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: park run

Listowel in Autumn, Marie Nelligan remembers growing up in Listowel in the 1950s and Park Run

This building in Listowel Town Square was the home of The National Bank. Then it housed the Social Welfare Office and the office of NEKD. Now it is The Butler Centre.


Autumn by The Feale


Marie Nelligan Shaw Remembers

I asked Marie if she had any recollections of growing up in Listowel and here is what she wrote;

First instalment


A Fine for Littering

Isn’t this a kind of strange amount of a fine? I took the photo on the path between St. Michael’s graveyard and the pitch and putt course.


Park Run

I was heading for the park one Saturday recently when I spotted that the weekly Saturday Park Run was in progress. I was just too late to snap Jimmy Deenihan. That’s him on the right of my photo.

This initiative aimed at keeping the country healthy is a great success.


Halloween is Approaching

Time to remember our dead

Ní imithe uainn atá siad, ach imithe romhainn

( not gone from us, gone before us)

Cherrytree Blossoms, Mass in the fifties and the first Park run

Photo: Joy Buckley of Mallow Camera Club for their People at Work project


Cherry Blossom Time


 In the Pitch and putt course

 In Cahirdown


Sunday mass in Ireland in the 1950s

Jim Costello remembers mass in rural Ireland in the 1950s;

At Sunday mass the men wore
their Sunday suits, while the women wore 
coats, costumes or dresses.The older men wore hats while the young
people rubbed oil, Brillantine or pomade to their hair. The ladies, as was the
custom then always covered their heads with hats, scarves or mantillas. The
priest had his back to the congregation while he said the mass in Latin and the
altar boys responded also in Latin. The laity took no audible part in the mass
but said their prayers by using their rosary beads. People then conducted
themselves devoutly at mass. The men said their prayers on their rosary beads
and the women read their missals.

Glossary for younger readers

French pommade is a greasy, waxy, or a water-based substance that is used to style hair. Pomade gives the user’s hair a shiny, slick appearance, and does not dry it out. It lasts longer than most hair care products, often requiring multiple washes  to completely remove. 

 A Mantilla is a lace or silk scarf worn by women over the head and shoulders.



This souvenir shop in Ballybunion had an alternative Irish flag flying.


A few days later Jacinta Breen spotted that they had found the right one.


First Listowel Park run

Photo; Dominck Walsh

Park run sponsored by VHi came to Listowel on Saturday April 22 2017


Brent Geese over the Shannon

Its Hannon’s photo of Brent geese over the Shannon estuary was broadcast on national TV last evening


Fr. John Lucid R.I.P.

Moyvane paid tribute to Fr. John Lucid who passed away suddenly at his Kilcummin home last week.

(Text and photo from Moyvane Village of Facebook)

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
By Gabriel Fitzmaurice

Fr John Lucid came to serve as Parish Priest of Moyvane-Knockanure in the summer of 2003. His shock of grey hair hid the youthful temperament of a 54 year-old-man full of vim and vigor, a man whose personal motto could well have been “laborare est orare”, “to work is to pray”, such was the delight he took in getting his hands dirty doing what his beloved Church used to describe in the old catechism as “servile work”, work that other priests would leave to tradesmen, labourers and gardeners. He was a popular priest; shy yet comfortable with his parishioners both young and old. He believed when he was appointed to the Parish of Moyvane-Knockanure that he would be the last Parish Priest we would have. He performed his priestly duties ar luas lasrach – at lightning speed. Indeed, he seemed to have two speeds only, fast and faster! And yet he was devout, and his devotion was apparent in his respect for God and God’s creation. 

His homilies were invariably short and to the point. One of his most touching sermons, which he repeated from time to time, was about the little girl who wondered who the people depicted in the stained glass windows in her local church were; on being informed that they were saints she was perplexed as the word “saint” was new to her. She was puzzled for a while and then, in a moment of revelation, she exclaimed, “Mammy, I know who the saints are – they are the ones who let the light through”. Beautiful! 

Fr John led his parish through joyful times and sorrowful times. He presided over the celebrations of the golden jubilees of the Church of the Assumption in Moyvane in 2006 and Corpus Christi Church in Knockanure in 2014. It fell to him to officiate at the funerals of Michael Hanrahan and his son Denis, double murder victims, in 2008. He was interested in his parishioners, their sports and pastimes, he was a fair and effective chairperson of the parish school boards, he set up the first parish liturgy group to mention just a few of his many achievements during his tenure as Parish Priest here. When he was transferred to be Parish Priest of Kilcummin in 2015 he left with the goodwill and affection of the people of Moyvane and Knockanure. 

He died on the day of Christ’s Resurrection having officiated at the Holy Week and Easter ceremonies in Kilcummin. One of his favourite phrases, one he repeated frequently from the altar, was “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. Fr John stood for the good, the true, the beautiful. He let the light through. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Should old acquaintance……

Christmas 2016

I spent a lovely Christmas holiday in 2016 in the bosom of my family. Below is a photo of us all taken on Christmas Day in Bishopstown as we embarked on The Goal Mile.

 Meanwhile in Ballybunion, Santa led out a big group of hardy souls for the annual Christmas Day dip in aid of the Sea and Cliff Rescue.

These photos were posted by Ballybunion Tidy Towns and Ballybunion Prints. Jason of BB Prints photographed his dog, Bella, who was snug and warm in her holiday attire.

Local piper, Danny Houlihan, piped the swimmers into the water.

Caoimhín ÓSé posted these photos of the annual Wrenboy celebrations in Dingle.

Bernard Brogan, who is a second generation Listowelllian got married and the big talking point was the bridesmaids’ jumpsuits.


A Strange New Year Tradition

This information comes from Ger Greaney who got it from Maura McConnell so its a bit of Dúirt bean liom go ndúirt bean léi  (hearsay).

Don’t forget the old traditions of Jan 1st. First Footing. The first person to cross your threshold should be a dark-haired, tall, good-looking, and it would be even better if he came bearing certain small gifts such as a lump of coal and some salt.

Blonde and redhead first footers bring bad luck, and female first footers should be shooed away before they bring disaster down on the house. Don’t let them near your door before a man crosses the threshold.

The first footer should knock and be let in rather than unceremoniously use a key, even if he is one of the householders. After greeting those in the house and dropping off whatever small tokens of luck he has brought with him, he should make his way through the house and leave by a different door than the one through which he entered.

Nobody should leave the premises before the first footer arrives — the first traffic across the threshold must be headed in rather than striking out.

(I’m sorry that this information is coming a bit late in the day but maybe we’ll remember it for next year!)


Another Old One

The old people believed that anyone who died during the twelve days of Christmas had received a “cuireadh na Nollag” (Christmas invitation) . A soul receiving this special invitation goes straight to Heaven.


A new sign for an old club

Suddenly we’ve gone all american


Two Facts about the Irish language I learned on Twitter

The word order in Irish is verb, subject, object.  This means that ‘I thought I saw a bird’ would be translated as ‘Thought I saw I a bird’.  This word order is very rare as only 9 per cent of the world’s languages use it.

Gaeltacht Thuaisceart an Oileáin Úir (or the North American Gaeltacht) is the only Gaeltacht that exists outside of the island of Ireland.  Irish emigrants fleeing the famine settled here and managed to keep their language alive, eventually going so far as to declare themselves a Gaeltacht in 1994.


The Best idea for the New Year

A lady called Helen at Spread a Little Kindness posted an Advent calendar on the internet. It was so popular that she has made one for January

You may download it and print it for free from her website (link above)


New Year; New You

(photo: Love Listowel)

Saturday January 7 2017 and a fine crowd out walking and running the Listowel 5k park run

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