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: Pat Healy Healyracing

Casa Mia, Allos, Collopy’s Corner and Listowel’s world class equine photography

The Ever Changing Face of Listowel

Casa Mia

Allos Bistro


WW1 and the Creagh Family of Listowel

From Kerry’s Eye


Jimmy Deenihan’s constituency office occupies a building in a corner of Listowel Town Square. I photographed it this week as a result of an email I received from Joan Hayes;

“I came across the Gleasure letters by chance when googling my relatives recently and then came across your blog. My grandfather, Harry Smith and great aunt Myra Smith are mentioned in the letters. They were relatives of the Behans who owned the pub/hotel (I’m not sure exactly what) next door to the Gleasures. My greatgrandmother was Margaret Collopy and the Collopys were there originally. Her sister married a Behan, hence the name change.  know it burned down later.

I live in Dublin and we have no Kerry connections that I know of now.

Keep up the good work”

I looked up Vincent Carmody’s excellent Listowel; Snapshots of an Irish Market Town and this is what I learned about Joan’s ancestors:


World Class photographer 

This photograph by Pat Healy of Healyracing, Listowel has taken on a life of its own on the internet, with photographers far and wide admiring and sharing it.

The details: The horse is Arbitrageur, the jockey Johnny King, the groom Aidan Wall, and the track  Laytown. This dramatic shot was captured by Pat Healy of Healyracing and printed in the Irish Independent.

By the way everyone is fine.


Kick for The Kingdom

The pupils of Pres. Listowel TY class join the “Kick for The Kingdom” challenge in aid of cancer research;

Listowel Races 2012, Clery’s and old wren boys

Calendar boys! I met Pat Healy and Sean Moriarty on Tuesday. They were both fully clothed!

 By the way, I hear that the calendars are selling like hot cakes.

I had my money on this fellow No. 13, Western Passion who just beat Western Star at the post.

Can you see the rainbow over the town? No pot of gold for their punter anyway.

The fence builders were taking a rest between races.

Love at the races!

This is the newly revamped Captain Christy’s Bar. Below is the interior.

The Parade Ring

 You could bet on the Tote without ever leaving your comfortable vantage point by the bar window. Tote employee, Mairead is seen here taking a bet from her former teacher. It did not win on this occasion.



Much talk and much reminiscing about this iconic Dublin store this week. I took the following from Wikipaedia

The history of Clerys began in May 1853 when Mc
Swiney, Delany and Co. opened ‘The New or Palatial Mart’ on the site of the
present store in what was then Sackville Street. In 1883, the premises was
taken over and renamed by M. J. Clery (d.1896), a native of Bulgaden, Co.
Limerick.[1]William Martin Murphywas also involved in the business.

Clerys was bought out of receivership in 1941
by Denis Guiney (1893-1967)[2]for £250,000. (Denis Guiney came from Brosna. ) The receivers were Craig
Gardner & Co. Denis Guiney died in 1967 and his widow, née Mary Leahy,
continued to be Chairperson until her death on 23 August 2004 at the age of 103

also owned Denis Guiney’s original business,Guineysat 79Talbot Street, and operates three
home-furnishings stores under the brand name “Clerys Home
Furnishings” – inBlanchardstown,NaasandLeopardstown. These stores are now
closed as of Sept. 18 2012.

Clerys was placed into receivership on 17
September 2012.  It is to be taken over
by U.S firm, Gordon Brothers who have promised that all existing staff will be
kept on.

Clerys Clock

A large clock with two faces hangs above
Clerys’ central doors on O’Connell Street (opposite thestatue of Jim Larkin).
“Under Clerys’ clock” is a well-known rendez-vous, both for
Dubliners, and visitors from the countryside,[5]and is famous in the city’s culture as a place where many romances begin.[6][7]In 1990, on the fiftieth anniversary of Denis
Guiney taking over the store, a new clock was installed.

The following is from the blurb of Denis
Guiney’s biography. A remarkable Kerryman indeed!

Denis Guiney

Denis Guiney (1893-1967)
was one of the most remarkable Irishmen of his generation, who exerted through
his business career a significant influence on the development of the economy
and lifestyle of modern Ireland. As a draper, he rose from working in small
country shops to become the owner of one of the country’s biggest enterprises,
the largest private company then in Ireland, the successor to part of a
commercial empire created by a series of earlier Irish entrepreneurs, which he
transformed to serve the ever-increasing and ever-changing needs of the
population of a new kind of Ireland. He is one of those whose lives have
materially contributed to the creation of the country’s modern prosperity. Many
talked airily of a ‘New Ireland’. Denis Guiney helped create it.

It is sad to see the Talbot Street shop that bears his name close its doors. It sold everything “from a needle to an anchor” and was a very popular shopping emporium until recent times when  it was eclipsed by multi nationals.


Robin O’Connell of the Kilkissan Wrenboys in Listowel in 2001. Here he is on Jer’s video telling stories to Ned O’Connor. He is very proud of his 4 in a row at Listowel.


Emigration: A good thought provoking video with some home truths and some myths.

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