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: Paudie Clifford

Football and Poetry

in St. Michael’s Graveyard


No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! –

A Piece of GAA history from the Capuchin Archives

Maurice Davin, GAA Pioneer, 1903 

A rather mundane letter albeit one written by a towering figure in the history of Irish sport. Maurice Davin (1842-1927) was a farmer from Carrick-on-Suir in County Tipperary who achieved international recognition for his athletic endeavours in the 1870s. He is now chiefly remembered as one of the co-founders of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

On 1 November 1884 Michael Cusack and Davin convened a meeting at Hayes’s Hotel in Thurles in County Tipperary, at which the GAA (Cumann Lúthchleas Gael) was established. Davin presided over the meeting and was elected as the organisation’s first president. He remains the only individual to have ever served two terms in that role. Although not actively involved in the GAA after 1889, he remained passionately committed to Gaelic sports. He organised matches on his farm at Deerpark near Carrick-on-Suir, and several Tipperary County finals and the All-Ireland hurling final of 1904 were played there. Davin was also responsible for drafting the early rules for both Gaelic football and hurling. The Davin Stand in Croke Park, Dublin, the principal national stadium of Ireland and the headquarters of the GAA, was named in his honour. Davin’s letter is addressed to Fr. Richard Henebry, a Waterford-born priest and Irish language scholar. It forms part of a collection of Henebry’s papers held in the Irish Capuchin Archives.

“I asked my mother what will I be….”

This photo and caption shared on social media by Kerry Franchise is one of the sweetest things you’ll see today.

David (aged two – seated, squirming maybe, wearing the ‘goated’ 1998 Adidas jersey) and Paudie Clifford (four years old, standing snugly behind David’s buggie) at Kerry Airport to welcome the Kerry team home after 2000 All-Ireland win. 

Just two small boys lost in the crowd. But in 20 years time they’d be creating their own Kerry legacy. Stuff of dreams. And literally for them. 

Paudie now has 3 All Stars – and some said he didn’t have the ‘stuff’ for senior football when he was playing with the Kerry juniors; and now, after 3 years playing senior he has 3 All Stars; 3/3. Just goes to show – anything can happen if you will it into existence. 

As for David, well, what’a ya gonna say about Daithi that hasn’t already been said. It’s a pleasure to be around to just enjoy him. 

This photo shared by Fossa GAA shows Paudie and David on Friday evening last, November 17 2023 with their all star awards . David holds his Footballer of the Year trophy which he won for the second consecutive year.

Looking forward to Christmas

One of my favourite anthologies from Moybella Press

The Lyreacrompane and District Journal has been published 14 times since its inception in 1990.


Somethings Change and Somethings Stay the Same

Old Casa Mia restaurant in Upper William Street in July 2023


Lovely Hurling

(Photos: Radio Kerry)

Crotta O’Neills have won the Kerry Senior Hurling Championship for the first time since 1968.

And the Listowel connection?

Brendan Mahony was their trainer.


“A Hair Straightener, a Phone and a White Coffin”

I love a piece of good writing. They are calling this kind of newspaper column a micro essay now. I don’t think you’ll read such a powerful micro essay again for a while.

I give you Brendan O’Connor of The Sunday Independent on Sunday August 6 2023. I challenge you not to cry, especially if you have teenage girls in your family.


Halloween Already?

Summer has been a washout but….


Another Business Closes

If rumours are to be believed, we will be seeing this space reimagined and transformed before too long.


When you love the colour scheme….

Why change it?


Three Sportsman

Stephen Fernane shared this treasure on Facebook. These three lovely young boys had potential beyond any of their wildest dreams. They are Óisín Murphy flanked by the Clifford brothers, Paudie and David.


Schooldays in the 1960s

Eleanor Belcher remembers primary school in Listowel in the bad old days of “corporal punishment” as an acceptable means of chastisement for errant pupils.

In the 1950s O’Connell Avenue was known as the ‘New Road’ ( I learnt recently that it was one of the first council schemes in the new Irish Free State and opened by Sean T. O’Kelly)

 I was lucky to have had the gentle Sr Carmel for 4th, 5th and 6th class but I can tell you that going to the National school was never a happy experience. One of the best few weeks at the school was when Mrs Peggy Enright did a ‘locum’ when Sr Carmel was sick. Suddenly school was fun! Going to the FCJ nuns in Limerick for secondary school was like going from night to day. 

I realised as a very small girl how lucky I was and have drilled it into my children to count their blessings. 

I have no recollection of plaid skirts provided by the nuns but I think a sea change did occur in the sixties as my sister Eimer who is 15 years younger than me had a much happier time. 


An Epitaph


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