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: Killarney Page 1 of 5

Muckross, Church Street, Listowel Races in Days Gone By and David Toomey, Endurance Runner

Boats at rest on the Lower Lake, Killarney

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Animals in The National Park

I love seeing this old form of transport in Killarney National Park

These are the famous herd of Kerry cows.

 Here is Cora with Molly as they wait patiently for Daddy to return with the picnic.

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Mullally’s of Church Street 

Armel White alerted me to this. As painters stripped the paint prior to repainting Murphy’s, they revealed the name of the former owners, Mullally, bringing back many memories to Listowel people.

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 Charles’ Street in 2003

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Listowel Races in the Light of Other Days

We won’t be seeing any of these scenes this September. Here are a few old photos just to remind you of better times.

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David Toomey…Man of Iron


David Twomey is Listowel’s very talented town gardener. In Valeria O’Sullivan’s picture from last weekend he is taking part in a gruelling ultra marathon.


David Toomey, on Drung Hill, Mountain Stage, Kells, Co Kerry, undertaking a 200km non stop endurance race – The Kerry Way Ultra Marathon, a daunting 40 hour, 200km, non stop race, which traverses the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and Iveragh Peninsula, on Ireland’s longest trail route in Ireland. All athletes adhered to social distancing, HSE and Sport Ireland Covid19 guidelines.

Photos:Valerie O’Sullivan


Unfortunately, David suffered a foot injury towards the closing stages and was unable to finish.

Beidh lá eile ag an bPaorach (He’ll live to fight another day)

Tralee, Coming Home from Oz. Race in the 1990’s and old Killarney




Listowel Town Square before the reconfiguration


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Tralee, Co. Kerry


These Sculptures are in the Town Park Tralee.

This door in Day Place is on a house thought to have been lived in by Daniel O’Connell.

Ogham Stone at Rath Cemetery

 This is one of many old mills in Tralee. The metal structure at the top was a pulley which lowered the bags of milled flour on to the waiting carts.

This is a Tralee church, unfortunately closed on the day I visited but I am assured it’s well worth a visit.

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Barman’s Race

One day during the 1990’s we had great fun in Listowel Town Square at a fundraiser for People in Need. These photos were taken by Tom Fitzgerald and they show some well know bar people taking part in the Barman’s race.

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Coming “Home” for Good


Weather events in Australia have added to the factors that are constantly turning the thought of our emigrants in Australia towards home. Coming back is not always as easy as you might think.

The following article from Stephen Palmer’s Irish Abroad site is well worth reading.

Irish Around Oz.

After 14 years in Oz and with dual citizenship, I decided to give living in Ireland a go in May 2016 and ended up staying.

I see so much misinformation on this page that I thought I would share some real experiences from my move; both positive and negative:

  1. Decide what is important to you and what is not important to you. Having lived abroad, if you decide to stay there you will be giving up some things, if you decide to move home, you will always have to give up some things. What will you regret on your deathbed?
  2. The weather is shit. It always was, and it always will be. Accept it and buy some decent rain gear.
  3. There are some annoying things about living in Ireland, just like there are annoying things in every country. Likewise, when you move countries, there are things to sort out and paperwork to do. It doesn’t just magically get sorted because you are an Irish citizen returning.
  4. Some things haven’t changed; there is still a certain amount of cronyism, and who you know, e.g. it is ridiculous how much power things like county councils have over planning permission. It can still be a case of who you know, not what you know.
  5. There is serious under-regulation in certain things… e.g. there appears to be no regulation of real estate agents who act like total cowboys. It can be seriously frustrating. You WILL find yourself saying “did this country learn nothing from the recession?” many times.
  6. Car Insurance is genuinely ridiculous, expensive and challenging for newcomers to the country and returning expats.

  7. No, you are not being unfairly treated as a returning expat when it comes to buying a property. They are not “out to get you” or make it impossible to return. The rules are the same – usually 20% deposit, 3.5 times salary, you need to be 6 months in your role and made permanent after a probation period.

    This is the exact same for people who never left the country, so it is not just because you are a returning expat. I keep reading people on here talking about unfair it is, but those rules are the same for everyone, and the controls are there for a reason given how lax the banks were in the past.

    If buying is a priority, make sure you come back with the deposit saved. And expect that you will have to show bank statements etc. from abroad.

  8. Salaries in Dublin are lower than in Sydney or London. Fact. And outside Dublin are much lower again. Of course you can’t get the same roles or career opportunities in the West of Ireland as you can in Sydney or New York, so be realistic.

    If you work in the corporate world, and your career is important to you, then chances are the opportunities are mostly in Dublin.

  9. Rents are ridiculous in Dublin (especially relative to salaries), but still very low in other parts of the country.
  10. Buying property is very affordable relative to other major cities, and relative to rent.

    But be realistic – the recession is over, and prices in Dublin are rising. I see so many people on here comparing the costs of buying in Dublin to small towns in Australia or the US. You are not comparing apples to apples.

    Personally, I could never afford to buy a house in Sydney even though my salary was twice what it is in Dublin.

    Here, I bought a 3-bed house in a lovely location for what I could have bought a 1-bed apartment in Sydney. Don’t compare the cost of a house in rural QLD with a house in Dublin.

  11. If you want to pay similar prices to country towns in other countries, you can absolutely do the same here. There are some bargains to be found, but you won’t find the same career opportunities, or you may have to commute – that is not any different to other countries.

    Also, don’t look at a house for sale online an hour outside Dublin and expect it to take an hour during rush hour. Like buying property anywhere, you will have to figure out your priorities – size of house and garden, vs location and commute.

  12. People here are lovely. Moving back from Sydney I found people so much nicer, more open and more welcoming here, and that has continued to be the case.
  13. Dublin is a much more cosmopolitan and diverse city than it was when I lived here 15 years ago. Some things have changed, and some haven’t. Don’t expect it to be the same, but embrace all the wonderful changes if you decide to move back.
  14. There is a much stronger sense of culture here than there was in Oz, and I love that.

  15. You can also jump on a plane and be immersed in a completely different culture anywhere in Europe in a couple of hours. You can get cheap flights and accommodation and have an amazing long weekend for cheap as chips.
  16. If you lived abroad for a number of years, you can’t just return and expect the same as people who never left and have paid tax the whole time. Yes, you will have to do some paperwork and may not be entitled to the dole. Yes, if you raised your children abroad, they may not be entitled to free 3rd level education. That is the price we all paid for leaving and seeking opportunities elsewhere, so accept it instead of feeling hard done by and entitled.
  17. The major lesson for me, back to point number 1; I have no regrets about moving home. For me, family and a sense of belonging couldn’t be replaced in Sydney, and with my eye on those things, all the negatives outlined above were worth it.
  18. You have the choice to focus on all the negatives or look for the positives.
  19. Nothing is forever. Give yourself options and get your citizenship etc sorted in case you ever want to move back.

I am sure I have missed lots of things as this was just a brain dump. But hopefully, it paints an even picture of the real pro’s and con’s, based on real experience.

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Killarney Street


This is an old postcard picture of a Killarney street


Christmas in Killarney, Noel Roche, jostle stones Knitwits and a stunning Tapestry Project and Anseo

Christmas in The Great Southern, Killarney

These lovely Christmassy displays are in the foyer of the Killarney Great Southern.

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A Poem by Noel Roche


Noel’s sister, Dolores has shared a few of Noel’s poems with us.



Heaven

When I arrived in Heaven

I wondered what I’d see

As I stood before the pearly gates

In all their majesty.

Then I saw God standing there

With his arms open wide

And he said, “Come on now,, child of mine,

You’re home now. Step inside.”

And then I saw my mother

She was weeping tears of joy.

She took me gently in her arms

Saying, “There’s my baby boy.”

Then my father, he was standing there

The first time I saw him stand.

He said, ‘Son take a walk with me,

And he took me by the hand.

So I walked with dad in heaven

I could not be more proud.

People jpoined us as we walked

Until it became a crowd.

But its not a crowd of strangers

That I plainly see.

All the faces in that crowd

Were faces known to me.

All my brothers and my sisters

And good friends that passed away

They were all here to greet me

In heaven on this day.

I met grandparents, aunts and uncles

That I never knew

But as I looked into their eyes

I said “Yes, I know you.”

I talked with all the people there

And it went on and on

And, as we talked, it seemed to me

Like they were never really gone.

They were all really happy

And that was no surprise

I saw contentment and serenity

When I looked into their eyes.

Then Jesus walked amng us

Oh, what a sight to see

My whole being filled with love

As he placed his hand on me.

His perpetual light was shining bright.

We were all filed with His grace

Right then I prayed and hoped

That we would never leave this place.

Then the darkness it came over me

As day turned into night.

And I groped around frantically

Looking for the light.

When I put the light on,

I saw my bedroom wall.

I realized that

It was just a dream

I wasn’t in heaven at all.

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Jostle Stones on William Street


2019 was the year when I learned what a jostle stone was. Since I learned about them I’m seeing them everywhere. Here are two on our own William Street,

These are at either side of the lane by Jumbo’s that runs behind McKenna’s.

These are just a little further up the same street.

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Knitwits at Christmas 2019


We had a good crowd at knitting club on Dec 14 2019 so I took the opportunity to take a few pictures. It was freezing cold so we were wearing our coats, but still having the chat as we knitted and crocheted.



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What Talent, Patience and Skill


This is Kathleen McCarthy. Kathleen was given this tapestry picture to complete after the lady who started it was unable to finish it. Kathleen is a multitalented craftswoman. She can turn her hand to any project and she welcomed this challenge.

Kathleen sewed this tapestry before she had her cataract operation and working under the other challenge that the lady who started the work was left handed, so Kathleen had to do all the stitching in a direction not familiar to her.

The finished project is magnificent.  My photo does not do it justice. Kathleen had it framed and is now handing it back to the original owners.

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A Kindness at Christmas



I have a secret Santa. I received this lovely gift in the post this week. People are so kind! Thank you, Dan,  for making my day!

I love, love, love the book. I highly recommend it!

Isn’t the cover photo the most gorgeous loving capture ever?


Killarney Post Box, David Clifford,Killarney Shops

Is a female kingfisher a queenfisher?     Photo by Chris Grayson

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Post Box in killarney


Its not in use but I’m glad that they have left this important piece of street furniture.

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If Football is a Religion in Kerry then David Clifford is The Messiah

from last week’s Kerryman

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Some Killarney Shops where you can buy A Minute of Your Time



Farranfore


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Duhallow Knitwear



Duhallow Knitwear, known in Kanturk as “The Hosiery” gave much needed employment locally when I was growing up. It was famous for its good quality hard wearing classic knitwear.

This newspaper ad was shared on the Facebook page, Kanturk Memories.

Newcastlewest, an invitation to a launch,Michael Hartnett and returning to the land of one’s ancestors

Stag with a fine Harem of Wives

Chris Grayson took this photo in Killarney National Park.

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An Invitation for You



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My Trip to Newcastlewest


This is Shirley O’Regan, poet and broadcaster, in the Limerick West fm studio where she interviewed me about my book, A Minute of Your Time.

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I took a stroll around Newcastlewest and here are a few photos from the town square.

This is the inscription on the below sculpture. My half remembered Latin seems to tell me that this is a monument to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Assumption erected in 1950 by the parishioners of Newcastlewest.

The figure is clearly a milkmaid and in her hand she has a pair of butter paddles.

The bronze coin on the pavement also confirms that she is indeed a milkmaid as does the presence of milk churns on the plinth.

This would appear to depict a cow as well.

At the other end of the leisure space in The Square is a monument to local poet, the late Michael Hartnett.

Its a brilliant statue capturing the essence of this thoughtful genius.

Even on the dirty wet day of my visit, Newcastlewest square looked magnificent.

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Someone’s Coming  Home


“My G Grandmother Mary Stack born 1832 is from Kilbaha, Her mother is Ellen Shanahan, Stack, Gregory. My G and GG came from Newtown Sandes, John Walsh born 1806 and his son Patrick born about 1830 came to the states about 1850 to Paris Ky.

 I am looking forward to visiting your lovely city in late March or early April in 2020 with my son. We will be in Kerry and other locations for 7 to 10 days. I have done extensive searches for family from your lovely county for many years. So now it is time to visit and see it for myself. My name is Robert Patrick Walsh Fister, My son Tony, Robert Anthony is bringing me to Ireland as a gift, I am excited for sure.

Bob F “

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