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: lacrosse

Cherrytree Drive, Listowel’s First Cinema, Asdee, John B. Keane’s and O’Sullivan’s Mill

Cherrytree Drive is to get a Flower Bed

Work is underway in preparing for a new flower border at the entrance to Cherrytree Drive.


John B. Keane’s is getting a repaint


Listowel’s First Cinema

Liam Dillon, who is one of the longest continuous residents of Church Street has confirmed for us that the first cinema in town was in the building that now houses North County Guesthouse.

Liam’s mother saw her first film there. It was a cowboy film. She ran home in terror when the shooting started.


Asdee is being Revived by its Young People

“John Kennedy is tracing a finger through the map of his childhood during the 1960s in Asdee. 

He says: “We had a shop in the village and below that was the community centre along with the national school and the church. Further down the road was the Jesse James bar, then you had Kissane’s which doubled as a shop and a bar. Christy Walsh had a shop and then you had the post office which was run by the Doyle family. Every house in the village was occupied and there was so much life.” 

The hinterland was well catered for also with Tom Pius Walsh’s shop situated on the approach road from Ballylongford while the Ballybunion side of the parish had a booming hub of businesses. 

John says: “You had The Store bar and shop, the creamery, and O’Sullivan’s. All were busy. The centre of life then was the local creamery, it was the meeting place every day for local farmers. 

“From early morning you’d have a stream of farmers stopping at different places, collecting messages, and talking football and farming.”

From Colm O’Connor in The Irish Examiner, August 31 2020

John is describing the Asdee of the days of the two drama groups, a vibrant thriving village before emigration and unemployment combined with the urbanisation of rural Ireland brought it to its knees.

According to articles in The Kerryman and The Irish Examiner, Asdee has formulated a five year plan to transform the area. A committee has been formed and 30 targets across five categories have been identified for development. The LED lights are up. the funding is secured and the people are more than willing.

Wouldn’t Fr. Pat be proud?


O’Sullivan’s Mill, Ballylongford

(Photos: Breda Ferris)

This lovely old building is soon to be refurbished. 


Iroquois Nations and Lacrosse

Irish Lacrosse team….photo from the internet

“The International World Games is due to take place in Alabama in the summer of 2022, but Ireland’s lacrosse team, despite having qualified, won’t be there. ” Michael Glennon.

Now my understanding of the situation and the Irish team’s part in it is this. Ireland is kinda handy at this minority sport. The Iroquois Nationals are more than handy at lacrosse. They are brilliant at it. They invented the game.

In the qualifiers for the World Games Ireland came in eighth and the Iroquois Nationals came third.

But Iroquois Nationals is not a sovereign nation and they dont have an Olympic Committee so they were deemed to be ineligible to qualify.

This decision upset the lacrosse community and their protests led to the ruling body reversing their decision. By now all the qualifying spots had been filled. The Irish team took the sporting decision to bow out to make room for the Iroquois Nationals.

So who are the Iroquois Nationals?

I found the answer in Michael Glennon’s article.

“Well, the sport itself originated among the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida and Tuscarora Nations, collectively known as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in the northeastern United States.

They compete in international lacrosse as the Iroquois Nationals. “

Lacrosse and Sr Mary Brendan Brosnan

The Roche family of O’Connell’s Avenue who are planning their own Gathering reunion in 2013


1989 Russian President Gorbachev with Charles Haughey in Shannon


Lacrosse news

The Celtic Cup 2013 International Lacrosse Tournament will be the third instalment of this major men’s lacrosse tournament, having been held in Wales in 2005 (where Ireland finished as champions) and Scotland in 2009 (where Scotland finished as champions).

The tournament will feature the men’s national lacrosse teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France, and may also feature visiting club teams from Canada and the USA. The Irish men’s team will be looking forward to building on its recent success having won the silver medal at the 2012 European Lacrosse Championships in Amsterdam, a fact which was recognised by Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D. Higgins. Ireland Lacrosse will be running the tournament and is the National Governing Body for the Sport of Lacrosse in Ireland.

Don’t forget we have a Listowel connection in the Irish team. I’ll jog your memory.

Colin O’Donoghue is the grandson of the late Tom O’Donoghue of Tannavalla.  Tom emigrated to Pittsburgh in the 1950’s  and was a dedicated GAA man for years, heading up the Roger Casement Football Club in Pittsburgh, PA. Tom was chairman of the North American County Board for a number of years in the late 1970’s and early 19080’s.  His restaurant “The Blarney Stone” in Pittsburgh was a well-known center for Irish sport and culture in Pittsburgh.  Colin’s father Jack played for the Pittsburgh teams as well during the 1980’s and 1990’s and is still a big supporter of the GAA in Pittsburgh.


Sr. Mary Brendan Brosnan

 Thanks to Susan Twomey for sending us this material. Between the two of us this is the best we could do. Old eyes like mine will need the help of a zoom to read it.

Lacrosse again and some O’Donoghues

Remember our silver medal winning lacrosse team? When I was alerted to the presence on the team of man with a strong Listowel connection, I set out to find out more about Colin O’Donoghue.

Through the internet I tracked down his father and he sent me some photos of Colin and the press release about the lacrosse team. What a pity we did not know about him before the European Championship. He could have had a whole new bunch of fans.

Press Release:


Colin O’Donoghue, Pittsburgh, Pa, USA

Silver Medal Irish National Lacrosse Team

European Championships 2012, Amsterdam Netherlands

Recently back from the 2012 European
Lacrosse Championships in Amsterdam, hosted by the Netherlands, 21 year old Colin
O’Donoghue was proudly wearing his silver medal won through his efforts with
the Irish National Lacrosse Team.  Colin carrying
dual citizenship had qualified for the team during  a 3 day tryout at University of Dublin in
October 2011.  Over 80 athletes
participated for the 25 man roster and for the first time in Irelands young
national lacrosse program they put together a formidable team that would rank
them a spot in the top division of the best 6 teams in Europe.  The standard of European lacrosse has never
been more competitive and although the expectations for the team were a 5th
or 6th place among the 18 participating countries, their goal was to
hopefully capture a 3rd or 4th.  But these young men had a different goal in
mind, they walked, talked, and played for to get to the championship game and
capture gold.  The Irish team had the
toughest schedule ahead of them, but really came together as a solid unit and
actually gained momentum as the grueling 10 day tournament rolled along.  After dropping the opening divisional game to
England, Ireland lost in double overtime to a heavily favored German Team, as
O’Donoghue’s  game winner in the first
overtime was ruled to have crossed the line at the buzzer.  Things looked bleak for the Irish team after
dropping the next game to their host, the Netherlands, but their Coach, NCAA
Hall of Fame inductee, Richie Moran kept the spirit high, and with incredible
support from the chanting Irish fans the team rallied to a win their next five
games including an unexpected but convincing victory over the Germans in the
quarterfinals of the championship tournament.  Ireland had made it to the championship game
leaving many of the more favored countries rallying behind them to keep the
dream alive and beat the English. 
England has played lacrosse for over 40 years has  never lost to a European Team, but as the
clock ticked down they kept their record intact by wearing down the Irish.  The Irish lads left everything on the field,
but carried proud heats as they gathered in-front of their loyal
supporters,  packed in the grand stand,
formed a line with arms over shoulders, roaring along to a chorus of  “Ireland call”.  To sum up the impact the Irish had on the
event in whole a quote from the Netherlands tournament director; “Two lasting memories I will take away from
this event is watching a higher caliber of lacrosse by European teams as
witness by the rally of the Irish men, and the incredible Irish supporter with
all of their chants and songs….just incredible to behold”.   

As an additional point of
interest Colin finished as one of Team Irelands top scorers, playing every
minute of every game.  Additionally he
plays for the Pittsburgh Celtics Gaelic Football Club which last year made it
to the GAA North American Board National Championships hosted in San Francisco
taking away a gold medal as National Champs. 
Colin is currently a senior at Duquesne University majoring in Supply
Chain Management, he is a founding partner at LakerDog Youth Lacrosse Camp, obtained
a scholarship to Wingate University in N. C. prior to transferring, was a High
School All American at Seneca Valley H. S. near Pittsburgh Pa.  Colin’s Irish roots are his; Grandfather Thomas
O’Donoghue of Tannavalla, Listowel County Kerry; and his Grandmother  Margaret (Lenihan) O’Donoghue’s parents,
Balina County Mayo and Cork City County Cork. 


The O’Donoghue clan have a great website here

Rod O’Donoghue recently visited the home of his ancestors in North Kerry and he had a whale of a time. So if you have Kerry O’Donoghues anywhere in your family line, you have a lot of the hard work done for you.


Another O’Donoghue

This is Dan Donoghue from Duagh and Margaret Kennelly. He died in 1927. Jer. Kennelly sent me the photo.


I have had another email about this photo.

Tom Fitzgerald says that the man holding the saxophone is none other than Jim Sheahan of Greenville.

Now who is the man in front?


The Madonna concert in The Aviva in Dublin last night

Quote of the night from Madge : “It is always raining when I come to Ireland.”

Colin O’Donoghue, Lacrosse and handball

Lacrosse and the Listowel connection from Jim Horgan in Pittsburg

Lacrosse is one of the oldest team sports in the world. Native Americans from the north of America used lacrosse to prepare for war or resolve conflicts between rivaling tribes. In 1640 the game was named lacrosse when French missionaries saw Indians play the game. In 1856 Dr. William George Beers established the first lacrosse club in the world: The Montreal lacrosse Club. In 1867 he created the ground rules by which lacrosse is still played today.

Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin played using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick, mainly played in the United States and Canada. Lacrosse is played with 10 players per team (men’s lacrosse), 12 players (women’s lacrosse) or 6 players (box lacrosse). It is a contact sport which requires padding. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose mesh designed to catch and hold the lacrosse ball. Offensively, the objective of the game is to score by shooting the ball into an opponent’s goal, using the lacrosse stick to catch, carry, and pass the ball to do so. Defensively, the objective is to keep the opposing team from scoring and to dispossess them of the ball through the use of stick checking and body contact or positioning. The sport has four major types: men’s field lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, box lacrosse and intercrosse.

Here is the link to the Irish Lacrosse website:

Colin O’Donoghue is the grandson of the late Tom O’Donoghue of Tannavalla.  Tom emigrated to Pittsburgh in the 1950’s  and was a dedicated GAA man for years, heading up the Roger Casement Football Club in Pittsburgh, PA. Tom was chairman of the North American County Board for a number of years in the late 1970’s and early 19080’s.  His restaurant “The Blarney Stone” in Pittsburgh was a well-known center for Irish sport and culture in Pittsburgh.  Colin’s father Jack played for the Pittsburgh teams as well during the 1980’s and 1990’s and is still a big supporter of the GAA in Pittsburgh.


This photo with a  suggestion for some enterprising Listowel publican was sent to us by Marty Sheehy.


Good article here on Limerick’s bacon factories


Please don’t do this!

This is the next worst thing to parking across the dished part of the pavement. For some reason that I can never fathom some people always park their bikes ON the footpath. It is an appallingly inconsiderate practice. As well as blocking up the pavement for pedestrians, they are making life so difficult for wheelchair users.

The proliferation of street furniture is another bugbear. But I’ll leave that rant for another day.


Now more handball

At the Club A.G.M. held on Tues March 31st
1964 the Chairman Mr. Kenny paid

tribute to the club members who had won Listowel’s
first ever County Championship

titles during the past season. This was the County
Novice Championships and were

played in Listowel for the first time ever. Brendan
Murphy won the minor singles and

partnered Richard Galvin to win the minor doubles and
Tom Enright and Junior

Griffin had won the senior doubles title.  


The last recorded minutes in the minute book were of
the A.G.M. held on April 19th

1965. The outgoing Chairman, Mr. John Joe Kenny

The following officers and committee were elected;

President; Mr. Michael Keane

Vice-Presidents; Rev. Fr. O’Brien c.c., Rev Fr.
Kieron O’Shea, M/s Bryan McMahon

Louis Murphy, Brendan Macauley, Andy Molyneaux, Jack
Fitzgibbon, Con J. Keane,

Tim Shanahan, Pat Sugrue.

Chairman; Mr. John Joe Kenny

Vice-chairman; Mr John Keane

Hon Sec; Mr. John (Junior) Griffin

Hon. Treasurers; Mr. Tom Enright and Mr. Dermot

Committee; Richard Galvin, Kieron Murphy, Ml.
O’Sullivan, Buddy Scanlan,

Jimmy O’Sullivan, Seamus Browne and Jimmy Bunyan.

In his address to the meeting Mr. Kenny paid tribute
to all who had helped the club

during the year and congratulated the winners of the
various tournaments. He paid

special tribute to Aidan Murphy for the efficient
manner in which he ran the National

School tournament.

Even though the above were the last recorded minutes
in the minute book notes have

have come to hand of the A.G.M of 1996 in which Mr.
Kenny stood down as

Chairman. Elected at that meeting were;

President; Ml. Keane

Vice-Presidents; Rev. Fr. O’Brien c.c., Rev Fr.
Kieron O’Shea, M/s Bryan McMahon

Louis Murphy, Brendan Macauley, Andy Molyneaux, Jack
Fitzgibbon, Con J. Keane,

Tim Shanahan, Pat Sugrue.

Chairman; Aidan Keane

Vice chairman; Dermot Buckley

Hon Secretary; Junior Griffin;

 Hon Treasurers;
Tom Enright and Junior Griffin

Committee; Andy Molyneaux, Timmy Daly, Seamus Browne,
Richard Galvin,

Jimmy O’Sullivan, Liam Browne, D. Browne.

At this meeting arrangements were put in place to run
a town league Tournament,

Teams entered were; The Bridge Road, E.S.B., Garda,
The Boro, The Gleann.

To be continued…. 

Blogging, Fred Chute and handball

I want to explain something about how my blog works.

I usually compose the bones of a post a day or two ahead of publication. I leave it in draft mode until the night before. Then I tweak it a bit, add a photo or two or sometimes something that I have found on the internet or something that has been sent to me by email. I then schedule the post to upload the next morning at 7.30 a.m. People who check into my blog anytime from 7.30 on see this latest blogpost.


Niall, the techie who set up the NKRO website added a feature to my blog. This feature is called Google feed burner. It is a facility that invites interested people to sign up with an email address in order to receive my posts by email. 120 of my”followers” have done this. These are not the 49 who appear as followers on the right hand panel. Now here’s the rub. People who receive my posts by email get them a day late,

I have learned from talking to people that many of you read the email and never visit the actual blog,

If you are one of these people, you probably then delete the email. This means that you are not alerted if I modify the content (I very rarely do unless I have made a big mistake and it is pointed out to me) or if someone posts a reply ( again this only happens rarely as most people have difficulty with the reply facility in Blogger).

All of this is by way of explaining why I am posting these next two pieces that came in as comments:

“was following the irish lacrosse team in the european championship as my sons wife brother-in-law Tim Weir is one of the coaches.They were in the top10 in the world before the final and this should push them up.I checked all week during the tournament for results but not a line in any irish paper.The team is made up of irish born and of irish decent.One name caught my eye was a ODonoghue kid from pittsburgh and Listowel conections.If i remember years ago a ODonoghue family from Tanavalla left for pittsburgh and were involved in the bar business there. ”

“really enjoyed reading about the handball alley and the wonderful people that played there.I remember playing in a tournament during my 2 yrs. at St.michaels and the one match i won was against i think Bernie Murphy or bernie Buckley.that is as far as i advanced.My story about the ball alley is at the tender age of 16 i was selected to be the goalkeeper for the listowel senior hurlers against Abbeydorney in a curtainraiser to Kerry V Roscommon at Sheehy park in 1961.Off i went to the ball alley for 2 weeks practicing hitting a ball up against the wall and catching it with the bare hand.Now trained to perfection and ready for the big day and big crowd.Well the first ball that came to me was a high ball and with my backline of Renie Farrell,lyons and Rohan keeping the forwards at back put up my hand to catch the ball as i had done hundreds of time in the ball alley in secret training I swung at the ball instead.Big Mistake.missed the ball,Goal.15 minutes and 4 more goals later got the call from the sideline from Guard Healy,Sheehy off Tony Barrett on.I remember one of the umpires saying to me after the 5th.goal i should have stopped that goal,my answer was i should have stopped all the(—-__)goals.I wonder we had 4 goals Barrett should i be called 5goals Sheehy.Just a thought.Thanks vincent Carmody for the program of that day which i will treasure. ”

Both of the comments came from Mike Sheehy in NY and formerly of Main St. Listowel. Thank you Mike. Your stories are welcome anytime.


An Irish man has made history by becoming the first person in the world to complete the Oceans 7 Challenge.

46 year old Steve Redmond  from Ballydehob in West Cork  crossed the 20 kilometre Tsugaru Strait in Japan yesterday evening in a time of 14 hours 24 minutes.

The endurance swimmer  had to abandon previous attampts to take the Strait in June when he was defeated by strong currents.

It joins his other epic swims in Hawaii, New Zealand, California, the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Irish Sea.

He’s the first person ever to complete this  grueling challenge – which is considered to be the equivalent to climbing the seven summits in open water swimming.

Mighty man indeed!


Fred Chute painting the new sign on O’Farrell’s shoe shop on Church St.


Handball continued

A special meeting was held on Wed. Feb. 14th
at which the chairman reported that the

sub-committee had met with M/s McMahon, O’Hanlon and
Ml Keane who had

approached Mr. Joe O’Mahony, the local representive
for Lord Listowel. Mr.

O’Mahony informed the deputation that the Listowel
Handball Club had no legal right

to the land in question which was the property of
Lord Listowel.

He had in turn received an offer for the ground and
it could be possibly be sold by

4pm the following day. He would, however, give the
Handball Club the first choice

if they wished to purchase the property. The members
present decided to purchase the

handball site at £140.

At subsequent meetings 5 trustees were elected as
legal advice was received from

Mr. Paddy Fitzgibbons (senior) who advised that a
club as a body had no legal

standing and had also advised on the role of the
trustees. The five trustees appointed

were M/s  Tom
Enright, Andy Molyneaux, Ml. Keane, Brendan Macauley and John

Griffin (Jnr).

At a following meeting Mr. Enright withdrew his name
from the trustees and for

personal reasons Mr. Fitzgibbons retired as chairman
and was replaced by Mr. John

Joe Kenny.

At the 1963 A.G.M. the chairman, Mr. John Joe Kenny
paid tribute to the club

President, Mr Joe James who had died during the
year.  Mr. Kenny said that Mr.

James had been a founder member of the Listowel Handball
Club and had at all times been available to give advice to committee members
and players, and had always taken a special interest in the juveniles

.  On the
proposition of the secretary it was decided to purchase a shield

for the minor championships and call it after Mr.

Mr. Kenny also paid tribute to former Club
vice-president Mr. Frank Sheehy who

also had died during the year.

The club tournaments were still the main-stay of the
club and great interest was

generated in these. At a meeting held on Sat. Nov. 16th1963 the
draws were

made for both the novice doubles tournament and for
the senior singles tournament for the Gaelic weekly Shield.  Novice doubles draw as follows; J.O’Sullivan

 J.Ryan v A.
Molyneaux & P. O’Flaherty; C.Chute &. J.Nolan v M.O’Shea & T.


The Senior singles tournament was played on a
handicap basis for 40 aces. Draw;

C. Chute (plus 21) v J. Keane (plus 15); T. Enright
(6) v D. Carroll (26)

J. Coady (20) v M.O’Shea (23); J.O’Halloran (9) v J.
O’Sullivan (28)

D. Buckley (8) v S. Guerin (23); J. Griffin (scr) v J.J.Kenny

Unfortunately, the results of the tournaments have
not been recorded.

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