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: Jimmy Deenihan Page 1 of 9

Running and Musing

Path through the trees, Listowel Town Park, January 2024

Park Run, Saturday January 13 2024

The weekly park run is a bit (a lot actually) outside my capability. I was walking in Listowel Town Park on a crisp dry January morning. I was in search of “content” for Listowel Connection. Then I saw this.

Lidl is obviously sponsoring the Parkrun.

Nearby was my friend, Jimmy Deenihan, beside a stall laden with fruit and bottles of water. Participants in the Parkrun are refreshed with fruit and water, thanks to Lidl.

Roibeard Pierse and friends were manning the finish, timing participants and welcoming strays like myself.

What a lovely way to start a Saturday. If you are thinking of joining them, do. They are very friendly and welcoming and the run didn’t look too taxing.

If I was 50 years younger…….

Public Road Maintenance in the 19th Century

Source; Tralee Mercury, Wednesday, 03 February, 1836; 

21 William Connor for keeping in repair 1162 perches of the road from Tralee to Listowel between the Ford of Killocrim and the street of Listowel, his half years salary.

 22 Same for keeping in repair 280 perches of the road from Tralee to Listowel between the West Bounds of Killocrim and Poulnahaha, his half years salary ….

 23 Cornelius Quin for keeping in repair 514 perches of the road from Listowel to Glinn between the cross of Darragvone and the cross of Newtownsandes his half years salary.

 24 William Sandes Jun. Esq. for keeping in repair 2115 perches of the road from Listowel to Tarbert and Limerick between the Bridge of Gale and the County bounds near Tarbert his half years salary

25 Adam Fizzell for keeping in repair 1668 perches of the  Road from Ballylongford to Tarbert, between the cross of Ballylongford and the Mail Coach Road at Tarbert. His half years salary.

 26 . Timothy Finnerty, for keeping in repair 669 perches of the road from Listowel to  Ballylongford between the Bridge of Kilgarvan and the cross of Ballylongford. His half years  salary.

 27 John Sandes Esq. his salary at 9d in the pound for collecting and paying the Treasurer  as per receipt.

Celtic Crosses in St. Michael’s Graveyard

Mick’s Daily Musings

Thursday January 11 th Day 5 of my poetic challenge

Weather is the buzz word all this week.

It’s the only topic when neighbours speak.

Chilly today, cool last night,

Those northeast winds are really a fright.

My old chest is killing me with the chilly air.

I must rub on my Vick for my menthol air.

Flurries of Snow are forecast to hit high ground

Whitening every hillock and mountain mound

Now we are full of anticipation.

Longing, dreaming about, expectation,

For snowball fights, making snowmen, snow women too.

Slides on slopes for me and you

Northerly Arctic freezing air attacking us.

Its chilly, houses are cooler, warm woollies are needed.

Give the heating another blast

And keep us comfy and snug while it lasts.

I’ve been busy this morning.

As I headed downtown for the post office

And the January sales

The last of the big spenders was on the way.

I enter the door of Jack Dunnes, a local store

Inspecting shirts, jackets, jumpers, and more

And then I cast my eyes on what I needed today

Soft top socks which were on display

With cottons and woollens gaining equal sway

I purchased six pairs of varying hues.

With navy, blacks, greens, and blues

To keep toes and footsies snug and warm

As I tread the paths and parks around town.

Now that my shopping spree is over.

It’s time to face the hill for home.

I later went for a good lively walk of 8000 steps

With lively rhythm and full of pep.

I was well layered up and felt no chill

As I clocked up my steps on Gorey Hill.

Mick O Callaghan 12.00 noon Thursday Jan 11 th 2024

When is an Emmet not an emmett?

I can’t believe that I have been looking at this word everywhere this week and I didn’t notice that I had the wrong spelling all the time. I apologise to everyone in the football club.

Thank you, Vincent, for setting me straight.

“When I was growing up, a nail bar was a bar for pulling nails from timber.

Once, the late Bryan McMahon, called me aside when he saw that I had written Emmett with two TT,s, he explained that the football club was named after Robert Emmet,(with one T). Bryan said an Emmett (with two TTs) was an Ant or Beetle.

Emmets abu”

A Fact

Peanut Butter can be converted into a diamond.


A Garden Centre, a Forge and a Food Fair

Small Square, Monday October 30 2023


Listowel Garden Centre

Listowel Garden Centre is a very interesting place to be at any time of year but at Christmas time it’s required visiting.

I was in the lovely café last week to meet up with friends.

Some of my old friends were just finishing up their regular meet-up. They are just back from their trip to Belfast to visit the Titanic Museum.


Lyreacrompane Forge

Remember my visit to Canty’s Forge mural? Karen Trench of Lyreacrompane Heritage Group pointed me in the right direction for the full story.

This is the photo of the official opening from the heritage group’s page.

Here is what they have to say about the photo and the forge;

The gable of the old forge building on the main road through the area now carries a mural depicting a forge scene from the past. The Lyreacrompane Heritage Group commissioned Mike O’Donnell from Tralee to do the artwork and it is now catching the eye all those passing by. 

“People immediately recognise the image of the ‘Bull McCabe’, a character in John B Keane’s play, The Field”, Kay O’Leary from the Heritage Group told The Kerryman. She went on, “There is much debate as to which murder in the area ‘The Field’ is based on but the character of the Bull McCabe does point in one direction and John B knew the Lyreacrompane area and its happenings and secrets from a young age!”

The other image on the mural that has people asking questions is of a young girl watching the horse being shod.  Joe Harrington from the Heritage group explains that this image represents Amelia Canty (1874-1955), who played an important role in the War of independence in North Kerry. He credits Kerry historian, Mary McAuliffe with unearthing the story.   Amelia was born in the original Canty homestead near the forge which had been set up by her father.  In her forties she worked undercover in RIC barracks in Abbeydorney and Listowel and in a witness statement to the Bureau Military History in 1955, Patrick McElligott, Commander of the Volunteers in North Kerry during the War of Independence, said that; “It would have been nearly impossible to carry on in such a hotbed of spies and informers without her aid”.  

Some of the older people still remember the Forge in Lyreacrompane and the mural brings back many childhood memories.  It seems that the wet day was always the busiest at the forge as farmers, unable to work in the wet weather, used the time to get horses shod, gates and farm machinery fixed and catch up with the local news. Those gatherings at the forge were an important opportunity for social gatherings back then.  Canty’s Forge closed in 1951 and on Sunday last, the extended Canty family gathered to view the mural, remember olden times and pass on the story to the younger generation.

In the photo.  On the left; Jeremiah and Shay O’Connor, Cathy and Evelyn Canty, Donagh and Rian Horgan, Mike Horgan, Donal Canty and Leah and Ava Canty.  On the right; Finnán and Daire Canty, John, Betty and Patsy Canty, Catherine Canty Horgan and Sean Horgan, Margaret Canty Kerins, Heather O’Connor and Padraig Canty.


Looking forward to Listowel Food Fair

We don’t have long to wait now for our annual festival of all things food related.

Listowel Food Fair Nov. 9 to Nov. 19 2023

This picture shared by the food fair committee is from the very first festival

Darina Allen will be back again as guest of honour at the banquet and award ceremony. Darina has a new book out. This one is all about bread making.

Be sure to check out this year’s programme (link above). It’s the best yet.



The way we were according to this 1990s guide


A Fact

Mosquitoes prefer to bite children. They also prefer blondes to brunettes. eating bananas increases your chances of being bitten by a mosquito.


Things of the Past

O’Sullivan’s Cycle Shop, The Square in July 2023


Spotted in Listowel Credit Union

Major events in the twenty years since our credit union was formed.


Remembered with Flowers

When I posted this photo last week, people reminded me that this special walltop garden was referred to in Tidy Town circles as Eileen’s Wall because the late Eileen Worts took special care of it.

Eileen, R.I.P. with fellow Tidy Towners, Jackie Barrett and Breda McGrath. Mary Hanlon tells me that the present beautiful display here this year is planted and cared for by Breda.


July 6 2023 in Kerry Writers’ Museum

A few more pictures from the evening

Childhood neighbours, James Kenny and Jim MacMahon in Kerry Writers’ Museum

Fr. Brendan O’Connor and Jimmy Deenihan

We were able to see The Book of Kells which was the inspiration for much of Michael O’Connor’s work up close.

It wasn’t THE Book of Kells but it was a facsimile copy

What is the difference between an ordinary copy and a facsimile copy?

Answer; Quality… facsimile looks exactly the same as the real thing with ink stains, water damage and holes just as they are in the real thing.

This is the man, Dr. Donncha MacGabhann who owns the precious facsimile copy and who explained to us what it is all about.

It was a source of fascination to everyone on the evening.


A Timely Poem

An Post have launched their digital stamp. Before too long a book of stamps or any paper stamp at all will be a thing of the past.


Summertime is Visitor Time

What a difference a week makes; St John’s under cloudy skies in June 2023


Corpus Christi Processions

This year the feast of Corpus Christi fell on June 8. The tradition is to hold a processsion preceeded by this year’s first communicants on a weekend near the date.

Listowel procession photo from Listowel Girl’s Primary Facebook page

Athea parade photos by Bridie Murphy


In Kerry Writers’ Museum

Even a short visit to Listowel gives time to take in some of our lovely visitor attractions.

Last week I accompanied Phil to Kerry Writers’ Museum.

Our visitor centre in the square used to be called The Seanchaí. A statue of Eamonn Kelly, Seanchaí, greets visitors at the foot of the stairs.

Phil enjoyed the John B. Keane room. She remembered attending his plays and always enjoying his writing.

I was anxious to show her the Michael O’Connor corner. The beautiful pieces look marvellous under the light in their climate controlled cabinets.

When you look closely at the above details on the St. Patrick’s Breastplate scroll you will be amazed at the intricate detail achieved by this super talented local artist. I hope many many Listowel people visit the exhibition this summer. You will be amazed.


Varying Shades of Dolly

Brendan O’Sullivan rocking the denim and stetson look

Most people accessorised with a guitar, this man brought a skateboard

I met Phil adding a few sparkles to her outfit

If your footwear was too undollylike, people in the Costume Fixing marwquee had plenty of high heels to cowboy boots available.

Jimmy Deenihan as you have never seen him before.

The queue moved along slowly but in good form. Everyone had to be photographed and braceleted for the record.


Meanwhile in Ballybunion

Ballybunion Golf Club annual captains’ weekend was a huge success raising funds for seven local charities.


Dollies and More

Mown and unmown areas in Childers’ Park in June 2023


The June Flood of 2023

On Tuesday June 20th 2023 Listowel experienced monsoon like rainfall , followed by extensive flooding throughout the town.

I did not venture outdoors except to bale out my shed so I’ve gathered these photos from Facebook.


Award for Jumbos

For the third year in a row the very popular Damien and Jade of the very popular Jumbo’s picked up the top award for best family restaurant at The Irish Hospitality Awards.


Dolly Day

On Saturday June 24 2023, Listowel entered a new record in The Guinness Book of Records. In the sports field, the largest number of people dressed as Dolly Parton in one place ever were gathered by an incredibly hard working committee.

Every aspect of the organisation of this event was phenomenal, from the initial concept to the publicity, the marketing, the local and national buy in right through to the logistics on the day.

“I’ve ditched the wig. I’m taking my blankie and I’m outa here.”

There was even a station where you could have a few adjustments made to make your costume more Dolly like.

With everyone in blonde wigs it was sometimes hard to recognise well known local people. No mistaking these two though. Frances is a lady who could belt out a Parton song if asked.

Another group who could rattle off a Parton song if singing was called for.

Edith Maguire was one of the older Dollies present. Here she is with friends, David Fitzmaurice, Jimmy Deenihan and Jim White.

Some Dollies didn’t make it to the sports field but got in the mood downtown and made their contribution to the atmosphere on the day and ,of course to the charities as well. Stylish Eilish was everywhere.

(More tomorrow)


Fr. Bryan Dalton RIP

His parishioners in his Florida parish of St. Ambrose in Deerfield Beach loved their Listowel born parish priest, Fr. Bryan Dalton.

Duane Miller sent us a link to this lovely video of Fr. Bryan singing at a Christmas mass. Duane says that Fr. Bryan was a great friend to the homeless and he loved children. You can see the rapport he had with the baby in this clip.

Fr. Bryan Dalton


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