Copies of the syllabus may be had from the hon, secretary. Anyone requiring information on any point may get it without delay from the secretary.

The Byrne Scholarship.
The thanks of the Committee is due to Mr. M. J. Byrne, solicitor, Listowel, for again donating a valuable scholarship. It is attainable by the boy or girl in the baronies of Iraghticonnor and Clanmaurice and the Abbeyfeale Coisde Coanntair who obtains the highest number of marks in the following subjects:—(a ) Irish conversation, 500 marks ; (b) fluency in reading Irish at sight, 250;
(c) storytelling or dialogue in Irish, 250—only one can be taken; (d) writing Irish from dictation, 200: (e) Irish grammar, l30; (f) short original impromptu story in Irish, 100; (g) best collection in Irish of local traditions or stories, to be sent to the hon. secretary one week at least before Feis , 150; (h) Irish singing, 50; Irish dancing—jig, reel and hornpipe, 50.
The competition for the above promises to be very keen. This is the third time that Mr. Byrne has been so good as to offer a scholarship. It would be well if we had other men of that stamp amongst us. ‘Tis a noble example of patriotism.

Kerryman 1904-current, 08.06.1912, page 4
Feis subscriptions M. J Byrne, £8; a Friend £1; M J Nolan J.P. V.C Co. C, 15 shillings; G Gun Mahony Esq. J.P. 10 shillings. M J Nolan also sent a letter of support to Mr Griffin Hon Sec of Feis Committee.

First day of school, Kerry flags and a postbox at Convent Cross

He’ll be Fine

Dear Teacher

I know you’re rather busy

First day back, there’s just no

A whole new class of little ones

And this one here is mine

I’m sure you have things covered

And have done this lots before

But my boy is very little

He hasn’t long turned four

In his uniform this morning

He looked so tall and steady

But now beside your great big

I’m not quite sure he’s ready

Do you help them eat their lunch?

Are you quick to soothe their

And if he falls and hurts his knee

Will someone dry his tears?

And what if no-one plays with him?

What if someone’s mean?

What if two kids have a fight

And he’s caught in between?

You’re right, I have to leave now

It’s time for him to go

I’m sure he’ll learn so much from

Things that I don’t know

Yes, I’m sure they settle quickly

That he’s fine now without me

I know he has to go to school

It’s just so fast, you see

It seems like just a blink ago

I first held him in my arms

It’s been my job to love, to teach

To keep him safe from harm

So, when I wave goodbye in a moment

And he turns to walk inside

Forgive me if I crumple

Into tears of loss and pride

I know as I give him one more kiss

And watch him walk away,

That he’ll never again be wholly

As he was before today.

Are you crying?

Blame Doreen Buckley who found this poem on the internet for every mammy and daddy who is seeing off a little one to school this week.



Everywhere all over town the green and gold is flying before Saturday’s replay of the All Ireland Semi final against Mayo.


Down Memory Lane; Postman and Council man

Jerry and Pat on Church St. a few years back.


Elizabethan Postbox at Convent Cross

Convent Cross


New kids on the blog

Sean and Killian have made a great start on their blog of life in Basque country HERE

Greenlawn and Jerry Ryan

Listowel Town Square resplendent in the sunshine of yesterday. You can’t beat summer in Ireland, if we only knew on which day it was going to be.

While out and about with camera I took a few photos of the old Greenlawn or Kennedy Nursing Home. You will remember it was the residence of the very first TD for Kerry, James Crowley. Sadly, I found it looking very overgrown and neglected.

What a shame!


By contrast, isn’t this only magnificent1

Puffin on Sceilig photographed by Laura Vaughan.


Every now and again something happens in town. I hear it when its over and I am kicking myself that I missed it. Such an event was the retirement of Jerry Ryan. Jerry cleaned our streets for years and his smiling amiable presence was part of what makes Listowel unique. My photograph was taken on the Monday after the Races a few years back.

 I wish Jerry a long and happy retirement, and a well deserved rest.


A Friday smile

These cute pictures are from the Pathé war archive. At least the poor children would have great eyesight!

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén