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 Society of St. Vincent de Paul Page 1 of 2

A Visit to the Lartigue Experience, Volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul shop and Caddying in Ballybunion

My grandsons posed for me on the comfortable Tidy Town seat in Listowel Town Square

on July 17 2017


Showband Stars Named

Yesterday I posted Joe Harringtons photo of some of the greats of the show band era. I posted Joe’s caption as he had it on Facebook.

Joe Dolan, Dickie Rock, Brendan Boyer, Derek Dean, Brendan O’ Brien(Dixies), Butch Moore,  Tom Dunphy, Larry Cunningham. Can’t place the other 3. 

Then Tommy O’Flahety came to the rescue. He wrote the following

Hi Mary. Great stuff on your page. The three missing names on the Showband picture are Art Supple of the Victors, next to Joe Dolan, and Declan Ryan of The Arrivals in front of Butch Moore and Tony Keeling of The Graduates to his left.


Deserted Kerry homestead

Chris Grayson is fascinated by old deserted houses. He took these photos somewhere in Kerry. They evoke another era when the house was cosy and warm.


A Visit to the Lartigue Monorail Museum

My grandsons were with me on their Kerry holiday as I visited this superb Listowel visitor attraction. If you have visitors, old or young, to entertain, be sure to fit in a trip here. It is excellent, a piece of history and a unique experience to be enjoyed by everyone.

We visited on a Tuesday and that is my friend, Junior Griffin’s day for volunteering. He had read my blog in the morning and it had brought back memories of Cleeves toffees and the good old days of his childhood when handball, the sweet shop and the pictures were the centre of his world. I recorded a snippet of his tale.

Junior Griffin at The Lartigue


The name Lartigue is not that rare in the Bordeaux region of France. There is even a Chateau. The late Bert Griffin brought back two bottle of this vintage and donated them to the museum.

It’s not just tourists who take a trip. I met a past pupil of mine with her lovely young family at the door.

This family were not local. Junior is the kind of unofficial photographer.

The whole affair s very leisurely for us the visitors. It looked like hard work for the volunteers, especially John McAulliffe who was  turning the train on the turntable.

Junior took our photo. Killian hooted the horn.

Killian is on the bridge where one crosses to the other side of the train.

This is us with the locomotive in the background

These are all our travelling companions on July 18 2017


St. Vincent de Paul Volunteers

On our way home down William Street we met my good friends who volunteer in the Second Time Around shop preparing for their summer sale.

The ladies in pink are Kay Landy, Hannah Mulvihill, Eileen O’Sullivan and Catherine O’Driscoll


The Barefoot Caddy

Forget The Barefoot Contessa. Once upon a time Ballybunion had its own barefoot caddy.

Photo shared on Twitter by Ballybunion Golf Club.


Oliver Plunkett, Killarney, a great escape and a few St. Vincent de Paul Volunteers

Festive bike outside Eleanor’s Flowers in Tralee


Blessed (now Saint) Oliver Plunkett

I came across this recently. It’s a relic of a relic; “a piece of linen that touched a relic…”

This prayer for his canonisation worked.


Killarney, Christmas 2016

Killarney looks very Christmassy this year.

This is a brilliant idea. They have used the old phone kiosks to house defibrillators.

The key to access the life saving device is housed in a little box with  glass door.


Smart Boys

26 May 1877 Freeman’s Journal

CLEVER ESCAPE FROM A BRIDEWELL. An incident of a novel nature occurred

at  Listowel on Monday, in connection with the cleverly planned

escape from the bridewell. A lad named Mulvihill, aged 13 year, had

been convicted about five months ago at Tarbert Petty Sessions, of

stealing a dog, and sentenced to five years in the Upton Reformatory.

On his removal, after leaving Tralee gaol, he succeeded in giving the

gaol officer the slip, and managed to elude the police until last

Saturday, when he was apprehended at Ballylongford, and lodged in

Listowel bridewell preparatory to being sent back to the reformatory.

His younger brother, aged about 11 years, visited him on Monday, and

while in the cell with him the prisoner exchanged clothes with him ;

and thus disguised, he was allowed to pass out by the official, who

naturally believed he was the brother who had passed in some minutes

before. The mistake was of course soon discovered.  but the escaped

culprit had a good start, and has not been recaptured. The brother is

kept in custody, having been remanded to next petty sessions.


Listowel Humans

Christmas is a busy time of year for these ladies, Kay, Nancy, Hannah and Eileen. I met them at the BOI Enterprise town expo but they are usually to be found with their fellow volunteers in the Second Time Around shop in William Street or at bingo or Meals on Wheels at The Plaza or out visiting and quietly helping the less well off at Christmas time and throughout the year. 

They are the salt of the earth.


Seán McCarthy’s Christmas

Christmas is often a lonely time for someone who has lost a life’s partner. Seán McCarthy puts it sadly and poignantly in this old song which I photographed from an old book among Junior Griffin’s treasures.


Thomas F. O’Sullivan Update

Mark Holan contacted me to alert me that he has recently updated his blogpost about T.F. O’Sullivan of Listowel.


I heard from Vincent Carmody of Listowel, a local historian and author. He writes that Thomas F. O’Sullivan and his book are not forgotten. Story of the GAA received at least five mentions in The G.A.A., A People’s History, a 2009 book by Mike Cronin, Mark Duncan and Paul Rouse.

Carmody continued:

When in Listowel, [O’Sullivan] was the driving force, both as a player and administrator of the local G.A.A. club. He later served as an administrator at both County and National level of the Association. He is credited with the proposal of Rule 27, of the G. A.A.s rule book. This came into force in 1902 and it read, ” any member of the association who plays in any way, rugby football, jockey or any imported game which is calculated or injurious affect our national pastimes, is suspended from the association” . This rule was commonly known as, The Ban. It was for a long time rigorously enforced, indeed in 1938, the then President of Ireland, Douglas Hyde, was banned from the G.A.A. , for his attendance at an International Soccer match in Dublin. The rule was deleted in 1971.

Aertel, Listowel Fitness Studio,in the Vincent de Paul shop and William Street couple remembered.

Do You Remember Aertel?

(photo; Irish Abroad)

There was a time when Aertel was marvelous. That was a time before we all had a smart device where we can find out everything from where we are at this very moment. That was a time when a school had one computer and you needed to be a genius to use it.

 If you remember a time before Windows you are with me.

Aertel was TV Guide, newspaper, sports results etc etc all rolled into one and you accessed it on your telly. Happy days!



Old Location

New location behind St. Patrick’s Hall in the premises that used to house Kerry Glass.


Second Time Around is the St. Vincent de Paul shop in Upper William Street. It opens on Thursdays and Fridays. It is staffed by really friendly volunteers and its a great place for a bargain and a chat. Santa will be popping in there very soon to pick up a few toy bargains in their toy sale.

I was there on Friday last and I took this photo of the volunteers who were welcoming a visitor, Breda Landy who called in to say hello to her mom and friends.


Do you Remember?

Noreen and Benny O’Connell of Upper William St.  R.I.P.

Writers’ Week 2014 recalled , Listowel People I met and a Mathlete with a Listowel Connection

Only a Few Days to Go 

This was opening night in 2012. This year on May 27 2015 Anne Enright, multi award winning writer and first Laureate for Irish fiction will do the honours. Don’t miss it!


Rememeber Last Year?

These are some happy local people arriving for Opening Night 2014. Hope to see you all again on Weds 27th.  I’ll be there with my camera.


The festival will be opened by Anne Enright


IFTA Winner Coming to Listowel forLWW

The great movie, Song of the Sea, won an IFTA Award for best film last night. The scriptwriter, Will Collins, is coming to Listowel on Thursday next, May 28th 2015 for Operation Education.


Chance Meetings

 Three members of the Kelliher clan met up on William Street.

 The Canadian branch of the Stack Clan was researching their roots with Damien.

These three lovely ladies were helping out in the St. Vincent de Paul Second Time Around shop.


Success for a little boy with a Listowel Connection

Richard Sheahan is the latest All-Ireland champion with a Listowel connection. Richard, is the the 10 year old grandson of Jim and Nora Sheahan from Greenville & he was recently crowned All-Ireland champion for 4th class in the school maths competition “Mathletes”. Over 12600 children from schools all over the country competed in the competition; the initial part of the competition takes place online starting in January, and then the top students qualify for provincial finals, and then the All-Ireland final which was held in DCU on May 2nd. Richards parents Mike and Noelle think he inherited his maths ability from his grandparents, who have always both been very good with figures! Richard’s success will feature on RTE’s nationwide programme in the coming weeks.

In the photograph he is being presented with his trophy and an iPad mini by Sean O Sullivan (Dragons Den), Brian MacCraith (President DCU) and Ciaran Cannon TD.


One of Our Own

John invites us all to Woulfe’s Bookshop on Church St. on Saturday May 30th at 2.30 for the launch of his latest poetry collection.

I think I’ll need the gift of bilocation for a few days.

Kennedy’s Bread, Vincent de Paul Society and KnitWits

Monday, Monday……..

  Mid term break over, grandchildren returned to their parents and life is back to normal chez listowelconnection.

I was heading downtown on Saturday circa 10.45a.m. and the motorbike people were just gathering at The New Kingdom for their annual Nano Nagle fundraising run. They had a lovely day for it.

Further along Church St. I came across this other motor bike, a Garda vehicle waiting patiently


KnitWits is 2 years old

This is the gang on Saturday in Scribes as we celebrated our birthday. We have grown so fond of our knitting and nattering that we are going to meet on Tuesdays as well. If you like to knit or crochet, why not pop in to Scribes any Tuesday between 11.00 and 1.00 and join us for a session.


In case you missed it in the media, this is John Reidy’s photo from last week’s Kerryman accompanying a story telling of shocking levels of dependence on charity among our neighbours in North Kerry. The local conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society has seen an increase of 40% in demand for its services. Such is the number of people coming to them for help that they are opening a dedicated office, as the shop can no longer cope.


I found this on Broadsheet under the title, “Yesterday’s Bread Today”

Kennedy’s Bread was a Dublin institution from as far back as the
1850s, when Peter Kennedy, the founder of the firm, took over an existing
bakery in Great Britain Street (later Parnell Street).  Subsequently
another branch was opened in Patrick Street. Kennedys not only survived
with aplomb the Great Dublin Bakery Strike of the 1900s, but (unlike Bolands’
Mills and Jacobs’ Biscuits, which supplied their products free of charge and
without consent) made a bit of a profit out of the Easter Rising by providing paid-for bread to
the forces in the GPO.

Around this time the firm started
manufacturing one of their most popular products, the Bermaline malt loaf (“
brown bread that invites closer acquaintance… a crisp delicious
crust which you will enjoy biting into… its flavour is altogether worthy of its
looks”) to accompany that most popular Dublin staple, the Vienna Roll.
1938 Kennedys’ Well-Fruited Sultana and Madeira Cakes won first prize at the
International Bakers and Confectioners Exhibition in the Royal Albert Hall,
London, losing out narrowly to a rival firm for the Irish Challenge
Shield.  And in 1953, just as rationing came to an end, the Kennedy Open
Pan won first prize at the International Bakery Exhibition at the Mansion
House, Dublin.
Things looked to be going well for Kennedys; but on Thursday the
3rd July 1971 breakfasters all over Dublin choked on their Bermaline toast at
the announcement that the bakery end of the business, employing three-quarters
of its 400-strong workforce, was to close.
Enter Brennan…

of Daedalus

Bread van

These boys were “guarding” the bread during the civil war.


This is Martin Griffin’s photo.

Back : Left to Right:  Michael O Connor, Jimmy ? Mahoney, Andrew
Griffin and Ned Browne, all from O Connells Avenue  

Front is Vangy


More from Bord na Mona

Visitors to Lullymore works on a Wickham railcar
nicknamed “The Flying Commode”. On the left is Griffith Owens, a
Welshman who came to work in Turraun peat works in 1924. He then worked in
Lullymore and was responsible for the development of the disc ditcher. On the
right is CSV Smith of the Garrett Engineering Company, UK, who supplied some of
the early peat machines. This was the first post war visit by Garretts to BnM.


Plans to develop a primary care
centre in Listowel have been given a go ahead. An Bord Pleanala has granted
planning permission to Austin Dennany for the two-storey facility on Convent
Road, Listowel. The plans comprise a regional primary care centre, a GPs care
centre, and a medical suite, as well as 50 car parking spaces. Listowel Town
Council granted planning permission, however that was appealed to An Bord
Pleanala, which has now given the go ahead.

From Radio Kerry:


+ Seán Óg OCeallacháin +

R.I.P. the voice of Sunday nights for so many years.

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