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Pub names in Irish in 1920 and Listowel Food Fair 2019

William Street

November 10 2019


Listowel Food Fair 2019

I missed most of this year’s food fair as I was busy book promoting but here are a few of the lovely windows.

Finesse showcased the delicious local Brona chocolate in all its flavours.

NCBI was all aprons and cookbooks with a few glamorous shoes for good measure.

Perfect Pairs and its Mom’s Porter Cake display was mouthwatering and tasteful.

Flavin’s display incorporated some food ingredients and cookery books surrounding a beautiful antique platter.

As I was passing by John R.’s on my way to the Listowel Arms for A Taste of Italy I spotted some friends still enjoying afternoon tea even though it was now evening.

Jim and Elizabeth Dunn and Catherine Moylan were holding their Listowel Writers’ Week Art subcommittee meeting over pastries and meringues. Trust the Art crowd to do it in style!

These lovely ladies were just leaving after a lovely afternoon of talk and tea.

Some of the organisers of Listowel Food Fair were taking a brief moment to enjoy one of the highlights of the Food Fair. The verdict from everyone I spoke to was that Listowel Food Fair 2019 was the best yet.

Not only is Listowel now the literary capital of Ireland, it is fast becoming the food capital as well.


Setting the record Straight

I had always believed that in the 1920s vintners changed the signs over their premises because they got in trouble with police if they displayed signage in Irish.

This apparently is not 100% true according to below extract from the parliamentary records;

15 November 1920-Volume 134

Mr. MacVEAGH- asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland on what authority the police in Listowel, Co. Kerry, have ordered all shopkeepers in that town to withdraw or delete all signboards containing names in the Irish language?

Sir H. GREENWOOD- It is not the case that the police in Listowel have ordered all shopkeepers to withdraw or delete all signboards containing names in the Irish language, but where owners of licensed premises, have their names in Irish characters only over their premises, they have been ordered to affix their names in English in compliance with Section 25 of the Excise Licenses Act, 1825, and Section 11 of the Licensing Act, 1872. I may add that repeated efforts have been made in Listowel by persons styling themselves the Irish Republican police to compel shopkeepers to put up their names in Irish, that some who refused to do so had their signboards tarred, and that local painters were prevented from removing the tar stains. From House of Commons

Killarney House and Gardens, Craftshop na Méar and another instalment of Vincent’s racing memories

Chris Grayson took this photo of a peacock butterfly….more beautiful than any best dressed lady


Killarney House and Gardens

Since it opened to the public I have been planning a visit here. It is breath taking. If you can at all, go there before the winter. I’m sure it will be still lovely but at the moment its magnificent…and it’s free.

This is the entrance on the Muckross Road. These things on top to the wall and gates look to me like a sceptre and crown, letting you know that this is no ordinary estate you are entering. It was once the seat of Lord Kenmare. It is now part of The National Park.

The restored gate lodge

The avenue at the front of the house is beautifully kept and the lawns are pristine but nothing prepared me for the staggering beauty of the formal borders and gardens behind the house.

The house itself is a fine house but it is the gardens that make a visit here a must. This present house of the McShain family is actually converted stables which was transformed into a dwelling house after their other house burned down.  The McShain family sold their estate to the Irish people for a peppercorn rent. The state spent seven million euros on the restoration work.

The restoration work here is faultless. Killarney House is now another jewel in the crown of Killarney’s many visitor attractions.

The dining room and living room are furnished just as the McShains left it. Mrs McShain died in 1998.  Many of the furnishings and fittings are relatively modern. In this it is very different to Muckross House. Both houses are well worth a visit.


Listowel Tidy Town’s Vintage Day at Listowel Races

Saturday is my favourite day at The Races.  As they ramp up the excitement for this year’s event, Listowel Tidy Towns Committee have mounted a photo collage in their window display. There I am enjoying Vintage Day 2016..   Happy memories!


Perfect Pairs Stylish revamp


The Work of Some Local Artists on Craftshop na Méar Church St. Window

My Silver River Feale pendant by silversmith, Eileen Moylan

Listowel drawings by Maurice Hannon

Donkeys by Viveca Amato

Michael Tea Cozy by Frances O’Keeffe


Some photos from Vincent Carmody

Here are some more of the photographs which I took on the trip over to the racecourse last Sunday morning, September 10 2017.

Nos 1 & 2 The entry to the stands from the town end along the river bank.

For those unfamilar with the course, it  is linked to the town by two foot bridges, one just off The Square and the second from the Greenville road.  There is a roadway that runs directly from the Tralee road to the racecourse.

There has been a tradition among traveller children to stand in the river under the bridge, crying ” Throw me down something, ” to those passing on the bridge above.  This year, I am afraid, due to the floods, the habit will be dis-continued. 

No 3, The Castle in the backround continues to play an important role in the tourist attractions of Listowel. Even though the races were first run in Listowel in 1858, the Fitzmaurice Castle has been the central and focal point of the town since the 1300s.

No 4,  A fellow course spotter that I met on Sunday morning, I suppose if you met him there next Saturday evening, he would be called,, ” The Last Man Standing”

No 5,  Gypsy Kathleen has a very prominent location in the Square. She might, just might, have a few winners before the week is out. One would never know what she would see in that crystal ball.

Photos and more photos

Happy Christmas to all followers of Listowel Connection. Thank you for all the support and good wishes in 2016.

I’m taking a short break to recharge the batteries. With your help, we’ll do it all again in 2017.


Humans of Listowel

Some lovely Listowel people, mostly in pairs, who I photographed in Listowel Community Centre on November 25 2016.

Easter 2015

Easter Sunset in Ballybunion

(photo:  Mike Enright)


Darkness into Light

Organisers of the fundraising walk for Pieta House are delighted with the response. Here are a few photos from their registration day on Easter Saturday 2015. Photos from Darkness into Light, Listowel

Listowel Emmetts
Tarbert GAA


Duagh Bell Restored

Some people hold a raffle, others push a bed but Duagh set a new standard for fundraising with a marvellous food festival that set The Mall and half of North Kerry talking for a memorable weekend in Summer 2014. All in aid of their church bell.

A proud son of Duagh and master chef, John Relihan assembled a band of chefs, barbecue specialists and assorted volunteers and they provided a festival that will be talked about in North Kerry for many a long day.

John Relihan, Fr. Pat Moore and Nina Hayes

Amateur chefs taking part in a hilarious “Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook style cook off.

Ta Dah!  Behold the newly restored bell!


Party, Party, Party

Two Listowel businesses celebrated in style on Easter Saturday April 5 2015

Listowel Garden Centre opened their awesome new store with a party for the town. Listowel Garden Centre is a family affair for Nick and Liz Roberts. Here are some photos of this very enterprising family who have truly enhanced our town with this beautiful new centre.

McAuliffes were out in force to support Liz and Nick. At the door I met Barry, home from the U.S. for the occasion. He was celebrating the grand opening with one of his cousins. Inside I met Nick and the entire Roberts family, busily serving customers. Barry’s family were also there  in numbers. I missed the big moment when Mrs. McAulliffe, Liz’s mum, cut the ribbon but Kelly McAuliffe kindly sent me her photo of the family at the door.

Listowel Garden Centre has passed a great vote of confidence in Listowel’s economy. Everyone wishes them well in their new venture.


Perfect Pairs

The other party on Saturday was in the always stylish premises of Perfect Pairs on Church St. where Mairead and Martina were celebrating ten years in business.


Easter Hope

Billy Keane has written  poem for our friend Fr. Pat Moore.


The morning’s light

Was cueing outside

The black -out blinds

And men with cows milked,

Broke bread for a second time.

The sad choir sang the song of despair

But Our Moore’s prayers

Are the daily resurrection.

“We must peel life back to the essential,”

Of love and hope, the love of our time”

And the hosts of the Easter light

Shine through

In wafer lines.

Soon enough, they’ll be spraying our friend again.

He’ll be tired then from the rays of the gun,

But Our Moore knows as surely as anyone,

Even among the thorns and weeds,

Small flowers sing a te deum.

Billy Keane.

Listowel Canada and some changed shopfronts

Tom Fitzgerald recently visited Canada. He took these photos when he found himself in Listowel, Ontario.


That was then; this is now.



Listowel LDF in Kilworth 1955


He did it and Pat Healy got the picture

A.P. McCoy rode his 4,000 winner yesterday to win a record 4000 jump races  and gain a record that will hardly be beaten. His first win as on Legal Steps in 1992.

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