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: Kate Middleton

Yarnbombing in Kildare, Bird Lore from 1937 and a Listowel Fashion Designer

Listowel Presbytery

Recent repair work at the presbytery entrance revealed a lovely stone wall under the plaster.


Yarn Bombing in Kildare

People who know me know that I love a spot of knitting and crochet. I was thrilled to get to see this huge yarn bombing project in Newbridge as part of Kildare’s June Fest.

It’s lovely to see this neglected craft getting an airing outdoors for everyone to enjoy. But there is a small practical part of me says that’s it’s a shame to expose these lovingly created artworks to be destroyed by the elements.


Sign of the Times

A huge display of paper diaries at half price in Eason in June 2019


Some Bird Lore from the Dúchas Collection

When people are trapping singing birds they often make a crib. This they do by getting smallchips of wood. they place two chips about a foot from each other, then they get two more the same size and place them on top of the other two about ten or eleven inches apart, then they get two so smaller ones and place them on top of the other two and a smaller distance away and so on till they reach the top with smaller sticks and a smaller distance away. Then they get cord and tie all the corners of the crib up along till they reach the top. then then they get a long cord and tie a stick on to it. They raise up the crib place the stick under it and get a few crumbs of bread and put them under the crib. then if a bird comes the person pulls the cord and if the bird is under the crib it flaps down and the bird is caught inside.

When people are taking the hatch out of a hen they dip the hen into cold water.

Another way for taking the hatch out of a hen is to stick a feather up its nose.

People often “strike” birds with a knife and fork. Once we had a canary in my house and it used never sing unless my mother took out the machine to  sew.

This was collected by W. Keane, Ashe St. Listowel and told by Mrs Keane, Aged 36, of Ashe Street, Listowel for the schools folklore collection of 1937/38

( I am fascinated by the idea of taking the hatch out of a hen. By the way, does a hen have a nose?)


Couture with a Listowel Connection

This is a page from last Sundays’ Sunday Independent Life magazine. The feature is about Create, which is Brown Thomas’ showcase of Irish design, which will open in Brown Thomas Dublin in July.

From 70 prospective candidates, Brown Thomas chose 30 designers who met the very high standards required and each of those 30 had to produce a 25 piece collection. As well as fashion there are creations in lots of other fields of design as well.

The picture above is from Anna Guerin’s first collection “The Duellist”. It is a double breasted lambswool coat in pinstripe Donegal tweed which is woven sustainably.

Anna is the daughter of Michael and Áine Guerin of Listowel and she is no stranger to award winning in fashion design and tailoring. She has been working in this field for a while now. This is her first individual collection and when I spoke to her a few weeks ago she has lots more creative ideas in the pipeline.

The above coat looks to me like a garment that would be perfect on Kate Middleton. I hope it catches her eye. We know how much she loves good Irish design and she loves tweed.


Just a Thought

Here is the link to my Thoughts from last week on Radio Kerry

Just a Thought

Jennifer Musa,Kerry 1968, old ads and Pres. photos

Jennifer Musa, formerly Bridget Wren of Tarbert

Have you ever heard of this lady? I had never heard of her until Thursday last when I heard her story in St. Johns. Here it is for you in Kerry museum’s website:

Her story is so fascinating, I can’t believe that she has not been celebrated more widely in Ireland and particularly in North Kerry where she was born.

Here are the bones of her life from Wikipaedia.

Jennifer Musa (11 November 1917
– 13 January 2008) was an Irish-born
nurse, second wife of Qazi Musa, is often often nicknamed the “Queen of

Jennifer Musa was born Bridget Wren at
Tarmons, County Kerry
in 1917. She left Ireland to train as a nurse. In 1939 she met prominent
politician Qazi Musa, brother of Qazi Muhammad Essa, a
prominent activist in the Pakistan Movement while
studying at Oxford. Qazi
Musa was the eldest son of the Prime Minister of present day Kalat District. Jennifer
Musa took the name Jehan Zeba and married Qazi the following year.

After his sudden death in a car accident in
1956, Jennifer Musa decided to settle permanently in her husband’s home town of
Pishin. She joined
the National Awami
and was elected to Pakistan’s first Parliament in 1970. During
that time she often clashed with the Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.


had five children: four sons and one daughter. Her son Ashraf Jehangir
is a senior Pakistani diplomat.


I found the following photos on Terrace Talk website

Fitzgerald Stadium in the 1950s

The Kerry team 1968


Some more ads from 20 years ago

And from the same yearbook a few team photos

Ah! where have the years flown?


Listowel Community College is issuing a rallying call to all its past pupils. They want as many past pupils as possible to march with them in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. NKRO is also looking for volunteers for its float.


Lovely photo of the Tralee to Blennerville steam train on REA North’s website.


She is one of our own

It’s been confirmed that the Kingdom of Kerry has links to the future Queen of England.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton is a descendant of the first Baron of Kerry, Thomas Fitzmaurice, who died around 1260.

Tourism Ireland unveiled the details at an event in the House of Commons in London.

Research carried out by genealogists shows that Kate Middleton has connections – through the Lupton family from Yorkshire – with the Fitzmaurices, a noble family from Kerry, who in turn had links back to Brian Ború, the first High King of Ireland.

CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, says it’s great news in this, the year of the Gathering, and Irelands’ Family History Year.    (Radio Kerry)

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