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Adare, Ballybunion Street Names and a Look back at Writers Week 2018 and a few photos from the weekend

May 24 and 25 2019

This weekend I was at two Michael D. events, two book launches, MS busking and the Eucharistic procession. I took tons of photos. It will take a while to process them, to tell the story and to drip  feed some of the best of them into blog posts. This week I’m busy with Writers’ Week so please be patient. There will be lean days yet and I’ll post the pictures for you.

VIP visitors, Michael D. and Sabina Higgins with Listowel VIPs, Julie Gleeson and Mary Hanlon.

Hard working Listowel/North Kerry M.S. Society volunteers with Ballybunion musicians and singers at their annual busking day in Listowel on Friday May 24 2019.

Joe Hanlon can’t wait to read his copy of Under the Bed…. Robert Pierse’s autobiographical work launched on Friday May 24 2019.

John Devoy signs his book, Quondam  for Limerick visitors in Woulfe’s bookshop on Saturday May 25 2019.

Annual Eucharistic procession at Convent Cross on Saturday May 25 2019


Picturesque Adare, Co. Limerick

I stopped recently on my way home from Kildare. Adare is such a beautiful little town.

Adare Manor is a no-go area but otherwise the town is charming and welcoming.


Ballybunion Street Names

Remember I told you all about the palaver Listowel had over street names?

Well we could take a leaf out of Ballybunion’s book. They used a very simple method, e.g. if the road leads to a doon call it Doon Road. If it leads to a sandhill, call it sandhill Road

Here are just a few examples I snapped while I was in town last week

All self explanatory but wait……..

A few roads are named after famous Ballybunion people but that’s understandable.



Two More Sleeps to Opening Night Writers Week 2019

A few more from last year.

Ballybunion, Listowel Writers week 2018 and shopfronts

Nuns’ Beach, Ballybunion May 2019


Friends of the Pollinators

In Ballybunion


Listowel Writers’ Week 2018

Opening Night 2019 is on Wednesday May 29 in The Listowel Arms. We had a great time last year. Here are a few photos to remind you.



Can anyone tell me where this is and why is it called Moneycashen?


Oh Dear!

Listowel shopfronts are some of the finest in the land. Country towns are losing out to plastic signs and chain store shop fronts. Listowel stood out with its beautiful Pat McAuliffe plasterwork, its stunning paintwork and beautiful woodwork and mosaic…. I greatly fear that we are losing this unique feature.



J.J. Galvin beautiful mosaic and woodwork shopfront.

The Taelane Store, understated elegance.

Facts about Magnolia, Ballybunion Sand Art and a Concert planned for Moyvane Church


Photo; Philip Blair for Irish Wildlife Trust Photography Competition


Magnificent Magnolia

Raymond O’Sullivan lives in Newmarket, Co Cork. This is his picture and below is what he writes about it. Fascinating!

Bíonn blás ar an mbeagán’, an Irish seanfhocal which literally means little things are tasty. It might translate into English as ‘seldom seen, is much admired’. My magnolia bush hasn’t flowered for years, so I trimmed around it during the winter to give it more light, and look what happened. To say it is an ancient plant is a bit of an understatement, fossils of the flower date back 20 million years. So it predates bees and is pollinated by beetles.


Sand Art Festival 2019

The annual Ballybunion Sand Art Festival runs until Wednesday, May 22 2019. I took the above photos on Friday May 17. The art installations are well worth a visit. We are so lucky to have such brilliant artists just a short trip away.


Mary Sheehy and Friends

I ran into these lovely ladies in The Flying Saucer last week.


Aonghus McAnally in Moyvane


This coming Tuesday evening our annual Church Concert will take place starting at 8pm May 21 2019 in Moyvane Church. Doors open at 7pm.  I call on the usual stewards and helpers to be there at 6.30pm to ensure that everything runs smoothly.  Please note tickets will be available at the door for those who haven’t had an opportunity to get tickets yet or who may at the last minute decide to join us. Tickets available after all Masses this weekend. 

From Moyvane Parish Newsletter


Listowel Writers’ Week 2019 is on the Doorstep

Just to get you in the mood here are a few memories from last year.

Local supporters on Opening Night 2018


First Holy Communion Day 2019

Saturday May 18 2019 was First Holy Communion Day in town. Only when these age old traditions are eventually lost will we really appreciate how special these family occasions are.

Steve Kelly took the photos.

Still More from Opening Night LWW 2018, Listowel Hospice fundraising and Edna O’Brien’s award

Photo; Graham Davies


Three ladies who starred on Writers’ Week Opening Night, May 30 2018

 Catherine Moylan, vice chair of Listowel Writers’ Week was first up. She conquered the nerves and we all relaxed along with her.

 Elizabeth Dunne, in her final year of her three year stint as chairperson, played a blinder as usual. She has worked tirelessly at this job and it’s a tribute to her professionalism that she insisted on mastering the Irish bits herself. She could so easily have called on the services of a native but that’s not Liz’s way.

The star of the night was Edna O’Brien who received the Lifetime contribution to the Arts award. She was a worthy winner and proved a big hit throughout the festival.

The magnificent silver piece which is presented to the recipient of Listowel Writers’ Week John B. Keane Lifetime Achievement Award is designed and made by Listowel silversmith, Eileen Moylan.

Each year, Eileen designs a bespoke piece uniquely relevant to the recipient. The photos don’t really do this piece justice. It is engraved all round with the titles of Edna O’Brien’s books. 

Not only is the award a singular honour, much to be desired, but the silver trophy is a unique piece of Irish silverware, to be treasured and valued.

Photo by the official festival photographer, Ger Holland

There was to be another strong woman doing the official opening. Poet, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill was ill and unable to perform the task. In her stead, American poet, Billy Collins took on the job at short notice.

Billy Keane told us that, when he met the prince of Wales in Killarney, he did his bit in securing a really big name to open the festival next year. Wouldn’t Camilla be perfect for the role?


A Few More famous and not so famous people who attended Opening Night Writers’ Week 2018 and a few lucky volunteers who were ‘working’ on the night


Hospice Flag Day

I met these volunteers last week out collecting for the Listowel branch of Kerry hospice.

Opening Night LWW 18, Gerard Mulvihill, a Living Art competition and Camilla and the Listowel Connection

Feeding Time

Photo; Graham Davies


The Great and the Good arrive for Opening Night, Listowel Writers’ Week 2018

Two lovely Listowel ladies who always love to support Writers’ Week are Nora Sheahan and Betty Stack

Singer/songwriter, John Spillane arrives for Opening Night.

Seamus Hosey of Rte, a regular at Writers’ Week.

Con and Catherine Kirby of Listowel love Writers’ Week.

One of the stars of the festival in 2018 was the great Pauline Bewick. She came to opening night with her daughter, Poppy. The artists were greeted by fellow artist and chair of Writers’ Week Art Committee, Jim Dunn.

Vincent Carmody of Listowel brought some Newcastlewest friends.

Canon Declan O’Connor, whose father was once a chairperson of Listowel Writers’ Week arrived accompanied by Bishop Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry.

Breda Moore came with her daughter.

Joan McCarthy, Head of Tourism in Kerry County Council, appreciates her native town’s magnificent tourism offering.

Tom McEllistrim was there.

Journalist, Gerard Mulvihill, arrived with family and friends.

Gerard Mulvihill is one of five students from Kildare, Kerry, Dublin and Galway about to commence their summer internships as part of the HRI Student Internship Programme. The interns will be based in HRI’s head office at Ballymany, Kildare in the Marketing and Communications Departments and Tote Ireland and at Leopardstown Racecourse.                  Source; Go Racing on Facebook

Our own Fr. Martin Hegarty came to enjoy yet another Writers’ Week.


Listowel Folklore recorded by children in 1938

Peggy’s Leg

Kevin Sheehy of Church St. interviewed Dan Broderick also of Church Street.

Dan remembered a woman called Peggy Carey who used to make a confection called Peggy’s Leg. It was made from sugar and farmers’ butter. Peggy also sold seagrass. Peggy used to  sell her wares at “Listowel Cross out in Newtown”. I’m presuming this refers to Moyvane.  The Peggy’s Leg cost  two pence. 

Another local confectioner was Bridge Conway. She used to sell penny bars which she made herself. 


Have a go at this novel competition


John Hannon Archive Photos Revisited

I posted this picture of these two handsome devils before and no body could help me with names. The reason no-one had names is because they were not local men at all but apparently came to town with a “Wall of Death” attraction. They rode motorbikes around a cage climbing higher and higher up a mesh ‘wall”.

I met this handsome devil, Batt O’Keeffe and he remembered the occasion well. It was the first date for himself and his now wife Gertie in Banna.


The Duchess, the Silver Bookmark, Presentation 75 Commemorative book, A nun, a poem and The Listowel Connection

On Friday last we had a working meeting for the Presentation Commemorative Book. 

Sr. Mary MacMahon and Sr. Consolata hard at work on choosing photos for inclusion.

People have been really generous with memories and memorabilia and we are in the work of drawing it all together, so if you have promised and haven’t done it yet, time is running out.

One of the contributions was a poem from Sr. Una Harman. You’ll have to wait for the book to read it in full but the theme is around opportunity and the doors that are opened to Pres. girls all thanks to four pioneering sisters who brought education to Listowel girls.

The poem mentions a yearbook which was sent to Sr. Una by her nieces, Darina and Elaine from Ireland in 1994.

“We should find that yearbook,” says I and put it with the poem.

The yearbook cover in 1994 was designed by none other than Eileen Moylan, now a very successful artist in silver, gold and precious stones.

I return from the school and I’m trawling through Facebook as you do, and in a little piece of synchronicity, there is account of the very same Eileen who has designed a piece which was presented to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall by the deputy Lord Mayor of Cork.

This photo was taken as the deputy lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Ian Doyle is showing Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall around the headquarters of Irish Guide Dogs during her visit on June 14 2018

The duchess was presented with a bookmark designed and executed by Listowel silversmith, Eileen Moylan at her studio in Macroom.

This is the bookmark and the translation of the lines by Cork Poet, Seán ORiordáin.

AND Eileen also made the chain of office which is being worn by the deputy mayor.

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