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 Ontario

St. John’s, New Kingdom and a 1965 Guide to Listowel

Morning in Gurtinard Wood


Stained Glass Windows  in St. John’s


New Kingdom July 2018


Aileen Skimson remembers her Roots

Aileen Skimson, Née Greaney, lives in a  small town in Canada. Her father grew up in Listowel and Aileen remembers with fondness her three visits to his hometown. She kept the “official Guide” she bought on her very first visit at age 12 in 1967. She is now downsizing and came across the brochure in her clearout. She thought of us and she sent me the pictures to share with you. 

The story then got a bit more complicated. Aileen sent the pages as pdfs and i cant manage them for the blog so I asked her to take photographs of the pages but that didn’t work out either . So the following photos and the others I will be sharing in the next while are brought to you thanks to the kind offices of Dave O’Sullivan who is a great friend of our blog.


Sunset from Cnoc an Óir

liam Enright took these in July 2018


Trees,  Penfriends and Schoolboys

Yesterday I told you about the absolutely magnificent trees on Listowel Pitch and Putt Course. I often walk by the course and I am always in awe at the beautiful trees. 

Neil Brosnan got in touch with a story about the trees. This is what Neil wrote on Facebook;

“I recall our St Michael’s and St Mary’s classes planting some of those trees, along with our counterparts from Listowel, Ontario, C1971. The Canadian red maples were to mark our pen-friendship since fifth class in primary school.”

According to Neil, Dick O’Flaherty, their fifth class teacher at Scoil Realta na Maidine in 1965/66 got a letter from his counterpart in Listowel, Canada asking if they could initiate a penpal friendship with the boys. Neil himself was a bit miffed because he got a boy penpal.

A delegation from Listowel in Canada came to town in 1971 and among the many events that were organised for that visit was a tree planting in the Listowel Pitch and Putt course.

I wonder does anyone have a photo of that or even a story from the pen friendship days.


Replacing the Street Lights

When a street light  in Listowel blows now they replace it with an LED one.

Listowel Co. Kerry today and more on Listowel, Ontario

Three shops in a row on William Street, all closed.

Meanwhile McKenna’s has been repainted.


A few more then and now photographs


Guess what Michael Lynch (archivist) found in the archives of the County Library.

It’s the choir from Listowel Ontario who visited us in 1971.

Michael writes:

“Just a wee bit about the Listowel Ontario Choir!  I’ve found a photograph (attached) in “The Kerryman” photo archive.  It appeared in the paper on 8 May 1971, and was accompanied by a note stating that the Choir had just finished up at the Cork International Choral Festival, winning 1st prizes in the No. 2 Schools and No. 4 Schools Competitions.  They also finished 2nd in the No. 3 Schools Competition.

The Choir also played a concert at the Killarney Town Hall (3 May 1971) as part of the Pan Celtic Festival.

There’s a good article in “The Kerryman” on 19 June 1971, which states that Listowel Youth Club’s finances (which had been built up through organising “hops at the Plaza”) had been drained by their provision of hospitality for the Canadian choir.  Two dances at the Listowel Arms had severely dented their finances.”

(It sounds like they ate us out of house and home.)


You heard it here first.maybe

Namir Karim, our genial host in Scribes is opening a craft shop. He should be up and running in time for all your Christmas gifts. Craft demonstrations, classes etc are all in the plans so watch this space!


Good news on the Great Southern Trail

“Kerry County Council have made an application for funding for the extension of the Great Southern Trail under the National Cycle Network funding scheme. This fund of over 6 million will be allocated to Local Authorities and priority will be given to “ projects that are off road and have the potential to be world class trip attractors in their own right”.
An announcement should be made before year end from the Department of Transport on the successful applicants.”  (Jimmy Moloney)

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