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Tag: Lartigue Theatre Company

Amateur Drama

Photo, Kieran Cogan, Mallow Camera Club


Do you Remember these calendars?

Photo: Mike Hannon

Time was when every business worth its salt gave their customers a wall calendar. It was a great way of keeping your shop or agency in the forefront of people’s minds.

I lived in a house where we had a kitchen and a back kitchen and a storehouse attached. Each of these rooms had at least one calendar in it. I remember consulting the calendar for the phone number. We co ordinated it with Old Moore to mark in fair days.


Scoil Realt na Maidine staff

Photos and caption shared by Mike Hannon


The Mayor of Kerry Plays Two Roles

On Saturday May 7 2022, Jimmy Moloney, Mayor of Kerry was in Kerry Writers’ Museum for the opening of the exhibition honouring Kerry’s amateur dramatic heritage.

The Moloney family connection with amateur drama goes back a long way.

Jimmy’s grandmother, Mrs. Margaret Moloney, here on the right, was chairperson of Listowel Drama Group and took part in many of their productions.

With her in this picture, shared with us by Kay Caball, are Cecile Cotter, Harry Geraghty and Rex Coolican.

Jimmy’s grandfather, Dan Moloney T.D. greeted the cast of the first production of John B. Keane’s Sive in Dáil Eireann after they had won the first All Ireland Drama festival.

Margaret Dillon who played the part of Sive sent us this picture a few years ago.

Dan Moloney T.D is on the right.

Jimmy Moloney in his role as Mayor of Kerry at the opening of the exhibition.

Then after a short interval look at what emerged from the “dressing room”.

The usually dapper Jimmy, in a jacket that looks like he slept in it a few times, in his role as Mike Glavin in John B. Keane’s Sive.

Denis O’Mahoney’s Lartigue Players gave us an entertaining sample of the best of Kerry amateur drama today.

The cast of the award winning first production of the play by The Listowel Players.


Top Storey

I love it when the streetscape takes your eye above shop level.

O’Donovan’s in Church Street has impressive upstairs window surrounds.

Lizzy’s Little Kitchen has decorated the upper stories of her premises in keeping with the downstairs decor.


Fitzmaurice of Old Court, Lixnaw, lartigue Theatre Company, Listowel

The Mermaids nightclub, formerly The Three Mermaids and before that Fealey’s shop


The Fall of the Fitzmaurices of Old Court, Lixnaw

The first notable date in the Fitzmaurice calendar is 1280 when the first Lord of Kerry founded a convent in Lixnaw. In 1614 The Lord of Kerry was deemed Premier Baron of Ireland. This will give you an idea of how old and how prestigious the Fitzmaurice were.

The newly formed Lixnaw Heritage and Historical Society held a great event in The Ceolann, Lixnaw on Sunday April 28 2019.

We were treated to informative and entertaining presentations and we got great insight into how the other half lived. This family owned huge tracts of land acquired through purchase and marriage, they built lots of houses here, in the UK and in France. They amassed and squandered fortunes and they had their fair share of scandal and court appearances to their name.

 Ballyheigue historian, Bryan MacMahon with Kay Caball who was one of the speakers. Kay’s tale was spiced with accounts of lavish spending fuelled by the sale of many of the family assets.

“After a gather comes a scaterer”

Rosemary Raughter gave us a presentation on the very interesting life of Arabella Denny who married into the Fitzmaurice family and redeemed it for a while. She is pictured here with Mairead Pierse of Listowel and Joe Harrington of Lyreacrompane.

Listowel folk came to hear about the antics of their Lixnaw neighbours.

Jeremy Murphy, Patrick Gilbert and Kay Caball

Kay’s book on the Fall of the Fitzmaurice is due out in November.

Below are a few Lixnaw stories from the Dúchas collection.

Tom Foley
Mrs Kate Lovett

There are the ruins of the Old Courts near my district. The castle was built by Thomas Fitzmaurice in the year 1200. It is derelict since the 1780. It is situated in the townland of the Old Courts, in the parish of Lixnaw and in the barony of Clanmauricce and in the County of Kerry. Thomas Fitzmaurice was the some of Maurice Fitzgeraldd and Maurice Fitzgerald for Lixnaw from Raymond Le (Gos) Gros. The Lady of Kerry once said there were no places worth living in but London and Lixnaw.

The Castle long ago was an important and majestic building. There were grand rooms in it with beautifully decorated offices and there were costly paintings on the walls and a beautiful, ornamental entrance. There were beautiful gardens near the castle. They gave banquets and parties at night to their friends. They gave entertainment of music and song and dance. A huge bullock and fat sheep and dozens of wild fowl were brought to the various tables

Willie B. Lawlor
Mr Beasley

There is an old ruin in Lixnaw and another in Listowel. They belong to the Norman times. The Fitzmaurice family lived in Lixnaw Castle 1215-1582. These two castles Lixnaw and Listowel were built about the same time as the castles around this district and they were destroyed about the same time also. If you go to Lixnaw the old people would show you the “Cockhouse” and the Hermitage and the “old Court”. Lixnaw was the seat of the Geraldine family in Munster. There was a young child in the Listowel castle, he was brought out dressed in rags in order to save his life. He was taken secretly to England and educated there. He was allowed back in later years and in changed times and made governor of Kerry.

Lixnaw Monument

Michael Lynch

Lixnaw Monument
The Monument of Lixnaw was built about the year 1692. It was erected by Fitzmaurice. He got married to a protestant lady called Constance Long and Fitzmaurice preverted after his marriage. Fitzmaurice was the 20th Baron of Lixnaw and the 22nd in descent to Raymond le Gros. When his wife died in 1685 his people who remained Catholics did not want her to be buried in the family tomb in Kiltomey near by. He buried her outside the tomb but this did not satisfy them fully, however she was not disinterred. Fitzmaurice did not want any further trouble so he built this Monument for himself and his successors. He and his son and grandson were buried in this Monument. Fitzmaurice died in 1687. McCarthy Mor owned these lands first and he gave them to Fitzmaurice and they later came into the hands of Lord Listowel who sold them to his tenants under the Wyndham Act of 1903.
Micheal Lynch,
Soon, Ballybunion
Note_ This Fitzmaurice 21st Baron married Anne, daughter of Sir Wm Petty of Down Survey fame, who had 50,000 acres. Her dowry was the Petty estate in South Kerry. The late Lord Lansdowne was a descendant.


An Old Lartigue Theatre Group programme


A Map of Listowel by Amy Sheehy

from the programme of the Acting Irish Theatre Festival 2019

M.S. Busking Day, Roadworks and Entertainment in summer 2018

Photo; Graham Davies


North Kerry M.S. Society Busking Day

The North Kerry branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society had three blessings on their busking day for 2018. They had  a great group of hard working volunteers, they had some brilliant musicians and they were blessed with the weather.


Roadworks are still a feature of our Lives in Listowel 

Workmen temporarily removed the John B. Keane Road sign while they placed  the pipes.

Traffic is heavy in town these days too,


Musicians at the Friday Market

On the Friday I was in The Square there was a much increased number of stalls  and some talented young musicians creating a great atmosphere.


Living Literature at The Seanchaí

I met Angeline O’Donnell in character for her Living Literature performance in The Seanchaí


From 1938 Schools Folklore Collection

Han Savage of Lisselton  had a story about William Diggin. Mr. Rice from Moybella had several men digging potatoes. He promised a quarter of tobacco to the man who would produce the biggest potato. William Diggin was one of the men digging the spuds. He dug a big potato and cut it in half. Then he got another potato and quartered it and he tied the two potatoes together with string to make one enormous potato. He won the quarter of tabacco.


Lartigue Friends Reunited

In a marquee in the sunshine on June 2 2018 this group of Lartigue theatre friends met up and reminisced.


A Food Hub for Listowel?

I met this delegation in Tralee yesterday., June 19 2018 as they were readying their pitch to Kerry County Council for a food hub in Listowel.

Baking, Wedding Dress Shopping and some Listowel men, May 11 2016

Ita Hannon snapped this thrush as he was having a light  snack.


Baking on Display and a Baking Display at Thee Kingdom County Fair 2016

When I had finished looking at entries in the bakery competition, my mouth was watering. Luckily the organisers of The Kingdom County Fair had anticipated that and they had laid on a free cookery demonstrations (with tastings).

Frank Moynihan showed us how to make a tea brack. One of the ingredients is cold tea and Frank uses cold tea in lots of dishes. He told us that it adds flavour to gravy. 

He had a brack whipped up in jig time and he had one he made earlier ready for us to sample. It was absolutely delicious.


Wedding Dress Shopping in Listowel

On Saturday May 14 2016, I set out with the bride-to-be, Clíona, and her two prospective bridesmaids, Darina and Anne, for our appointment in Finesse.

An hour and a half later, after much trying on, patient advice and endless untiring adjustments and enhancements, she said yes to the dress.

One happy customer pictured with Liz in Finesse on May 14 2016.

My verdict; 10 out of 10. Wedding dress shopping in Finesse, Listowel is a stress free, unhurried, enjoyable experience. They stock a huge range of dresses and are really knowledgeable about what suits a bride. Cliona bought her dream dress, which was in many respects not at all what she had dreamt. Happy days!


Listowel Men at the Showing of John Lynch and Charlie Nolan’s films about Listowel

Kieran Moloney, Paddy Keane, Michael Guerin and John Pierse


Another oldie

1972 communion in Knockanure, Some Listowel Placenames, a Listowel Marathon and works begin at Greenlawn

 The King of all Birds

Wren photographed by Ita Hannon



Yesterday’s announcement was a bit premature. When I passed through William Street today there were the roadworks….gone! Looks like it was only a temporary patching job which leaves the surface marginally more drivable. Be warned! the margin of improvement is small.

Please accept my apologies for getting your hopes up.


First Holy Communion in Knockanure in 1972


Some Listowel Placenames and their meaning

Ballinruddery;  I used to think that this one came from Baile an Ridire, meaning the home of the knight. The Knight of Kerry did have a house close by.

Dan Keane’s great book on the placenames of North Kerry, Tralee and Ballymacelligott set me straight.

Baile an Riodaraigh means the home of the riddles or Ruddles. A family of Rddles lived in the area.

Ballyduhig: This is in Irish Baile an Dhufaigh, meaning the home of the Duffys.

Ballygologue: Baile na Gabhlóige. A gabhlóg was a fork in a road.

Ballygrennan: Baile an Ghrianáin:  The home of the elevated sunny place.  True enough!

However Bedford has no Irish root whatsoever. An English man (probably from Bedford in England) built his home here and he called it Bedford House and the name stuck replacing the previous name for that area: Ath an Turais meaning ford of the journey or pilgrimage. The ford was on the Listowel Ballylongford road which is now crossed by Shrone bridge. There are two holy wells across the river, Tobar Rí an Domhnaigh ( The King of Sunday’s well) and Tobar Naomh Parthalán ( St. Bartholomew’s well)

Behins: Na Beithiní  means little birch trees.

Here endeth today’s lesson


A Few Photos I took during last week’s marathon


Another premises being refurbished


The Country Boy at St. John’s

Drama is thriving in Listowel in 2016. The latest offering was The Country Boy from the resilient Lartigue company. It was sad, funny and sweet  and very popular with Listowel audiences.

Norella Moriarty and Batt O’Keeffe took Joan Kenny’s ticket and gave her a programme.

 The cast take a curtain call

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