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: Maureen Sweeney

The Frances and Sonny Show

Áras an Phiarsaigh in April 2024

Great Show in The Glen

Friday, April 12 2024 was a special day for our own Frances Kennedy. She and I were back on our home turf of North Cork in The Glen Theatre, Banteer. Frances was performing and I was in the audience.

The show was a Frances Kennedy and Sonny Egan special. Frances looked ever so glamorous and Sonny was his usual understated self.

Didn’t I capture him well on a borrowed phone from my seat in the second row?

It was a big night for Frances. She was celebrating a roundy birthday. And it was forty years to the day since she met Patsy. Frances and Patsy met on her first day in Listowel, which was also her twentieth birthday. Meeting Patsy put paid to her plans to emigrate to the U.S., she told us. Thank you, Patsy.

Sonny and Frances sang, danced, played and told stories to the delight of the appreciative audience. The highlight of the night was a rare duet from Patsy and Frances.

It was a great night’s entertainment from two very versatile, talented performers.

Maureen Sweeney

I told you last week that An Post was commemorating Maureen Flavin Sweeney with a postmark.

Eleanor Belcher sent us this obituary from The London Times.

From Pres Yearbook 04/05


Luckily horses love mud, almost as much as pigs do. Fields are saturated these times but these two boyos were delighted to be allowed to play outdoors for the first time without their coats.

As he frolicked around the field, kicking up mud in all directions, it was hard to believe that Henry is 24 years old.

These best buds love a bit of mutual grooming.

A Fact

In 1914 in Brussels the first non direct blood transfusion was performed by Dr. Albert Hustin.


Things Remembered and Things Best Forgotten

In Childers’ Park in April 2024

The Way we Were

I saw this online and it took me back. Younger people will have no idea what this is and will be horrified when I tell them.

Once upon a time we bought loose biscuits. The different varieties of biscuit were displayed in these tins with glass lids. The shopkeeper, when you had chosen your order, would dive his (ungloved and unwashed) hand into the box and take you out a fistful. Biscuits, like many other commodities were sold by weight. My mother usually bought Marie biscuits, which we ate sandwiched with butter or ate singly with a layer of butter and jam.

I remember an awful confection called currant bats. These were dry flat crumbly biscuits with currants dotted on top. They were very popular. Kimberley, Mikado and Coconut Creams were luxury biscuits, as were Jersey Creams and Fig Rolls. At Christmas we had what was called a half tin of Afternoon Tea or USA.

Maureen Sweeney Honoured

This is the new postmark with which An Post is paying tribute to the Blacksod post mistress, with a North Kerry Connection, who changed the course of history.

Maureen was born and raised in Knockanure. She passed away last year at the age of 100.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about her.

Maureen Flavin Sweeney (3 June 1923 – 17 December 2023) was an Irish postmistress. She grew up in County Kerry but moved to Blacksod, County Mayo, at the age of 18 to take up a position at a post office. One of Flavin Sweeney’s duties was to make weather observations that were reported to Allied forces during the Second World War. Blacksod’s position on the west coast made it one of the first stations to report westerly storms. 

On 3 June 1944, Flavin Sweeney made the first observation of a coming storm that threatened Allied vessels in the English Channel. Following her observation, US commander Dwight D. Eisenhower agreed to postpone the invasion of France by 24 hours, from 5 June to 6 June. After the war, Flavin Sweeney took over the post office, running it until her retirement in the 2000s. She received recognition for her wartime role from the US Congress in 2021.

If you are planning an outing this is the perfect place to bring young or old.

A Fact

The Amazon rainforest has been in existence for at least 55 million years


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