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: Jim Horgan

Old ways, a Horgan reunion and some more style

Do you remember the hay float?

If you do you might enjoy this lovely clip which Jer. shot on Vintage Day in Blennerville on Sunday Sept. 29


 Jim Halpin’s photo of a group in 1942 in the Sluagh Hall, Listowel. They were the Army Medical Corps. I dont suppose anyone will be able to name these men.


I dont have a date for this cutting but we can see where all the power lay in those days.


The following photos were sent to me by Jim Horgan who organised the recent clan reunion in Tómaísín’s in Lisselton. There was a great turnout of Horgans on the night and they enjoyed a great séisiún.

 Horgan Cousins

 Mike Molyneaux, Margaret O’Donoghue Cloonan, Tom Molyneaux, Brede Molyneaux
Brosnans and Horgans
Fantastic local musicians from Ballydonohue
Fantastic local musicians fromh Ballydonohue
Horgan Cousins from Kerry, England and USA
Having a spin: Margaret O’Donoghue Cloonan (Tannavalla/Pittsburgh), Mike Molyneaux (Woodford, Listowel), Eileen O’Donoghue Curran (Tannavalla/Pittsburgh), Bridget Horgan (Atlanta, USA)

Jim and Bridget Horgan having a waltz

Lara Scott – Atlanta Georgia, USA
Eileen Ann Brosnan (New Zealand), Jim Horgan (Atlanta, USA), Cathy Horgan Herbenick (Dayton, USA)


A few more from Ladies Day

If you haven’t seen your photo yet, don’t despair. I still have a few more to go.


Still on style, the wedding of the year took place in The Bahamas recently and the happy (and very rich) couple released this photo;

Clan Gatherings; Quilters and Horgans

Last weekend I was in Cork celebrating a family birthday with the French branch of our family.

Meanwhile two Kerry clans were holding gatherings. The Quilters were tracing their roots to Lixnaw and living it up in Tralee. Kathy Taylor sent me these photos.

Jacques Quilter was the driving force behind this very successful clan gathering. He is a very knowledgeable local historian and a thorough family genealogist so he proved an excellent guide.


When I was in the Listowel Arms on Friday night I met Jim Horgan who was just finishing off a very enjoyable clan gathering in Lisselton. He promised that he will send on some photos.


Jer recorded the choir in Ballyheigue on Pattern Day at the holy well


From Goracing .ie

Quick Facts About Listowel

Racing in the area was originally held at Ballyeagh, near Ballybunion but due to faction fighting was moved to Listowel in 1858. It was originally known as the North Kerry Hunt Steeplechase Meeting.

It started as a 2-day event but because of its popularity has been gradually extended over the years and in 2002 became a week long affair.

2003 Irish Derby winner Alamshar won his first race at Listowel in 2002. 

Jan 9 2013

John Kelliher took this lovely photo of St. Mary’s at Christmastime.

My closer shot shows our new sign with mass times and contact details.

This road sign seems to have taken a bit of abuse over the holidays.

I’m including this photo of The Maid because I know it is an evocative icon for many.


News comes from Jim Horgan in the U.S. of a gathering event in the planning.

Calling all Horgans, Creighans, Shines, Brosnans, O’Neills, O’Reillys, Masons, O’Donoghues, Mulvihills, Molyneaux, O’Sullivans and any other cousins that I may have overlooked!

The Horgan gathering is a go! Check out our web site at:

The festivities will be based around the Listowel area from September 7 to 13, 2013.

We are looking for ideas and volunteers to help get some events organized.

Hope to see you in Kerry!


This photo from The Examiner shows Cork’s Patrick Street at Christmas in 1961.


Lauren Davis who wrote originally to ask me to help her by translating any Irish in the blog, fills us in now on her Listowel connection.

“My great-great grandparents were James Burke Carroll and Katherine (Kate) Dowling. We don’t know much about James except that he was from Listowel. Kate born in County Cork. She was supposedly born the night of the “Big Wind.” I’m not sure this is right as her birthday is given as 2 Jan. 1839 and I’ve read that the Big Wind was Jan. 6-7, but maybe everyone figured that was close enough? James and Kate sailed from Cork to America on 3 July, 1870 as newlyweds. 

They lived a few years in Penn Yan, Yates Co., New York, where my great-grandfather, Michael Edward, was born. The family later moved to the wilds of Maricopa, in Arizona Territory. This must have been quite a change from the green fields of Ireland! We think they came out West following a brother or cousin who was in the Calvary stationed at Fort Lowell, (which later became Tucson.) The Carroll’s became a pioneer family in the rugged Southwest. That’s as much as I know about them so far, but would love to learn more.

Thanks again for keeping up the Listowel Connection. It’s wonderful to have such a personal, friendly way to learn about our Irish family roots.

Happy New Year!


Maybe there are people reading this who can fill Lauren in on the Carroll side of her tree.


This article with an emigrant’s view of Ireland is from The Irish Times.

James Taplin (41), Dubai: “The emigration issue is less raw this year” 

Saying goodbye to my wife and kids in Westmeath to return to Dubai after Christmas this year was much easier than last, as the day this article is printed they will be moving out here to join me in the United Arab Emirates.

We went to visit my sister and her children on St Stephen’s Day, an annual tradition, to watch the racing at Leopardstown together. Apart from that, we had a quiet Christmas as my father-in-law is unwell.

The thing that struck me most during this visit was how much my daughter Cara’s speech had developed since I last saw her in August. She’s two, and speaking in full sentences now. It took her a while to get used to having me there in person. Every time I turned on the computer she pointed at me as if to say, “you should be in there”. Daniel is five, and he was delighted to see me.

There is an air of resignation in the country now that is very noticeable. The fight has gone out of people, which I was saddened to see. I brought up the budget a few times in the pub, and no one wanted to talk about having less money in their pockets next year. At this stage, most people only have the energy to put on a brave face.

The emigration issue is less raw this year than last. The media are still looking for the sob stories but, generally, emigration is another fallout from the recession that people have accepted.

This year has been an expensive one, with plane tickets and visas for the family and paying for schools, but I am much better off mentally and physically in Dubai than I was back in Ireland with no work.

James Taplin moved to Dubai for the second time in 2011, where he works for a sports equipment supplier.


Today in Irish history


The first
students began their studies at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland’s first


Arthur Griffith was elected Taoiseach of Dáil Éireann after Eamon de
Valera stepped down.


Today for our  US friends is all about family.

I made the mistake, a few years back of giving a visiting U.S. friend a gift on Thanksgiving. It’s not about presents, it’s about presence. So to all our stateside friends who can’t make it home, enjoy your meal and your day off and may you soon be reunited with your family.

For the day that’s in it I have a story about a family divided by emigration and now reunited by the internet.

I’m printing in its entirety the letter sent by Jim Horgan. Unfortunately the photos do not seem to be with it.

Mary, hope all is well in North Kerry.  I have put together a little of the story of my mother’s paternal side of the family tree, if anyone is interested.  I am also adding a few photos.

Thomas Sheehan was born in Direen, Kerry on 23/12/1860 the son of John Sheen of Inchaleen and Julia Murphy of Claramore.  Thomas married Margaret White (1857-1891) daughter of Edward White and Johanna Connor of Clahaneelesh, Kerry.

Thomas and Margaret married 18-February 1879 in Ballyheigue.  They had 7 children:

Bridget (1880-1952) – Married William Stack (1885-?) and had 5 children.

John Joseph (1881-1965) – Married Catherine Shine of Gurtomashilihy, Moyvane and had 1 child (my mother, Helen)

Edward (1882-?)

Anna (1885-1967) – Married Daniel Werner and had no children

Mary (1888-1977) – never married

Thomas (1889-?) –

Michael Edward (1891-1939) – married Ellen Duffy and had 4 children.

Margaret died 4 months after the birth of Michael, and Thomas brought all of the children to America, arriving in Philadelphia 13 August, 1891.  He brought the children to his wife’s mother, Johanna White, who had emigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1880.  The story goes that Thomas went west to find work and was never heard from again.  The children were raised by their grandmother, who was a shop keeper.

The descendants of Thomas and Margaret number over 100 that I know of now spread all over America.  There are doctors, lawyers, nurses, and business people among the descendants – all of whom can trace their Kerry roots to the tragic event in 1891 when Margaret died at an early age.

The third picture is of my grandfather’s black thorn walking stick.  It is hanging on the wall in my home in Atlanta.  I remember receiving a few wallops with it when I was young!

I will work on the other grandparents and their stories to share with you as I can.

Finally here is a link dedicated to Neal Shine.  He was the son of my grandmother’s brother Patrick from Gurtomashilihy.

All the best, Jim

Thank you, Jim and well done on all the research.

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