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: Liam OHainín

The Slate House, Sinn Féin in 1919,St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2019 and a Marconi Centenary in Ballybunion

Ballybunion March 17 2019


The Slate House

This Ballybunion house recently featured in the TV programme Home of the Year. It didn’t win but it came close.

It is a luxury architect- designed house with stunning views.

I saw it recently advertised on Air B and B at a rate of €700 per night.


A Rabble Rousing Speech from 1919

Kerryman  Saturday, January 11, 1919
Nationalist Meeting in Listowel (Edited)

…..The speaker then proposed the resolution to the meeting which was seconded by Mr. T. J. Walsh, and passed with acclamation.

The Rev. Father Charles O’Sullivan, C.C., then came to the front of the wagonette and was received with a perfect storm of applause. The cheering having ceased, he said—Men of this young and unconquerable Ireland, the weather has put a serious strain upon our endurance this morning, but it is as nothing in comparison with the discomforts of soul and body suffered by those fellow-countrymen of ours those men of the breed and stuff of heroes who are enjoying the cold plank beds and the comfortless fare of British Imperial hospitality (cheers). 

Our first word to-day is congratulation to Cathal Brugha (hear, hear). He is not a Polish Jew, nor a Russian Bolshevist, nor a German spy (laughter). He is the elected representative of Waterford County who was arrested the other day for the crime of bearing and using his father’s name (laughter). Surely Johnbulism in Ireland has long since become a laughable farce, and if it had not been a stumbling block in the way of human liberty it would be a laughing stock indeed (hear, hear). We thank John Bull for this now piece of stupid buffoonery, and for this fresh bit of merriment in these serious times (laughter). 

Our second word is to offer to our own Sean McKenna our most hearty congratulations (loud cheering, which continued for some minutes). He appears with us to-day—(cries of he is welcome and cheers)—invested with a now title to our honour and esteem (hear, hear). Everybody in Kerry—yea in Erin knows what this title is. On this deathless combat between the Celt and the Saxon which is now in its last throes—in this strife between two forces divergent in their ideals and purposes as Columkille and Luther (laughter). In this combat John McKenna became a prisoner of war, he fell into the clutches of a tyranny as has never been conceived by Prussian, Russian or Turk to outrage the spirit of liberty and to extinguish that sentiment of racial self-respect, self-dependence and self-reliance, which is the very foundation of free national community life. How like and how familiar is the monster tyranny in all climes and ages the same old maws and the same old paws; (laughter). The old dragonheaded monster known abroad as Prussianism, Russianism, Turkism has for long centuries been seeking to devour this noble land of ours under the name of Saxonism. They never will (cheers). Now is the day, now is the hour for us to rise from slumber and to be up and doing, and watching and guarding from the hill tops of Gael-land (cheers). All Ireland asked to-day was to be allowed to take her place in a league of free peoples, in equal rights and equal chances in the pursuit of prosperity and peace (hear, hear, and cheers).


More from St. Patrick’s Day 2019


Rescue Services

On the day of the Marconi celebrations Radio Kerry provided live coverage of the whole event and a great account of the Marconi story.


On March 19 2019 at the Marconi centenary celebration in Ballybunion, as well as wireless station memorabilia and early wirelesses there were many of our rescue personnel and rescue vehicles on display.

Jed Chute is here chatting to Liam OHainnín of Beale who is an expert in all things wireless and he had some of his many wireless related artefacts on display on the day.


There were lots of children there when I was there and they were very interested in the rescue vehicles and the work of the rescue people.

A Raffle prize in 1926, Moore St. and opening a school extension

Eventide in Ballybunion; January 2016

Photo: Mike Enright


Mario Perez’s tribute to David Bowie on Ballybunion Beach on Monday January 11 2016. (Photo: Ballybunion TidyTowns Facebook )


This Could be the Start of Something Big

Liam OHainín who grew up in Beale now lives in Germany. He has a huge collection of old TV cameras, wirelesses, record players, records and music related memorabilia. He is also a keen family historian and he has a huge stock of old photos recalling a way of life now largely forgotten.

He posts some of his photos on Facebook from time to time. 

Recently Liam posted the below photo.

The building is the old Presentation Listowel girls’ Primary School. Scaffolding is up around the building and half of the roof is stripped. The school is now demolished.

The sight of this photo prompted me to write to Liam to ask if he had any more photos of the convent or schools.

He replied with the following great story.

“A story about the convent . They were trying to raise
money for renovations in 1926 . So they had a raffle with this Radio as first
prize. My Grandfather, William Hannon won it and it was the first Radio in
Beale just in time for the opening by Douglas Hyde of Ireland’s first radio
Station, 2RN.

I spent years looking for this. My family  had given it to someone in the late 40ties,
It had given great service to the family and often all the neighbours as well
when a football match was on.

 My father had
given me such a good description of it that I could identify the make etc . He
remembered listening to Lord HawHaw broadcasting from Radio Bremen during the

I found it at a market 10 years ago and paid the sum
asked. If the seller had know how long I was looking he could have made more

 Now comes a twist, my father remembered also letting one of the wave
change coils fall and being relieved when it still worked despite having a chip
knocked off it. Recently while cleaning I discovered that one of the plug in
coils had a chip out of it, Could it be possible that this was the one my Dad
let fall all those years ago in Beale? I
like to think that I really found the one that my Grandfather won in the raffle.
It’s my prized possession .”


Moore Street

Photo: Anne Coury

This old photo shows what Moore St looked like in the 1950s. I know it has emotional and historic connections that appeal to some who want to preserve it. I can see little architectural merit in it.


Oficial opening of the Extension to Presentation Secondary School Listowel in 1985

Fr. Denis O’Mahoney C.C., Bishop Diarmuid O’Suilleabháin, Jimmy Deenihan…… Dick Spring, Sr Sheila Kelliher, Fr. Dermot Clifford and Sr. Eileen


Victory Celebration

Sure to bring a smile to all Listowel people around the globe as Listowel Emmetts celebrate their North Kerry Final championship victory over Brosna last Saturday.

Barry O Halloran

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén