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: periwinkles

Listowel trees. starlings in The Square, Halloween in Knocknagoshel and an icon of Ballybunion

Trees in Listowel’s garden of Europe, October 2016


History is Made in Soldier Field, Chicago…….AGAIN

My nephew, Philip and his wife Anna joined the thousands of Irish diaspora in Soldier Field on Saturday November 5 2016 to see the Irish Rugby Team play The All Blacks. Like most of the other Irish present they donned whatever Irish supporter wear they could find, in his case a Munster T-shirt, in Anna’s some St. Patrick’s Day tat sent by her new Irish family. They joined the other Irish supporters in County football jerseys, Irish Soccer team shirts, and anything green they found handy. We wished them good luck. They joked that they’d need it. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, the result almost a given. Even the most hopeful optimist couldn’t deny 111 years of history.

And then the totally unexpected happened. By half time the Irish were ahead and Twitter and Whats App were going mental. By full time joy was unconfined. What a great night to be Irish in Chicago!

We won.


Starlings in the Square

Recently I happened to be in The Square in the early evening. There were swarms of starlings cavorting around St. John’s. They were perching around the clock and on the cross at the other gable and then all flying off for a jaunt around the square before returning to their perch on the old church roof.


Lest we forget

(From the internet)


Knocknagoshel….Headquarters of Horror, Halloween 2016

Photos by Elizabeth Brosnan


A Ballybunion Legend

This man has been selling periwinkles on the street in Ballybunion for as long as I can remember. Good organic food and absolutely no food miles involved. I photographed him on Sunday October 30 2016.


+ Michael O Suilleabháin R.I.P. +

Michael O Suilleabháin who passed away on November 1 2016 was a great family man and a great community man. He devoted his time in retirement to many many local causes. He worked hard on the graveyard committee, St. Patrick’s Hall, Aras Mhuire and many others. Listowel was lucky to have such a community spirited citizen for so long. May he rest in peace.

Michael OSuilleabháin is on the far right.

Tree project and the woman who slew the Dragons

Tidy Town’s Tree Project

John Corridan has contacted me to ask for your help with this one. Listowel Tidy Town’s committee is promoting a very interesting and innovative project. They want us to photograph and document local trees. They just want your favorite tree, a tree that has a story or any tree that is of interest. All you have to do is photograph it and send it along with a few words of description like location and anything else you know about or associate with the tree to

The photographs and data will be displayed in the library.

Here are a few examples:

This magnificent horse chestnut stands at the old convent school gate. It was a great source of conkers for the boys of the town at one tine.

This oak stands in the carpark of the secondary school. It was presented to the school by the staff  to mark 150 years of Presentation secondary education in Listowel. The acorn is a symbol of the Presentation order.

This Cherrytree grows in James McCarthy’s garden at the entrance to Cherrytree Drive.


Last week I visited the Friday Market and I met up with these three lovely ladies.

Aoife Hannon (Miss Universe Ireland) had stopped for a chat with her friends, Leisha Keane and Laura Keane who have just started a summer enterprise selling periwinkles. If you are in the market tomorrow, buy a bag from the girls and enjoy this traditional local delicacy.


Psssst!  You read it here first.

When I called to my friend,  Máire, the genial and very able administrator of Writers’ Week, I found her in conversation with a slayer of Dragons.

Kate Carmody became a legend in The Den when she turned the tables on two investors and held out for the bargain she wanted. See

Read about Kate’s organic cheese business here:

and look out for her on Newstalk’s business programme which will be broadcast from Listowel in early June.

But why the psst!!!?

Well, I can reveal that she was in the Writers’ Week office paying the registration fee for the writing workshop which she is going to take. Could an autobiography or a cheese making book be on the cards?


Isn’t this special?

It’s a bus shelter in Dingle.

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