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: Moyvane Page 2 of 5

Killarney. Listowel photos from 1994 and North Kerry Harriers in Moyvane

At the Tim Kennelly roundabout on an Autumn Sunday


By Killarney’s Lakes and Fells

I recently enjoyed a lovely day in “Beauty’s Home”

This fellow looked me right in the eye. There was a fence between us.


Torc waterfall 


Kerryman Christmas Supplement 1994

Some shopkeepers and shoppers from the Kerryman supplement of 24 years ago. The photgraphs for the paper were taken by Brendan Landy. I took photos of the photos as they appeared in the paper. Sorry for the very poor quality.

 Ann Heffernan serves Damien Stack in Ned Moriarty’s drapery shop.

Pat Hannon of Hannon’s Book Shop, 6 Main St. shows Clodagh O’Sullivan the range of books and magazines available.

Jim Halpin shows Michael O’Connell  a sea rod at his fishing and shooting supplies shop in Dirrha, Listowel.


North Kerry Harriers meet in Moyvane at the October Bank Holiday Weekend

(Photos by Elizabeth Brosnan….lots more on her Facebook page)

St. Mary’s, More from Visual Arts Week 2018 and some artistry in St. Mary’s

*  Clarification *

I have misinformed you.  The Primary Health Care Centre planned for Listowel will NOT be located at the old Presentation Convent.


Evening on Cnoc an Óir

Photo: Mike Enright


Moving Statue

This is the statue of The Infant of Prague in its new location in St. Mary’s, Listowel.

This is the niche where it used to be.

The picture commemorating the sisters of Presentation Convent Listowel has a new frame.

The Morrison icon is high on a pillar out of harm’s way.

These are some of the beautiful mosaics in St. Mary’s

These stained glass windows are in the side altar


An Artist comes to help an Artist

On the Friday of Listowel Visual Arts Week, Jim Dunn moved his work in progress to a shady spot on the opposite side of The Square. The Friday Market was in his old spot. Among the many people who came to lend a hand with the painting was local artist and sign writer, Martin Chute


Watering Their Roots

John O’Connell and his granddaughter, Clodagh bonding over a shared love of gardening.


Ordination in Moyvane, July 1 2018

Hundreds of people gathered yesterday in Moyvane church for the ordination of Sean Jones, the first priest ordained to the diocese of Kerry since 2007. It was an occasion to rejoice and give thanks to God. Listowel Choir enhanced the ceremony greatly with their glorious music. Following the ordination the community retired to the Community Centre for refreshements and the atmosphere was one of great celebration. Prayers are requested for the newly ordained Fr Sean Jones. This was a day which the community of moyvane was once again shown at its best, Well done all involved in making the event unique and truly memorable, Wishing Fr Sean all the best in his future ministry.

Pic Credit; Diocese of Kerry  Text: Moyvane on Facebook

Listowel Visitors, Moyvane Gardaí, Ballybunion in Julember

This week’s visitors were my three lovely lassies, Cora, Róisín and Aisling. I am quickly becoming an expert on what to do with children in Listowel for their holidays, so I’ll be sharing my adventures with you all.

The all time favourite activity, as voted by both boys and girls aged 11 to 6 was a night at The Kingdom Greyhound Stadium.

You get to watch the greyhound races from the comfort of your seat in the stadium. You can bet as little as €1 on any one of 6 dogs in each of the ten fast moving races. Even with no skill or knowledge you’ll be unlucky not to back one winner. You get to spend the evening in the company of lovely country people and German visiting tourists. If you’re hungry or thirsty, there’s food and drink on sale. Occasionally there is a bit of added excitement with a presentation or, on our visit, a Hen Party.


Moyvane’s  Squad Car…A Renault 4l

This photograph appeared on a site called Rare Irish stuff. There was no date or names. 

Moyvane Village identified the gardaí as Sergeant Jim Groarke and Garda John Behan. I’d guess the year as sometime in the 1960’s or 70’s


The Writing Bug continues into a new generation

I got this email from Bernie Bardsley;

Anthony Bardsley is my brother 
Great grandson of Thade Gowran
He has recently wrote a poem about a man called Jack Omar.
I would like to share with you.

The Lovely Irish Lad

I’m proud to be a
part Irish Man

Just by the Kerry
Green Turquoise Mountains the land is of good vegetation

Jack O’Mar the famous
boxing star is sure to go far

He’s six foot tall
and measured wide and thick set

I and my family
went to watch his great talent

We were talking to

Man he made us look
so small

I’m proud to be of
Irish kin

Baking on the blue
Irish Sea beach on the Kerry Isle and Abbey Field River, down to Killarney Bay
Where the lovely Fungi Dolphin swam

At the main shallow
water the young brave young Irish man

I am a part Irish
lad and poet who hasn’t completely had this day yet, more to come, see the
light of day

The poet realises
how lucky he is for he’s well thought of

The poet arises in
the morning and slept all day and night

The poet went to
dingle bay where his plan lay and his eye looked to the blue sky and realised where
paradise was today and went to the Irish country side and saw the Irish cattle,
sheep and Bonan pigs in the field thinking of the day and making my plans away

Jack O’mar the
famous boxing star talked all night and day to the commentator and filming the
view and sight of him on a camera

This paradise Irish
land is so grand

Being on a horse
and saddle down dingle bay where my mother used to swim in the sea

Then one day a
scuffling fight and a match someone punched Jack and knocked him out, in dismay
he fell to the ground and died

And in his
remembrance and ancestry his children played in the park having a good time
remembering their father in dismay.

Anthony Bardsley                                                                                      
July 2017


Ballybunion on a wintry Summer evening

Even on a cold and overcast summer evening Ballybunion looks spectacular.

My young visitors were delighted to see that a funfair had arrived since we were last here. I’m not so sure its a welcome addition to the attractions of Ballybunion.

Mick McCarthy, Strictly Moyvane and some Listowel folk

A Thrush  (photo; Chris Grayson)


Dust off Your Dancing Shoes


Mick McCarthy 

(from this Facebook page ;

Mick McCarthy was born on April 20th,
1918, in Listowel, Co Kerry, one of the 10 children of Ned McCarthy and his
wife, Maggie (née Roche). His father was the caretaker and groundsman of St
Michael’s College, and the family lived in the gate lodge. 
He attended the
Presentation Convent, and he completed his education at the local national
school, where the writer Bryan MacMahon taught.

His mother was a member of Cumann na
mBan, and the family home was raided by the Black and Tans; two of his uncles
were imprisoned during the Civil War. McCarthy never lost his republicanism,
although he adhered to the left and favoured persuasion over coercion – particularly
in relation to Northern Ireland.

At 14 he found work with a building
contractor and he later tried his hand at metalwork locally. When work dried
up, he left home and travelled to Limerick, where he hoped to join the Army.
However, new recruits were not being accepted, and he stowed away on a
cattle-boat bound for Liverpool. From there he hitched to London.

After a stint as a messenger, he got
a job as a tea-boy on a building site. A bricklayer took him under his wing and
he learned “Flemish bond and an old English bond, how to spread mortar,
how to use a hammer and chisel, and how to cut closures”.

At the outset of his apprenticeship,
he joined the bricklayers’ union. With fellow-members, he was in the thick of
things at the “Battle of Cable Street” – when anti-fascist
demonstrators sought to prevent Sir Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts marching into
the East End – and was injured and hospitalised.

He was caught up in other battles,
too. The political climate of the 1930s meant that strikes were hard-fought,
with no quarter given by either side.

Still in his teens, McCarthy married
in 1936; he was just 19 when the first of two sons was born. During the second
World War he served with the RAF in west Africa, where he excelled as a
champion middle-distance runner.

Returning to Belfast, he became
chairman of the bricklayers’ union

Mick is often fondly remembered
telling stories of “his days as a shop-steward in Belfast during the war,
when he brought the building workers on a US army base out on strike, and lived
to tell the tale.

Ever loyal to the trade union
movement, during the British miners’ strike in the 1980s he organised a group
of Irish musicians to tour mining communities. Later, in 1988, he helped the
Dublin Council of Trade Unions to celebrate its centenary.

In the 1950s he was, with Martin
Brown, a partner in a building business in Dublin. Attracted to the licensed
trade, he bought Kate Kennedy’s Embankment in Tallaght and transformed a
country pub into a popular entertainment complex.

Legend has it that when Bob Dylan
visited Dublin during his 1966 World Tour, he asked a taxi driver to take him
to a place where he could hear some good music. He ended up at The Embankment
in Tallaght. 

As usual, the pub was thronged and
the doorman said, “No admittance.” “But it’s Bob Dylan,” the taxi man
protested. The doorman had never heard of him but with some persistence, Bob
was eventually allowed in. On stage, a group of young men called The Dubliners
were playing and he was captivated. Most likely Bob stayed on the premises well
past the legal closing hour, as was customary.

The Embankment was the ‘El Dorado’ of
live music venues and haunt of many a wild night for over two decades, from
1963 to 1985, and gave a spotlight to a host of singers and musicians such as
Liam Clancy and Tommy Macken, The Fureys & Davy Arthur, Paddy Reilly and

The man behind them all was Mick
McCarty .

Copies of Mick’s biography ”
Early Days” may still be bought online if one is lucky and for such a man
who led a full life its has to be an interesting read. 

Mick McCarthy passed away in 2004 .

Extracts taken from articles of The
Irish Times and Ireland’s Own…/the-brickie-who-gave-ballads-a-…


They’re Going Dancing again in Moyvane

Well before Aidan O’Mahony made it cool for GAA people to go ballroom dancing Moyvane GAA had started a trend.

L-R) Front row: Caroline Maune, Doreen Enright, Aoife McCarthy, Cait McEllistrem, Michelle Kennelly, Frances Leahy, Carmel Collins, Nicola O’Leary, Sarah NicCraith and Kerry Stack. 

Back row: Noel Stack, James Kennelly, Matthew O’Gorman, Tommy O’Donoghue, Donal Leahy, Padraig Kearney, Ian McCarthy, Paudie Keane, Oliver ‘Jap’ Carmody and Brian Stack.

This is the line up of dancers who are going to dance to movie tunes  in the April 30th fundraiser.


People I met on my Morning Walk

I love to meet lovely local people at random on my walk. I really love if they allow me to take their picture with no “I’ve no make up on.” or  “I look a sight.” or other evasion. Three such people I met recently were the Careys and Mary Costelloe… some of Listowel’s finest citizens.

Ballybunion, Moyvane Time Capsule and Billy Keane’s New Book


photo; Chris Grayson  


Swinging a Camán in Ballybunion

I have a granddaughter who loves to hurl. Here she is giving it a lash on the beach in Ballybunion on Sunday October 30 2016.

 It was like a summers’ day. The children were having a ball.

There were swimmers and surfers in the water, some of them without wetsuits!


Moyvane ICA’s Time Capsule

photographs by Elizabeth Brosnan


The Best of Billy Keane

This book is a new departure for Billy Keane. It is not a novel. It is not a sports biography. In a way, it is a bit of both and more.

Journalism, by its nature is throw away writing. Colour pieces like Billy’s weekly columns in the Irish Independent are to be read and discarded. That is the nature of the beast.

Every now and again someone recognises that writing of this calibre is more relevant and lasting than yesterday’s newspaper and thus a collection is born.

The Best of Billy Keane is a curated collection of Billy’s columns in The Irish Independent and The Kerryman.

I am a fan of this genre.  Among  my all time favourites is the late great Con Houlihan, the chatty Maeve Binchy,  Tom Humphries, Olivia O’Leary and Miriam Lord. So you see what I like; a well turned phrase, an unexpected analogy, but most of all a keen observation of people with a hint of the eccentric, the entertaining.

Billy Keane’s writing is all of the above. At times he wears his heart on his sleeve. His essay can be a mixture of self revelation, self deprecation, occasionally a bit of self indulgence, a moment to wallow in grief, or sorrow or regret. He writes about the people he admires and the people he loves. Who will forget his recent articles following the death of Anthony Foley?…..too late for inclusion in this anthology. Rarely, does he get on his hobby horse and indulge in a rant. He sometimes wanders into a bizarre world of tall tales and overwrought imaginings.

One thing I love about Billy’s writing is the randomness  of it all. When I open my Irish Independent on a Monday, after I’ve read the headlines and done the Soduko I head for Billy Keane’s column. It’s like opening a surprise present from a favourite giver. Very often it is a local issue, maybe a story or a death that has caught Billy’s fancy.

Didn’t Homer make the Iliad out of a local row, according to Patrick Kavanagh?  Like Kavanagh, Billy Keane has that ability to take the local and make it universal.

I have laughed and cried reading Billy Keane. I have learned a bit, mainly about sport or the lot of the rural publican. I have been uplifted, amused and sometimes plunged into despair by the power of his writing. I have always, always been entertained.

I welcome this anthology. I will keep it handy beside my collections of the writing of Con Houlihan and my Windharp Poems of Ireland. I think I’ll ditch The Life Changing Magic of Tidying (unread) to make room.

Billy Keane has always encouraged me in what I do. He has often told me of his high regard for my late husband. Billy was in one of the first classes that Jim taught when he came to Listowel. Before the principalship of Diarmaid OSuilleabháin, St. Michael’s more often then not employed past pupils. Billy told me that Jim was like a breath of fresh air.

When Jim died and I was finding it hard to find motivation to continue with my blog, Billy was among the many local people who encouraged me to keep going. I remember what he said when I met him one day in the small square. “We need chroniclers.” So, from one chronicler to another,

Go néirí go geal leis an togra nua seo. More power to your elbow. May you continue to entertain us for many years to come. Is ag dul i bhfeabhas atá tú.


Some Humans

Jean, Neil, Mary and Mary on the Cliff Walk, Ballybunion

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