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: Muckross

Fr. Michael Kissane, Muckross in summer 2017 and Elizabeth Marince, our Rose

St. John’s spire at eventide


We Owe a lot to Family Historians

At the recent Kissane clan gathering, their family historian, Eily Walsh, marked all of the family graves and tombs for the visiting diaspora to visit. Headstones tell us so much about our ancestors. For many of our scattered Irish there are no grave markers to help. Yes, their families are buried here but they were too poor or too sick to erect a memorial. In some cases they were the last of the line remaining on Irish soil. I have witnessed first hand the joy some returning families experience in discovering a plot where their Irish ancestors lived, worked or are buried.

Fr. Michael Kissane of Kilcox

The Kissanes number many influential academics in their gallery of famous ancestors. This man caught my eye at their recent exhibition of photographs.

This man, Fr. Micheál OCiosáin worked as a priest in the parish of Ballyferriter. While there he published a collection of essays about life in Ballyferriter.

He also wrote a history of his native place, Cnoc an Fhómhair in 1988.

The renowned Irish scholar, Páraig Tyers, published a book of photographs of Ballyferriter and Cork Dhuibhne in honour of Fr. Ó Ciosáin in 1991.


Muckross in Summer

Recently I took a trip to Killarney and I visited Muckross house and Gardens, always a pleasure.

Muckross famous herd of Kerry cows.

The walled garden


She Didn’t Win But……..

Elizabeth Marince may not have won the judges vote but she won the hearts of everyone in Kerry with her sincere and entertaining interview with Daithí on stage in the Dome. Her singing of Up the Kingdom was the talking point of the night on social media. Did you spot her mother and sister singing along in the audience?  Elizabeth told me that that song was an anthem in her grandfather’s house and everyone in the family knew all the words and sang it always at family gatherings.

Someone suggested on Facebook that she stay and sing it it again on RTE’s Up for the Match. I think there is a small obstacle of next Saturday’s match to be got over first

Some sights from a traditional Irish summer.

Stacks on the bog

As part of the annual Stack Clan Gathering which took place at the weekend, the troop took a trip to the bog where Seamus Stack and his family introduced the visitors to the joys of a day in the bog. Ger Greaney took these photos.


Fleadh na Mumhan

This photo from Celtic Steps gives a good impression of the huge crowd that thronged Killarney’s streets at the weekend for the fabulous outdoor concerts that were part of Fleadh na Mumhan 2014.


Soccer Success

Photo; Gareth Maher

The Irish girls’ under 19 team caused a huge upset in the European Championship by beating a fancied English team. Listowel Emmett’s Savannah McCarthy scored one of Ireland’s two goals.  The very talented seventeen year old is one of the big stars of women’s football. Then to crown their victory against England they went on to beat Sweden last night. Savannagh scored one of Ireland’s two goals. Roll on the semi-final

Another less well known Kerry connection to the team was told to me by Mike Lynch

“the manager of the Irish Ladies’ Under 19 team, Dave Connell, went to Minard to learn Irish as a lad back in the 1970s.  He and his mates from the Cabra area enjoyed “The Gaeler” (as they called the Gaeltacht) a lot, particularly as Dublin were pretty good at Gaelic Football at the same time!”


Meanwhile in Muckross

On Muckross Traditional farms, the hay is saved in the old fashioned hay and is brought home to the barn on an old style hay float.


Old Post box

This old post box is at The Six Crosses


Lovely film of some of the highlights of Listowel Writers’ Week 2014

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