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: Pixie O’Gorman

Stag, A Robbery, a Cliff Walk and Ballybunion Sand Art Festival 2019

Young Stag

Photo: Stephen Walshe for Irish Wildlife Photography Competition


Highway Robbery in 1914


Square Upgrade

Resurfacing in Listowel Town Square


Ballybunion Cliff Walk

When I visited Ballybunion last week the weather was sunny and pleasant.

It was a school so there were very few children on the beach.

Cows are lovely peaceful animals to encounter on a walk.

These signs are dotted along the cliff walk. I was a bit early to see any of these butterflies.

There was a lone paddler in the water.

There were lots of pink and white flowers along the ditch beside the path.

These sunbathers had the beach to themselves.


Tidy Towners Taking a Well earned Rest

Sorry ladies, I made a mess of the photo. I was so busy chatting that I forgot to check if the photo was okay. It wasn’t but I’m putting it in anyway. I admire the effort these and all the Tidy Towners put in. If I see you ladies at Writers’ Week or out on the canvass I’ll take a better photo. I owe you one.


Some Sand Art from Saturday May 18 2019

I went to Ballybunion bright and early and found the artists already getting their work started.

The size of the artists beside their work will give you an idea of the scale of these creations.

When I returned in the afternoon the works were nearing completion. Brilliant!


Don’t Miss this One


Busy Day on Saturday May 25 2019

We all know that Michael D. will be in town. But an even more extraordinary man will be in town too. John Devoy is an organic farmer, an adventurer and now a travel writer.

His travel story is unusual in that he is writing it 30 years after the trip. John cycled from Ireland to Capetown when he was in his twenties. His book, Quondam, Travels in a Once World, will be launched in Woulfe’s bookshop on Saturday next at 11.30. If you are in town for the presidential shenanigans why not drop into Woulfe’s and meet this man who surely has some interesting tales to tell.

Kerry speech, Ballybunion Seats, a new sand artist and some photographic puzzles solved

David O’Brien Irish Wildlife Photo Competition


The Kerryman Unbuttoned by Redmond O’Hanlon published in Shannonside Annual

(last paragraph)

Perhaps not least
of the attraction of the Kerry idiom is its ancient lineage. It stems from
generations when Irish was the tongue of farm and fair. It still constitutes
the warp and woof of daily intercourse and is ‘honourable in the gates.” It is true one must be on the alert for intruders. There is such a thing as
manufactured idiom, but it is a poor dead thing, still-born for all the travail
of the pen that strove to give it life. Counterfiet coinage of speech, it bears
the marks of the self conscious file and its shine is not the patina of age.
Read Synge’s plays and listen to its tinny jingle.

This refusasl to
conform in our Kerryman, this robust individuality, who would have it
otherwise? Kerry speech is as uninhibited as the deer that skip on Torc; as
colourful as the changing mists that veil the purple Tomies; as impatient of
restraint as the waters that spill over Derrycunnihy Cascade; as haunting as the
echoes of the bugle call flung back in falling cadence from The Eagle’s Nest.
And spoken by its maidens, this Kerry speech sweeps away the unwary stranger’s
last defences, prompts him to forswear his allegiance, and in Kerry is his
consolation when he remembers home.



Commemorate Me

“With no hero courageous tomb

Just a canal bank seat for the passerby.”……Patrick Kavanagh

I think of Kavanagh when I see these memorial seats in Ballybunion.

I learned from the Ballybunion Tidy Towns page that putting memorial plaques on seats is an initiative of Kerry County Council. If you would like to have your loves one commemorated on a seat all you have to do is contact Kerry County Council and they’ll tell you all about it.


Mario is in California so who is the newest beach artist?

On April 21 2018, I spotted this magnificent creation. I zoomed in closer and I think that is Ballybunion’s own Pixie O’Gorman I see putting the finishing touches to this sand installation.


A New Miss Marple Gets us Closer to Success

Kay O’Leary has recognised the lady in the centre of the photo with Arthur Chute and Charlie and Violet McCarthy in John Hannon’s photo. She is Hannah O’Connor who used to work at Latchfords and later became a hackney driver. Thank you, Kay.  Now we only have one lady left to identify. Could she be a Tralee lady as well?


My good friend, Cathy Healy has been on to me again. The man stroking the dog is not Liam Healy. He is his brother, Mike Healy. The lady with the curlers in is Mary Corridan and the little boy is one of the Bunyan family.

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