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: Lynch’s Coffee Shop

Shop Fronts and Sides

At Vartry Reservoir by Éamon ÓMurchú


Listowel’s Street Art

That was Then

This is Now

Listowel has a long history of unusual public building decoration. Now as then these big pieces of Art are not to everyone’s taste.

Pat MacAuliffe’s quirky stucco sculptures are now treasured and preserved. They are some of the images that define Listowel. Anyone would criticise them at his peril.

Back in the day when they were executed, people had mixed feelings about them. The image of a lion on top of a harp surrounded by a bit of Latin, a bit of French and a bit of Irish looked strange and out of place in an Irish market town in the 1920s. The Arts and Crafts era had arrived in Listowel. It took time for people to appreciate the originality of the work and to cherish the eccentricity and individuality it brought to Listowel’s streetscapes.

In 2021 the Listowel Characters project is also dividing local opinion. The first mural, executed by Garreth Joyce, is of its time. It is big, bold aerosol -can art. It’s graffiti as art and, like Pat McAuliffe’s text, the quotation requires a second or third reading. I think we should give it time. It will grow on us and we’ll come to love it as part of our streetscape.

There are two more large mural projects on the way this year. If you are slow in coming to like this one, reserve judgement until you see the next one.


Lovely Spot for Outdoor Dining

Lynch’s in Main Street is a lovely spot for people -watching while you eat.


A Thought provoking poem

In just a few lines John captures the pain and frustration of a lost generation.


by John MacGrath

Hungry land

Your people deserved better

Summer never wetter

Turf-sods floating in the bog-hole

Praties sick and dying

Like the people that sad winter

Heart of flint, you sent

Another sorry summer,

Scorned their plight. The blight

In every furrow sealed their fate

No hope and no tomorrow.

Yellow meal, too little and too late.


Halloween, Sarah Curran and Photos from the Launch of A Minute of Your Time

A Little Egret

Chris Grayson photographed this fellow in The National Park, Killarney


Sarah Curran

Sarah Curran (1782-1808) was the daughter of lawyer and orator John Philpot Curran and love of Robert Emmet. After Emmet was executed she was disowned by her father who disagreed with their relationship and she went on to marry army officer Henry Sturgeon. She died at a young age suffering from tuberculosis and her wish to be buried with her sister in a grave at the family home in Rathfarnham Dublin was refused by her father, who had her buried in his original hometown of Newmarket Cork.

Bernard O’Connell posted the above picture and caption on Facebook.

Since she comes from my corner of the world I was interested to check the pictures I had posted here in 2017.

This is what it says about Sarah in Newmarket, Co. Cork


Some people at the launch of A Minute of Your Time

Breda Ferris was the busy photographer on October 19 2019. She did a great job. My only apology to you is that I am in all of the pictures. I’m usually at the other side of the camera so not used to seeing myself in every photo.

Elaine Kinsella launched the book.

I was surprised and delighted to see Helen and Aidan. Helen and I knit in the knitting group in the library in Ballincollig. Helen is originally from Ballylongford and combined the book launch with a visit home.

Betty and Maria Stack bought an extra book to give to my old friend and now their friend too, Anne Leneghan.

Billy Keane took time out from his busy Saturday night  to attend.

Robert Bunyan was there.

One proud Nana with my 5 grandchildren


Halloween Windows in Listowel

Lynch’s has a ver spooky window display


Féile an tSolais 2019


Lost and Found

Anyone missing this umbrella since the night of the launch of my book? It was found in St. John’s and I now have it and would like to reunite it with its rightful owner.

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