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

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St. John’s, BOI Enterprise Town event, a few more Christmas windows and Eoin Hand on Nationwide

A Photo from Mallow Camera Club’s Blue Challenge

Photographer; Neil O’Mullane


St. John’s in Winter

The flags are down and the tubs of flowers stowed away for the winter.


Is Paul Costello the new St. Bernard

I have some very old clothes in my wardrobe!

Do you remember when St. Bernard was the only brand at Dunnes Stores and St. Michael at Marks and Spencers?


Listowel, Enterprise Town


Listowel Christmas 2017

Galvin’s window

Woulfe’s Bookshop

Kay’s Children’s window


Some of Listowel’s More Famous Residents with Anne Cassin of RTE

If you missed Eoin Hand on Nationwide you can catch the programme HERE

Stained Glass Windows, Switching on the Christmas Lights 2017and a few more trains

Mallow Camera Club Member’s Blue Photo

Photographer; Deborah Cronin


Scully’s Corner, December 2017


Stained Glass Windows

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I am a great admirer of stained glass windows. It is an art form that is fascinating, colourful and detailed and some great examples of this artwork  are available for free in every town in Ireland.

Recently I was in Saint Mary’s and I went into the sanctuary to view the Famine window. Until Vatican 11 the sanctuary in a Catholic church was out of bounds to the laity and I still felt a bit uncomfortable going into this sacred space to take photographs.

It is a pity that this inaccessible space is the location chosen for some of the church’s fascinating artwork.

I had always presumed that church art depicted Christ and the saints. It was a revelation to me that a window was made depicting a local man and some local women that everybody knew. The man was the parish priest, Fr. Darby O’Mahoney and the women were the local nuns. The window was commissioned by the people of Listowel in recognition of the unselfish work done by these people to help alleviate the suffering of Listowel people during the Great Famine of the 1840s when close on 7,000 people perished in and around the parish.

Above is the Famine window. While I was about it, I went across to the other side of the sanctuary and photographed the window there and the plaque which commemorates Canon Davis.


Switching on the Christmas Lights 2017

There was a huge crowd in Listowel Town Square for the switching on ceremony 2017. Aidan O’Mahoney did the honours. We had singing and dancing, face painting, Disney characters, balloon shapes, sweets and goodies and everyone was in great form. There is a real sense of the whole community coming together this Christmas.

Listowel First

Make Listowel Great Again


A Few More trains

This cute one is in the foyer of The Listowel Arms.

Hartnett’s Pharmacy has taken the polar theme a step further. Polar bears, penguins and snow is everywhere. Even the elf has left his shelf for a swing on a snow covered branch.

All part of Listowel polar magic this Christmas 2017.


Woodford Pottery

Pat Murphy of Woodford Pottery, Listowel has recently found a whole new seam of inspiration. Here are his latest Christmas creations.

July 6 2017 Horsefair in Market Street

Photo by Seán Mc Inerney of Mallow Camera Club


Horses on Dublin Streets in the 1980s

Photo shared on Facebook by Eric Luke


Horses on Listowel Street in July 2017


Listowel in Bloom

Horse Fair July 6 2017 and Pres. Girls in the 1950s

Theresa Collins of Mallow Camera Club took this.


What a Boyo, What an obituary!

Seán Mac an tSíthigh shared this on Twitter


Sign over Mike the Pies


Scenes from the July Horse Fair in Market Street


Pres. Girls in the 1950s

This old photo has set ladies of a certain age talking.  I had forgotten that I had posted it twice already. Marie Neligan who originally sent the photo has named most of the girls as best she remembers them.

Back row: Eleanor Leahy,
Eileen Barrett,    ?      , Celia Carroll, Rose Healy Fitzmaurice,
? Walsh,   Marie Neligan,   Doreen Stack, Nora O’Keefe. ?

Middle row: Kathleen
Fitzgerald,    ?, Margaret Sheehan, Mary ?,    Phyllis Horgan, Kathleen Dunworth,   ? Beasley, Kathleen O’Keefe,  Cathy Mae Leahy, Maeve Maloney, ? Murphy.

Front row: Nora Barry,  Margaret Horgan, ?,   Noreen Mahoney,  Geraldine Reidy (visitor from the USA)   Patsy Hartnett,   Marie Buckley, Terry Buckley, Dympna Carroll.

The nun is Sr. Dympna 

These are the girls as
Marie Neligan remembers them and she estimates the year as 1953/54.

Helen O’Connor added this back in May.   “My sister, Delia Walsh, 6th from Top L – beside
Marie Nelligan (sender of photo).  Delia married Peter Spellman and lives
in Manchester.  Her grown up family lives there too. Delia and her husband
come home every year to Listowl/Ballybunion.  She remembers most of her
class in picture but doesn’t know where they are now. 

Eileen Barrett (neighbour of Delia Walsh), 2nd top
from L married Connie Leahy and continued living in Listowel, but unfortunately
died a few years ago.”

Cherrytree Blossoms, Mass in the fifties and the first Park run

Photo: Joy Buckley of Mallow Camera Club for their People at Work project


Cherry Blossom Time


 In the Pitch and putt course

 In Cahirdown


Sunday mass in Ireland in the 1950s

Jim Costello remembers mass in rural Ireland in the 1950s;

At Sunday mass the men wore
their Sunday suits, while the women wore 
coats, costumes or dresses.The older men wore hats while the young
people rubbed oil, Brillantine or pomade to their hair. The ladies, as was the
custom then always covered their heads with hats, scarves or mantillas. The
priest had his back to the congregation while he said the mass in Latin and the
altar boys responded also in Latin. The laity took no audible part in the mass
but said their prayers by using their rosary beads. People then conducted
themselves devoutly at mass. The men said their prayers on their rosary beads
and the women read their missals.

Glossary for younger readers

French pommade is a greasy, waxy, or a water-based substance that is used to style hair. Pomade gives the user’s hair a shiny, slick appearance, and does not dry it out. It lasts longer than most hair care products, often requiring multiple washes  to completely remove. 

 A Mantilla is a lace or silk scarf worn by women over the head and shoulders.



This souvenir shop in Ballybunion had an alternative Irish flag flying.


A few days later Jacinta Breen spotted that they had found the right one.


First Listowel Park run

Photo; Dominck Walsh

Park run sponsored by VHi came to Listowel on Saturday April 22 2017


Brent Geese over the Shannon

Its Hannon’s photo of Brent geese over the Shannon estuary was broadcast on national TV last evening


Fr. John Lucid R.I.P.

Moyvane paid tribute to Fr. John Lucid who passed away suddenly at his Kilcummin home last week.

(Text and photo from Moyvane Village of Facebook)

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
By Gabriel Fitzmaurice

Fr John Lucid came to serve as Parish Priest of Moyvane-Knockanure in the summer of 2003. His shock of grey hair hid the youthful temperament of a 54 year-old-man full of vim and vigor, a man whose personal motto could well have been “laborare est orare”, “to work is to pray”, such was the delight he took in getting his hands dirty doing what his beloved Church used to describe in the old catechism as “servile work”, work that other priests would leave to tradesmen, labourers and gardeners. He was a popular priest; shy yet comfortable with his parishioners both young and old. He believed when he was appointed to the Parish of Moyvane-Knockanure that he would be the last Parish Priest we would have. He performed his priestly duties ar luas lasrach – at lightning speed. Indeed, he seemed to have two speeds only, fast and faster! And yet he was devout, and his devotion was apparent in his respect for God and God’s creation. 

His homilies were invariably short and to the point. One of his most touching sermons, which he repeated from time to time, was about the little girl who wondered who the people depicted in the stained glass windows in her local church were; on being informed that they were saints she was perplexed as the word “saint” was new to her. She was puzzled for a while and then, in a moment of revelation, she exclaimed, “Mammy, I know who the saints are – they are the ones who let the light through”. Beautiful! 

Fr John led his parish through joyful times and sorrowful times. He presided over the celebrations of the golden jubilees of the Church of the Assumption in Moyvane in 2006 and Corpus Christi Church in Knockanure in 2014. It fell to him to officiate at the funerals of Michael Hanrahan and his son Denis, double murder victims, in 2008. He was interested in his parishioners, their sports and pastimes, he was a fair and effective chairperson of the parish school boards, he set up the first parish liturgy group to mention just a few of his many achievements during his tenure as Parish Priest here. When he was transferred to be Parish Priest of Kilcummin in 2015 he left with the goodwill and affection of the people of Moyvane and Knockanure. 

He died on the day of Christ’s Resurrection having officiated at the Holy Week and Easter ceremonies in Kilcummin. One of his favourite phrases, one he repeated frequently from the altar, was “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. Fr John stood for the good, the true, the beautiful. He let the light through. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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