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 MacAuliffe

A meander around town on June 2 2017

Where they Lived and Where they Lie Tour of Listowel 2017 (continued)

It is Listowel Writers Week 2017 and we are on our Friday walking tour of the town with Vincent Carmody. The theme of the walk is Listowel and its people. Carrying on from yesterday, we are now in The Small Square or more correctly Main Street.

Here at the statue that stands to her father, John B. Keane, Joanna O’Flynn read his poem to his father.

We wandered on to Tae Lane and the premises which was once the restaurant of Sandy Fitzgerald. Here we had poems from John Fitzgerald and Dick Carmody.

Next stop was the entrance to the old mart. Joe Stack read Bryan MacMahon’s account of how he ensured that the bag of spuds he would buy in the market would be the best on offer.

Joe Stack

Paddy Fitzgibbon

Thomas Ashe

A small section of the attentive and appreciative audience.

John MacAulliffe read his own poem about a sad weekend after the Harvest Racing Festival.

Kay Caball deputised for John Pierse and reminded us of a time when it wasn’t all fun and games. She read from John’s scholarly account of The Great Famine in his book, Teampall Bán.

On to William Street and Tony Behan read a poem called The Printer’s on the Tack which Bryan MacMahon wrote about his friend, Bob Cuthbertson who was living through a period of sobriety.

Another Bryan MacMahon came from Ballyheigue to follow the tour.

Eamon Ó Murchú celebrated Tim Enright, a little known Listowel classical scholar and translator.

Paddy Glavin read one of his own poems.

Knockanure Local recorded some of the bits I missed HERE


An Appeal

I missed a great evening in Duagh as Fr. Pat Moore’s birthday was celebrated. Would anyone have a recording of the tributes or the choir to share with people who, like me, would love to have been there but couldn’t.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I was out bright and early with camera.

Danny made an extra effort for the big day. He was rocking the Jedward look today.

Evanna and Angelica made the effort as well and came in green.

I’m off now to the parade and later to the Tea Dance so I’ll have lots of snaps for you on Monday.


Meanwhile a little light reading for you:

I took this from CNN on the web in an article about Irish writers returning home.

Returning to a literary hometown

he now lives in England, poetJohn McAuliffeoften returns to his childhood home inListowelto visit family and to recharge his
writing. On the surface a typical North Kerry market town, Listowel has a
literary tradition inspired by the playwright John B. Keane and fiction writer
Bryan MacMahon. Keane ran a pub where writer Michael Hartnett and other writers
and townspeople would gather, now operated by his widow and son.

To a
young boy, Keane and MacMahon both seemed of the town and outside it.
“They were after something penetrating, subtle and comprehending when they
wrote, unsentimentally, about the town’s hinterland of farming villages and
about the positive impact of modernity on old hierarchies: wised-up insiders
with a natural sympathy for the outsider,” says McAuliffe, co-director of
the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester, editor of “The
Manchester Review” and author of “Of All Places.”

For the
visitor: “When I’m at home I walk Market Street, past John B’s (pub) and
into the redesigned town square where the terrific converted church, St.
John’s, hosts theater and music every week,” says McAuliffe. “I walk
past the Listowel Arms Hotel — where Charles Stuart Parnell made his last
public address — under Listowel Castle, whose ruin is now attached to an
interactive museum, which documents and celebrates the work of John B. (Keane),
(Bryan) MacMahon and other writers from the area.”


In case you missed this lovely photo on NKRO ‘s Facebook page

 Timothy J. O’Neill , pictured in 1876, was a fireman in New
York for 40 years. He was born in Lisselton. The photograph was sent to NKRO by
Kathleen Price.

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