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: Mount Brandon

Padre Pio glove in Castleisland, Diaries and Making Hay

Mount Brandon yesterday

Photo Credit: Con Lane


A Listowel Doorway

Door at Tankers Bar, Upper William Street in January 2020


Castleisland in the News

( photos from Rte on Facebook)

Fr. Mossy Brick, parish priest of Castleisland has a special devotion to Padre Pio. He has brought that devotion with him from parish to parish in his ministry. He installed the below shrine in Castleisland before Christmas . On January 7 over 1000 people gathered into the church for mass and a blessing with a mitten worn by the saint.


The Demise of the Diary

“I never travel without my diary,” said Oscar Wilde. “One should always have something sensational to read on the train.”


Ag Sabhailt an Fhéir

Una Hayes’ photo shows the Hayes family taking a break from haymaking at Tannavalla, Listowel.

James Lynch on a hay raker in Knockanure in the 1950s

Make hay while the sun shines, goes the old saying. For many years in Ireland haymaking scenes like these were part of every summer.

It was not always so. There is no word in the Irish language for hay, just a word for grass that is also used for hay. Ag baint an fhéir = cutting the hay.

In fact, there are four different words in old Irish for grass, bruimsean for grass with creeping roots, cuiseog or traithnín for grass with a wiry stem, raithleadh for spiky grass and fear seasglar she sedge type grass.

I learned all this from a lovely calendar my granddaughter gave me for Christmas. I also learned that we didn’t make hay in Ireland until the Vikings introduced it. The winters were mild and cattle numbers lower so there was always enough winter grass for them.

Mount Brandon, Reading, Fishing, washing and a tale of a lost boy

On the Top of Mount Brandon

Faha Ridge

Our intrepid photographer is Catherine Moylan who braved the elements to climb Mount Brandon two weeks ago. I think you’ll agree she got some great photographs.


Oh The Joys of Reading


Fishing from the beach in Ballybunion is popular. Bridget O’Connor took the photo.


Good drying

Photo: Facebook

Do you remember when everyone had a long washing line and it always sagged in the middle? A housewife’s Monday was made is there was ‘good drying’.


Signs on Courthouse Road


In Search of an Evacuee

These photographs were taken in Ballybunion one day in 1945. The little boy and the little girl had just made their First Holy Communion.

He is Hurst Hess, a German boy evacuated to Ireland during WW2. He stayed with the family of the little girl’s cousins. She is Eily Mai Kissane.

The first  old photographs was discovered by Bridget O’Connor as she was trawling through boxes of old photographs to give to the family historian, Eily Walsh who is compiling another photographic exhibition of the Kissanes of Kilcox, Lisselton. Eily had the photograph of her aunt, Eily Mai.

The photographs were taken in Beazley’s in Ballybunion.

Eily is now busily trying to track down Hurst or his descendants. The Kissane family were very fond of him and missed him when he returned home to Germany. But they never heard of him again.

Eily would love to share this part of their family history with Hurst’s German family.

German boys were also evacuated to Listowel and surrounding areas. I wonder does anyone remember any of these. Wouldn’t it be nice to bring them all back to the place that was their home for over 2 years during a very troubled time own their country’s history.

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