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: Joan Carey

Remembering Knitwits

In Marley Park; Éamon ÓMurchú


A Window in St. Mary’s

St Mary’s, Listowel

This is the Darby O’Mahoney window in the sanctuary of St. Mary’s Listowel. Fr. Darby O’Mahony was a much loved parish priest during the worst of The Famine years in Listowel. He brought four sisters from Milltown to establish a Presentation Convent to help the starving people of North Kerry. The nuns set up a soup kitchen and they spent hours making simple garments for the poor inhabitants of the workhouse to wear. Very often people arrived at the workhouse, destitute, starving and in rags.

Once when the starving people threatened to storm the workhouse in their demented search for food, Fr. O’Mahiny addressed them until he himself collapsed from exhaustion. He succeeded in quelling the riot.

The people of Listowel donated a stained glass window and a memorial to him in his church. The scene depicted on the window shows Fr. O’Mahony ministering to a dying famine victim. As far as I know he is the only person who is not a canonised saint whose image is commemorated in a memorial window in our church.


Footing the Turf

This photo was uploaded by Myles Campbell. It’s obviously hand cut turf and there’s acres of it. Could it be a Bord na Mona bog in early days?


Memories, Memories

Knitwits in happier times in Scribes Café in Church Street.

R.I.P. Anne and Joan, friends gone before us.

Paudie sent us this obituary to remember his mother, Joan, by.

Joan Carey (Nee O’Connor) was born on the 22 October 1945 to Thomas O’Connor and Mary (Moll) Looney at Boltons Cross, Skehenerin, Listowel. She was the youngest of 6 children and the last surviving sibling. 

She attended the Presentation Convent in Listowel and after completing a secretarial course in Tralee, she worked as a shorthand typist initially at Raymond Solicitors, and subsequently at Robert Pierse’s, Listowel before meeting her husband and moving to London in 1970. In Oct 1972, she married Gerald Carey and worked in Central London at such famous streets as Dover Street, Bond Street and Oxford Street. 

After a number of years in London, residing at 45 Blawith road, she and Ger returned to Listowel, settling initially in 7 Holytree Drive and finally at 105 Church Street, Listowel. 105 Church Street was to be the family home for over 40 years. 

In 1982, she opened her little grocery shop, very popular with the children from the Boys National School nearby. In 1987, she opened a larger premises in 107 Church Street. Over the years, she built up a loyal following of Customers, many of whom became friends from all over Listowel town, Cahirdown, Skehenerin, Clounmacon and Kilmorna. 

Her greatest achievement were her 3 children, Paudie, Thomas and Siobhán. She was equally proud of a all three. As a mother she was loving, caring and affectionate. She had a great sense of humanity and compassion and was always concerned when she saw a fellow human being troubled or in distress. She always did what she could to help, living the true Christian message.

 In 2002, with the shop closed she worked at Galvin’s off-licence in Lower William Street and knew all the goings on the centre of town. Since retiring, she had the joy of seeing two wonderful grandchildren been born, Séan and Paddy Hand. She was always looking forward to the next picture or video of them on Whatsapp, drinking her Glass of red wine in the evening. 

She enjoyed a good murder mystery on ‘Albi’ and had a keen interest on current events. In addition, what gave her great pleasure was meeting her Knitting friends (Knit Wits!) at Scribes in Church once or sometimes twice a week, where she developed many friendships. 

With the arrival of Covid, a very difficult two years begin in her life, and it was the great care she received in Kilcara Nursing Home, that her suffering and pain was made bearable for her to endure. She bore her illness with remarkable humility, dignity, and courage. To the end she showed concern and love for her family and that will always be her greatest legacy. 


People I Met

Jed Chute and Maria Fitzgerald in Main Street last week


A Fact

If Monaco’s ruling house of Grimaldi should ever be without a male or female heir the country will cease to be a sovereign state.


Remembering Old Times

The Dandy Lodge


Another Friend Gone

The late Joan Carey walking her dog near her home on Church Street

When you reach my age you have to accept it as a fact of life that friends will pass away.

I got to know the late Joan Carey as part of my knitting group. How we used to enjoy our Saturdays in Scribes before Covid. Neither of us was too interested in the knitting. It was an opportunity to meet people and to chat. Joan was always gentle and peace loving. When the odd disagreement broke out, Joan always stayed well out of it.

Joan had a long battle with illness over the last two years.

She will be sadly missed by her family, neighbours and friends.

May she rest in peace.


From the 2006 Pres. Yearbook

A trip down Memory Lane to 1953


Amateur Drama Remembered

One of the great stalwarts of Listowel drama was the late Bill Kearney. It was fitting that his three daughters were guests of honour at the launch of the new exhibition, Raise the Curtain, in Kerry Writers’ Museum.

The Kearney family have contributed much of their late father’s memorabilia to the museum.

This photograph was shared by Paul Murphy a few years ago. It is Bill Kearney at the mike at one of the famous Doodle dinners.


A Fairy Door

This fairy door is in Ballybunion. I knocked but no one answered.


The Square Cone

Derry O’Carroll hard at work in Listowel Town Square, installing our new ice cream kiosk. Official opening June 1 2022.

Because the weatherman says it will be fine this weekend, they’ve decided to open early. As well as ice cream they will have brownies, cream cakes and other treats.


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