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 Railway station Page 1 of 2

Hunting, Flavins, Autumn Leaves and Super Shopping Sunday and closure of the train station

Hunt in Kilbrin

photo by Thomas Healy


Bang, Bang

Photo from Irish Abroad

Do you remember the whiff of cordite? 

This was the smell of Christmas in the 1950s when every young boy got a cowboy outfit and a gun belt and holster from Santa. These rolls of caps were fed into a cap gun and when “shot” gave off a realistic crack and a distinctive smell.

Back in the days when “shooting” people was fun, this was the must- have toy for young boys.

 They are probably banned now as replica firearms.

 In 2015 images of young boys shooting people are all too real and not fun at all.


Christmas in Listowel

If you click on the link above you will get details about what’s happening in town this Christmas.

The above photos are from the Christmas in Listowel page. They show my newsagent, Joan Flavin, in her shop in Church Street. Flavins is an old fashioned shop, a shop with character. It is a newsagent’s, a book shop, a tobacconist, a stationery and everything in between shop.

If that counter could only talk……..


Leaf Taking

My weekend visitors swept up my leaves


Super Sunday

Sunday last was the big pre Christmas shopping day in town. Storm Clodagh did her best to spoil the fun but a good few brave souls came out and shops were doing a brisk business.

Town is looking great. Windows and lights are adding to the festive feel.


Dramatic Blaze on the motorway yesterday; November 30 2015

This horrific fire broke out near J11 of the M8 yesterday. T.J. Carroll took the picture and Cahir and Cashel Fire and Rescue brought the blaze under control. No one was injured Thank God.


Apropos yesterday’s photo from Patrick O’Shea, I started a bit of debate on Facebook about when exactly the station closed.  I took my information from this site

Disused Stations; Listowel

Like everything else on the internet, it’s not 100% reliable. Memories of the station  would be lovely to gather here. 

Kevin Barry, John B. and friends and remembering Smiler

Wish you lived here?

Liz Chute, formerly of Listowel and now of Halifax, Canada does.


Mountjoy  November 1 1920

With the 1916 commemoration coming up, many of these old images from a troubled time in our history are finding their way on to the internet. This is a photo of women praying outside Mountjoy where Kevin Barry was awaiting execution. This photo is in the Clann na Gael Archive.


Tommy Murphy and John B.

These two old photos were sent to me by Paul Murphy formerly of William St. They show his father, Tommy Murphy and John B. with some friends performing in The Loft. Paul cannot identify the friends but maybe someone can.

The Loft was a theatre cum concert hall in the back lane behind John B.s. Local enterprising actors, singers and musicians used to put on shows here in the 40s and 50s. If anyone has memories of these shows, there is an audience waiting to hear them.


Changes on our streets

Kerry Wool is a new shop situated between The Shebeen and McGuire’s new extension to the pharmacy.

This premises appears to be between tenants.

NCBI are relocating up the street to Number 27.

My moles tell me that the new tenant for The Harp and Lion will not be a publican.


Absent Friends

November is a month when we remember our lost loved ones. Every time I pass this memorial I am struck by what a lovely tribute to Dylan McCarthy it is from his friends at Xistance.


Big day for the crusaders on Saturday


Don’t Miss This!

Friday November 13 2015 RTE 1 6.30p.m. Nationwide in Listowel for theListowel Tattoo


A Treasure to watch 

The story of Listowel’s railway line and the fight to turn it into a greenway for the benefit of us  all is beautifully told in this video:  Journeying from a railway to a greenway


Listowel Railway, Cork Summer Sing and Tarbert then and now

Tiger on the Beach?

(photo and tiger; Ballybunion Prints)


Denis Carroll on Facebook

-Listowel Railway Station-

In 1865 the Limerick and Kerry Railway was proposed and in the late 1870’s the 43 mile line from Newcastle(West) to Tralee was built. It was opened on 20th December 1880 with intermediate stations at Barnagh, Devon Road, Abbeyfeale, Kilmorna, Listowel, Lixnaw, Abbeydorney and Ardfert.

The Lartigue (Listowel – Ballybunion Monorail) terminus was nearby to here too.

In 1963 the passenger service was withdrawn but despite this occasional passenger specials continued to use the line and then finally on the 10th of January 1977 the last goods train ran on the Listowel-Tralee section of the line. Track lifting began in January ’88 and despite concerted efforts to use the track bed as a walkway/trail this never came to pass. The original picture here was taken around 1988 before the track was lifted. The station house is now in private ownership and has been restored to a fine standard, also note that the platform is still there on both sides, just the track bed has been filled in and made into a roadway.
No credit info on the original picture although I suspect it may have been Michael Geurin.


Summer Sing Cork 2015

This is me with David Brophy. Those of you who watched the TV series, High Hopes will recognize David as the conductor who recruited and trained a choir of homeless people and in the process turned their lives around. The project was so successful that they repeated it in Cork and Waterford. David was in Cork  to film the Cork choir in action. I met him in Cork City hall.

This is my little group of singers, 3 family, 2 friends and chauffeur (also family). They are not part of the High Hopes Choir. They are Summer Singers.

This is the scene in City Hall Cork when the High Hopes choir sang to an audience of Summer Singers.

Cork High Hopes Choir under their conductor, Sonja Keogh.

(These 3 photos are from the Summer Sing website)

Summer Sing is a summer camp with a difference. 370 Cork children learned a repertoire of songs and then went out on to the streets of Cork to sing. There were two base camps for the children, Cork City Hall and The Triskel Arts Centre. My Aisling and Róisín were in City Hall. They started out each day there but they got to sing in The Crawford art gallery, St. FinBarre’s Cathedral, The Freemasons Lodge and Bishop Lucey Park.

On the day I went to hear them, they had a special visiting conductor, David Brophy of High Hopes Choir fame. He conducted the children in their outdoor performance and then the children were treated to a concert by the Cork High Hopes Choir. This concert was being televised for the next series of High Hopes. Summer Sing is an absolutely brilliant initiative which should be held everywhere. It does take massive organizing and requires lots of volunteers.  Take a bow,  Music Generation Cork


A Couple who made a big contribution

From an old Clounmacon magazine a lovely photo of Maureen and Michael Dowling R.I.P.


Tarbert Now and Then

-Tarbert main St-
The name Tarbert is from the Irish ‘Tairbeart’ drawn from an Old Norse term meaning ‘draw-boat’.
This picture is taken on the Listowel road into the village at the end of the 19th century and again in June ’15. 
The thatched cottage on the left appears to still exist today albeit with a slate roof.

Photo and text from; Kerry Time Travel


+  R.I.P. Sr. Nora Carmody  +

Sr. Nora Carmody, on left, with her sister, Maura on the occasion of Nora’s final profession.

Nora was born in Upper William Street on 20th March 1938, she was the fourth of five children born to John and Josie Carmody, the others being, John P., Maura, Maurice and Vincent. She went to both Presentation Convent Listowel, Primary and  Secondary schools. Having completed her Leaving Certificate, she went to study nursing at Dollis Hill Hospital in London. Having qualified, she applied and was accepted as a novice in the English Province of the Little Company of Mary ( affectionally called The Blue Nuns). Nora made her final profession in 1970. As both a nun and a theatre nurse she served in Dollis Hill, Harrow, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Liverpool, West-cliff On Sea and finally in Ealing.

Nora passed to eternal reward at St David’s Nursing Home, Ealing, on the 14th of July 2015. There was Requiem Mass for Nora at the nursing home oratory on Tuesday 21st, this was celebrated by Abbot Fr. Francis of Ealing Abbey, By strange coincidence, Fr. Francis also officiated at Nora’s final profession in 1970.

Nora’s body was brought back to Limerick on Thursday 23rd. There was visitation at Griffin’s funeral home. Her funeral mass took place on Friday 24th at Castletroy. Her burial was afterwards at Milford House Convent Cemetery.  May she rest in peace.

Our sympathies to her brother, Vincent and her sister, Sr. Maura.     


If you haven’t seen your photo yet, maybe it’s here


Last rain out of Listowel station



This cat is Tripod. Tadhg Horan saved his life but he couldn’t save his leg. Tripod has adapted well to his disability. He lives in the lap of luxury with his friends in The Veterinary Centre in The Square.

Horgans of North Kerry: Railway people in Pittsburgh

Today has dawned bright  and dry in The Kingdom. It’s a “Good morning, God” rather than a “Good God, morning!” sort of day.

My story for you today was sent to me by Jim Horgan of Pennsylvania. Again it’s a story of an emigrant who prospered in the U.S. but who never forgot his Irish roots.

Andrew Joseph Horgan was born in Glenderry, Kerry on 5-December 1876 to John Horgan(1843-1921) and Johanna O’Sullivan (1842-1944) of Lisselton.  Andrew was the 3rd of 8 children and emigrated to America in 1901.  Ultimately, five of the eight children went to Pittsburgh and three remained in Ireland.  Andrew arrived on the SS Cumric to Ellis Island on 23 April 1901 with his cousin Michael.    He made his way to an uncle in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and found work at the Glenwood Shops of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  He worked alongside his cousin Patrick (1877-1956), son of Michael Horgan(1850-1908) and Julia Savage (1850-?) from Tralee. On 12—April 1904 Andrew married Catherine Brosnan daughter of Daniel Brosnan (1830-1890) and Ellen Sheahan (1838—1917) from Islandanny, Duagh.  In 1910 Andrew was promoted to supervisor, but left the B&O during the railway strike of 1911.   He then went to work on the Monongahela Connecting Railway until his retirement.  His sons, Andrew Jr. and Timothy worked on the same railroad for 40 years each.  I am currently in my 37thyear on the railroad, and my son Patrick is a 4thgeneration railroad man, having started a few years ago.

Andrew and Catherine had the following children:

1 John (1906-1906)

2 Helena (1907-1918)  died in the flu epidemic

3 Johanna (1909-1909)

4 Andrew Jr. (1910-1985)

5 Mary (1913-1985)  married Andrew Stana, 1 child

6 Rita (1916-2001)  Married Thomas Kerin 5 children

7  Timothy (1918-1974) married  Ann Marie Roscoe 4 children

8 John (1919-1987) Married Erma Heiles 6 children

In 1939, Andrew Jr. married Helen Sheehan (1915-1985) the only daughter of John Joseph (Paddy) Sheehan (1881-1965) of Ballyheigue and Katherine Shine (1878-1953) of Gurtomasillihy, Moyvane.

They had 4 children, of which I am the youngest.  In 1978, I married Bridget Creighan, daughter of William Creighan and Mary Teresa O’Donoghue, daughter of Denis O’Donoghue (1898-1974) of Duagh and Hannah Molyneaux (1903-1986) of Behins. 

Andrew Horgan and Katherine Brosnan now have 91 descendants who were born in America.

Jim tells me that he has met some of his Irish cousins, but he is always happy to meet some more of his Irish family.

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