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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

Tag: Listowel cinema

June Races, Ladies Day 2022

Dublin’s Temple Bar from a website Ireland of the Welcomes

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Listowel Races, June Weekend 2022

Sunday was Ladies Day on The Island and John Kelleher took these photos of the style winners.

These were the 10 finalists for the best dressed lady competition.

The judges had a hard job. On the left is the runner up, Denise Jeffers. The winner is in the centre off the photo, Grace Flynn. Winner of the most fashion forward hat was Denise O’Connor on the right.

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People on Opening Night June 1 2022

Vourneen Kissane and Margaret Reidy
Maureen Hartnett, Carmel Hartnett and Aileen Scanlan
Bernie McAuliffe and Michael Enright
David Browne and Michael Enright

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Lartigue Monorail back on track

The O’Neill family were first on board for the 2022 season. I hope they all have a great season as I know funds were running low for this unique Listowel visitor attraction. This might be a good year for Listowel folk to take a trip.

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A Poem

Local poet, Pat Given, launched his latest anthology, A New Day, at Writers’ Week 2022

Pat with his wife and family on the night of the launch

One of Pat’s charming poems.

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A Tumbling Paddy

I remember being fascinated as I watched my father working with this piece of equipment. I haven’t seen one in real life for years and years. I must be remembering it from 1955 or early 56. My father died in 1957.

The tumbling paddy was attached to the horse and he pulled it along while my father guided it through the hay row. The purpose was to gather the hay into piles to be made into wynnds. The skill involved tumbling the pile of hay. My father used to put the reins over his head for the act of tumbling. He would then upend the paddy and tumble out the pile of hay. This meant for a few seconds letting go of the shafts. He then skilfully circumnavigated the pile of hay, retook the shafts and the reins and continued on hay gathering. It was hard skilful work. The paddy had no moving parts. All the work was done by man and horse working in unison. It is one of my most vivid childhood memories.

The photograph was shared by Dan Hartnett on Facebook. Thank you, Dan.

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Update on the Cinema

The campaign to save our cinema has unfortunately, not been successful.

This is the latest post from the brave committee who tried their best to save the cinema. They have bowed out gracefully.

Yesterday we were informed by the auctioneers that the Classic has been sold to a “retail investor”. There is a detailed update on the GoFundMe page (link in bio) but we’d just simply like to thank everyone on here for your support. It’s been a real pleasure.

Thank you

Friends of Listowel Cinema

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A Cinema, a Parade and a Nun

Feale sculpture, March 2022

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Ambitious Plans for the Cinema

Article from last week’s Kerryman

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A Few More Photos from St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2022

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From an old Pres. Yearbook

In 2009 Aoife O’Neill, Aoife O’Connell and Maria Barry interviewed Sr. Consolata for the yearbook. Here is her account of her life in her own words.

(more tomorrow)

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Sive Walk, River Feale, Listowel Cinema and Some Old Summer Camp Photos


Freezers Corner


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Sive Walk


The Sive Walk has been a godsend during lockdown, with many Listowel people discovering it for the first time. It is beautifully maintained by Jim Beasley who lives nearby and photographed by Denis Carroll who has fought hard for its retention.


All photos by Denis Carroll

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Phase 2 Plus


We have been catapulted unexpectedly into an accelerated opening up of our economy. Our 5 phase strategy is now a four phase one and lots of businesses are opening today or tomorrow. In preparation Listowel streets have been deep cleaned and shopkeepers have busy over the weekend getting ready for the new normal.

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River Feale in the very dry summer of 2020

There is much luxuriant vegetation growing where the river used to be.

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Classic Cinema in June 2020

In one of those little ironies that sometimes occur, the last film advertised before the shutdown was No Time to Die.

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Pierse and Fitzgibbon


Housed in the same building as the solicitors is HQ Listowel.

I looked it up for you so I would have it right;

“HQ Listowel follows on from the success of HQ Tralee, one of Ireland’s leading regional coworking spaces for productive, creative and collaborative people. For sole-traders, remote workers and growing businesses: HQ Listowel is a place to meet and work alongside other like-minded people.”

Sounds like just the ticket for these remote working times.


HQ is accessed by a door in the lane behind Market Street.

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Summer Camps in the 1980s


Carmel Sweeney Gornall was a camp leader at summer camps back in the day. She has shared two photos with us.

1988 Summer camp at Listowel Community Centre

1987

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A Sally Switch and A Besom



I had the following emails from Nicholas  Leonard apropos of old cures.

Mary, I forgot one vital, if  imaginary, but much threatened item in my mother’s ‘medicine cabinet’ – the sally switch! this was for corrective, disciplinary ‘medicine.’ I can’t remember there ever being a sally switch in the house, although one would have been needed at times! My Grandmother always had besoms in her kitchen- these were very handy for brushing the floor or shoo-ing a hen that perched on her half-door. Or, maybe, as part of the ‘corrective medicine’ cabinet! Many people around Listowel will know well what a besom is. Perhaps birch besoms are still made and used around Listowel as there are boglands in the area. It would be great to hear from  someone who made and used besoms.  In any case, Besom, is a fascinating word with a varied meanings- from brooms, to witches, to a Scottish word for – to be brief – an ‘unworthy woman.’  It is said that the name of the household broom originated  from the shrub Genista, also called broom, which was used to make besoms. Besoms can even be bought online! I  expect  that birch besoms are still made and used by some people around Listowel as there are boglands in the area. It would be great to hear from  someone from  the North Kerry area  who made and used besoms, and maybe still do so. There is a gentleman in the area that makes excellent old-time walking sticks for the Wheelchair Association Shop in Listowel. We have a supply of them that will ‘see us down!’  Maybe besoms will be next for sale there! 

My Mother (89 years young and a with photographic memory) tells me that our besoms were made from nice, long strands of fresh heather from the nearby Blackshade Bog. These were tied securely on to a brush handle – usually a nice length of a Hazel stick. This handle allowed overhead cobwebs to be reached, and obviated the necessity for bending to sweep the floor.

There was almost nothing in those days that could not be fashioned for use around the house and yard. Our ancestors were definitely ‘eco-friendly’ and truly valued the bounty of Nature. I knew of one man, noted widely as ‘a thick man,’  who really took thrift to the limits during the ‘last’ war!  He was addicted to cigarettes, when he could get them. To save expense he would make the box of matches go twice as far  by splitting each match down the middle- even the sulphur heads were divided (two for the price of one) with a single-edge razor blade!  

Which topic reminds me of a noted Kerry saying about wastefulness, which referenced a once well-off but profligate Killarney family:  “That’s what broke the McCarthys of Looscaunagh- sitting by the fire and lighting matches for the pipe!”

Another thought struck me – about the ‘banning’ of Holy Water- Is Hand Sanitiser the current ‘holy water’; could real Holy Water be adapted to  combat viruses, etc.? Surely that would be a real work of mercy – both corporal and spiritual. Double the value- like the matches!

Xistance Mural, Friday Market and a few Listowel changes

Listowel Tidy Town Committee and Existance Youth Café have done a great job on the mural on the wall on the lane beside St. Patrick’s Hall

Great work; Well done all involved.

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At the Friday Market



Pat and Maurice Hannon and some of their girls

These musicians were contributing to the buzz in the Square on Market Day

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The Cinema


Listowel Fitness Centre


Dingle, Listowel and a U.S. connection

Fungi in the morning

Dingle as Fungi sees it at sunrise

These stunning photographs were taken by the good people who photograph Fungie every day for his very own website:  w ww.facebook.com/12FungieForever12

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Kerry locals for a season


I met this lovely U.S. family in Craftshop na Méar. They have to choose every summer between Florida and Moyvane and again this year they chose to be in Moyvane. They have come to North Kerry so often that they have added Namir Karim of Scribes to the list of their many Irish  friends.

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A great photo of a young Bono from Eric Luke’s old negatives.

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Listowel Cinema a.k.a. Listowel Movieplex


The recently extended cinema looks great after its facelift.

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The Sive Walk and John Paul 11 Graveyard

John Paul 2 cemetery is always beautifully maintained and is now looking particularly well after the recent annual graveyard mass.

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Jim MacSweeney took some great photos on the Ring of Kerry Cycle. Here are a few local ones from his collection of 800

Elaine McGuire

Someone from Finuge

Noel Hilliard

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