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 Guerin

Dublin Kerry Association, St. Michael’s boys Survey and NKRO in 2000

Photo; Liam Downes


The Dublin Branch of the Kerry Family

in happier times


Remembering Schooldays in St. Michael’s

From a cocoon in New York comes John Anthony Hegarty wrote

Hi Mary,

I just found this article from the Kerryman newspaper from my days in St Michael’s. 

 It definitely has that Listowel Connection.

My class was what was considered a diverse class in those days, 

Apart from those us in the photo below , there was one American (Yank) Mike Regan, one English (Cockney)  : Kevin Summers they were both exempt from learning Irish, we had Fitzell from Ballylongford. Alas I forgot his first name, he was Church of Ireland so he was exempt from the religion class. John B’s son, Conor Keane, was also in my class , I must say even though his father was famous Conor was down to earth , there certainly no airs and graces about him, he was a regular person. Louis McDonough was also in my class.
That first year we spent in the prefab class room behind the main college building Our teachers were : Margaret Savage from Bedford :PE ( a new concept back then) and Civics ,  Mr Cody :Science, Mr Harman : Math: “the square of the hypotenuse of right angle triangle is equal to the sum the squares of the other two sides” has stuck with me, he said that phrase quite a few times back then, the Regans husband and wife team: Mr Regan :Commerce, Mrs Regan : French, Mr. Molyneaux ( Junior ) :  Irish and History /Geography,

Mr Given :English, Fr O’Sullivan : Music and Religion and he was headmaster of the College.

Teachers were all allowed to use the cane back then and they did use it.

Lunch break we used to go down to a shop called (I think) Crowley’s for an ice cream wafer. 

The biggest crime back then was cigarette smoking.

John-Anthony pointed out they were already practicing social distancing in this photo.

These are the names of the boys in the order in which they are standing.

First row : Tony O’ Carroll, Jim Hannon , John-Anthony Hegarty, 

 Second row: Tony Barrett, Thomas O’ Connor,Joe Walsh, Patrick McElligott, 

 Back row: Edward O’Connor.

So in regard to the survey below , it wasn’t  very scientific because the people were very reserved in that , they didn’t want to say the wrong thing so  the most the common answer was ” well what are rest of the people putting down”

The photo was taken in front of then Cash and Carry ( Walsh hall) across from the Astor.I have met Paddy MacEligott and my neighbor Joe Walsh a handful a times since those days.


Looking Back

This photo was taken during a North Kerry Reaching out event in Greaney’s Spar Listowel in 2000.

Brenda Sexton was sharing photographic memorabilia with Ger Greaney and James Kenny.


River Feale

Mike Guerin has shared some lovely and many never before seen photographs of the river and its fishermen

Stolen Waters

Ungardening, Lough Boora, Walking in Circles and The Lartigue

Róisín in The wildflower meadow in Ballincollig Regional Park

Ungardening is the new craze…..happy days! You just sow the seeds and let Nature take its course. No need to mow or weed or thin or dead head or any of that backbreaking gardening that people have been doing for ages. If Capability Brown were alive today he’d be ungardening.


Lough Boora Visit

During a recent visit to the Kildare branch of my family, I spent a lovely morning in Lough Boora. This visitor centre is located just outside Tullamore. It used to be a Bord na Mona bog. It is now a cycleway/walkway, sculpture park, wildlife reserve and biodiversity area. It’s well worth a visit if you are ever in the midlands.

These trees are thousands of years old. When they drained the bog, there they were, growing just like this.

Don O’Boyle is the sculptor who made this beautiful and practical bog oak bridge.

This sculpture installation is the Sky train. The local people called This bog train a sky train because when it ran through the bog it appeared to go up to the sky.

Everywhere around there is a mixture of the natural and the man made.

A  crow rests on a heap of discarded stones.

This sculpture represents the four provinces of Ireland.

This one is a kind of optical illusion. The logs appear to go all the way through until you look round the side and see that there is a seat inside a very narrow doorway…ingenious.

This sculpture is made from old pieces of scrapped machines. I thought it was a dragon but it is actually a skimming stone.

I have given you just a small taste of Lough Boora. It’s a great place, very peaceful and energising.


Today’s Fun Fact

from The Second Book of General Ignorance

People who are lost, walk, not in straight lines, but in circles. A scientific experiment in 2009 proved that people, when deprived of visual clues, walk round in circles. Volunteers were set down in a particularly empty part of the Sahara. When the sun or moon was out, they walked in straight lines but as soon as they were left in complete darkness they walked round in circles. Another group of volunteers were blindfolded and they too walked round in circles, the diameter of the circle being smaller, at about 20 metres. 

The research proved that people have no instinctive sense of direction. We rely on visual clues.


The Lartigue

I visited The Lartigue for the first time this year last week. I was in luck because it was Michael Guerin’s day for volunteering. Michael is really really knowledgeable about the history of The Lartigue so I’ll be telling you more in future posts.


When You live in the Literary Capital of Ireland

even ordinary things become rhymes.

Mike Moriarty tells me that the local boys had a rhyme for this:

Post no bills

Play no balls

Kiss no girls

Behind these walls.


Revival 2019

Revival 2019 was a resounding success. People who know more about these things than I know (that wouldn’t be hard!) tell me that it was the best run festival they were ever at. They are still marvelling at the “real” toilets.

I joined the happy crew of local people and children outside the fence on Friday night. We enjoyed a great free concert.

Everyone loved Sharon Shannon. She kept the whole show going on Friday. People who came indifferent left as firm fans.

Whether whistling, singing, or telling yarns, Finbarr Furey was brilliant. His set went down a treat and he genuinely loved being back in Listowel where he won his first Fleadh Cheoil prize on the uileann pipes many moons ago

Mundy and Sinead O’Connor were on past my bedtime but I’m told they were well received as well.

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