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 Relihan Page 1 of 2


On Church St.


Remembering Past Writers’ Weeks

This is a lovely photo from a few years ago of Writers Week stalwarts, Billy Keane, Noreen Buckley, Nora Relihan and Mike Lynch.

Writers’ Week 2022 will run from June 1 to June 5 2022


Another Dan Keane Limerick


Rural Electrification

This is the book I am currently reading. It is a beautifully written story based in Co. Clare.

I grew up listening to stories of The Shannon Scheme and the coming of the electric light, so the neighbourhood depicted in the book is not as alien to me as it probably is to most of today’s readers.

Then in my trawl through my stash old old school magazines I found this apt essay,


Ard Churam needs your help

Fundraising is central to both sustaining and growing the facilities and services on offer within Ard Chúram. As a beneficiary we have been afforded a wonderful opportunity to raise capital as we strive to pay for our purpose build facilities which represent a haven of support for our clients, their families and their carers.

It is for that reason we are seeking your support; we are asking you to choose Ard Chúram Dementia Centre as your designated charity and pedal it out for us on Saturday, July 2nd. 

If you can help you’ll find al the details on the Ard Churam Facebook page.


Old Photos, Nora Relihan and A Bridge that no one was allowed to cross

Photo; Christopher Burke


Jill Friedman’s North Kerry Photos

I don’t know whose  funeral is in the first one is. If you know, tell me. I think I recognise the man in the second photo. He is a fisherman from Finuge.  I have posted the last one before. I think the man with the harmonica is Faulkner.



In those heady days before the lockdown, Marie Moriarty went walking in The Maherees. Here are a few of her photos.


Nora Relihan as Mena in Sive

Prize giving at Scarriff

Photo; Paul O’Flynn
Nora Relihan played Mena in the original Listowel Amateur Drama Group production of ‘Sive’. This production won the all Ireland drama award at the Athlone Drama Festival in 1959. When the play was produced by the Southern Theatre Group in June 1959, Nora Relihan was asked to reprise her role. Eibhlis MacSweeney later replaced Nora Relihan in the role of Mena until the end of the production. This production played in Fr Mathew Hall for 6 weeks, then travelled to the Olympia to play for 4 weeks before touring Munster

(photo and text from Cork County Library local studies section)


The Forbidden Bridge over the River Feale

In the House of Commons on 1st April, 1898, Mr. Flavin, M.P., (N. Kerry),  Listowel, Co. Kerry, raised the following issue and asked the following questions of Gerald Balfour, Chief Secretary: 

“I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland,

(1) if he is aware that the Grand Jury of Kerry erected a bridge at a cost of £3,496 10s. over the River Feale, between Duagh and Islandanny, and that three-fourths of the total cost is now repaid out of the public rates to the Commissioners of Public Works (Ireland), but that the general public are not allowed to use the bridge, although it has been completed and maintained for the past seven years; and 

(2), what steps will be now taken to obtain access for the public to pass over the bridge?”

Mr. Gerald Balfour: “I am informed that the facts are correctly stated in the first paragraph. The line of railway from Tralee to Limerick crosses the road or approach, at one side of the bridge, and no proper crossing has been provided by the railway company at this point. The grand jury, moreover, state they have no power to employ a person to look after the gates at what appears to be a farm crossing. I am advised there is no legal provision under which the railway company or the grand jury can be required to provide a crossing, and the Board of Trade inform me they have no power to intervene.”

Mr Flavin, M.P.: “I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman why the grand jury constructed this bridge—[Mr. SPEAKER: Order, order!] 

Mr. Flavin:  But, Sir, arising out of the question, I should like to know if the right hon. Gentleman is aware that a large number of people in the district are prevented from using this bridge.” 

Mr/ Speaker: “ Order, order! The hon. Member is continuing to argue a question which has already been fully answered.” 

Mr. Flavin: “I wanted to point out, Mr. Speaker-”  

Mr Speaker: “Order, order!” 

It would appear that no-one thought of the need for access to the bridge by those it was intended to carry across the river!  Could the bridge really have stood idle for seven years as a result of such incompetence? 

Listowel, Saint Yves, Meeting Rory Gallagher or Shane Lowry

Main Street, Listowel


When Kerry’s Eye did local supplements


As I was going to St. Ives

I met a man with seven wives

Each wife had a cat

Each had a kit

Kits, cats, man and wives,

How many were going to St. Ives?

I thought of the riddle when I read the above plaque on the wall of Pierse and Fitzgibbon, Solicitors, Market Street, Listowel.


Plus ca change, plus c’est la même chose

Meeting your idol is always a special thrill.

Jim Deasy shared this great picture with Random Cork Stuff. It shows Rory Gallagher stopping on the Shakey Bridge to sign autographs for these delighted teenagers.

Joanne Riordan got the opportunity to attend the Irish Open Pro am and she got to meet some of her idols, Niall Horan and Shane Lowry.

People don’t bother with autographs anymore. They take a selfie.


In John B.s for the Pub Theatre

Local people lined up to congratulate Nora Relihan on her outstanding performance in John B.’s on Thursday May 19 2016.

Mickey MacConnell and Wayne Tarren provided the musical entertainment after Nora’s performance.

Some Listowel People, Ballybunion Sea Rescue, Olive Stack’s Gallery and Nora Relihan in John B.s

Moon over Béal

 photo: Ita Hannon


Kilburn in the Sixties

This photo from Twitter will bring back memories to many readers. Kilburn in London was one of the biggest Irish emigrant haunts in the early part of the 20th century. The weekend visit to the dancehall was the highlight of the week for many hard working emigrants.


Mike Enright of Ballybunion took a few photos of Ballybunion Sea and Cliff Rescue personnel on a practice manoeuvre in May 2016.


The Kerry Parents and Friends benefit night on May 11 2016 was a great success. Local people gave their talents to fashion a great night’s entertainment and Listowel people came out to support them.

Below are just a small few of the local people who were present on the night.

DVDs of the films shown on the night are available to purchase in St. John’s.


Not today nor Yesterday


Window Shopping at Olive Stack’s Gallery

Olive’s visiting artists are really producing some lovely work while they are here.


Nora Relihan in John NB.s

For one night only in John B. Keane’s on Thursday May 19 2016, Listowel’s best actress reprised a one woman show she first put together for a Sunday Night in the same bar 50 years ago.

Everyone who was present was lucky to witness this tour de force. Nora has lost none of her presence and stagecraft. She charmed her audience with the work of local poets and playwrights. She is truly inspiring.

WW1 Dead Remembered, Pride of Place, Kerry Crusaders, a Listowel born veteran and The Field in St. Johns

Nothing about War is Glorious

Yesterday, in the aftermath of Friday November 13th’s atrocities in Paris, was a good day to remind ourselves of all that was has taken from North Kerry by war. The good people atListowel Military Tattoo organized a moving ceremony to commemorate all the local soldiers who had lost their lives in WW1 and also to remember all those who had lost their lives in any conflict. We remembered too the civilians who died because they were caught up in conflict.

The flag at the memorial stone flew at half mast.

Inside St. John’s the stage and auditorium were decorated with the flags of many nations. The ceremony was a non denominational religious one. We prayed and observed silence for all those idealistic people who had given their lives for a cause they believed in.

 This young lady read the poem, In Flanders Fields, in memory of her ancestor who died in WW1 and whose remains were only recovered in 2002.

Then a procession of people read the names of people from their locality who had died. Some of the young people struggled with names like Gallipoli, Salonica, Ypres and The Somme.

These theatres of war were once household names.

The names of the dead were the familiar names of our neighbours and fellow townsfolk.

Jimmy Deenihan reminded us that war is not too far away in today’s world.


Pride of Place 2015

We didn’t win. Castlemartyr did. But there was a small consolation in an award which went Kerry’s way.

 It went to to Kerry Traveller  Health and Community Development Project.

Listowel people take great pride in their own place. We don’t need an award to tell the world that.

A huge vote of thanks is due toListowel Tidy Towns and everyone who put in such a massive effort to win us this accolade.

Beidh lá eile ag an bPaorach.

Photo from Listowel Tidy Towns shows the Listowel contingent at the awards ceremony in Ennis on Saturday.


Kerry Crusaders Big Day, Saturday November 14 2015

These are some of the dry Crusaders who were helping with the registration on Saturday. Months of hard work went into the organization of Kerry Crusaders first competitive run in Listowel. Despite the truly dreadful weather the event was a huge success. 

You will find all the details and some more photos on their Facebook page (link above).

Vincent Carmody was one of the many participants in the 10k walk on Saturday.


Another treasured photo from Paul Murphy

Bill Kearney at the mike.


Listowel born U.S. Army veteran

This is Jimmy O’Connor,  who was born in Tannavalla, Listowel in 1935. Jimmy served in the US army . On his return home from Chicago he married Eileen from Greenville.

Jimmy’s son, Brian sent me the photo.


The Field in St. John’s

St. John’s was full to the rafters every night last week.  Such was the demand for tickets that they had to put on an extra performance of John B.’s powerful and disturbing play.

Nora Relihan and Joe Murphy serving refreshments at the interval, in St. John’s on Thursday November 12 2015.

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