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: Johnny Cronin

Then and Now

Childers’ Park entrance March 2023


Last of Tom O’Halloran’s photos

These look like celebrations in the Pitch and Putt clubhouse. Sorry I can’t name all the people. R.I.P. those gone from us. A big thank you to Tom’s family for sharing the photos. They brought back memories to many.


Some People I met on St. Patrick’s Day 2023

Robert Pierse and Sally O’Neill
Peter and Mary McGrath
Mary and Matt Mooney

Dancing is always a huge part of the parade. This year, with all the schools and sports clubs taking part it was hard to put a cohort of dancers together. Fair dues to Johnny Cronin for representing as best he could the dancing community.

He also had the smallest cutest dancer of them all.


Tony O’Callaghan, Artist in Copper

The late Tony O’Callaghan’s artwork hangs in more Listowel homes than any other artist. He is also well represented further afield.

Here is a still from a You Tube video Dave O’Sullivan found. It’s from 1984 and it is in Ballyporeen. Derek Davis, M.C. is presenting a Tony O’Callaghan copper plaque to President Ronald Reagan of the USA.

Full video here;

Reagan in Ballyporeen


Toddy’s Seat

In Childers’ Park, Listowel


From Listowel to Ukraine, Craftshop na Méar, Forever Living and billy Keane in The White House

Dancing in the Ukraine…the Listowel Connection

The success of Riverdance, Lord of the Dance and similar shows means that Irish dancing is known and loved world wide. It is not surprising then that children in foreign countries, even those with no Irish heritage want to learn.  Irish dancing schools are springing up in the strangest places.

One of these unexpected places is Lviv in The Ukraine.

Johnny Cronin travelled from his home in North Kerry to judge their feis. This is what he told me about it.

The Lviv, Ukraine feis took place  on the  weekend
March 4 2016. There was a very high standard of dancing from beginner level to championship

Most of the dancers were from Russia and the
Ukraine. I was flown out to judge the event.

There was a major language barrier, but you
could see they were all very much in love with Irish dancing.

It made me proud to see Irish dancing executed to
a great standard so far from Ireland.

The teachers are all from the Ukraine. They
would have learned to dance from teachers from Ireland or the UK, when those teachers were living in Ukraine. These teachers would have traveled to Ireland to take their TCRG exams in order to be qualified to teach.

In reply to my question  “Why did they ask you to be the judge?” Johnny replied, “They would have applied to get me to judge
through the dancing association head office.”

Johnny with some of the Ukrainian dancers and teachers


Craftshop na Méar, Church Street Listowel

The shop is currently undergoing a revamp. I took these photos before that took place. A new line of vintage clothing and jewellery is being added and a sale section is being introduced.

Here are some of the gorgeous items you can buy;

Maureen and Eileen are two of the crafters you might meet in the shop on a Saturday


Forever Living

Bernie Carmody and her daughter, Aideen toast Aideen’s expansion of her new business into North Kerry.


St. Patrick’s Day 2016

I’ll sort my photos of the parade for next week. Meanwhile look who got the golden ticket.

Our very own Billy Keane with his lovely daughter, Laura, at The White House for the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Here I must beg your humble apologies. You could have been the first to hear the news, but, when I met Billy on the street and he told me that he was going to The White House, I didn’t believe him. After all it was Cheltenham week and we all remember Billy’s hilariously irreverent piece about O Baa Ma.

This time two and two did make four and we have photographic evidence that Billy and Laura Keane of Listowel did indeed attend the presidential reception to mark St. Patrick’s Day at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.  I’m sure they represented us well.

Johnny Cronin, dancer and teacher, Listowel Military Tattoo, WIM 2015 and A Memory of dead “heroes”

Saturday April 18 2015

This is where I was last Saturday morning bright and early. I was fitting in a trip to the beach before the wonderful WIM conferencein Kilcooly’s

This is as prestigious a panel of influential Irish women in media as you will find anywhere. They are Moya Doherty, Miriam O’Callaghan., Dearbhail MacDonald, Dee Forbes and Katie Hannon.

More on  my trip to WIM 2015 later in the week.


European and World Irish Dancing Championships in Dusseldorf

This is Johnny Cronin at the World Irish Dancing Championships in Ennis in 1999.

Fast forward to 2015. Now Johnny is a very successful dancing teacher. Here he is  last week at the European and World Irish Dancing Championships in Germany. He is surrounded by his successful pupils.


Military Tattoo 2015, May 1 to May 3

If you have enjoyed previous tattoos in Listowel, you will love this one. This is a festival which grows in stature each year. This year’s promises to be the best yet.

Here are some images from 2013. They were posted on by Mike Hn.


Lest we Forget

 Graves of casualties of WW1 at Verdun. Every plot and memorial is the same. In death, officers and men are equal.

A poem about another battle by Robert Graves puts it well:

The Leveller

Near Martinpuich that night of hell

Two men were struck by the same shell.

Together tumbling in one heap

Senseless and limp like slaughtered sheep.

One was a pale eighteen year old

Blue eyed and thin and not too bold,

Pressed for the war not ten years too soon

The shame and pity of his platoon.

The other came from far off lands, 

With bristling chin and whiskered hands.

He had known death and hell before

In Mexico and Ecuador.

Yet in his death this cut-throat wild

Groaned “Mother, Mother,” like a child,

While the poor innocent in man’s clothes 

Died cursing God in brutal oaths.

Old Sergeant Smith, kindest of men, 

Wrote out two copies there and then

Of his accustomed funeral speech

To cheer the womenfolk of each.

“He died a hero’s death; and we 

His comrades in A Company

Deeply regret his death. We shall

All deeply miss so dear a pal.”

The old adage is true; The first casualty of war is truth


Geocaching in Listowel

The following post on caught my eye:

“So, Listowel has recently become a
Geocaching playground.

Don’t know how many of you have
heard of it, but it’s basically an online treasure hunt, with millions of
‘caches’ hidden all over the world, and now thirteen in town (see map).

Listowel Tidy Towns are getting in
on the action, with a 2 hour Cache in Trash Out (CITO) event in the park on
Saturday at 12pm (followed by teas and coffees in the Community Centre). More
info on that here.

welcome to come and join us, and we’ll answer any questions you might have
about Geocaching”

It sounds like great fun for the children of the digital age. Happy hunting


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