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: parking

The Cusack Family of Cloyne, Bromore and Jonathon Sexton

In a very small Co. Cork village called Cloyne, there lives an extraordinary family. This family was famous for producing great hurlers, the outstanding star among these is Donal Óg who went on to gain admiration as an excellent hurling goalkeeper.

In the past week it is another of these Cloyne hurlers who has come to recognition by the national media. Like his brother before him, Conor can write almost as well as he can hurl. Both Donal and Conor have  a rare knack of turning a phrase that tugs at the heartstrings. They also both possess a compelling honesty and openness. They have been through the school of hard knocks and come out the stronger for it. I admire them both. I reserve a particular admiration for their strong religious parents who have stood by them and supported them with humour and encouragement in everything they have been through.

Conor’s interview with Miriam O’Callaghan is here

And I’m going to post Donal’s article on the pope and Donal’s Mammy again:

The mother is delighted with the new pope. Great man. He gets
the bus. He pays his hotel bills. He cracks little jokes. He talks about love.
One Direction for the arthritis gang.
Very unpopey yet you couldn’t knit
yourself a better pope. He’s no George Clooney but at seventy-six, he’s just a
spring chicken. The life in your pope is as important as the pope in your life.
And!  There’s no faint smell of Nazi off him. No taint of child abuse
cover up. Ok. He was at the back of the bus gazing out the window when the
junta in Buenos Aires started disappearing some of his Jesuit colleagues but
look, when the Smart Boy Wanted sign goes up in the Vatican window you don’t
expect to find the perfect candidate.

The point is that when the mother and her old friends get down
on their hands and knees to clean the church across the road they’re pleased
with the new boss. When they are washing the floor and shining the brass and
polishing the wood and shifting their aching limbs about to do a job that
nobody thanks them for they are happy that the man with the hat gets the bus
from time to time. He’s humble. Humility is a good thing for the church to
have these days. Humility and love.

We don’t talk much about the pope or his business when I call to
the house of an evening.  We talk about what’s going on in our mad little
village and we talk about hurling. I was recently decommissioned from the Cork
senior hurling squad after more than a decade and a half of good times and
turbulence.  The disappointment at how it was ended. That’s what we talk
about.  And how the club will go. In our house the pope might get his
picture stuck to the fridge but Christy Ring was the only man we knew to be
infallible and hurling has always been the one true faith.

Still. I’d like to know someday about how the mother feels about
the fact that her son whom she loves won’t ever be allowed to get married in
the church that she cleans in the village she has always lived in.  The
pope who gets the bus and talks about love is against gay marriage. He’s never
been to Cloyne by bus or by car but he’s one of the last people on earth who
cares that I am gay. If I find somebody I love  the Pope  won’t be
letting me celebrate that relationship in the church which baptised me, gave me
my communion, confirmed me and which will probably seize my body for burial if
I let it. If I find somebody I love and we settle down and want to share our
home with a child who needs loving parents the pope will have an actual hissy
fit. Gay adoption, he says, is child abuse. That’s a pretty big steaming slice
of ignorance for any badged rep of Catholic Church Inc. to be offering to the
customers in this day and age.  

his new job the man from the Buenos Aires omnibus is in the perfect place to
learn a little bit about the realities of child abuse. By the time he is
finished reading all the reports in his in tray he may conclude that it would
be best to keep priests away from churches and places in the community. Then he
might go out (he has the outfits) and meet some real gay men and women and
educate himself beyond the stereotype.


This is Bromore in November a very different place to the Bromore I visited a few short weeks ago.


News from Jimmy Moloney from last nights Council meeting

Parking concessions for Christmas agreed tonight at Town Council meeting.
Monday 2nd – Friday 6th December 2013 Free Parking After 3pm Each Day
Monday 9th – Friday 13th December 2013 Free Parking After 3pm Each Day
Monday 16th – Friday 20th December 2013
Monday 23rd December 2013 Free Anytime 2 hr Parking
Christmas Eve 2013 Free Parking
Thursday 26th December 2013 Free Parking
Friday 27th December 2013 Free Parking
Monday 30th December 2013 Free Anytime 2 hr Parking
New Years Eve 2013 Free Anytime 2 hr Parking

The current arrangements for Saturdays, where there is free anytime 2 hour parking will continue to apply for December and 400 free parking spaces will still be provided in the town.


Pastoral visit of Bishop Ray Browne of Kerry to Listowel

Music by Listowel Folk Group… by Knockanurelocal.


They have poor Jonathan Sexton worn out in Racing Metro. Then they recall him from Dublin and leave him to freeze on the bench for the entire match when they were in dire need of a good kicker. The mystery has been cleared up now. He sustained a niggling injury in the warm up so they decided to let him sit out the match. So he will be fresh and rearing to go for our Samoa match. Their loss, our gain.


Christmas Parking etc. and Sandy relief

There is fascinating first hand account here of an Irish man who fought in The Boer War (He fought with the Boers) and who also fought in 1916 and afterwards.

(Look out for the Listowel connection) 


Donal O’Sullivan

A very uplifting story in the aftermath of Sandy


When Donal O’Sullivan, a
successful, Irish-born contractor living in northeastern Queens, heard about
the devastation left byHurricane Sandyin the Rockaways, he felt compelled to go see it for

What he found in the southernmost section of the borough, on the
Saturday after the October 29th storm, stunned him. “It looked like
millions of tons of sand had been dumped in the streets,” O’Sullivan

  So the businessman from County Kerry mobilized about 150 volunteers, by the
next morning, to start digging out residents….either with shovels and
buckets…..or with Bobcats donated from his business, Navillus

O’Sullivan specializes in commercial construction and provided
the concrete for the September 11th Memorial in lowerManhattan. But he saw the need in the Rockaways and wanted to

  O’Sullivan told PIX 11 that fifty families had signed up for
assistance that first Sunday morning, and by nightfall, one hundred families
had asked for help. Since November 4th, the volunteers he’s provided from his
company have dug out some 300 families.

 A father of six, O’Sullivan’s
daughters, Katie and Caroline, have been taking part in the relief effort.  

11 and the Morning News was at one home on Beach 126th Street Wednesday
morning, as O’Sullivan’s crew dug out the basement of homeowner, Liz Gatto,
where the sand was piled four feet high. Gatto held her one year old daughter,
Ella, in her arms–as she watched the activity from the dilapidated boardwalk
across the street, where a car was buried in the sand. Gatto said she’s lived
in the Rockaways for 34 years of her life, and she never got a drop of water in
her house, not even after Hurricane Irene in the summer of 2011. This time, the
ocean came crashing over the top of her home, which she had evacuated. The
electrical system will have to be replaced, before she moves back in, but she’s
grateful her family is safe.

The Rockaways served as a summer resort dating
back to the 1830’s, but with the advent of inexpensive airline travel in the
1960’s, tourism there waned. Many people, though, started living there

In Far Rockaway, afterWorld War Two, public housing was built, and many residents there have
suffered badly, after the power and heat outages caused by the hurricane.



More help on way


community ‘Day of Action’ is organized for Hurricane Sandy victims

On November 24th Irish will descend in large numbers to help in


A major
Irish “Day of Action” to help the residents of Rockaway who have been shattered
by Hurricane Sandy has been decided upon by the Irish community in conjunction
with the Irish government.

day will take place on November 24th the Saturday after Thanksgiving and up to
1,000 Irish are expected to take part from all over the New York area.
Designated work areas will be arranged in Rockaway.

day is being coordinated by the Irish Consulate in New York and buses will
transport the volunteers from the main Irish neighborhoods to the Rockaway
peninsula. The buses will be available at the Irish Immigration centers in
Queens, Bronx and likely Manhattan as well as some other upstate locations. The
Rockaway area has been devastated by the hurricane.

trades people, especially New York certified electricians are desperately
needed but volunteers of all backgrounds are welcome.

Consul General Noel Kilkenny paid tribute to the many efforts by Irish
organizations to help those in Rockaway and elsewhere who have been devastated
by the hurricane.

said when he visited Rockaway it was apparent that people on the ground were
the main need of those who have been left in dire straits.

feel the Irish with their vast array of skills and commitment to help those in
need should make an extra special effort” he said. Rockaway leaders agreed that
with its multi-ethnic mix and large Irish population it was the obvious place
to organize.

consultation with community leaders the Consulate decided to embark on the day
of action. A press release using the Irish term “Meitheal” which means a group
of neighbors coming together to help someone, has been sent out.

are invited to become an Irish Meitheal Volunteer.  All able-bodied men
and women are asked to come together and travel to Rockaway to help the
stricken neighborhood.

details (bus departures, sign-up sheets, etc.) to follow early next week.


Christmas parking in Listowel

Thanks to Jimmy Moloney for keeping us in the loop.


Did you get to see John B. after Ten?

They are off today for their big night in The National Concert Hall tomorrow. Booked out, I’m told.

This is Ann McNamee’s lovely photo of Denis OMahoney and Batt O’Keeffe in John B. After Ten at Writers’ Week 2012

Snippets from last night’s town council meeting

I have copied this from the the Radio Kerry website so the formatting is a

bit awry. 

There seems to be no mention at the council meeting of the new one way

traffic system in The Square. This seems to me to be causing confusion,

with many motorists seemingly unaware of the changes.

Listowel Town Council agrees not to

 commercial rates

For the
third year in a row, Listowel Town Council has agreed not to raise 

commercial rates.

decision was made as the local authority’s budget for 2012 was

unanimously last night.

Town Council has approved the budget for the next 12 months, 

which proposes

€3,150,208. Commercial rates stay at the 2009 figure of €77.07. A 10% 

 reduction per cubic meter of
water was also approved.

Manager Charlie O’Sullivan told the chamber there would be

 no increase in
parking charges.He also said from this month on he would

 introduce two hours free parking each Saturday, along with reduced parking

 charges of 50 cent per
hour for Charles Street and Courthouse Road.

has been allocated toTidy Towns and the recently established

Independent Traders Association towards continuing to improve

 the appearance of the town. The budget was unanimously approved,

although disappointment was
expressed at the reduction in the Local

 Government Fund of almost nine per cent. However all

 accepted the difficulty in preparing such a budget, where the expectation

 they need to do more
with less may continue for many years to come.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén