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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

Tag: Jimmy Deenihan Page 2 of 8

Shops and Signs, A Poem a Recent Snap or two and a To Let Sign

KDYS /Old Carnegie Free Library

This lovely old building is at the top of Church Street where it joins Dowd’s Road

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Listowel shops and their signs during Lockdown 2020

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Carroll’s is Open

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At the AIB


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Carroll’s Yard


The River Walk

After a long dry spell the level of water in the river is very low.

There was a funeral in progress in the church.

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The Dawn above the Dark


John Fitzgerald has written a poem for those who have forgotten what a pulled pint is.

The Dawn above the Dark

Out of a gold grained silvered font the dark stream seeks the light The gargoyle bows its ugly head To flow it out of night

Into a steady downward plunge that surges up the dawn
and takes it o’er the ticking glass to let the pint take form.

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Snapped in Town



Jimmy Deenihan was having a socially distant chat with a friend.



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First Covid Business Casualty ?



I am so sad to see a To Let sign on one of my favourite coffee shops.

Feline Frolics, St. Michael’s in 1970, Ballybunion new toilet under construction and Rocky 103 on film



Down Came a Raven




Photo; Tom Fitzgerald

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Cat Rescue in 2005


Listowel Firefighters are lucky to have  an onboard cameraman to record some of the more interesting tasks.

Here John Kelliher photographed the rescue of a cat in the Town Park in 2005. If it was your cat or if you remember the incident let us know. According to John the birds were trying to knock the cat off before the firemen got to him.

One life down. Eight to go.

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Memories, Memories




Tommy O’Flaherty shared this photo on Facebook last week. I saved it and shared it on Listowel Connection. Then I got this email.

Good Morning ,

Imagine my surprise when I came across the photograph of the 1970 Class from St Michaels on your blog earlier this morning .  I cannot recall the photograph being taken nor who took it but the memories came flooding back . I am seated on the wall on the extreme right holding a camera . God only knows where the camera came from as there was none in our house . 

In those days St Michaels consisted of just the main structure and the outside shed, along the side wall at the rear , which was used for smaller classes . There was a pathway that led from the front gate to the main entrance with a patch of lawn ( bog more like ) on either side .

The main foot path  could only be used by the teachers . Students had to use the path at the left hand side and enter the school via the steps at the rear . I recall that , in a final show of defiance        ( probably on the same day as the photo ) , we all committed heresy by exiting through the main  front door and the centre path . That was a major crime  and there would have been some type of retribution. I can  recall being dispatched from class by Father Long ( then President) to educate some neanderthal  ( a new arrival in mid-term ) who had been detected walking into  the school via the centre path . Our classroom , in our final years, was on the left just inside the front door .

There are a number of luminaries in that photograph , former Minister Deenihan ( in white at the front ) , Gabriel Fitzmaurice ( squatting on the right at the front )  and a lesser known (but the brightest star then ), John O’Connell  ( An  All Ireland Colleges winning athlete , fourth from the left at the back ) . Tommy Fla represented the glamour being a drummer with the local pop band ‘The System’ before subsequently departing for a larger role on the Showband Scene . 

However I am surprised that there are some faces  that I cant identify  and some , who I do recognise , but have not met up with since 1970  . I would be obliged if , through your blog we can put names and whereabouts  to all the faces . I can set the ball rolling if you like and maybe Fla or some other reader can fill in the gaps .

It is indeed time for a socially distanced and hygienically pure  re-union .

Best Regards

Kieran Fitzgerald 

P.S.  I  am from Billeragh ( close to the  Six Crosses ) . My sister , Eileen O’Connell , lives in the former shop at the Crosses opposite the petrol station , My brother was Tom Fitzgerald , former teacher who lived in Upper Church St ,  and passed away in 2014 . You may know his wife , Marie , who is cocooned next door to the Plaza. 

(Look out for more from Kieran in the next few days)

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May 18 2020




Photo; Kilcooley’s

Construction has recommenced on Ballybunion’s new public convenience.

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Does anyone remember Rocky 103 -Your Station, and Mine?


Warren Buckley found this treasure when he was reviewing his old stuff during lockdown. It’s a video he and some more St. Michael’s Fifth Year students made in 1988. Eamon Carey was the young Brian Dobson doing a great job of interviewing the rising radio star, Francis Jones. Some neat camera work by Warren as well. The ads at the end are gas.

Rocky 103 interview

John Paul 11 Graveyard and A Trip down Memory Lane and Mother’s Medicine in the 1950s

 Harp and Lion in May 2020

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Lest we Forget


On VE Day 2020

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St John Paul 11 Cemetery


I visited my husband’s grave last week.


Sea shells, a candle and crochet covered stones, tributes from family and friends.

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From the Archives


In Greaney’s Spar at an NKRO event

Maria Leahy, Ger Greaney, Eilish Wren, Damien Stack, Grace Kelly, Jimmy Deenihan, Mary Cogan, Robert Pierse and James Kenny

Jimmy Deenihan and Billy Keane on the viewing stand at an old St. Patrick’s Day parade


Fr. Pat Moore R.I.P. signing for friends at the launch of his book, Weathering a Storm

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I Remember it well



The hot water bottle eased every pain unless it leaked and scotched you half to death.

Sudocrem s still my go to unction for everything.

Dockleaves were for nettle stings

( Neantóg a dhoigh mé, cupóg a leigheas mé is a  seanfhochal meaning a nettle burned me, a dock cured me]

Lucozade was found to have no curative properties but it probably replaced any sugar loss.

Seven up had to be flat to work. Again, I’d say replacing sugar may be its only curative function.

We all know teas and toast is the best “meal” for a sick or recuperating child.

Pub names in Irish in 1920 and Listowel Food Fair 2019

William Street

November 10 2019

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Listowel Food Fair 2019



I missed most of this year’s food fair as I was busy book promoting but here are a few of the lovely windows.

Finesse showcased the delicious local Brona chocolate in all its flavours.

NCBI was all aprons and cookbooks with a few glamorous shoes for good measure.

Perfect Pairs and its Mom’s Porter Cake display was mouthwatering and tasteful.

Flavin’s display incorporated some food ingredients and cookery books surrounding a beautiful antique platter.

As I was passing by John R.’s on my way to the Listowel Arms for A Taste of Italy I spotted some friends still enjoying afternoon tea even though it was now evening.

Jim and Elizabeth Dunn and Catherine Moylan were holding their Listowel Writers’ Week Art subcommittee meeting over pastries and meringues. Trust the Art crowd to do it in style!

These lovely ladies were just leaving after a lovely afternoon of talk and tea.



Some of the organisers of Listowel Food Fair were taking a brief moment to enjoy one of the highlights of the Food Fair. The verdict from everyone I spoke to was that Listowel Food Fair 2019 was the best yet.

Not only is Listowel now the literary capital of Ireland, it is fast becoming the food capital as well.






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Setting the record Straight


I had always believed that in the 1920s vintners changed the signs over their premises because they got in trouble with police if they displayed signage in Irish.

This apparently is not 100% true according to below extract from the parliamentary records;

15 November 1920-Volume 134

Mr. MacVEAGH- asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland on what authority the police in Listowel, Co. Kerry, have ordered all shopkeepers in that town to withdraw or delete all signboards containing names in the Irish language?

Sir H. GREENWOOD- It is not the case that the police in Listowel have ordered all shopkeepers to withdraw or delete all signboards containing names in the Irish language, but where owners of licensed premises, have their names in Irish characters only over their premises, they have been ordered to affix their names in English in compliance with Section 25 of the Excise Licenses Act, 1825, and Section 11 of the Licensing Act, 1872. I may add that repeated efforts have been made in Listowel by persons styling themselves the Irish Republican police to compel shopkeepers to put up their names in Irish, that some who refused to do so had their signboards tarred, and that local painters were prevented from removing the tar stains. From House of Commons

Moyvane, Lixnaw, Wartime Rationing and Roddy Doyle in Listowel

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Moyvane, Then and Now

The creamery now and then

Crows on Main St. then and now

from https://moyvane.com

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Lixnaw and the Fitzmaurice clan

Kerryman 1957

If you would like to learn more…

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Been There, Done That




With all the talk of food shortages if the U.K. crashes out of Europe, I thought it might be timely to look back to a time when there were food shortages in Ireland.

Above is a wartime ration book. Certain foodstuffs and other stuff like fuel were in short supply so the government issued books of coupons to people. Coupons could be exchanged for these rationed goods.

A little known fact is that the health of British children improved during the period when rationing was in force. When I see the list of goods that will be in short supply after a hard Brexit, I think we might see the same unintended consequence.

Another fact that is not widely known is that food was also rationed in Germany. This poster from 1916 illustrates, in cartoon form, the range of foodstuffs rationed there.

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Fighting Words




Kate Kennelly, Kerry Co Council Arts Officer, Roddy Doyle and Jimmy Deenihan.

Roddy Doyle was in Kerry Writers’ Museum on Tuesday, September 24 2019 to promote Fighting Words, an organisation that he co founded to promote creative writing among young people. Fighting Words workshops have been running in Listowel since 2017. The workshops are held outside of a school setting, are free of charge and facilitated by adults who are not necessarily teachers. All you need to be a volunteer is a love of stories and a desire to help young people to write them.

If you would like to volunteer, contact Cara at Kerry Writers’ Museum.

Bernie and friends at Fighting Words Launch

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