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 Celtic Oskars

A Football game and a Miracle, Listowel Feis and William Street in 2014

Listowel Celtic Oskars

 In the presbytery the cast of Fr. Ted filming for Listowel Celtic’s Oskars. Award ceremony and after parties were held on Feb. 29 2020,


The following poem was written by Noel Roche of Listowel now living in the US. 

He says “Field of Dreams is about a game of Soccer that took place in the Mart Field ( now Feale Drive)  in late 70s/ early 80s between Listowel Celtic and Gleann Rovers. As a Prelude to the poem  I would like you to state that the Poem has enough truth to be Fact but it also has enough Fiction ( poetic license) to be entertaining. “

Field of Dreams 

Noel Roche 

The biggest bunch of misfits,

That you have ever seen.

Ran out onto the mart field,

Wearing the red and green.

To take on the might of Celtic,

That was their quest on that day. 

And erase the tag of second best,

This was the only way.

The Celtic team arrived on time,

And got out of their cars.

They had shiny boots and Munster youths,

They looked like soccer stars. 

Eric made the team favourites, 

He said, “they’re the best in town”.

But he forgot eleven misfits,

Who called themselves “The Gleann”.

The people manned the side-lines,

They came from near and far.

And one man said “t’won’t be no game,

This will be bloody war.

Unless the ref can keep them quiet, 

I’m not so sure he can.

But if anyone can do it, 

Then ‘The Sheriff’ is that man”. 

Three o clock, the whistle blows,

At last the game is on.

Now it’s down to soccer,

Coz the hype and talk is done.

The Gigs runs up the side-line,

With a fury never seen.

For months he gave his heart and soul,

To the boys in red and green. 

Then Celtic got a free kick,

Which prompted Gigs to call.

“Don’t let em in boys, stand in front,

And build a human wall”.

But they bent the ball around the wall,

Twas buried in the net.

And the Gleann boys said “don’t worry Gigs,

The games not over yet”. 

The Gleann played hard and furious,

And moved the ball upfield.

A Celtic defence, a tower of strength,

Now would these Gleann boys yield.

Come on said Gigs, you have em now,

As a tear came to his eye.

And they passed to Noel, who scored the goal,

That made the game a tie. 

What happened next is history,

Of which people often talk.

The miracle of the mart field,

That made Jack Galvin walk.

The crowd was stunned in silence,

As the ball hit Celtics net.

But Jack jumped out of his chair,

And said, “that’s the best one yet”. 

Soon the game was over,

And the Gleann boys jumped for joy.

And Gigs who could not hold it back,

Cried like a little boy.

And for the other Gleann boys,

This I’d like to say.

We did not feel like misfits then,

We felt like kings that day.

Now years later, the field is gone,

And I am far away.

I close my eyes, it takes me back,

To the mart field on that day.

I hear Gigs screaming, “C’mon boys”,

Till he could hardly talk.

And the goal we thought was holy, 

Coz it made Jack Galvin walk.


Jerry Ryan cleaning up on William Street during race week  (2014 I think)


Listowel Feis 1912

Kerry News  Wednesday, June 05, 1912; Page: 3


The Feis.
The arrangements for Listowel Feis are now well underway, and this year’s one promises to surpass all those of previous years. For many years the people of North Kerry have looked forward with no small amount of interest to the fixture, and they were never disappointed. The date fixed is July 7th, and nothing is being left undone to make it an unqualified success.
The Syllabus.
The syllabus, which is slightly an improvement on previous ones, includes within its scope competitions in the language and history of our country, vocal and instrumental music, storytelling, dialogue, recitation and dancing. It also includes, harp, flute, and Irish war pipes competitions. Copies of the syllabus may be had from the hon, secretary. Anyone requiring information on any point may get it without delay from the secretary.

The Byrne Scholarship.
The thanks of the Committee is due to Mr. M. J. Byrne, solicitor, Listowel, for again donating a valuable scholarship. It is attainable by the boy or girl in the baronies of Iraghticonnor and Clanmaurice and the Abbeyfeale Coisde Coanntair who obtains the highest number of marks in the following subjects:—(a ) Irish conversation, 500 marks ; (b) fluency in reading Irish at sight, 250;
(c) storytelling or dialogue in Irish, 250—only one can be taken; (d) writing Irish from dictation, 200: (e) Irish grammar, l30; (f) short original impromptu story in Irish, 100; (g) best collection in Irish of local traditions or stories, to be sent to the hon. secretary one week at least before Feis , 150; (h) Irish singing, 50; Irish dancing—jig, reel and hornpipe, 50.
The competition for the above promises to be very keen. This is the third time that Mr. Byrne has been so good as to offer a scholarship. It would be well if we had other men of that stamp amongst us. ‘Tis a noble example of patriotism.

Kerryman 1904-current, 08.06.1912, page 4
Feis subscriptions M. J Byrne, £8; a Friend £1; M J Nolan J.P. V.C Co. C, 15 shillings; G Gun Mahony Esq. J.P. 10 shillings. M J Nolan also sent a letter of support to Mr Griffin Hon Sec of Feis Committee.

Listowel Castle, Baltimore Talk, Bibiana Foran and Listowel Celtic Oskars

Cathleen Mulvihill shared this unusual picture of Listowel Castle on the Glin Historical Society page


The Oskars

Lent in the old days was a time for plays and drama. Dances were forbidden and people entertained themselves as best they could at card games and plays.

Well, Listowel is going to get a taste of the good old days on February 29 2020.

Filming has been taking place with local people reenacting such classic plays/films as The Field, The Snapper, Sister Act, Grease and Father Ted and prizes will be awarded on the night to the best film etc. It promises to be a night to remember.

Joanne O’Riordan shared this photo of filming of The Field at The Thatch in Lisselton.

This great picture of some of the cast of Sister Act comes from Kevin Rowe Events who did the filming.


Bibiana Foran

This plaque is on a commemorative bench in Listowel’s town park.

I wrote here about this lady before. Vincent Carmody is a great man for keeping the memory of Listowel’s old stock alive. He told me all about this lady with the unusual name. Her grandniece saw the post and here, in case you missed it,  is the comment she posted.

Bibiana Foran was my grand aunt. The OS most probably stands for her initials of her maiden name…she was O’Sullivan. Her home was in Lacca, Ballyhahill. Her brother Patrick was my grandfather. She was an amazingly capable lady….had a huge impact on the lives of many of the underprivileged in Listowel. She befriended many of the political prisoners during the trouble times. She with Lady Aberdeen, established the first sanatorium in Peamount, Dublin. A letter to her from prison from Thomas Ashe is in Tralee library. I gave it to her grand daughter, Grace, ( now sadly deceased) who had it presented to Tralee library. My aunt , Nora O’Sullivan, had that letter among her possessions, as she inherited Auntie Bibbie’s property in Ballybunion. I felt her grand daughter should have it. She & husband Jeremiah, also owned the Horseshoe Bar in Listowel & Cahirdown house in Listowel . Would be happy to give further info if needed. Irene Hynes 



Field Names in Bromore

One of the fields I know is called The Well field. In olden times it was said that it was a very holy well but no people visit it now. Two people who were nearly blind had their sight restored to them after a visit to it. One of these was Johanna Collins and she died only a short time ago and she was 90 years. The people near at hand are now using the water out of it for the household use. This well is in land of Patrick Collins. The well is called Tobar na geárdáin.

Martin Leahy v

Bromore 22 – 6 1938

Information from my Uncle

Edmond Leahy, smith ; aged 72

He got the story from his grandfather.


Baltimore Followers

Here is a date for the diary for anyone who is near here.

( Photo and text from Mark Holan’s Irish American Blog)

This is the Irish Railroad Workers Museum and it is here that Mark Holan will give this talk on March 7

Ruth Russell Talk is March 7 in Baltimore

I’m giving a talk about American journalist Ruth Russell’s 1919 reporting trip to revolutionary Ireland on Saturday, March 7, at the Irish Railroad Workers Museum in Baltimore.

The talk is based on my five-part monograph about Russell’s life. I presented this research at the 2019 annual conferences of the American Journalism Historians Association, in Dallas, and the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland, in Belfast.

Register for the free event, which begins at 11 a.m. The museum is located at 918 Lemon St., near downtown Baltimore. Here’s my earlier post about the museum, which is worth visiting anytime.

Garden of Europe, The Oskars, A Photograph and and the Weather

Spring sun casting shadows over the steps into The Garden of Europe


The Night of The Oskars

Promises to be  great night.

I caught these 4, Mary, Jennifer, Catherine and Namir during filming at Christy’s


North Kerry Writers

Pictures in Flavin’s window


The Value of a Photograph

Every photograph is  important. When the photographer clicks that shutter, he captures a moment in time that will not come again but can be relived with the help of the snap.

I enjoyed this essay which is shared with us by Mattie Lennon


                                By Mattie Lennon

  Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man. –Edward Steichen.

   Great thinkers have made many comments about photography but when was yours truly introduced to the medium?

   It was a Sunday in the early summer of 1949. My mother was combing my curly, uncooperative, hair and my father was repairing one of my boots on the small foot of the last. I was being prepared for the journey to the other side of Kylebeg, to my mother’s uncle, Phil Molloy. His nephew, Dan Quinn, was down from Dublin and would take my “snap”.

   Across the valley was a long walk for a three-year old. On arriving at our destination I was put standing on a dry stone-wall which seemed frighteningly high. It was probably about eighteen inches high but to me it was like being on the Eiffel Tower.

   My Grand-uncle was an economy conscious bachelor, sheep farmer, not in the habit of dispensing lemonade or sweets. And he wouldn’t even dream of pressing a shiny shilling, or even a tanner, into the sweaty palm of a shy junior. His favourite comment on the prevailing economic climate of the time was, “It’s hard to live now.” The click of the Brownie didn’t impress; perhaps it led to my camera-shyness in later life.

   When, recently, I dug out the picture (which is the only pictorial record of me until I made my Confirmation seven years later) I decided to write a poem about it;


At three.

  I was claiming that it was the shortest poem in the English language until an intellectual acquaintance took the wind out of my sails. (Don’t they always!)

   He pointed out in his erudite manner that Mohammed Ali’s autographical poem was shorter;



David Hockney said, “ All you can do with most ordinary photographs is stare at them”. Is this “snap” an ordinary photograph and can I only stare at it? I don’t know. All I know is that it is me seventy years ago and everybody else associated with it has gone to that great studio in the sky.


Weather Lore

From the Dúchas Schools’ Folklore Collection

Weather Signs

When bad weather is near at hand you will notice in this locality the foam rise and dash against the Cliffs off the coast of Clare. The Rooks and Seagulls fly to the land when severe weather is approaching searching for food. The cat sits on the hearth, the soot falls down the Chimney when we are near bad weather. You would also notice a circle round the sun and moon and the clouds are very dark. the wind is generally from the west or south west when we have bad weather.

When we have good weather in this locality you will hear the waves at the north or north east. When we have good weather the birds fly high into the air in search of food. This is generally the case with the swallow. The sun and moon shine bright and clear and the sea is quite calm.

Michael Griffin v.



June 23rd -1938

Information from people at home

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén