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: Kathy Hochul

Lovely Listowel, A Pharmacy on the Move and Repairs to St. John’s Steeple

“Oh, would some Power the giftie gie us

To see ourselves as others see us….”

Éamon ÓMurchú was home in Listowel and he took a few photos with his phone. The photos show us Listowel as it is these days, lovely as always but undergoing change. This one shows the unchanging River Feale in all its magnificence.


Different Times

In June 1950 Fine Gael T.D. Captain Patrick Giles told the Dáil that “only big swanks with money to burn” could buy tomatoes. (Irish Examiner)


On the Move

Broderick’s Pharmacy is relocating to Market Street.


Kathy Hochul is New York governor

John Anthony Hegarty sent the picture and Kay Caball provides the story of the Kerry connection. Below is the link to Kay’s account of the governor’s Cournane/ Courtney ancestors. It is well worth a read.

Kerry Ancestors/ N.Y. Governor


Scaffolding Everywhere

The scaffold at St. John’s has reached the top of the spire.

Máire tells us that the clock face is down for repair.

This reminded me of a story Junior Griffin told me.

Here is is again.

John Griffin of Bridge Road was the local expert watch repairer. Archdeacon Wallace approached him to ask if he would repair the St. John’s clock.

St. John’s was then a functioning protestant church.

In the 1940s it was forbidden for a Catholic to enter a Protestant church. Mending the clock, however, would not involve entering the church as there was no access to the clock from the church. To solve this problem John Griffin constructed a kind of primitive cherry picker. This contraption was a kind of cage that he would enter on the ground and using pulleys and ropes he would hoist himself up to the clock in order to access the movement of the clock.

John Griffin of Bridge Road, Junior’s dad

Junior’s mother was worried sick that some harm might come to her husband in this makeshift hoist so she sent Bert and Junior to the Catholic church to light candles and to pray that no harm would come to their dad.


A Sobering Fact

In April 1954 Michael Manning was the last person to be executed by the state. He was convicted of murdering a nurse, Catherine Cooper.

(Irish Examiner)


We’re all Mayo Supporters now

Éamon ÓMurchú took this photo on his Wild Atlantic Way trip.

I think we’ll be seeing a few posters like this in Kerry now.


Arts Festival, Michael O’Connor, Illuminator, and a Kerry link to High Office in the U.S.

Above is an example of the work of Michael O’Connor, formerly of 24 The Square Listowel.

Totally unrelated to yesterday’s post I had a phonecalll from a man called Stephen Rynne who is in possession of much of the work of the late O’Connor.

Michael O’Connor worked in Dublin as a draughtsman in The Department of Industry and Commerce. In his spare time he made these marvellous illustrated artworks in the style of The Book of Kells.

This is a family photograph of Michael looking at The Book of Kells from which he took inspiration.

Stephen has many of these works, many of them gold leaf on vellum and he also has correspondence relating to the works from a collaborator of O’Connors, Maurice Fridberg , a famous Dublin art dealer. This Fridberg considered O’Connor to be the best artist doing this kind of work.

A former Uachtarán na hEireann, Cearbhall ÓDálaigh was presented with some of O’Connor’s work by Fridberg on the occasion of his inauguration.

Since O’Connor lived in Listowel in the house that is now Kerry Writers Museum, Stephen would like the artwork, some of it unfinished, to return to the his native place.

There is much work to be done to bring this about but it looks like a valuable and historic find for Listowel.

Another example of the detailed artwork and colourwork in one of Michael O’Connor’s pieces.


What Kathy Did

Kathy Hochul is to be the first female Mayor of New York. Kathy’s maternal grandparents hail from Kerry and she is proud of her Irish roots.

Kay Caball of Find My Kerry Ancestors had traced Kathy’s maternal ancestors to a remote West Kerry parish.


Ballybunion Arts Festival

Something to look forward to in September.


Local Fleadh Committee 1970

Frances Kennedy kept this cutting and posted it on Facebook. Maybe someone will name them all.


My Friend has become a Beekeeper

and I have learned something. Native Irish bees are black!!!!!


A Bit of Housekeeping

Some of you will know that this year I changed platforms from Blogger to WordPress. I am still having teething problems. One such problem has only come to light recently. The way a web post displays on a tablet or phone is different to how it appears on my laptop.

People reading this on a tablet or phone don’t see the side bar at the right hand side. This is where the search box and the subscribe box are located.I dont know if I can fix this but I hope so. In the meantime if you are reading this and you would like your name added to the mailing list please sent me your email address and I’ll do it for you.

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