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: Mary Cogan Page 1 of 2

An Emigrant Returns, a Lovely Gift and more from the Open Day at Curraghatoosane

Holocaust Memorial in Listowel’s Garden of Europe


Welcome Home, Maria

Maria Canty Sham made a very enjoyable visit home recently. She reunited with family and friends and I was delighted to meet in the flesh one of the greatest fans and supporters of  Listowel Connection.

I met Maria and her sister, Kathleen shopping with Anne Dillon and while we were talking another cousin joined us.

Cousins, Muireann, Maria, Kathleen and Doreen meeting up for a trip down Memory Lane


Catching up with Friends

Regular Flying Saucer customers, myself, Maureen Hartnett, Joan Kenny and Helen Moylan met up with Sr. Helen Hartnett on Monday. Sr. Helen is visiting her Listowel family from South Africa, where she works.


A Gift from a Gifted Needlewoman

I received this lovely present from Jurga who made it herself using four needles. Isn’t she so talented and she knew just the kind of thing I would love. Thank you.


Visiting the Site of an Old Cottage

Very interested local people at the site of the old O’Connor cottage on the Open Day, July 30 2019


Reroofing in Main Street

Scullys, Armstrong Wedding and spectators at Juvenile Tennis finals in the 1980s

Then and Now


Armstrong Marriage

This handsome couple are Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Armstrong of Gurtinard House, Listowel. Theirs was the society wedding of  March 7 1905 and the whole thing was reported in The Kerry Evening Post.


Watching the Tennis

When he was photographing the juvenile tennis tournament in the late 1980s, Danny Gordon turned his camera on the spectators who were engrossed in the action on the courts.

Veronica Corridan, Una McElligott, Maurice O’Sullivan, Josephine and Paul Henry and three children whom I can’t name.

Anne Cogan, Helen and Alice Moylan, Mary and Clíona Cogan and Maureen and Denis O’Connor.


Look Up

When you look above street level, sometimes what you see shocks you and sometimes surprises. Pictures taken on Church Street, Listowel in January 2019

Morning Walk in Writers’ Week 2018, Craftshop na Méar and Listowel Visual Arts Week 2018

Feeding Time photo by Graham Davies


My Walking Tour of the Square during Writers’ Week 2018

Ger Holland’s photo tells its own tale. I was totally overwhelmed by the number of people who turned up at 9.30 a.m. on Saturday June 2 2018 to take the walking tour of Listowel Town Square with me.

At the door of The Listowel Arms I met Dave O’Sullivan, Paddy McElligott, Cliona McKenna and Mary Fagan, four of my able assistants.

 Mary was getting into character as Mena in Sive as she met Thomasheen  Seán Rua, the matchmaker, played by David O’Sullivan.

“Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch….”

Local historians, Michael Moore, Liam Grimes and Vincent Carmody were taking the tour.

Clíona’s parents in law, Mary and Tony McKenna, great supporters of Writers’ Week, were looking forward to a leisurely walk in the early morning sunshine and to maybe learning a thing or two about Listowel and Listowel people.

Musician and singer, Mary Moylan and Mike Moriarty, singer and historian, two more of my able assistants, were ready for the off.

I mounted the podium, aka the Tidy Town’s seat, and the tour began.

Paddy and Mike Lynch did a great job on Goodbye to the White Horse Inn.

On the steps of Listowel Castle we had history, songs and drama.

At Gurtenard House we had more history, more songs, an anecdote or three. Eamon ÓMurchu was hastily press ganged into being an able assistant but acquitted himself like the trouper he is.

We stopped at the beautifully restored Butler Centre, where Antoinette Butler told us what happens nowadays in this historic edifice.

We finished up our walk on another stage in the Town Square where we all sang a few verses of Lovely Listowel by Bryan MacMahon.

The morning walk was a great success, thanks to all the hard work put in by everyone involved.

Most of these photos were taken by able assistants, Tony McKenna, Breda Ferris and  Elizabeth Brosnan.

Follow the link below for some of the highlights of the walk recorded by Charlie Nolan;

Saturday Morning Walk 2018


O’Connor’s Pharmacy with weighing Scales

Photo: John Hannon


My Time in 53 Church Street Remembered

As 53 Church St. prepares to reopen as a barbers’ I’m looking back at the early days of Craftshop na Méar.

Namir Karim opens the door to Craftshop na Méar

Namir gets a weaving lesson

Some of the early crafters

Crafters with the late Dan Green who was

 a great supporter of the shop in its early days. At the far right in the picture is Miriam Kiely who knew 53 Church Street as her family home.


First Ever Listowel Visual Arts Week

It’s Visual Arts Week and the shopkeepers of Listowel are getting behind Olive Stack in her new venture.

Then in the Square, local artist, Jim Dunn is showing us how. He is crafting a beautiful celtic style mural before our very eyes. He worked on it for hours and hours today and he’ll be back tomorrow.

He has to work through all the distractions, people chatting to him, photographing him and having a go at helping him.

Will you look at the state of his hands? And let me tell you he is an exceptionally neat worker.

Craftshop na Méar, Pat Shortt and a competition winner

A Relic of Auld Decency

Photo; Lisa Egan, Mallow Camera Club


Craftshop na Méar, a Resumé

This is how Kiely’s of Church Street looked.

In November 2013 Namir Karim’s craftshop moved in and set out to find a name for the new venture. In the window was a big yellow fibreglass pig who became the mascot for the early days. The name that the crafters settled on was Craftshop na Méar, using a naming method I first heard used by Clare GAA.

(There is a GAA rule that every member must be registered with the Irish version of his name. This proved a bit problematic when they had a player called Mosajee Bhamgee. Some genius came up with the nearest Irish equivalent and he was registered as Muiris Bean Sí)

Namir didn’t have an Irish version of his name so na Méar was agreed on as the nearest match. Besides in fitted well with the produce which was to be handcrafts.

A competition was held to name the pig. The late Dan Green, who was a big supporter of the shop, hit on Crubeen, the perfect name.

Namir and his daughter, Roza were very involved in their new venture.

Maureen Connolly, Mary Boyer, Eileen Moylan and Isobel Barrett were among the early crafters.

 The shop stocked a wide variety of produce.

 This photograph was taken at the official opening in 2013

Mary Keane cut the ribbon and she was one of the first customers.

Maureen, Mary Anne, Una, Eileen, Mary and Anne enjoyed the opening ceremony as well.

This photograph was taken on one of the “big days” in the shop as the crafters pose with the award for the widow display at Seachtain na Gaeilge.

I have a few more photos but I’ll keep them to tomorrow.



Pat Shortt shared this photo of himself and Jon Kenny taken backstage at an early gig in Limerick


A Prize wining essayist 

Trees, Little Lilac Studio and Listowel ESB 1958

Santa Claus is Coming to Town… and I met himself and the Missus

Saturday November 26 in Listowel Community Centre with the Clauses of The Seanchaí


Refurbishment Underway at Listowel Community Centre

The diggers moving in

 The work is going on at the pitches side of the centre. It will include accessible changing rooms and storage space for all the equipment which is currently in unsightly containers. The long term plans include a café and enhanced gym.


Beautiful Trees in Listowel Town Park


Rugby Training

It is heartening to see so many young boys and girls out training on a Saturday Morning.


Little Lilac Studio

If you have children to entertain, be it a birthday party or just children at a loose end, this is the place to take them. The Little Lilac Studio in Listowel’s Main Street was where I took my grandchildren during Halloween. They all loved the experience and they created a personalised bowl and plate each. These items of tableware are now in daily use at home in Cork.

We ran into Gabrielle McGrath and friends who were doing a special project. They were making and decorating bowls. Like us they were all loving the studio .


Humans of Listowel

I met Nancy, Mary and Maura in one of my favourite haunts. These ladies are three of the lovely volunteers in the St. Vincent de Paul Second Time Around Shop. It opens on Thursdays and Fridays from 11.00 until 5.00 at Upper William Street.


Listowel ESB staff 1958

This is a combined effort. Jer Kennelly found the Kerryman photo. Vincent Carmody provided the names and the context.


from left, George Brooks, ( Contracts man, afterwards transferred to Dublin) Jerry O O’Keeffe, (Charles Street), Walter Doyle,Greenville and now Meadowlands, Tralee, Clare O Connor, 108 Church Street, Brendan Stack, Ballybunion, Jackie Buckley, 22 Upper William Street


on left, man down from Dublin, on the right, Tony Walsh, Tralee.

The new E.S. B. offices were located at the corner of Church Street and Colbert Street. The refurbished building was originally the home of the Cain family, locally known as,  ‘Cains of the Bridewell’, due to the fact that the house was built on the ground where an earlier Bridewell had stood. One of those Cain’s had also been employed as ‘a Jail-keeper’ .

The window reflection shows the houses across the road, above the archway, Nurse O Donavans, where she had a little private nursing home. Many of the town’s children first saw the light of day here. Sadness also darkened the door. when on a summer day in the early nineteen fifties, a young Dublin boy, Gabriel Cummins, nephew of Nurse Donavans, who was spending his summer holidays in Listowel,  was drowned accidentally while swimming with friends in the Corporal’s, one of the favoured swimming locations on the river, which was located at the back of where the present Kerry Co-Op is built.

Below the Archway, was the public house, known as the Bon-Ton, home of Eamon Tarrant, This house was once the meeting place of the Young Irelanders.


Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén