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 Garda Station

Listowel in Happy and Unhappy Times

In Market Street, Listowel in November 2021

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Did you know?

Listowel Garda Station was once the local RIC station. It was the scene of a famous mutiny in 1920.

The Ladybird version; The police commissioner for Munster planned to impose Martial Law on the town and to amalgamate the police and the military in a bid to wipe out Sinn Féin.

Constable Jeremiah Mee declared that he was an Irishman and with that he plonked his cap belt and bayonet on the table and refused to follow Ferguson’s orders. His fellow officers supported him and they too refused to cooperate and prevented his arrest.

Later that day 25 officers met in what is now John B. Keane’s pub and it was agreed that 14 single policemen would resign from the force.

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Happy Boys at The Falls

Seán Keane sent the photo. Éamon ÓMurchú enhanced the photo and researched the names.

Eamon O’Connor is lying in front with his hand to his head. On his right (left in photo) is Eamon Leahy. Behind him is his brother, Tadhg Leahy, beside him behind Eamon O’Connor is Ciarán ÓMurchú. Buddy Scanlon is the boy with the towel over his shoulder. Behind him is Monty Galvin and Toddy Scanlon is behind Monty.

Any help in naming the others will be greatly appreciated.

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New Mode of Transport

My first sighting of an adult scooter in Listowel.

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Then and Now

Harp and Lion in 2007
Harp and Lion in 2021

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A Christmas Window for 2021

John R.’s gingerbread house display is in keeping with the delicious fare inside this shop.

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Painting the Garda Station, More Covid Signs and Some Listowel People

On the River Brick


Photo; Bridget O’Connor


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A Bit of Dickying Up

Lovely paint job at Listowel Garda Station as it remembers that it’s 100 years since its moment in history

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Social Distance Meet up in Erskine Childers’ Park



Friends, Maureen Hartnett, Helen Moylan and Joan Kenny enjoy a coffee and a scone on Bank Holiday Monday June 1 2020

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Fond Memories of a Trip to Ireland

Mark Holan

With more than 11 million annual visitors kept home by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism Ireland has released a short video to remind prospective travelers they “can still dream of future holidays and adventures.” The campaign, titled “I will return: Fill your heart with Ireland,” arrives at the 20th anniversary of my first visit in May 2000.

And that recalls my dearest experience of Ireland.

At Dublin Airport, I handed my new Irish/E.U. passport to the customs agent, having obtained citizenship through foreign birth registration. He waved me into the country without question. Then, as I waited for my luggage, I thought I heard my name called on the public address system.

“That couldn’t be me,” I thought. “Nobody knows me here.”

I took a taxi to my bed and breakfast in Portmarnock. The room wasn’t ready, but the innkeeper secured my suitcase and I took a mid-morning walk on the nearby strand.

When I returned, my host answered a telephone call.

“Yes, he is here,” he said.

It was  for me.

The voice at the other end of the line–and it was still a line–belonged to a woman in her 60s, a retired school teacher, the unmarried daughter of a North Kerry man. His brother was my mother’s father, who emigrated shortly before the Easter Rising. 

My grandfather married a North Kerry women in Pittsburgh, where several of their siblings and other relations also lived. Because of these connections to Ireland, deepened by the citizenship through decent process, I shared my travel itinerary with my mother. She passed the details to her sister, who maintained regular contact with the woman on the phone, the one who had me paged at Dublin Airport. Her name was Eithne.

My plans to meet the Irish relations were unformed, something to be figured out during the trip, if any of them even cared to meet me. A holy trinity of Irish and Irish-American women assured those introductions. My plans changed within an hour of my arrival. Eithne insisted that I lodge with her.

The B&B host graciously released me from my booking. Eithne’s Jack Russell Terrier, named Beano, sniffed me suspiciously, but deigned that I enter the house on Griffith Avenue, Dublin, near Corpus Christi Catholic Church. I was very welcome in Ireland.

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Signs of the Times


Summer 2020 will be remembered for the many shop signs advising customers of new procedures in place during the pandemic of 2020.

Mr. Kebab

Mama Mia

Listowel Travel

Carrolls is open

Zingyzest is to open soon

O Sullivan Cycles

St. John’s, sadly, is closed

Fitzpatrick’s Taxi

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Canon Declan Working During the Crisis



I met Canon Declan O’Connor, another frontline hero  in The Square. He has been working throughout this period of restrictions and adapting to saying mass behind closed doors and conducting funerals to small groups of mourners.

A Robin, a smile, new windows at Listowel Garda Station and the Christmas parcel from America remembered

A Kerry robin in a Christmassy setting photographed by Chris Grayson

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This Spike Milligan poem is doing the rounds on Twitter.

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A Card and a Caption from the National Library’s Collection




Nat Library Ireland @NLIreland  59m59 minutes ago

An example of a 1918 Christmas card An example of a 1918 Christmas card for you today, issued by the Royal Army Medical Corps, [Great] Northern Central Hospital, for a Christmas social evening. The front of the card reads “Keep Smiling in Ardus Fidelus”- some sound advice!”. you today, issued by the Royal Army Medical Corps, [Great] Northern Central Hospital, for a Christmas so

<<<<<<cial evening. The front of the card reads “Keep Smiling in Ardus Fidelus”- some sound advice!”.

Listowel Garda Station, Christmas 2017

Notice the lovely new windows in the same style as the old ones to fit in with Listowel Garda Station’s status as a heritage building.

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Christmas in Rural
Ireland in the 1950s…….The parcel from America

from Jim Costelloe’s  Asdee  A Rural Miscellany

I remember when
the first sign of the festive season was when the letter from my Aunt Nell in
New York arrived with the news that she was posting a “package” to us. The
parcel was being sent by “ordinary mail” and would take about 6 weeks to
arrive. It was being posted on the same day as the letter which was sent by
airmail. When the package arrived there was great excitement as we waited
patiently to see what each one had got. The label read “old clothes” and the
ritual of opening the parcel kept us in suspense as himself very carefully
opened the knots in the twine, so that none of it would be wasted.

He had a habit of
keeping everything that might come in useful so the twine was carefully made
into a ball and put in his waistcoat pocket. The brown paper which wrapped the
parcel was folded and put away before we might see what was in the package. We
all got some items of clothing. These were duly allocated by my mother. Some
articles were rejected because they were not suitable for wear here and people
would know they were American. The anticipation of what would be in that parcel
was the start of the excitement of Christmas in my youth.

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Meanwhile in Germany 



Philomena Moriarty Kuhn now lives far from her native Listowel. One of the differences this loyal follower of Listowel Connection will experience this year is a white Christmas.

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Slán Tamall



I’m signing off for 2017. I’ll take a short break to recharge the batteries. 

See you back here in 2018, le cúnamh Dé

Christmas Craft Fair, some photos, a poem and a sugar tax in 1901

May you have a happy, safe and thankful Thanksgiving all U.S. friends of Listowel



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Christmas is coming

And the goose is getting fat,

Please put a penny in the old man’s hat

If you haven’t got a penny

A ha’penny will do

If you haven’t got a ha’penny

God bless you.

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Sive Revival




In a week that saw Mickey McConnell’s Lidl and Aldi exceed 6 million views, John B’s ‘Sive’ launched in John B’s bar in the Gaiety Theatre. 

The Druid Production will run from the 26th Jan to the 3rd of March 2018

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Today’s November poem from Irish Stories of Love and Hope is from Rita Ann Higgins.

Our Mothers Die on
Days Like This

Rita Anne
Higgins  (Irish Stories of Loss and Hope)

Where there isn’t
a puff

And the walk from
the bus stop

To the front door

Isn’t worth the
longed-for

Out-of-the-question
cup of sweet tea

She can never have

Because doctor
do-little-or-nothing

Told her face to
face

It was the sugar
or the clay

The choice was
hers.

The choice was no
choice

He knew it, she
knew it.

When the heavy
bill on the hall floor

With the final
notice reminded her

Once and for all
she must turn out the lights,

Her Angelus bell
rang and rang.

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Photos from a Craft fair


I was at a craft fair in The Seanchaí, Listowel on Sunday November 12 2017. I photographed some of the lovely fare on offer.

Stephen Pearce, Louis Mulcahy, Nicholas Mosse and a slew of others have made their fortune as potters with a distinctive style. In Listowel we have our very own local potter with a beautiful product and a distinctive style.

Pat Murphy’s Woodford Pottery is based in Woodford, Listowel. His pieces are available in black,  dark blue and green. They make an ideal present for anyone who loves Listowel and likes to have a piece of home close by at all times.

AND by comparison with the big names mentioned above they are very reasonably priced. Pat is a one man operation so he obviously doesn’t produce huge quantities. My advice is get to him before the world discovers him.

Woodford Pottery

Beautiful hand knitter nativity by Ella O’Sullivan

Eileen O’Sullivan makes these and other ceramic pieces to order.

Listowel’s best knitter and tea cosy designer is Frances O’Keeffe.  Her charming creations are still available at Craftshop na Méar and at local craft fairs.  

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A Sugar Tax…..in 1901!



My friend, Nicholas wrote us the following;

” I came across this little piece in the British Parliamentary Papers. It concerns a sugar tax proposed in c1901. The fuller debate is fascinating as it goes into the ramifications of all types of sugar and associated products- honey  seems to have been exempt from the intended tax.


Extracted from The Debate on the proposed Sugar Tax in the House of Commons on 29th April 1901:

‘… MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

said that as an Irish Member he desired to enter his protest against this tax because it pressed severely upon the poorest classes of the population. He had listened with amazement to the doctrine laid down by the Hon. Baronet opposite, who said that he welcomed this tax because it would tend to discourage the unwholesome custom of using jam and marmalade and sugar, instead of porridge and milk.


‘In many parts of the country the poor people could not get milk. The working classes of Ireland were unable to give milk to their children because they could not afford it, and consequently they had to fall back upon jam and marmalade. There was no more necessary food than sugar for young children if they could not get plenty of milk and butter. Milk contained a good deal of sugar, and if they could not get the natural sugar contained in milk they were driven to buy sugar, and to supply it in that shape. 


A tax upon sugar was a tax upon one of the prime necessities of life, and that was a departure from the traditional policy of this country for the last fifty years, which was to remove all taxes from all the necessary articles of food. If they agreed to tax sugar he could not see why they should not tax corn…’ 



I think O tempora O mores! is appropriate in the light of the current sugar tax proposals, and the complete change in  Irish nutritional circumstances and health standards.” 





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New Windows for the Gardaí




Maybe they are getting the fancy new ones with the Garda logo in them

Harvest Festival Races 2014 and countdown to an All Ireland Final

Harvest Festival 2014


Some photos from Wednesday September 17 2014, on the Island


 A record crowd of over 27,000 attended. The weather was balmy. Temperatures reached 23degrees as Listowel basked in its 15th. day without rain, heading for the driest September on record. The familiar breeze which whips up from the river is absent this year so conditions for the punters are ideal.

Gone are the days when a row of parked helicopters graced the area behind the carpark….only 2 on Wednesday.

These ladies were fundraising for a Ballybunion Preschool Facility.

 Eleanor and family were picking winners.

 Miriam Kiely, home for the Races, was enjoying the sunshine with her friends,e Mary Sobieralski and Joan Kennelly.

These proud grandparents were introduction their twins to their second visit to Listowel Races. Here they are taking a nap before getting down to business.

The Fitzgerald brothers studying form.

  

Fergus O’Connor and his wife took the day off to return to Fergus’ roots.

Dan and Maureen Hartnett enjoying the sunshine and the racing.


The Nolans came to the races to meet up with friends and enjoy the conviviality of the occasion.

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Lower William St. en fete
Stab 3 cards, win a prize
Hook a Duck
Kiddy Ride
Big Wheel
Baby roller coaster
Mini Big Wheel
Another stomach churning ride

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Music Bridges The Generation Gap

This lovely photograph is from Kerry Comhaltas webpage. It was taken in Listowel at an open day in The Seanchaí in September 2014.

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Garda station has got a face lift

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Photos from Ladies’ Day 2014 next week

Meanwhile there is the little matter of an All Ireland Final….

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