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: Listowel Arms

Listowel Arms, Badminton in Listowel and a few dates for your diary

Listowel Arms Now and 10 years ago

January 2016



Badminton, a shop refurbishment and an old dance card

Junior Griffin tells the story:


What, one may
well ask, has the famed city of Jericho and the Listowel Badminton Club in

The Bible
story tells us that Joshua and his Israelites marched around Jericho, then
shouted and blew their trumpets so that the walls came tumbling down.

There is no
doubt whatsoever that the writing of this history of the Listowel Badminton
Club would never have been considered but for the destruction of another wall.

A few short
years ago local business man and former badminton club member, Mr. Jimmy Halpin
moved his fishing and shooting supplies business to number 24, Church Street,
Listowel. The premises needed extensive renovations to cater for his business,
which meant many of the inner walls had to be knocked, not to the sound of
trumpets but with the use of jackhammers and the tools of today.

On examining
the rubble, Mr. Halpin and his workmen found numerous newspapers, all tightly
folded as if they were inserted for insulation. On checking the papers it was
found that the headlines of most dealt with the earthquake and the destruction
of San Francisco in 1906.

On turning
over a page he saw something falling to the ground.  On examining it, Mr.
Halpin found it to be a beautifully decorated and well preserved invitation
card (illustrated) with a short pencil attached, to a dance under the
auspices of the Listowel Hockey and Badminton Clubs to be held on Friday
December 16th 1908.

The music
listed was definitely different to the music that is heard in the dance halls
of today with many classical pieces being to the fore and the pencil possibly
used by the ladies to reserve a dance if asked by a gentleman. One wonders did
that inspire the writer to pen the tune “ Save the last waltz for me”.


A Few Dates for you to Pencil in

Make sure you catch Listowel Drama Group in St. John’s from February 11 to 14 2016. Their Blithe Spirit is a must see. Listowel needs to get behind them as they head off to the tough world of drama festivals.

The Exhibition will showcase works of art, photography, felting & assemblage. Participating artists include, Rebecca Carroll, (not in photo), Liam Brennan (not in photo), Jim Dunne, Noreen Breen, Malcome Donald, Lisa Fingleton, Viveca Amoto, Susan Hitching, Marie Brennan, David Morrison, Mary Finucane & Arian Everson. This Exhibition is in co-operation with Newcastlewest Arts. For further details contact Rebecca Carroll (Colourful Spirits) @ 087 4577979 or Vicky Nash (Red Door Gallery) @ 086 2517086

The Exhibition will be official launched by Billy Keane (Journalist & publican)

     ATHEA DRAMA GROUp presents ‘The Hen Night Epiphany’ at Con Colbert Memorial Hall, Athea on February 25th, 27th, 28th & March 3rd, 5th & 6th at 8pm.Directed by Oliver McGrath, this is a heart lifting tale that tells the story of five women who meet up for a night of fun and laughter that ultimately leaves their lives turned upside down. The cast features Annette O’Donell, Angeline O’Donnell, Nora Hunt, Louise Ahern & Ria Browne. Photo by Lizzy Murphy

Strictly, Bridge Road, Brosna, Halloween Parade and the passing of another London Kerry publican

Timothy John MacSweeney


Strictly, Before the Event

I was in The Listowel Arms on Saturday October 24 2015 on a family mission. The whole place was a hive of excitement as last minute preparations were being put in place for Kerry Parents and Friends Strictly Come Dancing. I snapped a few of the nervous dancers and two of the organizers as they headed for the ballroom.

This last picture is of Julianne Galvin who, with her partner, Ian Liston, were declared the winners.

A great night for a great cause.

Pictures here:  Kerry Parents and Friends Strictly


Dursley Boys

Recently the Dursley Male Voice Choir sang at mass in St. Mary’s Listowel. I took these photos with members of our own church choir after mass and before the choir headed up town to perform at Áras Mhuire.


Bridge Road, Listowel, October 2015


New Shop breathes life into Brosna

Noel Laneshared the great news on Facebook. There is a renewed buzz about the village of Brosna with the opening of a bar and a new shop. It’s marvelous to see these green shoots of recovery in rural Kerry.


Halloween Parade Back for Another Year


A True Blue Kerryman has passed Away in London 

The late Christy Kissane is third from right at back

“It is with deep regret that we have learned of the death of legendary Kilburn publican Christy Kissane, a towering figure in London’s Irish – and Kerry – community.

The owner of Kerry’s flagship pub in Kilburn, the Kingdom, which was itself a testimony to Christy’s love of GAA as he frequently hosted the Kerry players and the Sam Maguire Cup.

Christy’s proud boast was that he had been to every All Ireland football final since 1962 except for the one in 1968 when construction work kept him in London.

He lived in Dollis Hill.

His first pub, in the mid-1970s, was the Windsor Castle on the Harrow Road which he built into a chain of pubs and taverns across west and north west London before eventually concentrating on his pride and joy, the Kingdom in Kilburn.

As can be seen in this photo was a welcome and lively presence at last Friday’s Kerry Association London dinner in Cricklewood. He was Life President of the Association. He was also chairman of the Kingdom Kerry Gaels football club.”

(photo and text from The Irish World

St. Mary’s

St. Mary’s Listowel Christmas 2013


The hotel at Christmas. 


This little piggy went to market. This is Crubeen, Craftshop na Méar’s pig. As he heads off to market each day he dresses up or dons a jaunty scarf or hat. When I took my photo he was taking Polly and a Tilly doll for a spin “on the pig’s back”. The shop has become known as the shop with the pig in the window. Meanwhile Fred Chute has just completed a new sign but I suspect many will still know it by Crubeen.


Santa Claus busking outside Carrolls on The Square December 2013


Tina and Denis are busy putting the Christmas edition of The Advertiser together.

Writers Week, Military Tattoo and Crafty Buddies

All roads lead to Listowel for our Gathering events.

The advance troops are already here for the shenanigans planned for next weekend. This is a group of reenactors ready to do battle for Listowel on Saturday and Sunday next May 4 & 5 2013.


A wreath will be laid in The Square next Saturday at 4pm at a special monument for Irish people who sacrificed all in the line of duty . The ceremony is being attended by several embassies and veterans groups. All are welcome.


Dont forget to get your tickets for the Hangar dance on Sunday night in The Listowel Arms.


Congratulations to Diane Nolan who has been co opted to fill the vacant place on Listowel Town Council . The vacancy was caused by the untimely passing away of Anthony Curtin.


My friend has started a new business

This is Maria Leahy, entrepreneur.

Her business is called “Crafty Buddies”.  She is selling a range of life journals. These are family keepsakes  where one generation records information and musings to pass on to the next. As an opening offer, if you buy a journal from Maria (they are €12.99 and €20) She will give you a gift of one of her unique “Zentangled” bookmarks.

Maria also has a range of lovely cards for all occasions. These cost only €3 and as well as the greeting they have a page to write special memories and messages in. They include prompts to help you along.

Maria launched her business to her fellow Knitwits on Saturday.  We loved the product and she made her first sales.

Here, Maureen, Una and Mary examine the books and cards.

I wont publish Maria’s contact details here but if you contact me at the email address on top of the blog I’ll put you in touch with her. She will be at the fair on Monday next May 6 2013 in The Square.


Ciara ODonnell took this great photo to celebrate Fungi’s 30th birthday


Jer took a little video at the Garden Fete too.

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