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 Kennelly Page 1 of 2

Harvest thanksgiving in St. Mary’s, Mayor Kennelly of Chicago

Evening in Ballybunion

Lovely evening sky Ballybunion Angling and Coastal Views


February 1951

Michael Kennelly’s caption “First Rome reunion social in The Lake Hotel, Killarney, Feb. 1951”


Thanksgiving for the Harvest in St. Mary’s Listowel


Chicago mayor with Irish roots

Martin H. Kennelly was elected in 1947, and worked with the City Council to create modern superhighways, an airport and subways. His diplomacy enabled many projects.

One year later, he supported Chicago censors who banned Jean-Paul Sartre’s play, “The Respectful Prostitute.” Kennelly declined an invitation to a private showing saying: “I do not like the play. I do not like the title. The title alone would be enough to ban the show, as far as I’m concerned.”

Kennelly established the tone of second term with these words from his Inaugural Address on April 19, 1951: “The pattern of adherence to sound moral values in government has been established. Its basis is efficiency, economy, integrity, impartiality—and the service of only one special interest—the general welfare. There must be no deviation from this standard.” He maintained this standard.

Some of his mayoral successes included extensions for Wacker Drive and the Outer Drive. Congress superhighway and the Congress Street Bridge were constructed. The sewer construction program and the Chicago Skyway were completed. Plans were initiated for extensions to the West Side Subway, the Northwest superhighway, the South Outer Drive and O’Hare Airport.

He was defeated in the 1955 Democratic Primary by Richard J. Daley. He retired and concerned himself with community affairs. He assisted his alma mater and other organizations.

Martin Henry Kennelly died on November 29, 1961, and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Evanston. He lived his life according to the lines he quoted from Edgar Guest in his First Inaugural Address on April 15, 1947: “If freedom shall new splendors reach/ And not be dragged into the dust/ This to our children we must teach—that/ Public Service is a trust.”


Didn’t he do well

Ger. Greaney with his proud parents at his conferring in UCC last week

Something old, something new…..

Another great oldie from Mike the Pies on Facebook

Mike the Pies early 60’s. Paddy Murphy, Jack Mangan, Dan Joe Leahy, Dan O’Donoghue, Danny Hayes, Jack Leahy, Mick Halpin.


Then and Now


Outward Bound for Rome 1950

Michael Kennelly’s caption on this group of photos says “On board the Inisfallen from Cork”


Big job underway at Ballybunion Castle

The walls are being strengthened and treated to withstand the ravages of the sea. The top bit which was blown down in a storm will not be replaced. It’s good to see that this landmark will be with us for a while yet.


Athea visit with some old friends

Phil and Frank visited me last week and I brought them to one of my favourite places, Athea

 Phil and Frank ar Shlí na Sí

They had seen bug houses but never before a bug hotel.

They left their worries behind with the worry fairy.

The local craft group were working that morning and their keen eyed marketing manager spotted some potential customers.

Phil and Frank bought a fairy door for their granddaughter  and one of the very artistic ladies customized it especially for Cara.

We had a lovely lunch in Blueberry Home Bakery where we found my book sitting on the table for the entertainment of the diners.

Listowel people in Rome in 1950 and reconfigured Convent Cross

Changed aspects of Church St. 


Listowel people in Rome

Michael Kennelly made two trips to Rome in 1950, once with the scouts and then in October with a local pilgrimage. The scouts’ trip in July 1950 is mentioned in Anthony Gaughan’s account. This was the trip, when, during an audience with the pope, the Listowel scouts presented some Irish tweed to the pope for the poor children of Rome 

  Listowel people on pilgrimage to Rome October 1950


A Limerick limerick by Pat Brosnan

Outside Abbeyfeale near Feale Bridge

Lived a handsome young damsel called Pidge.

Her admirers all came

 But pursued her in vain

For this Pidge could dodge like a midge.


Convent Cross 2014

Convent Cross is now safer to negotiate. The low wall has been removed and the road widened.

A long wall and a footpath have been put in beside the secondary school on the Ballybunion Road.


6th Annual Gary MacMahon Singing Weekend

The link above will bring you to Michael Collins’ charming photographs of people at The West Limerick Singing Club’s Gary MacMahon commemorative event last weekend. Below are just a few of these treasures. Do visit the website to view them all.

Michael Kennelly in The Alps, Fr. Charles Troy and some names from 1955

As it is now; As it was then


From Michael Kennelly’s Scrapbook

Michael describes the dwelling in this picture a his digs.

On this holiday in The Alps it would appear that Michael was a kind of one man tourism ambassador. He distributed An Tostal literature everywhere he went and he organized for a troop of scouts to visit Listowel.

An Tóstal (Irish pronunciation: [ən̪ˠ ˈt̪ˠoːst̪ˠal̪ˠ], meaning “The Pageant“) was the name for a series of festivals held in Ireland in the 20th Century. Inaugurated in 1953 as a celebration of Irish life, it continued on until 1958 when it died out in most centres except Drumshanbo.

The original purpose of the festival was a celebration of Irish culture, with an emphasis upon drawing tourists into the country during the Easter off-season. It was marked by a series of regional parades, arts and sporting events. Many towns began a clean-up plan, thus starting off the National Tidy Town Awards, which is running still in Ireland. In 1953, a set of commemorative stamps designed by Limerick artist Fergus O’Ryan, were issued by the Irish Post Office.

Chess Competitions were held as part of An Tóstal by the Irish Chess Union from 1954 to 1957.[1]

Drumshanbo in County Leitrim have the distinction of being the only place that An Tóstal has continued to run every year since 1953.  (Source; Wikipaedia)


Fr. Troy of Listowel

Capuchin Annuals of early 1930s had articles by Fr M C Troy, MA, CC of St Michan’s, Halston Street, Dublin. Fr. Troy was born in Listowel.

Monsignor Charles Troy K.C.H.S. Parish priest, ordained 1921, he was the last surviving of five priests in his family. He also had a sister a nun in the Mercy Order in Illinois. In his obituary in Sunday Independent of November 12th 1972 it is stated that  he played with Athea alongside Fr. Mullane and Fr. Leahy and in 1919 they won the West Limerick title. Charles Troy helped Kerry to the final, but did not get an All Ireland  medal, because he entered the seminary before the final. He played with Con Brosnan.

Ballyfermot GAA Club De La Salle, organised in 1953 as Ballyfermot Gaels. They trained and played junior fixtures at the facilities located behind the De La Salle Primary Schools on Ballyfermot Road. The club plays in the Kerry colours as a tribute to the first parish priest, Kerryman Charles Canon Troy who sponsored the club.

Ballyfermot Gaels hurling tem togged out in green and gold.

In  1962 Canon Troy presented the cup for the best Ballyfermot graden.

De la Salle schoolboys with Canon Troy


Eurovision winners

RTE has announced that, this year, they will go back to the old format. Anyone can submit a song. The recent format of selecting mentors and allowing them to choose a song and a singer clearly has not worked. It also fueled accusations of cliquishness in RTE with the same names and  the same faces appearing year after year.


Scout Reunion names

Trish Tatten recognised her late dad and John Cahill did his best to remember some memory.

John Cahill’s best guess:

 BACK ROW:  Nial Stack, Dermot Tattan, Michael Kennelly,,  ? White   -?.Johnny Fitzmaurice?

Front Row.  John Cahill,  Donie Hartnett,  Dan Guerin, William (Curly) Keane Stack, Justin Stack, Dick Flaherty. 

Autumn in the Cows’ Lawn, Then and Now and Listowel people in Lough Derg in 1954

” The Trees are in their autumn beauty.

The woodland paths are dry.”

All photos taken in the Town Park, Listowel in October 2014.


Time and tide wait for no man

Is there a message for our times in the replacement of a bank by a betting shop?


Another look inside Michael Kennelly’s album 

Michael’s caption on this group of photographs is  “Lough Derg Trip 1954”.


Listowel Properties getting a facelift

Allied Irish Bank


Listowel Girls Night Out 2007

(photo credit: Mike the Pies on Facebook)

Front: Marie Kelly, Jackie Roche, Aine Sloan, Eileen Roche

Back: Matilda Sweeney, Kitty Behan, Mary O Connor, Mag McDonagh, Hannah Sweeney, Phil O Connell, Dolores O Connor,Marilyn Kelly and Kay Downey

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