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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

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Reaching out beyond Parish Boundaries

Galvins on William Street

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Old Friends Reunited at Writers’ Week

Éamon ÓMurchú, Kay Caball, Pat White and Jim MacMahon

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Ballydonoghue Parish Magazine

Ballydonoghue Parish magazine is a credit to everyone associated with it over the years. It is a treasure, eagerly awaited at home and abroad every year. So many of these precious local journals have ceased to publish and their loss leaves a huge gap in our tapestry of local history and memories.

I take my hat off to the good people of Ballydonoghue.

The 2022 Ballydonoghue Parish Magazine committee at a function at The Thatch, Lisselton February 19 2022.

Front: Maria Leahy, Jim Finnerty, Áine Canavan, Colette O’Connor and John F Keane. Back: Seán Linnane, Ger Moran, Mike Gilbert, Ann Foley, Seán Stack and David Kissane.Material is being accepted now for the 2022 edition and may be emailed to magazine@ballydonoghue.net or posted to BPM, Lisselton PO, Co Kerry.

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A Dan Keane Limerick

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Matt Mooney’s Photo

Matt shared this photo of Vocational School boys on Facebook…no dates and no names except for Matt himself on the back left and Michael Gaine on the back right.

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Old Ballybunion

Ballybunion Tourist Office shared this beach scene as it was 1930 to 1950

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In Time of War

Mattie Lennon sent us this;

“Hitler was running riot through Poland with very little opposition. The cream of the British Army, battered and broken, had their backs to the sandy walls of Dunkirk. The Listowel Grenadiers of the LDF were gathered in Eddie Scanlon’s pub making feverish plans to invade Russia…..

 “The Listowel LDF after much liquid discussion, in Eddie Scanlon’s Bar, decided not to invade Russia after all”.

 Written by the late Sean McCarthy.

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Autumn and a Story about a Storyteller

Listowel Town Square in October 2021

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Conkers

They’re nearly ripe. These ones are in the Community Garden by the river.

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Poem about Listowel

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A Ballylongford Tale by Brendan Kennelly

from Shannonside Annual 1956

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A Lovely Memory of a Proud Kerry Man

Letter printed in The Irish Times, October 20 2021. The writer, Gerard Neville, comes from InchWest Listowel. He is now living and teaching in Littleton Thurles, Co Tipperary.

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A Good One

John B. Keane and Aengus Fanning, his friend and editor at The Irish Independent corresponded regularly. Here is an extract from one of John B.s letters.

Dear Aenghus

What father and son were beaten on the same day in Division One National League (football) in Kilkenny?

Kevin Cahalane was beaten by Maurice Fitzgerald in a scrap near the goals and his father was beaten by Alan Kennelly (Brendan’s brother) in a scrap in the stand.

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Opening Night Listowel Writers’ week 2018, Elizabeth Stack’s New Post and Emmetts Under 16s

Charming mosaic picture in the window of Olive Stack’s Gallery

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Photos taken at Opening Night, Listowel Writers’ Week 2018

Niall MacMonagle was here to work, but not tonight. Also working were Máire Logue, Maria McGrath, Maria Leahy, Noel Twomey and Louise Lyons.  Eddie Moylan came to support his daughter, Catherine who introduced proceedings on the night and Robert Pierce and the Walshes of Aspire Technology were there to present their prizes. The rest were heading to the Listowel Arms for a night out, one of the highlights of the Listowel season.

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Emmetts Abú


I spotted this story and photos on Listowel Emmetts’ website

Emmets U16’s choose the bog over the beach 😀

Fair play to our U16 team and mentors who spent this evening in the bog with Seamus Stack. It was all for a great cause too as the turf will be sold to raise much needed funds for The Nano Nagle School here in Listowel. 



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 Listowel Lady doing well



This is the account in this week’s Kerryman of Elizabeth Stack of Listowel and her new job.

This is what it says in The Irish Echo;

The Irish American Heritage Museum has a new director.

Elizabeth Stack has taken the helm and has plans to extend the reach of the museum beyond its physical location in New York’s state capital, Albany.

“I have lots of plans for the museum and am excited to settle in to the capital region,” said Stack, who previously worked at the Institute of Irish Studies at Fordham University.

“I am looking forward to meeting the wider community,” said Stack who indicated her intent to extend the museum’s activities beyond its home city.

The museum describes its educational mission as “To preserve and tell the story of the contributions of the Irish people and their culture in America, inspiring individuals to examine the importance of their own heritage as part of the American cultural mosaic.”

The museum was first organized in 1986 by the New York State American-Irish Legislators Society and was initially financed by the State Natural Heritage Trust, the State Council on the Arts, and private donations.

Initially, and after it opened in June, 1990, the museum was located on the grounds of the Irish Culture and Sports Center in East Durham, in New York’s Catskills region.

In 1992, the museum was permanently chartered by the Board of Regents of the State of New York as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

The museum was relocated to downtown Albany in 2012. The 3,250 square foot space opened on January 17, 2012 and includes the Paul O’Dwyer Library and the Ancient Order of Hibernians’ archives.

Exhibits at the museum have included: “Irish in the Civil War,” which looked at Irish Americans in the American Civil War; “The Irish and the Erie Canal,” which highlighted the contributions of the Irish in all phases of the Erie Canal construction, and “Dublin: Then and Now,” which included photographs of the streets of Dublin in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

States the museum on its website: “Our museum….provides year-round access to our exhibits, our Paul O’Dwyer Library, lectures, presentations, film screenings, book signings and other special programs and events.

“The Museum was an integral force in providing instruction in New York State’s public schools about the Irish Famine of 1845-1853.  Further, we are the first Museum of its kind here in America to have exhibited at the National Library in Dublin.”

The museum is located at 370 Broadway in Albany.

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Remembered with Love


Sunday, June 10, would have been Fr. Pat Moore’s birthday. In this age of social media, people find solace in posting messages on a dead loved ones’ page. I visited Fr. Pat’s page on his birthday and it was lovely to see the old pictures of his smiling brave presence among us.

Ní imithe uainn atá sé, ach imithe romhainn.





Listowel Writers Week, Opening Night 2017

People at Opening Night, Writers’ Week 2017

Rose McGinty is a writer who attended Writers’ Week. Her wonderful blog is Here

Here is what Rose writes about opening night

“All of Listowel was out last night for the opening ceremony of the Writer’s Week. No other literary festival that I have attended over the years feels as loved by its own town as this. It’s family, pure and simple.”


If you had any doubt of the truth of her statement look at my photos, taken on Opening Night 2017.  I stood outside the Listowel Arms as people filed across The Square to partake in the great night.

From the door of the hotel Maire Logue one of the two brilliant festival managers emerged accompanied by Elizabeth Dunn, Chairperson of Listowel Writers’ Week, and Colm Tóibín, president  and the V.I.P. guest Richard Ford who was due to officially open the 2017 festival. As they reacted to the music, they broke into an impromptu waltz .

But they reined in the giddiness and composed themselves to greet the night’s special guest who was to receive this year’s lifetime achievement award.

Local people were continuing to arrive in droves as the great man’s car pulled up and Liz greeted her guest.

Richard Ford and Colm Tóibín shared a joke as they waited to greet Brendan.

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose….Brendan Kennelly is waylaid by a lady.

The four are now in place and ready to pose for the “real” photographer.

Brendan’s daughter, Doodle arrives.

Stars of opening night, two giants of Irish literature, right here among us in lovely Listowel.

We stood back in awe and gaped and photographed.

Brendan headed indoors to his big gig as family arrived in numbers to support him.

( I have more photos from opening night for you tomorrow.)

T.F. O’Sullivan, Enterprise Town Expo and a Memento of the Roadworks

Robin photographed by Chris Grayson

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The First History of the GAA…..the Listowel Connection

Mark Holan writes a very interesting internet blog. A recent post which spiked my interest was all about T.F. O’Sullivan of Listowel who wrote the first history of the GAA.  This man seems to be largely forgotten except for Vincent Carmody’s references to him in his historical walking tour of the town when he points out where he was born and mentions his fame as the first to record the history of the GAA.

Below is the text of the blogpost. If you go to Mark’s site, you will also be able to see a photos of the book’s cover.

“A journalist’s book about
the early decades of the Gaelic Athletic Association this year quietly reached
the 100th anniversary of its publication. T.F. O’Sullivan’s Story of
the GAA
was based on an earlier series of newspaper articles.

The book’s 1916
publication has been lost amid all the attention to the same-year Easter
Rising. Even the 1916 entry of the special 1913-1923 centenary
section of the GAA’s website overlooks the book, written by one of its own
members. You can read the organization’s 28 May 1916 official statement after the uprising.

Michael Cronin of the International
Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University, Leicester,
England, briefly noted O’Sullivan’s book in a larger essay on “Historians and the
Making of Irish Nationalist Identity in the Gaelic Athletic Association.”

O’Sullivan was a GAA
official and the book presents a highly simplistic notion of the Association’s
past beginning with the seven pioneers who met in Thurles in 1884 to reawaken
the Gaelic nation through sport and taking the narrative up to 1916 by
recounting details of major personalities, decisions taken by the Central
Council and recording the results of matches.

Although there is no
explicit mention of the Easter Rising as such an inclusion would have meant
that the book would not be approved by military censors, there is an implicit
celebration of the Rising as those GAA men who took part are included in the
list of GAA personalities.

Although not a widely
researched history, as it is more of a contemporary account, O’Sullivan’s book
is important as it sets out an accepted chronology that is rarely challenged by
subsequent authors. This chronology, while celebrating the games of the Gael,
primarily revolves around the role of the GAA in reawakening the national
spirit.

O’Sullivan’s book does
receive several mentions in The GAA & Revolution in Ireland 1913-1923,
edited by Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, a 2015 commemorative publication specially
commissioned by the GAA.

O’Sullivan was a Kerryman,
born in Listowel, according to a short History Ireland bio. He wrote for the
Freeman’s Journal.”

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Saturday November 26 2016 in Listowel Community Centre


As part of BOI’s enterprise town initiative, we got to see a number of local clubs and charities in the community centre. Below are some of the people I photographed on the day.


Members of Listowel Tidy Town’s Committee cut the ribbon to perform the official opening.

Dawn Thomas had a beautiful display of crafts, all handmade by herself. Dawn’s work is for sale in Craftshop na Méar and at local craft fairs.

Denis O’Carroll of Fealegood Productions was there.

Eabha Joan’s Restaurant was there on Friday and Saturday.

Edel O’Connor of JK Sports made a sale to Sheelagh Dillon of BOI.


Eileen O’Sullivan is a multi talented crafter. Eileen’s ceramics and knits are available at Craftshop na Méar.


Lorraine O’Hanlon runs Listowel’s very successful play therapy business called Anam Saor.

Sand in Our Boots is a History of Beale GAA Club.

The Lixnaw area has a new Facebook page from Pride of the Parish

Christina was minding the Little Lilac Studio stall.

Imelda was taking Tom on a trip down memory lane at the Comhaltas stand.

Croí is Lyreacrompane’s Gym

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Humans of Listowel



Matt Mooney and John McGrath share an interest in writing.

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Party at Áras Mhuire



If you have family or friends at Áras Mhuire they invite you to join them for their Residents’ Christmas party

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We’ll Remember the Road Works




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Listowel Badminton Club held their annual Christmas Party in John B.Keanes  on Friday Night last and on the night the presentation of Club Person of the Year Award took place.  This Award was first inaugurated in 1987 and this year’s very popular recipient was Norma Leane for her commitment and dedication to the Juvenile section of the Club.  Norma works closely with coach Roly Chute who himself was one of the recipients of the Award in 1993.  Norma is seen here with Club Chairman, James Sheahan on the left and President/Secretary John (Junior) Griffin on the right. 

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