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 Garden Centre Page 1 of 4

Remembering and Celebrating

Charles Street, April 6 2024

Forty Years of Gardening

Radio Kerry’s lovely new wagon was the first indication that today was a big day at Listowel Garden Centre.

Forty years in business for the MacAuliffe Roberts family

There were raffles every hour on the hour in aid of Listowel Hospice.

A great day of celebration and fun.

Remembering Michelle

It is always unbelievably sad when a yearbook contains an obituary. Michelle had only just left Pres. and her memory was still very much alive in the school when she died. She made a mark. May she rest in peace

Just a Thought

Here is the link to my reflections in the Just a Thought slot on Radio Kerry last week.

Just a Thought

Immigrant Communities in Britain

This is Rook Street in London in 1912. There was a large Irish community in the Poplar area in the East end of London in the early 1900s. This photograph shows local residents preparing for their Corpus Christi procession.

The photograph is part of a collection in the National Archives in Britain. The postcard was sent to me by Ethel Corduff (formerly Walsh of Tralee). Ethel has a great interest in immigration and immigrant communities. It was she who studied and documented the story of Irish girls training as nurses in British hospitals. Her important book, Ireland’s Loss, England’s Gain tells their story.

A Poem

John McAuliffe doesn’t find an empty house creepy at all.

Today’s Fact

During the 1950s atomic bomb tests were a popular tourist attraction in Las Vegas.


A Garden Centre, a Forge and a Food Fair

Small Square, Monday October 30 2023


Listowel Garden Centre

Listowel Garden Centre is a very interesting place to be at any time of year but at Christmas time it’s required visiting.

I was in the lovely café last week to meet up with friends.

Some of my old friends were just finishing up their regular meet-up. They are just back from their trip to Belfast to visit the Titanic Museum.


Lyreacrompane Forge

Remember my visit to Canty’s Forge mural? Karen Trench of Lyreacrompane Heritage Group pointed me in the right direction for the full story.

This is the photo of the official opening from the heritage group’s page.

Here is what they have to say about the photo and the forge;

The gable of the old forge building on the main road through the area now carries a mural depicting a forge scene from the past. The Lyreacrompane Heritage Group commissioned Mike O’Donnell from Tralee to do the artwork and it is now catching the eye all those passing by. 

“People immediately recognise the image of the ‘Bull McCabe’, a character in John B Keane’s play, The Field”, Kay O’Leary from the Heritage Group told The Kerryman. She went on, “There is much debate as to which murder in the area ‘The Field’ is based on but the character of the Bull McCabe does point in one direction and John B knew the Lyreacrompane area and its happenings and secrets from a young age!”

The other image on the mural that has people asking questions is of a young girl watching the horse being shod.  Joe Harrington from the Heritage group explains that this image represents Amelia Canty (1874-1955), who played an important role in the War of independence in North Kerry. He credits Kerry historian, Mary McAuliffe with unearthing the story.   Amelia was born in the original Canty homestead near the forge which had been set up by her father.  In her forties she worked undercover in RIC barracks in Abbeydorney and Listowel and in a witness statement to the Bureau Military History in 1955, Patrick McElligott, Commander of the Volunteers in North Kerry during the War of Independence, said that; “It would have been nearly impossible to carry on in such a hotbed of spies and informers without her aid”.  

Some of the older people still remember the Forge in Lyreacrompane and the mural brings back many childhood memories.  It seems that the wet day was always the busiest at the forge as farmers, unable to work in the wet weather, used the time to get horses shod, gates and farm machinery fixed and catch up with the local news. Those gatherings at the forge were an important opportunity for social gatherings back then.  Canty’s Forge closed in 1951 and on Sunday last, the extended Canty family gathered to view the mural, remember olden times and pass on the story to the younger generation.

In the photo.  On the left; Jeremiah and Shay O’Connor, Cathy and Evelyn Canty, Donagh and Rian Horgan, Mike Horgan, Donal Canty and Leah and Ava Canty.  On the right; Finnán and Daire Canty, John, Betty and Patsy Canty, Catherine Canty Horgan and Sean Horgan, Margaret Canty Kerins, Heather O’Connor and Padraig Canty.


Looking forward to Listowel Food Fair

We don’t have long to wait now for our annual festival of all things food related.

Listowel Food Fair Nov. 9 to Nov. 19 2023

This picture shared by the food fair committee is from the very first festival

Darina Allen will be back again as guest of honour at the banquet and award ceremony. Darina has a new book out. This one is all about bread making.

Be sure to check out this year’s programme (link above). It’s the best yet.



The way we were according to this 1990s guide


A Fact

Mosquitoes prefer to bite children. They also prefer blondes to brunettes. eating bananas increases your chances of being bitten by a mosquito.


In Lyreacrompane

Presentation Convent bell in the grounds of St. Mary’s, Listowel


New Business in The Square



My son in law, Seán, works for Bord na Móna. His father is retired from Bord na Móna and his mother still works in Bord na Móna head office in Newbridge.

When my Kildare family visited recently we headed to Lyreacrompane to see the latest in the local Bórd na Móna connection.

This Mike O’Donnell mural stands on the spot where the bog and works once stood.

On the hill behind the mural is today’s source of power, wind turbines.

Looking right as you face the mural, you can see the remains of a tippler.

Archive photo of a tippler in use

Lyreacrompane Bord na Móna workers had a hard life. During the turf harvest, workers (all male) came from far and near. They lived in Nissan huts in fairly primitive conditions for months on end. Everyday they toiled in wet bogs doing backbreaking work as they harvested the turf for household fires, for industry and for power. The good old days!


A Poem in Praise of Abbeyfeale

from Dan Keane’s The Heather is Purple


Garden Centre Christmas Shop

It’s open!

More photos next week.


Be Halloween Safe

Two friendly gardaí were working in Garvey’s helping to make Halloween a safe enjoyable holiday.


A Fact

There were four funnels on the ill fated Titanic. Only three of them were functional. The fourth fake one was added to make the ship look more powerful and symmetrical.


P.S. A big thank you to everyone who contacted Listowel Connection to help Tom Gould help his wife to find her Listowel Connection. Tom and Noreen are delighted with all the information.


Memories from Clounmacon and Kanturk

Corner of Listowel Town Square on Dec 2 2022


My favourite Grinch Window Display

Once again Doran’s Pharmacy on Church Street has a beautiful creative and entertaining Christmas window .


From An Sleán

A Clounmacon Journal from Christmas 1985

Bryan MacMahon remembers old Clounmacon and old Clounmacon people.


More Photos from Garda Centenary Commemorations in Listowel

These are some of the people gathered to celebrate with Kerry gardaí


In Kanturk we were once Dead Posh

Source: Facebook Group, Kanturk Memories

( De Valera’s “comely maidens” had nothing to our “bright faced, laughing young girls”)


Aoife in The Christmas Shop

On Aoife’s visit we had to visit the Winter Wonderland that is Listowel Garden Centre Christmas Shop.


Thinking Ahead to Christmas

Church Street 2022


A War Grave

This is the only war grave memorial in Listowel cemetery.

This headstone in St. Michael’s graveyard was erected by the War Graves Commission to a fallen soldier of The Great War. The soldier is D. Daly who died on December 26 1918 at the age of 26. His next of kin was a brother who lived in Convent Street.

Does someone know the story? So sad!


Remembering Listowel Races 2022

When looking for something else I came across a few Races photos I think I never posted

Martina and her two lovely daughters were racing on Sunday
Emma was out with her family enjoying family day.
Gillian and John had little Robbie at his first outing to The Island
Me and past pupil, Lisa


Listowel Garden Centre Christmas Shop

It’s as good as ever for Christmas 2022

It’s great to have a smallie as an excuse to browse in the Christmas shop.

A bit early for the letter. But no harm to be preparing.

Cora loved the idea of a pink display.

Nana is a bit more traditional (and boring!)


A Poem


Jerry Kennelly in Shannonside Annual 1959


One for the Diary


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