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: Nora Moriarty

Nora Moriarty’s Lace, People at Opening Night LWW 2019 and Cheese and Wine in Newbridge

Listowel Town Square in Summer 2019


Nora Moriarty’s Lace

Tadhg and the Moriarty family spared no expense in mounting the beautiful display of Nora’s beautiful lacework at Listowel Writers’ Week 2019.

The room was decorated with floral displays. The lace pieces were beautifully mounted, framed and lit.

Wine and food was in plentiful supply at the opening.

A beautiful catalogue of the pieces had a photo of a particularly lovely and appropriate lace piece on the cover.

 A huge crowd of family, friends and Writers’ Week visitors admired the work and were left in awe at the magnificence of the pieces. We all marvelled that such a talented lady could have lived in  our midst and we were unaware of the beautiful work that was being produced in Luachra Road.

Writers’ Week chair, Catherine Moylan visited the exhibition. She is with Eugene Moriarty, international cyclist.

On Sunday when I called  in again I met Tadhg and Eugene as well as Sr. Una Harman and Gerald O’Carroll


Listowel Writers’ Week; The early days

`Because the late Nora Moriarty was the first secretary of Writers’ Week they included a photo of the 1971 committee with her lacework exhibition.


A Few more from Opening Night LWW 2019


Cheese and Wine in Newbridge

I had a great night recently at a cheese and wine tasting event in The Wine Buff in Newbridge.

Every cheese (they were all Irish) had its own story. I loved the story behind Fifteen Fields. This cheese is made from the milk of Eamonn Lonergan’s cows in Knockanore (not to be confused with our Knockanure) and it is only produced from May to October because it is only made when the cows are out in the fifteen fields. It is a cheddar and it’s delicious.

Lost in Lace, The Ball Alley and Royal Ascot

Photo: Chris Grayson


Lost in Lace

This was one of the loveliest of the exhibitions that was on view during Writers’ Week 2019. The exhibition was opened by Madeleine O’Sullivan in The Seanchaí on Thursday May 30 2019.

The lace pieces on display were all the work of local lacemaker, Nora Moriarty. Nora, who passed away in 2018, was a native of Listowel. She lived in Church Street before her marriage to Tadhg Moriarty. When Nora retired from teaching she pursued her dream of a life in craftwork, particularly lace making.  She studied at Mallow College of Design and Tailoring. She received a City and Guilds Diploma in Dress Design. Carrickmacross lace was her passion and she became a member of the Guild of Irish Lacemakers.

Mary Shields from that guild told us a bit about lace in general and Carrickmacross lace in particular. Two of the characteristics of this lace are its scalloped edge and its shower of hail design. Nora was a master craftswoman and took great pains over design and execution of her lace projects. She produced a huge body of lacework in her lifetime. On display were dresses that could be worn from the cradle (a Christening gown), a wedding dress and many handkerchiefs and presentation pieces.

Nora’s son, Eugene told us of the family’s pride in his mother’s work. He drew our attention to some of the pieces that told the story of Nora’s involvement with local organisations. She was the first honorary secretary of Listowel Writers’ Week and she belonged to three different drama groups. She was a member of the Listowel Singers and the church choir. Members of all of these groups testified to Nora’s generosity in making logos, pin cushions and keyrings for them.

I brought my friends to view the exhibition on Saturday. Friends and neighbours of the late Nora helped the Moriarty family to mind the displays. When we visited, Joan and P.J. Kenny were the caretakers.

Many friends of Nora’s came to the launch of the exhibition.


The Ball Alley

This is how the ball alley looks today.

This is how John Fitzgerald remembers good times in The Alley


Listowel well represented at Royal Ascot 2019

Edaein O’Connell wearing a stunning Aoife Hannon creation at Royal Ascot this week.

Photos from Aoife Hannon on Facebook

Michael D is due in Town, Police Mutiny in 1920, Nora Moriarty’s lace

                                    Listowel, Co. Kerry, Ireland’s Tidiest Town 2019

They say the queen thinks the world smells of paint. She’d feel right at home in Listowel this week.

Such a busy weekend we have in store, folks.

Today is Friday May 24 2019. 

It’s polling day in the local and EU elections.

At 7.00 in The Listowel Arms Robert Pierse is going to launch his autobiographical work, “Under the Bed”

And its MS busking day (weather permitting)


Tomorrow Saturday May 25th

It’s counting day in the election centres.

President Michael D. Higgins will unveil the plaque celebrating Listowel’s win in the 2018 Tidy Town Competition. There will be music, speeches, celebration and TV cameras. Promises to be great day.

Then after 7.oo mass we will have the annual eucharistic procession from St. Mary’s  and finishing with Benediction at the Presentation Secondary School



A ship sailing on the Shannon Estuary.

Ballybunion is a pollinator friendly town.


At Listowel Garda Station

This plaque at the Garda Station remembers those RIC officers who took part in the barrack mutiny of 1920.

There is a full account of the mutiny in the Garda Síochána history page.

Listowel Barrack Mutiny


Exhibition of Lace

Listowel Writers’ Week is always ready to try something different and this is truly different. In Kerry Writers Museum, beginning on Thursday May 30 2019 Listowel Writers’ Week will host an exhibition of the lacework of talented local lady, Nora Moriarty.

Nora passed away in 2018 but she left behind a treasure trove of beautiful lacework. Her family have kindly agreed to display some of her beautiful pieces during this year’s festival.

Nora was a member of the first committee of Writers’ Week and it’s first Honorary Secretary.

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