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: old post box

Teach Siamsa Finuge, Presentation Convent and an artistic old post box

Bridge Road, Listowel, through the Millennium Arch in March 2020


The sod was turned for the building of Teach Siamsa in Finuge in 1974

Photo shared on Facebook by Siamsa Tíre


Presentation Convent Listowel 2007

Presentation Convent Listowel

by the late Tim Griffin 2007

Below is just a snippet of a long article by Tim Griffin R.I.P which he wrote following the closure of the local convent which was so dear to him.

As with all big houses of the 18th and 19th centuries, Listowel  Convent had a well in the yard. Up to quite recently, an electric pump was pumping water from that well. It also had a Laundry and a Drying Yard for the clothes lines. There was a big garden and a bountiful orchard. There was a cow-stall and cows, which had to be fed and hand-milked. Extra feed, such as hay, straw, turnips, mangels and potatoes, often had to be bought for them in the Market Yard. 

A number of Domestic Staff were also employed, e.g., carers, cooks, cleaners, nurses, and maids. Richard Mackessy from Glounaphuca would have been one of the first gardeners and farmhands there and his son, Richard (Dick), took over from him and was there until the late 1980s. As the schools got bigger, the cattle had to be sold off. Timmie Walsh worked at the Convent, as a gardener and maintenance person, up to the mid-1990s.

The Convent Sisters used to do visitations to the local hospitals and they recited the Rosary in the nearby funeral home at removals.

Visitors were always made welcome and were provided with refreshments. There was one group of visitors that always called to the Convent – they were, of course, the “Knights of the Road” or more commonly referred to as tramps. Some of them were decent people who had fallen on hard times. One of them I knew was from Wexford, a real gentleman, who told me he would “start his rounds” in early March and finish again in late October. Convents were always in his itinerary as well as B&Bs where he would have been known over the years. A pot of tea and a plate of sandwiches were always forthcoming at the Convent and were graciously received. He told me that the allocation of the Free Travel Pass had made life much easier for him. I have not seen him in the last few years but then don’t we forget the ceaseless toll of time.

The Presentation Convent has ceased to exist in Listowel but Presentation Sisters will still be working in Listowel, continuing the work initiated by their Foundress many years earlier. After being in Listowel for 163 years, it is very sad to see the Convent go. Over that period of time, the Presentation Sisters have made a wonderful contribution to Listowel and its hinterland. The people of North Kerry owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.


A Double Post-box

Someone who knows how much I love old postboxes sent me this card recently. Isn’t it lovely?


Owen MacMahon needs your help

I have gone through all the Drama Group programmes since 1944, 

a task long put on the long finger.

However, I am missing the following
1961 -Autumn Fire – produced by John O’ Flaherty
1966- Two on a String – produced by Ml Whelan
1967 – a Letter from a General – produced by J O’Flaherty
1970 – The Couple Beggar – produced Bill Kearney

Would you be able to put on a plea on your blog in due course? 

I’ve no doubt there must be copies around somewhere. 

It would be great to a complete collection.

Thanks Owen.

A Son Comes Home, an Embarrassing old Autograph book, A Grave and a Post Box

Photo: Ita Hannon


An Old Autograph Book

A while ago I wrote about finding my mother’s autograph book. Well, would you believe that an old schoolfriend found my own autograph in her book and she posted it on my Facebook timeline. Thank you, Ester for that memory


Peace, at Last

The story of Antony McCarron and his mother’s long wait to have him home was written by Sean Keane of the Kilkenny People and shared on Facebook by John Keane.

John reminded us that Veronica McCarron began her teaching career in Listowel.

“Losing a child is heartbreaking and to have that loved one, in a grave far from you is worse still.

After a 16-year campaign, Veronica McCarron has finally been able to re-inter the remains of her only son from his original resting place in Thomastown to Veronica’s family plot in Fermanagh.

Veronica, who achieved international fame with the Presentation Secondary School Choir on Britain’s Got Talent, has carried her pain privately until now.

At 27 years of age, her only child Antony was felling trees the day before his wedding when he was killed instantly by a falling branch.

The accident happened in South Dakota. After weeks and weeks, Veronica got him back to Kilkenny and to the cemetery in Thomastown.

Last Saturday week, Antony was taken from Thomastown graveyard to the McCarron family plot in Irvinestown, Co Fermanagh.

And as his remains were lowered into the plot, Into The West by Annie Lennox was played.

Veronica has now, she feels, some peace. …”


Visiting a Grave

This is the old abbey in Rath cemetery, Tralee.

This is the grave of my old friend, Ann Cox. Ann and I worked together in Presentation Secondary School. She was an only child and Ann had no children. It’s lovely to see her grave so well kept. Ann would appreciate that.


An Old Post Box

I hope they never get rid of these old post boxes. They are part of our history.

This one is on a Cork Street

Convent Cross, Kerry lorries in the seventies and Christmas cards

Convent Cross in January 2017

This is on the wall beside the cross near the secondary school. It looks like some sort of hatch. Its concrete.

Ballybunion Road at Convent Cross

 The path to town


Happy Days

To counteract the sad photos of the convent, Vincent Carmody sent me these two photos taken on the convent grounds after his daughter Norma’s wedding to Mark Boyle from Co. Waterford. The picture shows the Carmody and Boyle families at the main door to Presentation Convent, Listowel in 1998. Norma and Mark were married in the convent chapel while the parish church was under repair.


Postbox at Convent Cross

This Christmas there were less Christmas cards posted then ever before. Are we witnessing the end of an era? 

Snail mail is far too slow for the millennial generation. But surely the custom of connecting with people at Christmastime is too precious to lose. Ideally it is a time for visiting and partying. The next best thing to a personal encounter is a greeting card, carefully chosen and written, bringing good wishes from afar.

Christmas card buying, writing and sending is a custom passed on to us from our parents. Carrying on this tradition connects us to our forefathers and keeps happy memories alive.


From The Kerryman archive


Big Plans for Áras Mhuire

Áras Mhuire are fund raising and they’re doing it in style. All the information is on the

Aras Mhuire

The story is that they have acquired valuable jerseys to auction to raise funds for their vital services.

Dublin jersey signed by the All Ireland winning team

All Blacks jersey

Ireland rugby jersey signed by all of the Irish team who defeated the All Blacks in Chicago in 2016

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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