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: New Kingdom Bar

Football and Street Names

Market Street in July 2022


Remember these?

These are Clarks sandals, first introduced to the children’s footwear market in 1933. The ones I wore every summer were Robin sandals . They were very similar to these.


New Kingdom, Church St./ Sr. an Ághasaigh

We have some really lovely shopfronts and signs in Listowel. Unfortunately we have recently acquired some ugly ones too.

In my opinion, New Kingdom Bar highlights the best of Martin Chute’s signwriting. I love it.

Church Street or Sráid and Ághasaigh, take your pick.


Édaein, Kerry Rose

Édaein O’Connell is surely leading her best life since she was selected to represent Kerry in the Rose of Tralee Contest. Here she is taking a well earned spa break in Sneem to recharge the batteries.

She met up with her uncle in Roscommon.


Tarrant’s Tralee

Photo and text shared on Facebook by Bailey’s Corner

Tarrant’s Garage, formerly in the Mart Car Park. The photo was taken during the Kingdom County Fair in 1956! Radio Kerry’s HQ occupies the site today.


Kerry Football back to Winning Ways

John Kelliher’s photo of William Street Listowel on All Ireland semi final Sunday, July 10 2022

Picture of Croke Park was shared by Barbara Kissane, a frequent American Irish visitor experiencing her first live Kerry big match. Didn’t she pick a good one?


KAHS in Listowel

New Kingdom Bar, Upper Church Street. Photo taken on May 17 2022. Equal billing given to Liverpool and Kerry, different codes evoking loyalty from Kingdom customers.


Society of St.Vincent de Paul

As I arrived in the shop last week, some of the lovely ladies who volunteer here were receiving a visit from their regional manager.

She must have been mightily impressed by this shop which is always beautifully laid out, well stocked and with the loveliest of shop assistants.

I made a bad job of photographing the window which was all dressed for Sustainability Week


Basketball Memories from Pres Yearbook 2003


Kerry Archeological and Historical Society in Listowel

Members of KAHS on the steps of Listowel Castle

Vincent Carmody, pictured here with Simone Langemann and Jimmy Deenihan was in action again introducing us to the wealth of writing talent on the streets of Listowel.

Jimmy Deenihan, chair of the society, gave some of the history of Listowel castle.

Kay Caball told us about the origins of Listowel Town Square and the the grand family that was the Kerry Fitzmaurice until their downfall.

She promises to tell it all again on the Friday morning walk during Writers’ Week.

Date for the diary…June 3 2022, meet at The Listowel Arms at 10.00 a.m. Even if you hate walking you’ll manage this one as it will have more talking and singing than walking.

We finished our day in Listowel with a trip to the Lartigue Museum and Jimmy told us a bit of the history of the train.


Some Handsome local Shops

Listowel people take a great pride in their streetscape. I am fascinated by the attention paid to the facade of the whole building not just the shop front.


Greenlawn, Road works on William Street and The New Kingdom

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

I met this little fellow in Listowel Town Park early one morning last week. He likes to have his breakfast at the table.


Lovely job at The Kennedy Home


William Street Road Works

Signs pointing the way to the free car parks are beginning to appear on our streets. This is in preparation for the upcoming roadworks on William Street when on street parking will be limited.

Here is the low down.

  • Work will commence on Monday September 26th 2016.
  • Work is expected to last 9 weeks.
  • William Street, in 2 phases, will  be closed day and night.
  • Church Street will be 2 way. 
  • On street parking on Church Street only on the side of the Garda Station.
  • Shops and footpaths on William Street will remain open throughout the upgrade.
  • Phase One from Lynch’s Corner to the Market Street junction: Traffic from Market Street will turn left at McKenna’s corner.
  • Phase Two from McKenna’s Corner to Charles Street junction: Traffic from Lower William Street will turn left into Market Street.

The whole thing will cost €600,000. Water, Gas and other underground works will all go on at the same time as the road resurfacing. I’m presuming there will be an archaeologist on site. Who knows what they might dig up when they go do delving under our town?  Remember they found a well under the road in The Square.


New Kingdom Reopens

Flavins of Church St. the last of a kind, 1908 in Listowel and a Listowel connection to Florida

Is Time Running Out for the Owner Occupied shop?

This is Joan Flavin in her shop, Flavin’s of Church St. Listowel, one of the last of an endangered species: the shop run by the owner who has his/her home upstairs. 

Coinnigh do shiopa is coinneoidh do shiopa thú. This Irish proverb says “Keep your shop and your shop will keep you.” Not any more I’m afraid.

There are only about 3 such shops left in town.

  A Flavin has traded in this spot since 1880.

Market forces are working against the small newsagent. By the time the news gets to the paper now it is old news. I have heard a newspaper described to a child as “that big paper thing your grandfather is reading while you are catching up with the news on the internet.”

I love a newspaper myself, not so much for the news as for the features, the puzzles and, of course, the photographs. I would hate to see small local retailers like Flavins leave our streets. They are what adds the local colour and individuality to our town.

And lest I start a rumour, Flavins is open for business seven days a week and Joan is determined to keep the family tradition going for a long time yet. She deserves our support.


John Ross for Jewellery ………..         and a head of cabbage?

Junior Griffin ponders on changed times as evidenced in two advertisements from 1908.

adverts that appeared in the “Kerryman” on Dec. 12th, 1908 are as

For younger
people it is worth noting the poultry prices.  Those were the days when
there were 240 pence to the pound; 12 pence to the shilling and 20 shillings to
the pound.  The shilling was denoted as “s” and the penny was “d”. There
was a half crown coin which was worth 30 pence and eight of these made up a
pound.  So as one can see from the above advert, a full goose, which in
those days was more popular than the turkey, could be purchased for 2s and
6p  The turkey price was 7d per lb.(pound)

The advert,
John Ross, Jeweller, Listowel, Yes that is the same John Ross who has always
been associated with Tralee.

A native of
Aberdeen, John Ross came to Listowel in 1899.  For some reason Listowel
reminded him of his native Aberdeen and he set up business in William Street as
noted on the 1911 census. A qualified horologist (watch and clock maker) he
soon built up a respected reputation as a purveyor of exquisite jewellery.

Who knows,
maybe John Ross played Badminton in Listowel.

He sold his
Listowel business in the late 1930’s and moved to Tralee where at one time he
had no less than three shops and a farm from which the produce was also sold.

information received from his great-grand daughter was that one would find
jewellery, watches and clocks on one side of the counter and just a few feet
away one could purchase, potatoes, cabbage and carrots.

Such was the
norm for business in those days, a little bit of everything.


” Such stuff as Dreams are made on”

This is Sarah Murphy, Montessori Teacher, Artist, Art Therapist and Author.

Sarah is passionate about children. She paints them, teaches and helps them and her latest venture is an unique book concept. Her book, What if? is meant to be read by an adult and child together. The text and pictures are a conversation starter. Sarah explores common scenarios like what would happen if I ate too many sweets or if my ball rolled on to the road. The adult and young child talk together about what is the best course of action and the consequences of making a wrong decision. The idea behind the book is that when the real life situation comes up the adult and child go back to the book and revisit the conversation. Simple but effective.

So where does Minnie Mouse come in and what is the Listowel connection? I’ll answer my second question first. Sarah launched her book at Listowel Writers’ Week in 2014.

Sarah on the far right  with Listowel friends, Mary Salmon and Eileen Moylan.

Sarah at her workshop in Craftshop na Méar on May 31 2014 as part of Listowel Writers’ Week fringe programme.

Sarah with some of the young artists.

Recently Sarah was on holiday in Orlando, Florida and she visited Disneyland. She bought a book in the Disneyland book kiosk and she fell to chatting with the shop assistant.

Sarah told her about her book. The shop girl contacted her boss. Now they have agreed to stock What if? in the Disney store in Florida.

If you are lucky enough to go to Disneyland, be sure to look out for Sarah’s book in the bookshop.


Another One Gone

It is sad to see this once very busy and popular public house closed.


Sounds Good but not True…or so I’m told

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