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: operetta

A Dog Picture, an Old Story or Two and a new one.

Blooming Cherry Tree in Ballincollig, Co. Cork


Humans with an animal head

I was completely behind the times on this one. I have just discovered that a friend of mine commissioned such a picture for his fiancee for her birthday.

The picture was done by Van Woof. Isn’t it cute?

If you are stuck for a present anytime soon, here’s an idea.


Browsing through the Newspapers Online

A friend of this blog found these;



There Is a “single-line railway” now working In Ireland. 

The Listowel & Ballybunion railway sounds like the Invention of some mad humourist;

but such a place as Ballybunion really exists. It is a very popular seaside resort in the southwest of Ireland. The distance between this point and the other terminus at Listowel is ten miles, and there is one Intermediate station—that of Lisselton. The system on which this railway is worked is called the Lartigue single rail elevated railway, and was the invention of a French engineer.

This single rail line, it should be explained at once, is not a single track railway, but actually has only one rail for trains to run on. This rail is supported on iron trestle work at the height of three feet three inches from the ground, and the locomotive and carriages are actually balanced on it.


18 Feb 1986

Nyack NY Journal News 1986 01759_1.pdf


Staff Writer

A retired New York City police officer from Haverstraw has been named Grand Marshal of the Pearl River St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is to be sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Rockland County.

John Scanlon, 57, will lead the celebration of Irish-American heritage down Central Avenue in Pearl River on Sunday, March 23. Honoured three times for bravery during his 25-year career with the New York Police Department, Scanlon is the treasurer of Division One of the AOH in North Rockland. “He has been a dedicated and faithful member and can always be relied upon to get the job done,” said Thomas Keyy, an AOH Division One spokesman, of Scanlon’s selection as grand marshal. A resident of the village of Haverstraw, Scanlon was born  in Lisselton, County Kerry in Ireland, where he was educated in local schools. He is a graduate of St. Michael College in Listowel. County Kerry, where he was a classmate of popular Irish playwright John B. Keane.

Before moving to the United States in 1949, Scanlon was a farmer. He served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1952 in Korea. Soon after his discharge from the Army, Scanlon joined the NYPD, finally retiring in January 1985.

The father of five children, Scanlon is the husband of the former Mary Browne, and they have three grandchildren. He works in the security department of St. Agatha’s Home in Nanuet.


People I Met

I met this lovely couple on the street on Saturday April 30 2022. They were in town for a wedding the day before.

They are from Rossmore in Co. Cork. and they were looking for John B. Keane’s pub. They weren’t in need of a drink. They just wanted to see the place where Sive and so many of the playwright’s famous plays were written.

The name Rossmore may not be familiar to you but for lovers of amateur drama it is the location for a very popular drama festival. Year after year one of the entrants is a John B. Keane play. This year it was Sive.


Pres. Yearbook 1983

Chorus lines were recruited and our gallant first and


+Niall Stack R.I.P.+

I took this photograph a few years ago at Writers’ Week Opening Night. Niall had just met up with his friend Anthony Gaughan.

Niall Stack Passed away on April 29 2022. May he rest in peace.


1979 operetta and Niamh Broderick

This is Niamh Broderick, a promising young scientist. Both of Niamh’s parents hail from Listowel.

I took this writeup from her local paper.

A GIFTED young
Westmeath student has won a bronze medal at the prestigious International
Chemistry Olympiad held in Washington DC.

Niamh Broderick was one
of 273 top grade students from 72 countries to take part in the high-status
event that focused on advanced chemistry studies with individual performances
monitored and evaluated by some of the top educational scientists in the world.

18-year-old Niamh, who
has just completed her Leaving Certificate at Moate Community School, is the
daughter of Joe and Siobhan Broderick from Carn Park, Mount Temple.

On her journey to
success, Niamh had to sit a demanding five-hour written examination as well as
performing two complex laboratory practical experiments for the adjudicators.

Bright spark Niamh was
one of four students selected to represent Ireland at the Olympiad and she
attended specialist training in Dublin City University and Queens University
Belfast for two weeks before travelling to Washington.

Niamh, who has been
accepted to study at Oxford University this autumn, even prior to her Leaving
Cert results being known, also represented Ireland at the first European Girls’
Mathematics Olympiad in Cambridge this year.

The talented young
student said she thoroughly enjoyed the experience at the International
Chemistry Olympiad and she was overjoyed to win a bronze medal.

“It was a wonderful
experience. As well as taking part in the competition, we also got to visit a
NASA mission centre, the Annapolis Naval Academy and the many landmark
monuments in Washington DC.

“It was also a
fantastic opportunity to meet representatives from other countries and learn
about chemistry at the highest level,” she said.

The International Chemistry
Olympiad is an annual competition for the world’s most talented chemistry
students at secondary school level.


Another photo from the 1979 musical

For many past pupils of Presentation Secondary School, Listowel the annual operetta with

 Sr. Consolata and Tony Behan is the highlight of their school memories.

 Where are this 5 now, I wonder?


For Kathleen Forrestal this is one of her happy memories of her time in Pres.

Convent Garden

I recall the convent garden

It dispelled the classroom hours:

Lovely trees, flowering shrubs and every kind of flowers.

I loved the mossy path dividing vegetables and fruit.

Here my mind remained serene even though my tongue was

A pink rose shed its petals, they lay strewn upon the

I stood there caressing it, waiting to be found.

I rescued one and smelled it, it’s perfume was so sweet.

The others came and trampled them underneath their feet.

I cling now to the memory imprinted on my mind,

Some thoughts I’ll always treasure and some I leave behind


Australia has close links with the Irish Famine. Many “orphans” who were shipped from Ireland to Australia under the Earl Grey Scheme settled and made good lives for themselves down under. Their descendants have not forgotten their Irish roots or the hardship suffered by these unfortunate children. There is a great museum in Sydney commemorating An Gorta Mór.


This is what sport is about.

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