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 Pitch and Putt Course Page 1 of 2

Relihan’s pub, Horses and a Holocaust Poem

Skerries by Éamon ÓMurchú


Home on the Range

On my recent trip home Mr. Jiggs and Tana came for a chat.


Upper William Street

I posted this photo of Sheahan’s on Facebook and it prompted Gerard Leahy to share the below photo of his grandmother, Mary Ann Relihan at the door of her pub which used to be next door to Sheahan’s.

This is what Gerard said “I don’t have any photos of the inside but great memories. The concrete floor, the “grocery ” part of the shop in front, dry goods: sugar, tobacco, snuff, flour etc. and the little pub counter next to it and the dining room and kitchen further back. Outhouses in the back and the gate to the backway close to the creamery.

My grandmother was a butter maker at the creamery for years and her husband Jack was the creamery manager in Coolard, it got burned down. Jack went to America and spent most of his adult life in NY. He used to come back on visits. Mrs. Quirke would send a note up to Mary Ann to say he was back. He would stay there until invited up to Pound Lane !!!

Donie Finnucane bought the place around 1976-77 after she passed.


Wild Flowers on the Pitch and Putt Course

I think this is a nice idea. They have planted wild flowers around the base of the trees. Another lovely feature of the beautiful course.


Lest we Forget

Auschwitz (Sixty Years On)

by John McGrath


Even the word is bitter

in this godless place.

No happy endings here,

only the ghosts of

poets, peasants,

doctors, lawyers,

fur-coated frauleins;

their single crime,


Children plucked from mothers,

snuffed like kittens in a sack.

Brick and barbed wire

mock survival for a few,

screams in striped pyjamas

dying time on time

before the works of death

are stilled forever.

Silence then

and silence now.

After the speeches

and the flickering candles,

after the ashes of a million dead

are scattered in the snow.

Old women, old men,

hold each other close,

look for answers

in each other’s eyes,

find only



Trees on the Pitch and Putt Course, Famous Visitors and GAA field still closed

Canty’s Shebeen and Coco Kids on June 5 2020


Some Beautiful Trees in Listowel Pitch and Putt Course


Meeting the Famous

(Photos by Tom Fitzgerald)

 John B. Keane with Charles Haughey

Patrick Sheehan and Eamon Kelly at Sheehan’s Cottage in Finuge


A Fascinating Tale with a Listowel Connection

Schenectady NY Gazette 1952 

   GAZETTE,   TUESDAY,   AUGUST   5,  1952  

NEW   YORK,   Aug.   4   (AP)—An   ex-GI  explained  for  Ireland  tonight  for    his    first    meeting    with    the    Irish    milkmaid    -who    found     his     name    and    address    in    a    bottle    washed   up  by   the  sea  on  her   village  beach.  It    was    Christmas    night,    1945,    that    Frank    Hayostak,     returning     aboard     ship     after     three     years     overseas,  tossed  the  bottle  into  the  ocean   100  miles  from  New   York.

   THE    LONELY    medical    corps-wrote   a   wistful   note   giving   his    name,   his   address,    184   Iron   street,   Johnstown,  Pa.,  and  a  personal   description.   Breda     O’Sullivan     of     Listowel,     County   Kerry,   now   23,   found    It    near   a   farm   where   she   lived   on   the  southwest  Irish  coast   on  Aug. 23,   1946.   She    wrote     Hayostak,     27,    an    electric  are-welder   In  a  Johnstown  steel  mill,  telling  him   of   her   find.   The  pair  have  exchanged  70  letters.

[This story must ring a bell with someone. I would love to know who Breda is. Was there a happy ever after ending to this romantic story?]


Emmetts Grounds still out of Bounds


Out and About (with camera)

As I was having a socially distant picnic with friend in the park I met Marjorie Morkan and Eithne Galvin on their way to the pitch and putt course

Listowel Pitch and Putt Course, Seán Clárach Mac Domhnaill and Rewilding

St. Mary’s, Listowel in July 2019


Listowel Pitch and Putt Course in Summer 2019

The course is in tip top condition and a credit to all the people who look after it.


Book of Ignorance

Another pearl of wisdom for you….

Over a fifteen year period an ecologist called Jennifer Owen discovered 422 species of plant and 1,757 species of animal including 533 species never before recorded in Britain and four were completely new to science. All this in her suburban garden in Humberscome. So if you have enough time, patience and, of course, expertise, it is quite possible to discover a new species without ever leaving home. AND if you get to discover a new species, you get to name it.


‘Sé mo Laoch……

Text and photo is a Facebook post from Raymond O’Sullivan.

While waiting and praying(?) that my old car would pass the NCT test in Charleville this morning, I jumped the wall into the adjacent Holy Cross cemetery to pay my respects to the 18th century Gaelic poet, Seán “Clárach” Mac Domhnaill. He was born in Churchtown in 1691 but lived most of his life in Charleville, and is buried there in the ruins of the mediaeval church in the centre of the graveyard. Although a labourer by trade he was regarded by his peers as Príomh-Éigeas na Mumhan or Chief Poet of Munster. He is best remembered for Mo Ghile Mear, a Jacobite ballad composed after the defeat and exile of Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden in 1746. One of our most popular Gaelic songs, it has become the ‘anthem’ of our southern neighbours in Cúil Aodha i nGaeltacht Mhúscraí.
BTW, she passed the test. Never underestimate an old man with an old Nissan Micra.



That’s the new name for it. So if your lawn is going to seed and your garden looks a bit neglected, you can say you are “rewilding”. It’s the latest trend in gardening.


So Sad

This story was all over main stream and social media yesterday so I’m sure by now people will have made out who John was. I hope he had a good turn out at his funeral.


Good News from Ballybunion

Beach Wheelchairs

Kerry County Council have announced that there will be a beach wheelchair available on the ladies beach for the summer. The wheelchairs will be available for booking until 15th of September.

This service is free but the wheelchairs must be booked in advance and are available for up to 3-hour slots. They are available at Collin’s Seaweed bath’s phone 068-27469, Times available during weekdays are 12pm to 5.30pm and at the weekends 11am to 6pm. For further information phone 066-7162000 or email:

Listowel Pitch and Putt Course, Members of the Independent Courageous Party and Ladies Day 2018

Horse chestnut tree in Library Road Listowel in September 2018


Beautiful Listowel Pitch and Putt Course



Do you remember Paul Murphy’s newspaper clip of a Doodle rally?  Jim MacMahon recognised a few faces. Here is what he wrote;

Mary I recognize many in the TomDoodle photo . People like Pat Whelan should be able to identify almost all . In the centre is Stackianus , a central character in the story , Stack . Beside him is Mick Carey from the Gleann. In the front right is Tom O Connell from the small square .Possibly Mat Kennelly at the back . The names of some of the others should come to me but people like Pat Given should also know , regards Jim

I dont think any of the people Jim mentions follow the blog. But is anyone wants to show them the picture and get a few more names that would a great help. Thanks, Jim.

Maria Sham thinks she might know a few faces as well;

She writes;

 Hi Mary, me again,the photo of a group of men in dinner jackets I recognize on the left my uncle Peter Moloney and next to him I am sure it is Sean Grogan. Sean was postman. Both men were from Charles street lived opposite to one another. In front of them could be Dermot Tatten, ambulance driver

Thank you, Maria


More from Ladies’ Day at Listowel Races 2018

John Kelliher is the real Races photographer and if you want to see the outfits and the local people who were there, John’s Facebook page is the place to go. He has some marvellous coverage of the Races.

I snapped this bevy of beauties as they were lining up for John to take their picture.

Three very stylish local friends who always make a huge effort for Ladies Day.

It was a pleasure to meet three generations of the Keogh Carmody family looking beautifully turned out as always.

I snapped Peggy on her way to put on a bet.

Listowel Races is the perfect place to spend some time with old friends .

These young men were snazzily dressed .

The style judges were doing their job and chatting to the locals as well.

Raceweek Crowds, Trees in Listowel Pitch and Putt Course and Black 47

Photo; Chris Grayson


Do you recognise anyone in these old photographs taken by Seamus Buckley during a bygone race week.


Trees on the Pitch and Putt course

I often include here some photographs of the magnificent trees on Listowel’s Pitch and Putt course and I have mentioned here before the unselfishness of men who plant trees under whose shade they will never sit.

One of these old stock was the late Tom O’Halloran.  Colm O’Halloran has sent us some of the receipts for those same trees in 1974.


Race Crowds

The weather has kept me at home but here are 2 more from Sunday.

these are just a small few of the crowded stands on Sunday Sept. 9 2018


Black 47…The Listowel Connection

This is an official promotional pic. of Stephen Rea who plays the cute hoor who runs with the hare and hunts with the hounds in this film that is currently breaking all box office records.

Listowel’s P.J. Dillon is the writer and director of this story set against the backdrop of The Famine. Black 47 is a story of revenge and desperation in an Ireland where taking the soup or the king’s shilling were regarded with equal hatred.

I saw the film in Listowel’s great Classic cinema. (We are so lucky to have this superb amenity on our doorstep.) I was blown away by the stark devastated barren landscape. The backdrop to the action was breathtakingly awesome. The acting from a truly stellar cast was superb. The story packed lots of action and maybe a bit too much violence for my liking but those were very violent times and cruelty was an everyday currency. This film is a testament to man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. Brutality, cruelty and barbarism are never far below the surface in this thought provoking film.

I loved the way the native characters spoke in Irish and the authenticity of the starving people in a cruel and hostile environment brought those hungry desperate times before our eyes in chilling reality.

Try to see it if you can. It’s one you won’t forget too easily. Well done, P.J.


Remember where you read it first

In my post of April 18 2018 I told you that the next U.S. ambassador to Ireland would be Ed. Crawford. It took a bit longer than I expected but yesterday it was revealed that indeed Edward J. Crawford is to take up residence in Phoenix Park.

Edward J Crawford’s roots are in North Cork. He is an ardent Republican and is hugely involved in the Irish community in Cleveland.

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