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Credit Union and Pitch and Putt at 50

Lovely statue of St Patrick in Harp and Lion window


Vincent’s Window


St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2023

Spectators on Main Street

Local Primary scho0ls were out in force this year. It was heartwarming to see so many young people taking part. Well done staff and parents. They were a credit to you.


Credit Union looking back

Listowel Credit Union is celebration 50 years since the early days in Charles Street. The present committee brought out a booklet to celebrate.

I took a few pictures of the pictures in the booklet.


More Pitch and Putt Memories

A few more of Tom O’Halloran’s photos of good times in the pitch and putt club.

Looks like a prize giving…a good few O’Hallorans in this photo.

Another prize giving

Fr. Kerins and Pat Walshe

This one looks like a bit of a party in the clubhouse; Brendan Kenny with his back to the camera, Con Whelan, Michael Walshe, Teresa Carey and Billy Moloney.


Surprising Facts About the American Civil War


Credit Union Memories

Upper Church Street March 2023


A Tara Brooch

One of the most beautiful  treasures in the National Museum is The Tara Brooch which dates from around 700A.D. It was found on the beach in Bettystown in 1850 and according to Wikipaedia has nothing to do with Tara at all. 

The original may have nothing to do with Tara but this one has a Listowel connection. Eileen Moylan of Listowel, Macroom and Claddagh Design fame was once commissioned to make a modern day replica solid silver “Tara” brooch. She took us step by step through the smithing process in her blog here: 

The pieces cut out in silver.

Inserting the gems.

Engraving, finishing and polishing

Eileen’s splendid finished diamond and emerald brooch

Wouldn’t it be perfect to wear on Patrick’s Day?


Listowel Credit Union at 50

The interior of Listowel Credit Union’s lovely office on the Monday of the celebration, March 6 2023.

I met Eleanor OSullivan and Jimmy Deenihan.

Leo Daly and Betty O’Sullivan are long serving members of the credit union. They posed for my photos with Jimmy Deenihan.

There was a big display of press clippings on the day. I photographed a few.


Look who is Coming to Listowel Writers’ Week 2023

“Seamus O’Hara, who plays Turlough in An Irish Goodbye, will be leading a workshop with acclaimed Casting Director Mary-Ellen O’Hara called ‘Interpretation, Inflection, Intonation: Poetry Aloud’.”

You can book a place in this workshop or tickets for some of the events on the programme at Listowel Writers’ Week


Something Different


Listowel, San Diego, Prague

Upper William Street, January 2023


It Started with a Poem

Richard Moriarty of San Diego is a blog follower. His friend, Judy Alexander sometimes helps him by typing the occasional poem to send to us here.

She sent me this last week

On the occasion of her 100th birthday, Friday, January 23, 2023, dedicated to Eileen Moriarty,

 born in Ballydonogue and living now in Dublin

( The birthday was on Friday Jan 20th. but a typo in the first email led me astray and then it took a bit longer for the ladies to get the tributes together and for Dave O’Sullivan to help me convert the pdf image they sent to one I could use here. Apologies Eileen, birthday girl, and all her family for missing the big day)




























By Richard G. Moriarty of

Ballydonohue  Listowell

and San Diego California


I wrote back to ask if Richard had a photo or a story or something to give us a better picture of his mother. It is not everyday someone reaches this big milestone birthday.

Richard hasn’t mastered technology at all and Judy and his wife, Molly, are not too adept at it either but they put a lot of effort into sending us the following.


I am Molly Moriarty, married to Richard, son of Eileen Moriarty.  I am very glad to be able to wish my mother-in-law a happy 100th year birthday.  I met Richard and Eileen in 1980 when visiting Ireland and having just met Richard was invited to their home for a Sunday dinner.  I was immediately welcomed and the dinner was delicious.  After all these years I have realized how important family is to Eileen.  She is very interested in all things around her and always seems to know all the news.  I soon learned that if I wanted to know what was going on, just have a seat, and soon I would be better informed than watching the news.  She always looked far younger than she really is and is a beautiful lady.  Her faith has always buoyed her up as she has had more than her share of troubles.  I feel I could not say the same, and I truly respect her courage and strength and think of her as a role model.   There is so much in 100 years of telling that only a book could do her justice.  With that in mind, I feel proud to know her and, again,  wish her a happy 100th birthday.

Lovingly, Molly



One of my treasured memories of my Mom I guess would be when I was about seven years of age growing up in LISSELTON.   A good- natured local man entrusted me with a fullsize RALEIGH BICYCLE! Him, not knowing I wasn’t qualified to operate such an advanced piece of equipment and I wasn’t going to make him any the wiser. I was doing great on the straightway but when I came to Lyre Cross the stopping power just wasn’t there. With Johnny Cash it was the mud the blood and the beer, but with me it was the mud the blood the gravel and the Furze bushes. Now what to do?  My wails became more pronounced with each trickle of blood oozing from the scalp and even more so at the sight of the two gravel embedded kneecaps. But that wasn’t the worst of it, oh no, not even the road rash to the KEESTER. The worst would be the Mom. As I laid there in that stream that autumn evening, I could hear her, “Why are you doing this to me, who do you think you are, haven’t I enough to contend with besides you coming in here with this?”  But, not “Oh my God what happened to you (son)?” Between sobs and sniffles hiccups and heaves, “Mom, I was helpin’ Mrs. Foley fill her water barrels over at the river, and I fell off the donkey cart onto the BIG stones (YERRI)!”  “Sure. You’re always tryin’ to help people.”  Growing up in rural Ireland in the ‘60’s, where each household had eight or nine children, you had to think fast, REAL fast.  For the next two weeks the Mom was my primary doctor, night nurse, neurologist, and just like all moms, whatever roles needed to be filled.  The upshot of it all I made a LHOUBAWN of the ROTHAR but for two whole weeks I got loads of TLC and lots of TCP. Thank heaven for moms.

JANUARY 20, 2023



Richard G. Moriarty


As a friend of the family, I’ve heard many fond reminisces about Eileen Moriarty, although I never met
her. She is a true woman of her times, a farmer’s wife and mother of eight children. She could (and did)
awaken in the middle of the night to help birth a calf, and still manage to put a hot breakfast on the
table for her husband and children, pack their lunches, and see them off to the fields and school before
she headed out to do laundry, tend her veggie patch and all the other chores women of her time did
that made them super heroes to their families. Then it was back to the kitchen to prepare another
home-cooked meal. I’m sure her prayer was to manage a full night’s sleep without being called out to
help another farm animal.
Eileen is a woman of faith which, along with her stoic nature, has seen her through the tragedies that
are a part of living. She has always been a beautiful woman, taking pride in her appearance and her
representation of her family. There must be a portrait in the attic, growing old instead of her. This week
she received congratulations from President Higgins for reaching one hundred years of age. Well
deserved congratulations! Eileen lives at home now in Dublin with her daughter Margaret. God bless
them both, and happy birthday to Eileen!

Greetings from Judy Alexander of San
Diego, CA USA


The Real Child of Prague Statue

Kathleen Griffin sent these to us.

Infant of Prague
Infant of Prague statue

The Infant of Prague statue is located in the Church of Our Lady of Victories of the Discalced Carmelites, in Malá Strana, Prague, Czech Republic (Czechia).  The statue is only about 19” tall and has an extensive wardrobe of garments!  Photographed by Kathleen Griffin on 10th Sept., 2019.

The icon we are familiar with here bears very little resemblance to the real thing. It is a tradition in some countries to dress statues in actual clothes. This seems to be what happens here.

Thank you, Kathleen, for those images of The Infant of Prague in Prague. The little statue surely is magnificent.


Listowel, The Celtic Art Capital of Ireland

We pride ourselves here on being the literary first town in Ireland. The more I look into Celtic Art in town the more I am convinced that Listowel is at the forefront of this art form as well.

This magnificent piece is in Listowel Credit Union office . It is the work of the late Paddy Fitzgibbon.

Dave O’Sullivan found the relevant article in The Kerryman of May 28 2008.

I’ve enlarged the text a bit. I hope you can read it. There is nothing that I know of anywhere in the world to match this for artistry. The influence of the Book of Kells is obvious.

There is another Fitzgibbon piece in Scoil Realta na Maidine. I’ll bring you that tomorrow.


Jimmy Hickey

I love to run into my friend, Jimmy Hickey, when I am in town. I met him last week at the St. Vincent de Paul Day Centre where he was collecting meals to deliver to people in North Kerry. Jimmy told me that people get a delicious meal from this Meals on Wheels service and he is only too happy to help with the delivery.

Jimmy told me that he had lost a friend over the Christmas holidays.

Poet, Anne Hartigan and Jimmy have been good friends since they first met at Listowel Writers’ Week in 1996.

Jimmy gave a talk on the history of Irish dancing. He had some of his dancers on hand to demonstrate the steps. Jimmy invited the audience to dance with the local dancers. Jimmy was dancing with the poet, Anne Drysdale, who enjoyed herself so much she wrote a poem about it. Another poet present was Anne Hartigan. She admired Jimmy’s dancing and proposed that he compose a dance to which she would write a poem.

The dance and the poem were duly composed and Jimmy and Anne practiced their performance in Ballygrennan, with Anne reciting and Jimmy dancing on an old half door.

“My feet were the music to her poetry.”

Later that year the Kerryman’s Association in Dublin were organizing a big £100 a ticket fundraiser. They asked Jimmy and Anne to perform their unique dance to poetry.
There were 1,000 people in attendance and Dan Collins was the M.C.

The audience were spellbound by the rhythmic taps of the dancer to the cadence of Anne Hartigan’s poems, What Way the Wind Blows which Jimmy choreographed in jig time and Little Lord of Death which he danced in reel time.

Jimmy wrote out the steps in the old Gaelic notation with seimhiús and síne fadas. 

This unique performance was greatly appreciated by the audience.

As far as Jimmy knows this has never been done before or since.

Jimmy and Anne remained friends. When she passed away on December 29 2022, her family informed Jimmy and he flew to Dublin for her funeral.

Thus closed an extraordinary chapter in Jimmy’s very colourful life.

May Anne le Marquand Hartigan rest in peace.


Bromore Cliffs, Thomas Moore and Covid Queueing and last Week’s just a Thought


Listowel Credit Union Building in Church Street in May 2020


Good News from Bromore Cliffs

We are open again since Monday 18th of May ! the Seapink and Vetch are in full bloom.  The Bromore Fox had three cubs. The Ravens fledged two chicks and all the other birds and wildlife are busy high and low on the Cliffs


Róisín Meaney is on Song

Earl Grey in the garden for me,

Or maybe a large g&t;

I won’t let this jazz

Steal my razzmatazz,

To covid I won’t bend the knee

Róisín Meaney


Are you Right there, Thomas, are you right?

Boston Pilot (1838-1857), Volume 1, Number 47, 15 December 1838



It having become known to the inhabitants of Fermoy that the high-minded and disinterested patriot, Moore, was sojourning at Convamore, the seat of Lord Listowel, a meeting was held in that town on the 22d ult. to frame an address to him on his visit to the land whose wrongs, whose sorrows, and whose sufferings he has immortalised in song. It was intended that the address should be presented by deputation, but the sudden departure of Mr. Moore having prevented the adoption of this course, Counsellor O’Flanagan (author of “ Impressions at ‘Home and Abroad,”) who acted as secretary to the meeting, forwarded it to his residence. We insert, with much pleasure the address and answer, confident that every Irishman must feel proud of any tribute paid to the writer of Those songs whose every tone, When bard and minstrel long have past, Shall still in sweetness all their own Embalmed by fame undying last.



Bowood, October 5. Dear Sir —Owing to my absence from home, your letter and the flattering address from the inhabitants of Fermoy which it enclosed, did not reach me till this morning, and I lose not a moment in endeavouring to express to you how truly sensible I am of the value of the high compliment thus conferred upon me. I should feel too vain could I, for a moment, persuade myself that my own deserts were in any degree proportionate to the generous estimate set, upon them by my fellow-countrymen. Such tributes, however are not less gratifying for the kind excess of praise over merit in which they indulge ; and, for myself, I can only say that, accustomed as I am to such overflows of heart from my countrymen, I still feel them with all the freshness of my first gratitude and surprise. Wishing every happiness to you and the other unknown but kind friends who have thus honoured me, I am, dear Sir, your

Obliged servant,

To J. R. O’Flanagan, Esq., Fermoy.


Follow the Yellow Brick Road

We are becoming familiar with yellow markings like these on the pavements. They mark where we are to stand while queueing.


Leaving Cert 1970; a few more names

By email;  Re the St Michael’s photo.. I think Stephen Stack in middle of second row.. And myself John Hynes  second last in middle row.


Covid Thoughts

My last week’s reflections are at the link below

Just a Thought

Winter in Goa, Slimming World and Christmas long ago.

The timeless unspoiled beauty of the Gap of Dunloe is captured in December 2017 by a man who appreciates the beauty of Kerry and captures it lovingly in photos….Chris Grayson.


Winter in Goa

It’s a long way from O’Connell’s Avenue to Goa. Maria Sham is a loyal follower of Listowel connection and she has already shared her memories of a happy childhood spent in her O’Connell’s Avenue home.

Maria Sham today

I don’t know if Maria is in this photo but these are the people she knew growing up.

Maria now lives in England and from there she recently took the holiday of a lifetime to Goa. Here the weather, the lifestyle, the economy, everything is a world away from our side of the world. Here are some of  Maria’s photos.

As you can see she spent much of her time on the beach.

This last photo is of a young man harvesting betel nut. Betel is the main ingredient in paan.

“If you’ve never
tried paan — a post-meal mainstay at social gatherings
and banquet halls in India — it can be a bit hard to explain to
the uninitiated. Part breath freshener, part digestive aid, paan is essentially a wad of dried fruits, spices
and seeds wrapped into a large green leaf from the betel nut plant. Think of
those little candied fennel seeds you spoon into your hand at Indian
restaurant, times 1,000. With paan, you pick up
the entire triangular-shaped package and stuff it into your cheek pocket,
chewing a few times to get the juices moving. The betel leaf, a mild stimulant,
turns brick red as it’s masticated and puts a slight pep in your step. After
all the juices have been released, you spit out the mushy bolus and toss it in
the trash — breath fresher, stomach lighter and head abuzz.” Source: Wikipedia.


New Business on Charles St.

Do you remember I posted this photo and I told you I’d tell you what shop was going in here? Well the answer is that it is not a shop at all but Slimming World.


My Favourite Shop

When I visited my favourite shop recently I saw some new faces. It’s great to see some lovely sympathetic women joining the welcoming friendly and invariably cheerful staff in this excellent shop. You’d never know what treasure you will find in Listowel’s Vincent de Paul shop and at a very affordable price.


Another Eamon Kelly description of Christmases in  the 1920s

The Season of
Light by Eamon Kelly from

The Rub of the
Relic 1978

No word of a lie
but Christmas was something to write home about when I was small. Oh, the way
we looked forward to twilight on Christmas Eve, for when darkness fell it was
Christmas Night, the greatest night of all the year. We youngsters would be up
at the crack of dawn that morning to have the house ready for the night.

Berry holly would
have to be cut and brought in to deck out the windows, the top of the dresser,
the back of the settle and the clevvy, We’d bring ivy too and put a sprig of
laurel behind the pictures, above the lintel of the door and around the
fireplace. But we wouldn’t overdo it for, if we did our mother would cut it
down a bit, reminding us that she’d like to feel she was in her own home for
Christmas and not in the middle of a wood!

Well The
transformation we would bring about in the kitchen with all the greenery! But
we weren’t finished yet The Christmas candles would have to be prepared; these
were of white tallow as thick as the handle of a spade and nearly as tall. In
some houses, they’d scoop out a hole in a turnip and put a candle sitting into
it.  A big crock we’d use. We’d put the
candle standing into that and pack it around with sand. If you hadn’t sand,
bran or pollard would do.

When the candle was firm in position we’d spike sprigs
of holly or laurel into the sand about the candle and we’d have coloured paper
too to put around the outside of the crock to take the bare look off it. With
that same coloured paper the girls in the family, if they were anyway handy,
could make paper flowers to decorate the holly. Then what would cap it all was
a length of young ivy to spiral up around the candle – it looked lovely. That
done, we would go through the same 
manoeuvre until
there was a candle in a crock for every window in the house.

(more tomorrow)


Christmas Jumper Day

Staff at Listowel Credit Union took part in Radio Kerry’s Christmas Jumper Day for St. Vincent de Paul and they posted this photo on Twitter.

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