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: Mike Enright

Windows and Statues in Ballybunion and Jimmy Hickey at West Point

Rough Seas this week photographed by Mike Enright


The Old Brigade

The Old Brigade

 This poem by Daniel J Broderick was published in Striking a Chord, a fund raising anthology sold in aid of Aras Mhuire. Try to get your hands on this book before they are all gone.

‘Tis often my thoughts go back to the days

When our homes were more Irish in a good many ways,

People were happy, good humoured and gay

And they danced and went gambling at the end of the day.

At night they’d walk in and pay you a call

And sit by the fireside or around at the wall.

But the years have rolled by and great changes are made

Since the days of our childhood and The Old Brigade.

There were the Johnnies, the Gers and the Keanes,

And Dan Leary beside them with his hands on the reins.

Mollie Murphy, they said, could be heard miles away,

While the Dagger was
monarch of all he’d survey.

Bill Lyons had the learning but his grammar caused dismay.

I remember “Let to have I”, he oft did say.

While the Picker would smile as he sat in the shade,

Three cheers you old devil, you of The Old Brigade.

Ol’ Lane, as you know, a great ball of a boy,

In his youth often lifted a horse to the sky,

He would jump o’er the horse and do it back-ways again

“Twas mane strength, a bhuachaill,” said Tadhgh the Twin

And Joe Falvey ‘pon my soul, had a way all of his own

And many’s the argument he rose with Jack Meade.

They had hunour and wit – the Old Brigade.

And while I am writing I cannot forget

All those who toiled in the sun and the wet.

Remember “Ol Kelliher with his shovel and spade.

Sure they worked like Trojans and never got paid.

“Thank God” kept Our Lord in the heel of his fist

And called on His name at each turn and twist.

Sometimes I think of the troubles they had.

Though they still worked for ol’ Ireland- The Old Brigade.

Now the old guard are gone, bar but a few.

They were honest, kind hearted and true.

And looking back as the light starts to fade

I’m glad I paid tribute to The Old Brigade.


More Photos from St. John’s Ballybunion

This is the most famous window in the church. It was created by Harry Clarke, who had a family connection to Ballybunion. Some of the other windows were made by the Dublin firm of Earley.


Jimmy Hickey Danced in West Point

I told you before that Jimmy Hickey brought North Kerry dance all over the world. One corner of the world he forgot to tell me about until now was this very prestigious venue in the USA.


Party at Oaklands

There aren’t many that can say they have attended a birthday party to celebrate someone turning 105 !! However, on Tuesday, February 14, 2017, celebrations were in full swing as Bridie MacNiel, a resident of Oaklands, Nursing Home, Derry, Listowel celebrated her 105th birthday with her nieces, grand-nieces, and extended family. Bridie was born Bridie McNamara, Cahara, Glin in the year 1912. She emigrated to Boston, USA in 1928. She married Don MacNiel of Nova Scotia, Canada and lived there until Don’s death (RIP) Bride returned to Ireland in 2002, and lived with Breda and Jack Culhane at Cahara until recently (Breda is Bridies niece) Huge congratulations to you Bridie on turning 105 .

 (Source; Glin Community News)

The Virgin Rock, Special Olympics and Duagh Sports complex

Mike Enright is a Ballybunion fisherman who is constantly on the water. He brings his mobile phone and just snaps whatever catches his eye. Some of his photos were reposted on the Radio Kerry website. The photos were so good that a “real” photographer saw them and just had to come to Ballybunion to photograph these sights for himself. Mike is becoming a one man tourist industry.

The special Olympics qualifiers held in UL  was a very successful time for North Kerry Eagles. They won eleven medals in all and Listowel gave them a big bualadh box and a parade through the town to welcome them home.

I took some photos at the parade on Wednesday June 18 2014.


Duagh Sports Centre

Nearly there!  (Photo Duagh Sports Complex via Facebook)


Listowel, where it is easier to write than not to write  (John B. Keane)

St. Patrick’s Day 2013 and Peat Briquettes and new genealogy website

The very last of my St. Patrick’s day photos……….. for now.

Martin Stack
Liz Healy
Maurice Hannon AKA St. Patrick
Matt Mooney
Liam Brennan AKA St. Patrick
St. Patrick’s sandals….and it was skinning cold!



There is much talk of winter fuel and fuel shortages during this cold snap. Bord na Mona has had one of its worst peat harvests on record and is currently witnessing unprecedented demand for briquettes.

Did you know that peat briquettes as fuel are an Irish thing?

Here is a sequence of archive photos from  Bord na Mona Heartland  from the briquette factory in Croghan.

Croghan Briquette factory opened in 1961, 62 years ago. It closed around 1999. This shows a delivery of peat to the factory.

After the briquettes were made they were extruded on runners to help them cool down before baling. The runners extended for 75 meters into the baling house. When baled the core temperature of the briquettes was 78 degrees C.

Eventually the briquettes were loaded for transport.  At this time some 22 million bales were produced each year between Lullymore, Derrinlough and Croghan.


Jimmy Deenihan T.D.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

 launched the new Genealogy Website

at Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street, Dublin 2

on Tuesday 26 March 2013 is a new Irish Genealogy search portal

This portal will make it possible for users to search records from a number of genealogy records sites including:

·         Census 1901/19011 records, Irish Census of populations for all counties of Ireland.

·         Griffiths Valuations, the first full scale valuation of 19th Century property in Ireland, published 1847 to 1864.

·         Tithe Applotment records, Compiled 1823-1837,

·         Soldiers wills,

·         Military Archives,

·         National Library of Ireland,

·         Ellis Island records, passenger lists and other records of U.S. immigration through Ellis Island, New York.

·         Ireland-Australia transportation database,

·         Women in 20th Century Ireland 1922-1966, a database of almost 20,000 entries on a set of records relating to central government.

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