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 Leahy

A Big Birthday

Lower Courthouse Road in April 2023


Pitch and Putt

My 2 eldest grandchildren are all grown up now. Visits to pet farms and fairy trails don’t cut it anymore. They have found a new passion, Pitch and Putt. They played the Listowel course three times on their recent visit and pronounced it an excellent course.


A Poem by Listowel’s John McAuliffe


An Emigrant Remembers

John Leahy wrote to us again. His Listowel Connection, I’ll remind you, is with the Leahy’s of Leahy’s Corner Shop. John’s father was Sean Patrick Leahy. His grandather was Jack Leahy.

John is a poet and publishes his poems on The Kemptown Verses website

Here is his recent email;

Dear Mary

Thank you so much for including my poem and picture in your beautiful 
I was so proud. I seldom write love poems, but that one was specifically 
for Carina and means a lot.
This has really brought out deep emotions and memories for me.
On a trip home when I was about 13 or 14 my cousins took me to a 
restaurant in the Square;
one of them nudged me and said with great satisfaction “look on the next 
table, that’s John B. Keane”
Some days later one of his sons came to Tralee with us to see a band.

It was my late farther who got me into writing because of his great love 
of literature.
He passed away in 2005 at the age of 93, I really wish he could have 
seen your magazine.
Mum came from Donegal in a small holding near Killybegs. Her maiden name 
was Callaghan.
I lost her in 1993.

Kind Regards


Listowel Writers’ Week 2023

If you are in town on Saturday June 3 2023, why not come and join me and my band of able assistants on our morning walk. We’ll have songs and stories and not much walking.

There’s a Writers’ Week Parkrun at 9.30 for the more energetic.

Charlie Nolan’s video of the walk in 2018 is here;

Saturday Walk 2018


I was at a Birthday Party on Saturday

Mary Boyer is 85.

Mary with her two sons in Namir’s in Ballybunion on Saturday April 22 2023. Mary was joined by family, friends and neighbours to celebrate the milestone birthday.

Mary with Mairead Sharry

Mary with Patricia Borley

With Maria Leahy

With Ruth OQuigley

These are just some of the friends Mary has made as she engaged in her many activities. If ever there was a poster girl for lifelong learning it’s Mary Boyer. Mary’s skills include, knitting, crochet, macramé, flower arranging, cooking, jewellery making and creative writing. A little bird told me she is learning the keyboard.

Mary with her old friend, Namir Karim, who opened his doors on Saturday especially to host Mary’s party.

Mary has that enviable ability to make friends and to keep them for life. We’ll be back for the 90th and for many more le Cúnamh Dé.


A Fact

The first ever safety feature for a car was invented in 1908 by John O’Leary.

What was it?

He patented a large net like a giant shrimp net to be attached to the front bumper to scoop pedestrians out of harm’s way before they could be run over.


A Listowel Writer

April 2023


Irish for Adults

A very unusual textbook with illustrations by Jack B. Yeats for adult learners


More from last Thursday’s horse fair


Another Listowel Poet

It is always a pleasure to be contacted by a Listowel emigrant who is discovering Listowel Connection for the first time. Such emails are less frequent now as there is a great bush telegraph that alerts Listowel people to home news.

It was a great thrill to be contacted by John Leahy and to discover that he is a poet.

Here is his email;

Dear Mary

I have just found the Listowel on Line and subscribed.

Billy MacSweeney’s article was an absolute pleasure to me, since Jack 
Leahy was my grandfather.
My dad was Sean Patrick Leahy and I still remember his brother Patsy 
Leahy who had been a successfull boxer. (I remember well, Nora his wife)
There was also his sisters Maureen (married a vet in Sligo, name of 
Gilmore, their son Connor is a accountant living in Hammersmith), Peggy 
Murphy (married the barber in the square), Margaret Bennett (moved to 
Harlow) and his younger brother Michael Leahy (Who moved to Manchester). Of course last, But not least there was  Bridie O’Donnell (who owned Leahy’s Corner shop for many years with her 
husband Michael. I would sometimes go with Michael to buy cattle and 
horses, which he would then sell at the local cattle market.

I myself am a writer living in Brighton, Google: Leahy in Kemptown

All the Best

John J Leahy


I did the Googling for you. The site is here

The Kemptown Verses

Here is John’s photo from his website;

He has led a very varied and full life as a poet, painter, songwriter, writer, musician, DJ, political activist and more.

Many of John’s poems address the issues he cares about.

Here is his lovely love poem to his wife.

My Love


We sleep, we doze and closely nuzzle
We fit together like a jigsaw puzzle

You are my collaborator for life
My partner, my everything, my beautiful wife.

There could be no replacement, always together
We are one in harmony – forever and ever,

You are soft and gorgeous like butterfly’s wings
I’ll protect you from all – monstrous things

I tried to plan, for us in advance
If I was to lose you, I wouldn’t stand a chance;

Your qualities of dignity, kindness and allure
And your opinion on others – so true and so pure

I may not be very dynamic, rich nor clever
But at least you know, I’ll stand by you forever.

You have never, never been cruel
To animals, to people, too this incurable fool,

We laugh, we love, and we totally connect
For your insight is always completely correct.

When other people will never understand
You are always kind and take my hand

I am Yin and your are Yang;
You are my woman and I am your man.

We can respond each other – without blinking
Just cos we know what the other is thinking,

Most beautiful thing ever has happened to me
My undying love, is plane to see.

Affection I’ve given, returned a million fold
Necessitated this sonnet, twixed these pages told

When time collapses, I want to be with you
For the end of the world party, just for two.the kemptown verses poem footer


A Fact

There is a Procrastinators Club of America. It’s newsletter is titled Last Month’s News.


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