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: Michael Dowling

Concert in the Listowel Arms, soldiers houses and First Confession

A Great Cause

They’re trying to raise enough money to purchase a bus for the use of the service users of St. John of God. If you’re looking for something to do on Friday night next, why not pop into The Listowel Arms. A great night is promised.


In Fashion

Two North Kerry fashion designers are in line for an award according to The Kerryman.


All’s Changed, changed utterly

Last week I attended Saicrimint an Chéid Aithrí with my youngest grandchild, Cora. This happy experience is a far cry from my own daunting first confession. 

Cora drew a picture of her “sin” or her ‘failure to love’ as it now is.

No gloomy confession box here. The little  boys and girls made their confession in the sanctuary in plain view of everyone. I even took a few pictures.

In the church of Christ our Light in Ballincollig, Cora presents her ‘sin” to Fr. George.

He listens as she explains the incident and then he gives her absolution.

Cora skips down the altar steps, her sin confessed and forgiven. Happy days!


Gorta Walk in North Kerry in the 1980s

Michael Dowling,  Derry Tatten and Gerard Lynch on  a fundraising walk in Moyvane, Knockanure and Listowel in the eighties.


From Minutes of a Council Meeting in 1945


After a long and unavoidable delay the British ex-servicemen’s houses are about to materialise at last. The initial work on these houses which are being built by the Irish Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Land Trust, was put in hands last week by a local contractor and I understand that four houses will be built for a start. To the Rev Canon Adderley, M . A. Listowel, more than to any other man, is the credit due for the much-belated coming of these houses, for he never lost sight of the promises made to the Irishmen who helped England in the hour of need.

Lovely photo from Tom

Tom just now sent me this photograph of members of the parish bazaar committee making a presentation to the late Michael Dowling  at last year’s Bazaar.  Ní imithe uainn atá sé ach imithe romhainn.

In the photo are Julie Gleeson, Michael Dowling, Brendan Behan, Billy Moloney, Mary O’Hanlon and Kay Hanley.

Festive Friday, Parish Bazaar and Clounmacon photo revisited

I snapped this at the sheriff’s corner yesterday. 


They’re putting up the lights.

And tonight in Halla Bhriain Mhic Mathúna it’s the parish bazaar….

My photo is from a bazaar of yesteryear with Brendan Behan in the auctioneer’s chair. 

We will spare a thought tonight for the best auctioneer of them all, the late Michael Dowling. 

Michael, a lifelong pioneer, provided many a laugh with his descriptions of alcoholic items. Anything from a cheap sherry to a Chateau Neuf de Pape was described by Michael as a “fine table wine” for the Christmas dinner. His gentle admonitions to the children shuffling around the front, “Ah, be quiet now lads, they can’t hear me at the back,” will be missed tonight.

 Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a anam uasal.


Vincent Carmody, on seeing my Clounmacon photo, pointed me in the direction of the library and a treasure therein. The book he recommended and I subsequently borrowed is called Scéal Chluain Meacáin. It’s a great book brought out by Clounmacon GAA to celebrate the opening of their new field. There is the photo of my fine young men with the cup complete with captioned names.

Listowel Through a Lens at a bargain price

Recently, Ger Greaney, our chairperson in NKRO took a trip with his family to The Big Apple. While there he visited the New York City Library and, just for curiosity,  he looked up what books they have about Listowel, Co. Kerry. They have two. One is Fr. Anthony Gaughan’s Listowel and its Vicinity, a second edition of which sold recently at auction for €400 and the other was …

Listowel Through a Lens.

Apart from bragging, why am I telling you this?

Because I, Mary Cogan, publisher of this book, am making the last remaining copies of it available at €5 each, while stocks last. If I have to post it to you, the bad news is that you will have to cover that cost, which, unfortunately will be more than the cost of the book.

For those of you not familiar with the book, it is a book of photographs of Listowel during the Celtic Tiger years. Much has changed since I took the photos between 2000 and 2009. The book records a prosperous and dynamic time in the history of Listowel.

Below are a few of the many photographs

A Corpus Christi procession with Fr. Donal O’Connor.

Joe Stack of RTE shares a joke with his former teacher, Eleanor Scanlon who, I am sad to say, passed away earlier this year.

A group of Ashes old boys who togged out for a victorious trip down memory lane.

The late great Michael Dowling, in the role of St. Patrick, a role he did so well, leads Listowel Emmets down Courthouse Rd.

Local historian and businessman, Jack McKenna, leads locals and visitors on a walking tour of the town during Writers’ Week.

You can contact me at if you would like a copy. 

Why not bag a collector’s item for the grandchildren!

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