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

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Something old, something new ….

An eagle eyed follower spotted what looks like a tar truck in The Square in the this old post card. Were they carrying out roadworks in the deserted square?


Like a Bird on a Wire

On a trip to Ballybunion during the holidays, I photographed these brave little birds.


Down Memory Lane with The Kerryman

Seems like yesterday!


An Old Post Box

This postbox is on the wall at Convent Cross. I think this  box is in continuous use since the Edwardian era. King Edward died in 1910 so Listowel people have posted their letters here for over a century.


An Extraordinary Story of Two Ordinary Good People

From Abbeyfeale on line December 2016

In 1975 Irish immigrant brothers Denis and Pat Mulcahy of the NYPD

gathered a group of family, friends and neighbours together in New

York to start a scheme offering children from Northern Ireland a

chance to temporarily escape the violent turmoil of their daily lives.

From modest beginnings Project Children ultimately brought over 20,000 Catholic and Protestant children to suburban US for summer-long visits where they forged unexpected friendships and found they had more in common with the “enemy” than they thought.

Denis and his brother Pat hailed originally from Meelin in County

Cork. They emigrated to America in the early sixties and eventually

joined the NYPD.

Their mother Eileen was born in Caherhayes, Abbeyfeale. She was a

sister of Joe Moriarty and Josie Foley (néé Moriarty) from The Hill.

In 1977, just two years into the project, Pat was injured at work and

had to retire and return to Rockchapel. However, he continued to

support the project from home and recalls numerous phone calls from

Denis over the years to tell him that passports etc. needed to be


The Mulachy brothers got the People of the Year award in 1989 for

their work with Project Children and were also given a special medal

from the Pope.

Denis has been nominated twice for a Nobel peace prize and he has also

received an accolade from president Bill Clinton. He accompanied the

former president to Northern Ireland in the 1990s.

During the course of 40 years more than 20,000 children from some of

the worst-hit areas of Belfast and Derry spent six-week stints with

American host families, far from bomb blasts and riots.

The tale of how Cork natives Denis and Pat launched Project Children

with willing family and friends in 1975, is told in the feature film

“How to Defuse A Bomb: The Project Children Story”, narrated by

Ballymena-born actor Liam Neeson.

The film won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature at The

IFI Documentary Festival and was recently shown on BBC and is expected

to be broadcast by RTE in the near future.


“A Cold Coming they had of it…..”

Forget the three wise men. The most stylish formally attired bar staff were in John B.’s on January 6 2017.

photo: Love Listowel on Twitter

Listowel, Saint Yves, Meeting Rory Gallagher or Shane Lowry

Main Street, Listowel


When Kerry’s Eye did local supplements


As I was going to St. Ives

I met a man with seven wives

Each wife had a cat

Each had a kit

Kits, cats, man and wives,

How many were going to St. Ives?

I thought of the riddle when I read the above plaque on the wall of Pierse and Fitzgibbon, Solicitors, Market Street, Listowel.


Plus ca change, plus c’est la même chose

Meeting your idol is always a special thrill.

Jim Deasy shared this great picture with Random Cork Stuff. It shows Rory Gallagher stopping on the Shakey Bridge to sign autographs for these delighted teenagers.

Joanne Riordan got the opportunity to attend the Irish Open Pro am and she got to meet some of her idols, Niall Horan and Shane Lowry.

People don’t bother with autographs anymore. They take a selfie.


In John B.s for the Pub Theatre

Local people lined up to congratulate Nora Relihan on her outstanding performance in John B.’s on Thursday May 19 2016.

Mickey MacConnell and Wayne Tarren provided the musical entertainment after Nora’s performance.

Wiliam St., St. John’s and summer entertainment in John B.’s

It’s Barbecue Weather…..Some Days


Upper William Street, Summer 2016


Remember These ?

God be with the days before mobile phones. I grew up in a house with no phone, mobile or otherwise, so when these came in I thought they were a brilliant innovation. Those were the days when public phones were easily found in most towns. Callcards got rid of the necessity to have pocketfuls of change in order to make a phone call.  


Weather in Ballywatticock

We are all familiar with amusing place names like BallyJamesDuff, Effin, Knockdown, Horse and Jockey etc. but Ballywatticock has to be in the hunt for the most outlandish.


St. John’s

Remember last week I was looking for a photograph of the interior of St. John’s. Anne Moloney unearthed one. Unfortunately for my purposes, we can see more of a cute younger Jimmy Moloney than we can of the church.

The search continues. I can’t believe that no one took a photo of the interior before it was remodelled.


Summer Entertainment in John B.’s


Drama in John B.’s, Scoraíocht in 1973 and a fleadh competition in 1987

Another Great Night of Drama and Laughter in John B.’s

This man was responsible for a feast of laughs and a few groans at the old chestnuts in John B.’s on Thursday night  week.

All of human life and every dramatic theme in the cannon of Irish drama was presented to us by Hy Brasil Drama Group from Kildare. The play was the third in a trilogy and the plot revolved around a character called Mickey Tatey.

We had the clergy and themes of institutional abuse and favoritism.

 These two were orphans in an abusive institution but they came good in the end.

 There were actually four Mickey Tateys. This is Mickey Tatey, Uimhir a hAon, the teacher’s pet, at school.

 When their childhood ambitions were realized we had everything from a transvestite giant to a postman on the “stage”.

There was nothing left for Mickey Tatey when his new wife left him on their wedding night (She was secretly a nun) but to enter politics. As you have probably guessed by now, this play contained many improbable plot twists.


This is the third Mickey Tatey all the way from China to help with the election campaign.

American Mickey Tatey rode in straight from the Wild West.

 This is Dublin Mickey Tatey who put his troubled past behind him and got a job as the politician’s minder.

Goggles, as a schoolboy, had a desire to sample lots of different careers  He is now a kind of demon barber/surgeon.

Mickey is promising pensions for everyone…his motto, I’m not against it; I’m forninst it.

The ladies hang on his every word.

I forget how this was worked in but we had a hilarious Elvis impersonators contest. Let’s say all of these impersonators were of an age never seen by the real Elvis, so suspension of disbelief played a huge part here.

This man was declared the winner by a clapometer in the form of a red hurley.

 All of the contestants got a prize of a picture of Elvis, although someone made a slight purchasing mistake in the case of Dublin Mickey Tatey.

The priest back from his trip to Rome presented the newly elected T.D. with a chalice. The irony was not lost on us as he declared that it might be a poisoned chalice.

To cut a long story short, they all lived happily ever after and we all thoroughly enjoyed another great Thursday night in John B. Keane’s Bar


Betty Stack’s Old Photos

This is a Scoraíocht group in rehearsal in 1973.

Betty has nearly all the names;

Front: Joe Guerin, Maureen Dowling, betty Stack,Michael
Dowling, Anne Dowling, Anne Marie Gibbons and Michael Regan

2nd. Row: Christy Stack, Babe Joe Collins, Joseph
Tarrant and Tadhg Flahive

Back Row: Donal O’Connor, Eamon O’Sullivan, —-, Timmy
Brosnan, Tim O’Carroll,

At back: Cathal Fitzgerald, Jimmy Hickey, _____,____

This is a competition in Walshe’s Ballroom, The Las Vegas during Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 1987.


Then and now


Just a Thought

This is Cecil, the celebrity lion who was cruelly killed by an American dentist with a crossbow.

Since the 1940s the world population of lions has dwindled from 450,000 to 20,000 according to National Geographic. They weren’t all killed by American dentists.

Food for thought!


The Kerry Kildare Match

Namir at the match

A case of “All Blacks versus Scotland”   Joe Brolly.

I have loved ones in Kildare. Enough said!

Listowel, Kildare and Kilashee House

Listowel’s Twin Spires

 Stack’s of Upper William Street is looking in great shape following its paint job.

Listowel’s own replica of the famous Guinness gate at St. James’s Gate, Dublin.

 Plasterwork detail

 Across the road, St. Patrick’s Hall is looking well too.

Listowel’s most famous pub, John B. Keane’s


My Trip to Kildare

This is a picture on a wall of the shopping centre in Kildare. It depicts Kildare town in bygone days. Kildare today is vibrant and lively. I visited my daughter there recently and found it a fascinating place.

 Clíona is standing outside St. Brigid’s Cathedral, Kildare. St. Brigid came to Kildare in the year 480A.D.  Her abbey church was a simple wooden hut but she was a woman of great standing locally. She ruled over a double community of men and worn and the bishop was subordinate in jurisdiction to the abbess. I got this information from our guide and I have no reason to disbelieve it.

Over the centuries the abbey was built and flattened several times. The present cathedral was built by a Norman, Ralph of Bristol, who became bishop in 1223. It was ruined and restored several times since with a big restoration in 1896 and its final restoration  to its present state in 1996.

The cathedral is in weekly use by the Church of Ireland community in Kildare. It has some lovely stain glass windows, beautifully restored

 An unusual feature of the church is effigies of sheelagh na gig inside the cathedral. These are usually found outdoors and their erotic nature makes them an unusual sight in sacred buildings.

There is a glass case within the foyer with replicas of bog finds from the Kildare area. The originals are in The National Museum.

These last photos are of men at work on the restoration of the windows.

One of Ireland’s tallest round towers stands on the site of the cathedral. For one daft moment I thought to climb it. Our guide took one look at me and advised that it would be best left for another day, as she felt we didn’t have enough time to get up and down before closing time. I understood her meaning perfectly.


Kilashee House

This is yours truly resting in the grounds of Kilashee House, a former convent, now a country house hotel. Its a lovely place just outside Naas with gardens, walks, a spa and good food. The nuns knew how to pick a perfect location. They were running Kilashee as a school until 1998 when it was sold.

An old railway carriage on the grounds.

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