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: Micheál ÓMuircheartaigh

Priests Leap, old photos, Ceol Soul Podcasts and The Great Flu of 1918

Beautiful Ireland

These stunning images of a beautiful little place called Priests’ Leap on the Cork Kerry border were taken by Cathal Noonan


Ireland in 1935

Poor Fr. Creed would be scandalised if he were to see today’s young ladies.


Jill Friedman

In the 1970s and 80s, photographer, Jill Friedman was a frequent visitor to Kerry  and she often stayed in Listowel. Below are some of her photographs from her book recording her visits

These photos were taken in Listowel and Finuge


A Podcast Recommendation

Katie Lucey is a young Listowel lady. She is embarking on a new venture, recording podcasts with Irish artists, not just musical artists but people who are important in the Irish Arts scene.

Katie with Sean Keane who she interviewed during his recent trip to Listowel for a sold out concert in St. John’s.

I remember Katie when she wore the brown uniform of Pres. Secondary School. She is at the other side of the desk now.

Here is a link to Katie’s podcast channel. Enjoy her first interview with the great Seán Keane.

Ceol Soul


A Story from the last Pandemic

Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh on the Late Late Show referred to his aunt who died in New York in 1918.  His nephew Joe posted The Keryman account of her death on Twitter.

Death of Nellie Moriarty of Dún Síon

October horsefair, Ballincollig Remembers the Army, and a photo of some Kerry legends

Chris Grayson in Killarney National; Park


October Horsefair 2018

Some photos from the recent horsefair


Remembering the Army in Ballincollig.

Many of my family live in Ballincollig so it is a town that is dear to my heart. By the way, Listowel beat Ballincollig by only one point in the 2018 Tidy Town competition. Ballincollig, like Listowel, won its category and got another gold medal.

Ballincollig was a kind of garrison town as it was home to the gunpowder mills and military barracks during the years before independence. The barracks was handed over to the Irish army and was eventually closed 20 years ago.

To mark the 20 year anniversary of the closing of the barracks the army held a remembrance ceremony and they brought a few big guns to remind Ballincollig of its military past.

This building occupies a central location on the main street in Ballincollig. It was once an army  gun store. Now it’s a Starbucks café.


Some Kerry Greats

Photo and caption from Des Cahill on Twitter

Proper#Kerrylegends!! Taken by photographer, John Bambury, 28 years ago when the#FAI“International Club” honoured#Kerry. Jack O’Shea, Micheál O Muirceartaigh, Moss Keane, Mick O’Connell, Chief Justice Liam Hamilton (Inter. Club), J.B., Brendan Kennelly, John B.Keane

Vintage Day at Listowel Races 2018 and a new Alzheimers Day Centre planned for Listowel


A Touch of Glamour from Times Past

Anna brought a touch of US chique to the restyle recycle event at Listowel Races.

Tis young lady favoured a tan palette for an outfit that would look as well today as in a bygone era .

Maria had a story.  She was wearing a themed outfit. The theme was Ballybunion during race week in Listowel.  It is customary for people who overindulge at Listowel Races to go to Ballybunion for a seaweed bath the morning after the night before.  Maria’s dress was the green black colour of the black rocks and her lacy sleeves were a sea weedy black. On her head Maria wore one of her own millinery creations. This one was particularly inventive. It involved collecting and drying out seaweed, fashioning it into a hat and painting the finish product. It was definitely the best and most creative piece of the day.

This man was rocking an upcycled ploughboy look. He wore a grandfather style shirt,  an old trousers and a flat cap. He brought a pitchfork as a prop to set off the look. It’s certainly a lot easier to win a prize in the men’s section of this competition!

Kieran and Imelda, members of the Tidy Town committee looked on in fascination.

The men are usually the ones to bring a bit of levity to proceedings.

This year the token “stag”  was present but he was reluctant to take part.

This outfit was worn by lady who was born in the wrong era. She loves vintage fashion and chooses it over modern stuff every day.

Proof, if proof were needed, that style is timeless.

Marlyn dressed herself for the competition in clothes from the IWA shop. She looked magnificent in her floral dress and red jacket and her vintage shoes were perfect match for her outfit.

Jean is one of these ladies who would look good in a binbag. For this event she sourced this beautiful royal blue dress on eBay. She teamed it with white accessories and she could have worn it any day and looked a million dollars.

This lady from Duagh looked perfectly turned out for a day at the races in browns and tans…timelessly stylish and worn with confidence and ease.


Jackie Moore, Whitesmith

I posted this photo from the Johnny Hannon collection some time ago with the heading Jackie Moore, Pipesmith. Now I’ve learned something new from an old neighbour and friend of this craftsman.

Jackie was not a pipesmith but a whitesmith. A blacksmith takes someone’s design and makes it. A whitesmith designs and makes his own design from scratch. A blacksmith works with iron, a whitesmith usually with lighter metals such as tin.


Remember those who can’t Remember

Listowel is soon to have a new Alzheimer’s Day Centre. Planning is granted and it is hoped to have it up and running by 2020. Below is a photo of the site. Are Churam is in the background.

Here is a poem  on the theme of growing old from local poet. Mary McElligott


Help me save my memories, 

Each day I’m here with you.

It won’t take up all your time, 

As I only have a few.

Don’t ‘correct’ or ‘fix’ the gaps,

Just let me rattle on.

Feel free to move me on a bit,

If my story is too long.

Help me to keep myself, 

From disappearing down a hole. 

Save me from destruction,

As my body leaves my soul.

Show me my old photographs,

You can talk about my dog.

Help me dip around a bit,

If my memory needs a jog.

They wrote up ‘my story’,

The first week I came in.

It’s to help me remember me.

Now where do I begin?

I know I can’t remember much, 

Not too sure about this place

But I don’t feel so worried, 

When I see a smiling face.

If I’m ever feeling frightened,

‘You might see it in a frown’,

Come and sit beside me

And in time I’ll settle down.

Help me to be myself,

The best that I can be.

Remember who you’re looking at, 

The one and only…………ME.


Remembering Christopher Hennessy…A Short Life Well Lived


Positive Ageing

Joe OMuircheartaigh posted (on Twitter) these photos of his uncle, the legend that is Micheál Ó Muiurcheartaigh, abseiling in Dún Síon, west Kerry

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