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

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Some Aspects of Listowel in Summer 2020

Some Images from Town

The Square through the gate of the Intreo office.


Brendan Mahony is working hard. His shop  is open for business.


I wonder how soon is soon.


Danny’s and Bailey and Co.  are closed but Danny is available online.

Don’t be without a tasty fish for tea.

Morkan’s will be open in Phase 2.



Church Street

Woulfe’s and Perfect Pairs will take your order on line and both shops are open for a few hours for collection.

After a few weeks of closure, Eason is open.

These two kind caring signs are at The Hair Lounge.





Early Morning walker

I met John Pierse taking an early morning constitutional on Sunday May 31 2020. John is always really the most interesting man you could run into to on Listowel’s streets. He has a brain full of various interesting facts.

On Sunday he told me that in the years between 1841 nd 1851, 18000 people died in North Kerry. John is the acknowledged expert on The Famine in North Kerry.


Church Street Mural

Charlie Nolan has recorded and edited a lovely video of the unveiling of this mural by Olive Stack and paid for by the Church Street Traders. The unveiling took place on Nov. 15 1998. It’s a lovely souvenir but sad to see so many of the old stock of the town now no longer with us. The mural is a lovely addition to our streetscape. Church Street traders can be proud of their legacy.

Mural unveiling

Painting the Community Centre, Changes at Bank of Ireland and Olive Stack’s mural

Morning in Listowel Pitch and Putt course


Molly is still enjoying her trip to Listowel


Painting work continues at Lisatowel Community centre


I Met the Hannons in The Square

Danny, Eileen and Maurice out for a stroll in the July sunshine


Aspects of The Listowel Arms Hotel


Changes at Bank of Ireland

They’re changing the interior layout of the bank. I’ll keep you posted.

Olive Stack’s mural is still intact.


The First of the Beal Spuds

Photo: Ita Hannon

Do you remember when the first of the new potatoes would come into the grocery shop and the grocer would boil a muller of them and plonk them outside the door?

 There was no better advertisement.

Ita Hannon’s photo took me back to those days and I just know that there is many an emigrant mouth watering at the sight.

Convent street, Listowel Visual Arts Week 2018, Cruinniú na nÓg

Photographer’s Heaven, Cnoc an Óir

Photograph of Pixie O’Gorman by Mike Enright


Lofty’s Corner

Once upon a time this was a great hang out as the students alighting from or waiting for school buses bought and consumed their supplies.

This is Horan’s. it used to be a private house and then a blind shop.

Convent Street Listowel


Visual Arts Week 2018 Community Art in The Square

My friend, Junior Griffin, himself a handy artist, was taking a go at painting the collaborative work on the Saturday of Listowel Arts Week 2018.

The sun was shining and people who were passing by were invited to paint a little of a four part canvas soon to be assembled as an artwork.

The event was run as part of Cruinniú na nÓg so there were many youngsters only too willing to have a go.

Cruinniú na nÓg was happening in The Seanchaí and St. John’s.


Evening in Ballybunion


I’m Dogsitting

My house guest  this week is Molly. She is having a Kerry holiday. Yesterday I took her to a well known Listowel landmark and she was suitably impressed.

BOI Enterprise Town photos,Plum Pudding and paying for water in 1895

Photo by Chris Grayson, photographer to the robins


Holidays Are Coming

They came yesterday

Everyone got in on the act of welcoming the Coca Cola trucks on Sunday December 11 2016. I’ll try to organise my photos for tomorrow. Meanwhile I’m sharing the very best welcoming the trucks picture. It is the work of our local artist, Olive Stack. We didn’t get the snow. The weather was very mild and ideal for outdoor frolicking. And we frolicked in huge numbers. The likes of the crowds was only last seen at a fleadh cheoil. I took lots of photos of the truck and of the unveiling of the Tidy Town seat sculpture.


Some of the Exhibitors at BOI Enterprise Town Expo on November 26 2016

The vey successful Listowel Taekwando

 Thai message is available in Ballybunion.

 Tina Hayes was there with her family promoting her new business. Tina will take small groups or individuals and help them to get started on the internet or social media. Her business is called Teapot Computer Solutions.

 These are the Trojan Boxers.

Ella O’Sullivan had a beautiful display of her hand crafts.

The Garda stand was popular. I got a hi vis vest there.

 KDYS were offering sweets  and Christmas tree decorations to hand paint.

Damien was promoting Listowel Board Gaming Club.

Martin Griffin, Stationmaster, and Paddy Keane volunteer guardsman were manning the Lartigue stand.

My friends, Mary and Noelle were raising awareness of the work of the local branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

My photo of the great men of The Men’s Shed Movement is a bit shaky.


Why does a Plum Pudding have no plums in it?

The answer is a fact gleaned from The Ireland’s Own Annual 2016.

In the nineteenth century raisins were called plums. A Christmas or plum pudding is traditionally made with dried fruit held together with eggs  and suet, moistened with treacle and flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

It started life as plum porridge. People used to fast on Christmas Eve and they ate this plum porridge beforehand to line their stomachs.

Fact as learned in this year’s Ireland’s Own!


Humans of Listowel (in times past)

Junior Griffin gave me this happy photo of himself (a younger self) and his friend the late Garda Denis O’Donovan R.I.P.


One from the Archives; Back in 1895 paying for water was an issue in Listowel

Saturday, November 23, 1895


Listowel, Monday. An adjourned meeting of the Town Commissioners was

held this evening at 7.30 p.m., the chair being occupied by Mr. F.

Creagh, solicitor, chairman. The other commissioners present

were—Messrs. M. W. Mulvihill, M. O’Connor, D. Barry, R H. M’Carthy, J.

Cahill, T. Buckley

Mr. D. J. Potter applied for permission to put  stained glass in one

of the sides of the street lamp outside the door of his hotel in

William Street, for the purpose of advertising his establishment.

The Chairman considered the commissioners should be very slow to allow

their property be used for private advertising purposes, and if they

acceded to Mr. Potter’s request others would probably make similar

ones. Mr. Potter could put up a lamp on his own account.

The other commissioners concurred, and the application was unanimously refused.

Dr. O’Connor wrote complaining of the unsanitary condition of his

house in The Square, which was a source of danger to himself and the

other residents in the locality.

The Chairman said they could not very well ask the landlord to do

anything pending the putting down of a sewer from the National School

to the old mill stream, as at present there was no outlet for Dr.


The matter was referred to the sanitary committee, the members of

which were urged to have the sewer constructed without delay.

The Clerk asked what water rent would be put on Mr- Dissette who was

carrying on a mineral factory in Church Street, in the house recently

occupied by Daniel Guerin, whose rent was 10s a year. Mr. M’Carthy

proposed that a rent of £3 per year be charged in future. Mr. Dissette

would use more water than ten ordinary houses. Mr. Cahill seconded.

Mr. Mulvihill considered £3 too high, and thought they should not

handicap Mr. Dissette in starting his industry. He proposed that it be

given for £2, Mr. Leahy seconded. On a division, the rent was fixed at

££. It was decided that the water rents be collected half-yearly for

the future. Mr. Mulvihill asked if Mr. Fealy would get a cheque for

the coals he had delivered. The Chairman said the matter was in the

hands of the Finance Committee, who refused to sign a cheque, and the

board was consequently powerless. Adjourned.

William Street neighbours, Visiting Artist in Olive Stack’s and more from Athea

Photo; Mike Enright


A Photo from Paul Murphy’s Album

This photo, which Paul Murphy sent to me, was taken on William Street outside Murphy’s Butchers

Tommy Murphy, on the right, and  Berkie Browne, in the centre, were both butchers who had shops next door to one another and Danny Kelliher on the left, worked in Murphy’s. Tommy, judging from his attire, wasn’t working on this occasion.


Deb Aldo is Excita and Delira to be in Listowel

Deb Aldo is a mosaic and landscape artist, who is currently in residence in Olive Stack’s Gallery in Main Street. When I called into the gallery she was chatting to Kathy from Gurtenard House.

My photos are of some of Deb.’s work in Olive’s window. She is blogging her trip at Excira And Delira

Deb took this photo outside the gallery on Friday. The Cinderella carriage was on its way to a wedding in St. Mary’s.

 Deb followed it and managed to get a short spin. You can read all about this, her trip to Gurtenard House and lots more in her really interesting blog.


Athea’s Fairy Trail

Since I was last in Athea someone has put a commemorative plaque to Con Colbert and Bobby Sands near the entrance to the Fairy Trail.

My boys thought the place looked very bare since last time. Back then the trail was very overgrown.

 We are always anxious to see if there is anyone in residence in the bug hotel.

 Yipee, this is the first time we spotted a bug on holiday in the Bug Hotel in Athea.

The boys did not have too many worries to leave behind with Cróga but they posed for my picture all the same.


Lest we forget

Today on November 11 2015,  100years on from WW1, we remember all those who died in conflicts everywhere.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

John McCrae

May the sod rest lightly on all their souls.

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