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: John F. Kennedy Page 1 of 2

Arch, National Treasures, an Alice Taylor poem and Chutes’ Stores

Bridge Road through the arch, October 2017


I Remember, I Remember

From Facebook


National Treasures

If you have kept something as a souvenir of a different time in Ireland, now is the time to share it with the nation. RTE have initiated this great project to collect images of stuff that tell us something about who we are and what life was like in Ireland in the twentieth century. Mostly what they want is stuff that was valued or treasured in our lifetime but mostly now has no value whatsoever except as a reminder of something that defined us. Here are few examples;

John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie were our golden couple in the 1960s. They were our very own Charles and Diana and the Kardashians all rolled into one. Many homes had their image somewhere on show. This wall plate was typical. Note the closeness of the couple, man slightly overshadowing his good looking young wife, all square jawed and squeaky clean. The  Irishness of his lineage is emphasised in the shamrock shaped cut outs in the ribbon plate.

This was a milk formula that was very popular in the Ireland of my youth. Every home had one of these tins for keeping odds and ends in. We had one for saved bits of twine. Mothers would run a mile now if they saw Full Cream baby food. As for the image of the baby in the oversized crown….words fail me.

Remember saving stamps? They featured an acorn and the selling point was, Be a squirrel and save up your pennies as the squirrel saves nuts for a time of want.


Poem by Alice Taylor


Refurbishment underway here

Horse Drawn Caravan Holidays in the 1960s and St. Patrick’s Day 2016

The Year has Turned; We’re in New Time


Charles Street 2016


Do you remember when Horse Drawn Caravan Holidays were all the rage ?

Photos from Historical Tralee and Surrounding areas

There is a Listowel connection. The following story and photos were shared by Canon Declan and featured on Listowel Connection in 2012. It is worth revisiting the tale again.

The most popular Kerry company running these holidays was Slatterys but other companies based outside the county had overnight stopping sites in The Kingdom. One of these companies was Shannon Horsedrawn Caravans owned by a family business, MacNamaras of Limerick. The tourists (mostly from the U.S.) flew into Shannon, picked up their horse and barrel -top caravan in Adare and sauntered off to tour a little bit of West Munster. There were pit stops along the way for the horse to take a rest and the visitors to get to see some aspects of Irish life.

One such rest stop was on the farm of the O’Connor family in Springmount, Duagh, the family of our parish priest.  Canon Declan O’Connor, P.P. Listowel has shared some of his photographs from that time with us in listowelconnection.

The visitors loved the fact that they were on a  real working farm with fresh milk for tea and free range eggs for breakfast.

Helping the O’Connor family to feed the hens and collect the eggs was a treat for children raised in cities and towns.

This photo would not have been out of place on a John Hinde postcard. It is the O’Connor twins from Springmount, Duagh 

Canon Declan remembers well the excitement when  a very illustrious family of visitors overnighted with the O’Connors while on their Shannon Horsedrawn Caravan tour . They were Patricia Kennedy Lawford and her niece, Cora Kennedy.  Jean was the  sister and Cora, the niece of John F. Kennedy. Cora was the daughter of Ted Kennedy.

In this photo, Declan and his sister, Valerie are enjoying a cuppa with the sister of the late President Kennedy just visible in the background.


A few more from The Square on St. Patrick’s Day 2016


Every Life is Precious

On Easter Monday 2016 as we commemorate the deaths of the rebels who were executed after The Rising, let us ponder this.

Five rebels were killed on Holy Thursday, April 27 1916. On that same day 538 Irishmen were killed by a German gas attack in Hulluch, France. The gas used was a mixture of chlorine and phosgene and it was of sufficient concentration to render the Irishmen’s gas masks unable to cope with it. These casualties and the thousands more who died in WW1 have been airbrushed out of our history. Many of them too were motivated by loyalty to their country.

Bromore, McSorleys and Listowel Races

One of my favourite places in Kerry is Bromore and I have been featuring some of Mike Flahive’s photos recently. Liam Enright, when he was at home on holidays this summer visited with his family and took some lovely photos which he sent me.

You must remember that these were taken during our heatwave in July 2013

The children are Liam’s, venturing as near as they dared to the cliff’s edge.

That was then, this is now;


Cork at Christmas 1961


Hard to believe its 50 years.


McSorleys is one of the most famous Irish pubs in New York. 

Vincent Carmody paid it a visit with his son Kevin.

Vincent is anxious to point out that there 3 other people at the table!


Photo by Healyracing

Lovely article HERE about Listowel Races (Thank you Jimmy Moloney for finding it.)

Corpus Christi Procession, May 2013 and JFK visit

Here are a few more photos of local people at the Corpus Christi procession in May 2013.

This photo shows the procession at the end of Library Road. The other photos I took from the gate of Gaelscoil Lios Tuathail, at Denis Kelly’s Corner.


Only in Kerry

Sign on Listowel Tralee road



Because of The Obama family visit and the Kennedy clan gathering in Wexford JFK’s visit has been much in the news lately.

Ah! I remember it well.


Pat Healy is in Royal Ascot

Week of Welcomes 2013

 N.B.  August 2 2013

If you are planning on coming to Listowel or indeed to anywhere in North Kerry in 2013, August 2 is the time to start your holiday. 

If you are interested in looking up your Irish ancestors, NKRO’s Ger Greaney and his team will help you trace your Irish roots.

If you just want to see how your ancestors lived, the games they played, the music they listened to then next year’s Week of Welcomes will give you a taste of all that.

Names in the Kennedy family tree include Fitzgerald,
Hannon, Hassett, Hickey, Kennedy, Linnehan, Cox, Field, Murphy, Noonan, Sheehy,


And did you know that this man had Irish connections?

Guevara’s daughter recently made a week-long trip to Ireland.

Argentinian born Cuban revolutionary icon, also known as Ernesto Guevara Lynch,
was killed leading a guerilla campaign in Bolivia in 1965.

daughter, Dr Aleida Guevara March, 
visited Ireland with Che’s wife, Aleida March. Dr Guevara is a
pediatrician who works at the William Solder Paediatric Hospital in Havana.

her visit, she was promoting the English version of a new book, Remembering
Che: My Life With Che Guevara, written by her mother.

Guevara attended the All Ireland Senior Hurling Final in Croke Park on Sunday
— her Lynch family background is rooted in Galway so will have been
disappointed with the result. She was the guest of Dr David Hickey on a visit
to Beaumont Hospital.

Come and join us in August 2013. You’d never know who we might discover among the branches of your tree.


No, we can’t trace either of these two legends back to North Kerry. But we are working on someone equally famous. Watch this space.


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