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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

Tag: Kerry Writers’ Museum Page 1 of 2

Remembering The Lartigue

My friend, Margo Anglim took this in a fjord in Norway

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Unveiling a plaque to Remember the Lartique

Sean Moriarty and Denis O’Mahoney of The Lartigue Theatre Company admire the photo and plaque to commemorate Danny Hannon and Ireland’s smallest theatre in Kerry Writers’ Museum, close to the site where it all began 50 years ago.

This is a section of the audience who gathered to remember Danny and the great days of theatre in Listowel.

The Lartigue wasn’t just a theatre or even a group of players, the Lartigue was a family. Like other families the Lartigue holidayed together, travelled abroad together and chipped in together in whatever escapade Danny planned for them.

Danny and his volunteers literally built the theatre, painted it and manned it for 10 years.

Denis and Seán told us the history of the theatre company in entertaining and graphic detail. Neither man had a script they could share with me but I’m still hopeful they will put the history on paper for us.

faces in the crowd at the launch

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The Plaza Cinema

Norma O’Connor, whose parents ran the cinema in The Plaza for years sent us some lovely old cinema posters.

The Plaza was built by Trevor Chute and he hired people to run it as a cinema. Norma’s mother started working in The Plaza in 1938. Norma’s father, who was an electrician, came to work there as a projectionist. He was still working there when he passed away suddenly in 1963. He actually died sitting in his car outside the cinema at the age of only 42.

Norma has had the posters folded up for years. She did her best to flatten them.

She also sent us the dates when these films were shown in The Plaza. Many of the film star’s names will be familiar to my older readers.

More next week…

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An Uplifting Writers’ Week Story

Seán ÓDuibhir of Athenry and Bernie Carmody

One day during Writers’ Week, as I was going from one venue to another I happened upon an artist setting up his easel outside the hotel. I stopped to chat to him. He told me that he was Seán ÓDuibhir from Galway. He came to Listowel to met up with his sister who was here from the U.K. for Writers’ Week. I told him that I’d put him in my blog. He reached into his bag and he gave me a print of a picture he had done the day before.

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Flavins

St John’s from St. Mary’s May 2022

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Flavins of Church Street

This is Flavins of Church Street today.

Part of this shop’s history is told in pictures by Maura McAuliffe on Facebook.

“Dan Flavin’s burnt to the ground by the Black and Tans. Dan Flavin was put in jail. They would have shot him only he had an American passport as he was born in New York and brought back as a child to Ireland.”

Martin Moore shared these receipts and this caption.

3 receipts from the 1920s, one is for a contribution to the North Kerry Republican Soldiers Committee, and another is for 200 copies of Irish Independent and is marked as the first received in nearly two months (due to the Civil War).

Dan Flavin

Micheál Flavin

Joan Flavin

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New Exhibition in Kerry Writers’ Museum

At the launch of Lifting the Curtain, an installation celebrating amateur drama in Kerry, our own Lartigue Theatre presented a compilation of extracts from Sive.

Billy Keane (standing behind Cara Trant) watches the enactment of extracts from his father’s play.

Liz Dunn of Writers’ Week is in the foreground.

Dr. Fiona Brennan, an amateur drama scholar, presented a brief synopsis of the history of drama in Kerry.

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Sr. Dympna R.I.P.

From Pres. yearbook 2002/03

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A Thought

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Christmasses Remembered

Christmas card from Listowel’s Bryan MacMahon, illuminated by Listowel’s Michael O’Connor.

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Christmas 1957

Noreen Keane- Brennan shared this photo of friends and neighbours in Sheahan’s of William Street at Christmas 1957.

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A Kerry Christmas…a poem by the late Brendan Kennelly

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A Listowel Bridge Champion

Earlier this week when I was writing about John Comyn’s 50 years writing the Bridge column in The Irish Independent, I included the observation that he thought that Pat Walshe of Listowel was the best player he had ever encountered in a long career playing Bridge at championship level.

But who was Pat Walshe?

Jim MacMahon has the answer.

“… Pat was the son of the late Dr Toddy Walshe and Siobhan, nee Ashe, a cousin of Thomas Ashe. Pat lived in Church Street (or Ashe street). I recall my late father Bryan saying to me one day when Pat was about 8 years old ,…..Do you see that young fellow, Toddy’s son, he has an unusual aptitude for maths…and so it proved to be.”

( What was in the water in Church Street? I wonder if any other street has produced so many exceptional scholars.)

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Edwardian post box at Convent Cross. This box dates from the 1930’s. Many is the Christmas card started its journey here.

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Craft Hub at Kerry Writers’ Museum

If you’re looking for a beautiful locally made Christmas present, drop into Kerry Writers’ Museum.

This is what I bought and I’m delighted with my haul. The beautiful intricately detailed bookmarks are made by Karen Pleass. They are absolutely beautiful and perfect for that air mail present for someone who loves the Irish countryside.

The hand made cards are a steal at €3.75 each. Maggie Donald makes these unique frameable cards from local plants. They are absolutely gorgeous. I wanted to buy the lot.

Everyone who knows me knows that I love Woodford Pottery. Pat Murphy has been very busy in lockdown. This new range is a new departure from his block colours. I bought a little jug, ideal for those of us who dine alone. And then because it was so sweet and I love a posy on the table I bought this lovely little vase.

Be sure to drop in before Christmas and support local artists.

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Defibrilator, Mallards, Sive and a Horse Fair

Defibrilator installed in the Square in October 2021

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You have to Laugh

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A Poem about ducks by a poet called Catherine Gander

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A Literary Treasure returns to Listowel

From left: Cara Trant, director of Kerry Writers’ Museum; Joanna Keane-O’Flynn; Karl Harding; John Keane; Billy Keane; Mar Harding. Picture: Tom Fitzgerald.

The above picture by Tom Fitzgerald illustrates a great story in the Irish Examiner, October 4 2021

The man in the front in blue was clearing out an old house in Cork when he came upon the original script of John B’s Sive signed by the author.

Karl Harding is a keen John B. Keane aficionado. He and his wife Mar determined that Kerry Writers Museum was the proper place for this treasure. They are pictured above with Cara Trant and members of the Keane family at the hand over.

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October Horse Fair 2021

Smaller than usual but a welcome return to near normal, the horse fair returned to Market Street yesterday. There were goats, donkeys, ponies and miniature horse breeds but very few horses.

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Shops and Signs, A Poem a Recent Snap or two and a To Let Sign

KDYS /Old Carnegie Free Library

This lovely old building is at the top of Church Street where it joins Dowd’s Road

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Listowel shops and their signs during Lockdown 2020

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Carroll’s is Open

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At the AIB


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Carroll’s Yard


The River Walk

After a long dry spell the level of water in the river is very low.

There was a funeral in progress in the church.

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The Dawn above the Dark


John Fitzgerald has written a poem for those who have forgotten what a pulled pint is.

The Dawn above the Dark

Out of a gold grained silvered font the dark stream seeks the light The gargoyle bows its ugly head To flow it out of night

Into a steady downward plunge that surges up the dawn
and takes it o’er the ticking glass to let the pint take form.

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Snapped in Town



Jimmy Deenihan was having a socially distant chat with a friend.



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First Covid Business Casualty ?



I am so sad to see a To Let sign on one of my favourite coffee shops.

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