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: Kerry GAA

Barbara’s Roadtrip 2

In Marley Park; Éamon ÓMurchú


Dwyers of New Zealand with a Listowel Connection

Press, 3 May 1946

MR AND MRS J. DWYER Mr and Mrs John Dwyer, 555 Manchester street, will celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of their marriage tomorrow. Mr and Mrs Dwyer are well known in Christchurch, as Well as in many other parts of the Dominion where Mr Dwyer was stationed during his 43 years’ service in the Police Force. Mr Dwyer was for nine years Superintendent of Police in the Canterbury district. He retired from the service in 1922, on which occasion he was accorded a public farewell. Mr Dwyer, who was born in Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland, came to New Zealand in 1878 on the sailing ship City of Auckland, which was wrecked, on the Otaki coast. Many and varied are the experiences which Mr Dwyer can recall. For his rescue work during the Cumberland street fire in Dunedin in 1882, he was presented by the City Council with a silver medal for valour. He also holds the Australasian Royal Humane Society’s award for bravery, which was presented to him in 1893 for his attempt, in very dangerous circumstances, to rescue a man from drowning in Oamaru harbour.

Mr Dwyer has been associated with many cases which have made police history in New Zealand, and wherever he has been stationed he and Mrs Dwyer have won the respect and affection of those among whom they have lived. Mrs Dwyer, Who was born in Australia, came to New Zealand at the age of seven years. Mr and Mrs Dwyer were married in St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Dunedin, by the Rev, Father P. Lynch. They have one son, Mr Philip Dwyer, of Gisborne, and three, surviving daughters, Mesdames N. Lyttelton (Auckland), David Lusk (Fendalton) and F. B. Freed (Wellington). There are three grandchildren.

Jer Kennelly found the story and Martin Moore sent him this reply;

That is my great-granduncle. There are photos of him
around. His son, Thomas died during the Great War. Two
other sons of his died later in 1918 during the Spanish

It was the family of a near relative of Lord Kitchener
[either a brother or uncle?] that he rescued from
the Cumberland fire.


Installment Two of Barbara’s Tour Blog

Today Barbara spends time in Kerry with her cousins. She then starts her tour of Ireland with a trip to Galway.

We started our tour at The Riu Plaza-The Gresham Hotel and made our way to Galway.   Mind you I had just spent 5 glorious days in Kerry with cousins-Bridget O’Connor and Jerry O’Dwyer driving me to Clare and enjoying a night out at Milltown Malbay for their Irish Music Festival.   A fun night was had by all.  Thank you, Eithne and Eddie!!      I managed to get invited to a wedding too!  Thank you, Margaret Ann and Jerry Behan.   A blast at the wedding.  Congratulations to Blaithin and Neal Mangan.   

The church was Ballydonaghue.  The same church that my father attended so it was extra special for me. 

The finale on the 6th day was a visit to Croke Park to watch the Semi-final Gaelic Football game Kerry vs Dublin.  

To me, it was like the All-Ireland as they were always the rivalry when my father would cheer for Kerry.   Always seemed like it was Kerry vs Dublin!! 

I took RyanAir to Dublin that day-a great way to go and a nice young man from Tralee shared a taxi with me and he treated me!!  That was a real treat!!  The New Yorker in me was quite surprised!!


My Kildare Granddaughter

Our little Aoife had a birthday. Her Kildare Granny made her a deliciious birthday cake and took this picture. Aoife is one.


We’re Behind You

Danny’s window speaks for us all.


At a friend’s wedding

These are a bevy of Mary’s glamorous school friends at her wedding to the love of her life, Dave Murphy, on Saturday last, August 20 2022.

Barbara Mulvihill, Nicola Griffin, Aoife Kelliher, Mary Moylan, Lainey Keane and Maria Dillon


A Fact

The shortest war on record was fought between Zanzibar and the UK in 1896.

Zanzibar surrendered after 28 minutes.


Summer in The Kingdom

St. Michael’s in July 2022


Friends Reunited

Fiona Keane Stack and Deirdre Lynch were in the same class in school. I met them when they met up while they were out for a walk in St. Michael’s graveyard. Fiona now lives in Boston and the lady next to her is her daughter, Rebecca. Deirdre was accompanied by her dad, the great John Lynch who has recorded so much of Listowel life for future generations.


In the Black Valley

Dan Doyle grew up in The Black Valley.

He writes about this house that means a lot to him:

So it waits. It made it to another summer, the slates are lose and the weather is getting inside but it stands strong defying the tugs on its timbers. It is me as my body gets old but I will fight always. The Black Valley made us that way. So I look at this house and I hope it stands for a long time. It is a symbol of the way I feel about the Valley. Strong winds in the winter may pull it down but the summers sun dictates it will store up more energy to live through the gales that are sure to come. I am with you old house. You and I are tough. They will get us eventually but by god we wont go easy into that dark night.


All Ireland Final Memories

from Brendan Griffin

All-Ireland Sunday – Time to make new memories…

You wake well before the alarm- you’ve been waking regularly throughout the night.

Getting scrubbed up you think through team selection yet again and dare to question some of the choices but then you trust that management knows best.

In the wardrobe, the jerseys hang in chronological order, oldest on the left.

You shortlist it to the classic Adidas from ‘98, the 2000 O’Neills as worn gracefully by Captain Moynihan, the collared beauty that draped majestically over Donaghy stealing the show in 2014, Back to Gold or the new one…The new one is a bit tight for the maturing gentleman, as is the Adidas because you were only 16 when you bought it. 2000 has picked up a few blemishes from numerous previous outings, 2014 has a slight tear from the night you wore it training with the Bs. Back to Gold it is. You pull it over your head and for that split moment you could just as well be in the dressing room in Croke Park.

No appetite for breakfast, it’s too early and and you’re anxious to hit the road and you don’t want to keep the lads waiting. You’ll grab a quick fry in Birdhill or the Barack Obama Plaza. Tickets: check. Cash: check. Cards: check. Padre Pio: check.

The car feels chilly, but it’s not long after dawn and you’re just a bit nervous. The fuel gauge goes to full on starting – you filled it at the shop last night when you were stocking up on a few snacks for the journey. While you were there you met your cousin and some of the neighbours doing the very same thing. 

You pick up your expert co-panellists down the road. What will follow is four hours of forensic pre-match analysis interrupted only by the odd phone call about tickets or a nostalgic hark back to bygone adventures in sporting or other contexts. The radio sports news hushes all too, every hour just after the hour.

The villages enroute have hung out all their proudest colours – bunting, flags, sprayed cars, jersey clad mannequins, painted gates, painted tractors, even the fields are green and gold. Good luck signs by the roadside personalise it all, each patch identifying their local heroes. At the county bounds, you privately hope there’ll be another title in the bag upon your return. 

There’s still a bit of a morning chill in the air as you cross the carpark in Moneygall. Half the parish is there for the breakfast too. And half every other parish in the county. Even the 44th President has donned the Kerry jersey for the big occasion – he wouldn’t have worn it in ‘82. The nourishment hits the spot and you’re on the road again. You ponder how it must have been a far tougher drive in the days before the M7 as you cruise towards the Pale amidst a fleet of KYs. Through the passenger windows, the faces of utter excitement on the little boys and girls says it all. In Inchicore you pull up behind a ZX Mark II Escort with brilliant green doors, bonnet and boot. The rest is a magnificent sunshine gold and you hazard to think it may well have carried its occupants to the final of ‘75. 

You pass the second greatest Kerryman of all time as you make your way up the capital’s main thoroughfare and wonder when they’ll ever commission a statue of the Gooch. Our colours mingle with those of the tribe of our fellow finalists and it’s a delight to behold. They’re all making special memories too. Approaching the crowd outside the Gresham reminds you of approaching the Starlite in Killorglin at 2 o’clock on a Saturday night back in the day. You meet your school friend home from London. He introduces you to his wife and she’s the first Columbian you’ve ever met wearing the ‘86 retro. At Toddy’s counter you spot the friend who’s back from New York and you realise you last met each other at the exact same spot for the previous final. You’re delighted he’s doing so well for himself and the kids in his screensaver are naturally bigger than you remembered. He’s been gone 25 years now but he’s never lost the local twang and he’s booked his flights to allow for a replay, just in case. 

All the great and the good of the Kerry football scene are there – you take a second look at the ones wearing jerseys with numbers on the back. If they didn’t wear them on the battlefield themselves, there must be a close relation or else a good story behind how the garment was acquired. Tickets are in high demand, young lads and ladies are looking to swap Nallys for Hills and vice versa, a husband and wife, one in the Cusack and one in the Hogan are looking for two together, anywhere at all. Radio Kerry are downstairs broadcasting the magic of it all to the Kingdom and to the world but you wonder if all the diaspora aren’t here in this building. You fondly remember Liam and Weeshie.

There’s a fierce gathering of the lads and girls in the lounge and they start a few verses of An Puc ar Buile. The usual suspects, the serious heads, depart first for Croke Park. There’s time for one more surely? There’s not. It’s time to head for HQ. You trek northward towards the promised land, the most sacred 3 and a half acres of land on this isle, coveted more than the Bull desired the Widow’s field. This is it. The hour has come and we’re all here together. Those we’ve lost are with us too. It’s the proudest feeling of them all. It’s a pride that binds us, win or lose. It’s a pride that makes us of Kerry. Ciarraí abú! 


And Few Pictures from last weekend in Dublin

Photos; Breda Ferris


Coming Soon

This pedestrian crossing is in Carlow. It is proposed to install one in Listowel.

It is a rainbow crossing in support of the LGBTQi community

The rainbow is the universal symbol of this community and the message the crossing sends is that local people who identify as LGBT dont have to go to the big cities to gain acceptance.

In rural/ urban Ireland we extend a crossing of welcome to everyone.


Meanwhile in Behan’s Bar in New York

from John Anthony Hegarty


Doodle Dinner, Milano Fashion, a Rugplan rug and a Star ballad

One of the two in the bush photographed by Chris Grayson.


Listowel Men at a Doodle Rally

Paul Murphy, formerly of Church St., sent us this. We need help with the names.


Facelift for Chute’s Stores


Do You Remember Rug plan?

Kathleen McCarthy is brilliant at all crafts. She has the patience of a saint and she loves to learn a new skill. Recently she made this pure wool rug. Only those of you who have ever made a rug plan rug will appreciate the skill involved here.


Ballad for Star

Kieran Donaghy has retired from Kerry Football. I found this ballad online. Aplologies to the poet whose name wasn’t with the poem online.

He hailed from the kingdom of Kerry,

A Rocky who played for the Stacks,.

He lined out up front for his county,

And tormented the very best backs.

They pulled, they dragged and they tripped him,

But the ball it was already there,

For the star had very good vision,

To get the ball to the man with red hair.

Manys the day he did save us,

And pulled the win out of the fire,

But time has come for the big man,

To hang up his boots and retire,.

He speaks of O’Connors and Fitzgeralds,

And all of the Donaghy clan,

Well proud they are of this young boy,

Who grew into one talented man.

On behalf of the fans of the Kingdom,

Who came out with the green and the gold,

So sorry to bid you farewell,

But for years your stories be told.

Good luck in the chapter that awaits you,

You owe nothing to the jersey you wore,

But we all wish once more we could see it,

That pass to young Clifford’s score.

What do you think of that Joe Brolly?


John R.’s Race week window

Many local shopkeepers put in a great effort with their window display for Race week 2018. Here is Pierse Walsh’s Church Street window.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén