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: Pres. Listowel Page 1 of 2

In Lizzy’s, Ballybunion Community Market and New Coffee Shop on Church Street

In St. Anne’s Park, Raheny. Photo; Éamon ÓMurchú


Kildare Staycationers

The Kildare branch of the family love Listowel. Here are Tony and Mary McKenna from Newbridge enjoying lunch in Lizzy’s. Mary was excited to be photographed with celebrity chef, Lizzy Lyons and to meet her in the flesh.

This lovely couple were celebrating 42 years since they first met when Mary joined Bord na Mona in Newbridge and Tony was the first person she met on her first day.


Three Amigos

Not the three gentlemen of Verona but three gentlemen of Listowel.

Friends, Danny Hannon, Joe Murphy and Jed Chute enjoy a cup of coffee and a natter in Lynch’s, Main Street.


Memories of a Pres. Operetta

How about this for a trip down memory lane?


Ballybunion Community Market

This community market is just finding its feet with new stalls being added every week. It is a great way to spend a Saturday morning. It’s in the car park behind the community centre and it starts at 10.00a.m.

I only photographed a small few of the very diverse stalls.


Daisy Boo Barista

The streetscape of Church Street is changing rapidly. Another welcome new colourful addition is this charming coffee shop with a few extra delights in stock as well


Listowel Native Doing Well in the U.S.

Cora Creed/Universal Music Group

Cora Creed is the vice president of Digital Supply Chain Management at Universal Music Group in New York. Originally from Listowel, Co. Kerry, she came to the U.S. on a Donnelly Visa and “has never looked back.” She has almost 20 years experience and expertise in business transformation in the digital space, and has worked with leading brands like Napster, Sony, and EMI.

Cora believes that “Despite being one of the smallest nations on earth, [the Irish] have left an indelible mark,” as many aspects of Irish culture “have propagated to the four corners of the world.” She is also struck by the “incredible goodwill towards the Irish” that she finds on her travels abroad.

Cora is also a founding member and sits on the board of directors of Swazi Legacy, a nonprofit organization that assists marginalized and homeless young people in Swaziland. She will help lead a team from New York and Ireland to Swaziland in June to work with orphans at Manzini Youth Center.

Cora is married to Thomas Creed, also from Kerry and still very much considers Kerry home. Her mother Kathleen is from Kerry but now lives in London, and her father, Brendan, was from Dublin.

(From a website called Irish America 2016)

Maria Sham Remembers Growing up in Listowel in the 1950s

Medieval Style

Mallow Camera Club organised a novel event for its members. Here are two of Jim MacSweeney’s great shots from the event.


Ballybunion Memories

Mairead Gorman found this and posted it on her Facebook page. Sr. Lucy O’Sullivan and some Ballybunion  girls on their confirmation day.


Success for Pres. Girls

Presentation Listowel badminton team who recently won the County schools competition.


If we could turn back time…..

Maria (Canty) Sham grew up  in Listowel in the 1950s. She had a very happy childhood and a few years ago she decided to write down her memories so that her English family would learn something about their Irish heritage.

Maria has very kindly shared these memories and her photographs with us. Her experiences will be similar to many others so I’m sure many in the Listowel Connection community will enjoy this trip down Memory Lane. I will serialise Maria’s reminiscences over the next few days.

I was born on the 1st May 1938to Bridget and Timothy Canty,

the third of their
children and the first daughter. They had moved into 68 O’Connell’s Avenue and
I was the first of the family born there.

 It was May Eve and mam always said the fairies
brought me or maybe Duffy’s Circus which was in town that night. I was
christened Mary Ellen after my grandmother Moloney. My brothers were Neilie and
Paddy. My sister Doreen was born 3 years after, and our brother Junie came
along 10 years later.

 We lived on a council estate, a very close and
friendly neighbourhood. Everyone knew their neighbours and watched out for each
other. The children all went to the same school and the same church. Neighbours
would pop in to one another for a chat or to borrow something. I remember that
we always left our door key on the door. There was never any crime.

I went to the
Listowel Convent School when I was 5 years old and sorry to say hated every
day. The nuns then were very strict and in those days were not allowed outside
the walls of the convent.  I am sure if
they had more patience I could have learned a lot more. My favourite subjects
were History and English which I love to this day and later on the cookery
class. I wish now I had paid more attention and learned to speak Irish; I found
it very hard to get a grasp of.   It
would be nice to be able to speak my own language.

Timothy and Bridget Canty

Maria’s parents, her uncle, Peter and their next door neighbour, Jack Hurley

Schoolgirls Rathkeale lecture on horse drawn Traffic and Friends Reunited


“Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.”

A MacMonagle photographer captured the moment when Dr Crokes captain, Johnny Buckley ( who has a Listowel mother) commisserates with Kenmare’s Patrick Clifford who was taken off injured in the County Final on Sunday Oct 16 2016.


Down Memory Lane on Facebook

I see a few faces I know here so maybe we’ll have a bit of luck with the names and the year.


The Road from Abbeyfeale

THE ROAD FROM ABBEYFEALE:  Abbeyfeale was a vital hub in the early

part of the nineteenth century in the national network of horse drawn

transport.  On November 4, 1836 Mr. Daniel O’Connell, the Liberator,

had the services of a driver and four horses on a journey from

Abbeyfeale to Newcastle West.  The four horses were named Jack, Major,

Nancy and Grey.  O’Connell paid one pound and eight shillings for this

service.  His driver was paid seven shillings.  This information is

gleaned from the books of accounts of Leahy’s Inn and Livery Station

located at the Square in Abbeyfeale at that time.  An original copy of

the accounts for the years 1834 to 1842 is the source material which

Dr. Pat Wallace will draw on for his lecture entitled “The Road from

Abbeyfeale” which he will deliver to Rathkeale & District Historical

Society this Friday evening October 21.  The lecture will examine all

the horse drawn traffic through Abbeyfeale in the years 1834 to 1842.

It will also tell of the guests, carriages, drivers and horses as well

as details of the cost of stay and other matters.   Dr. Wallace is the

former Director of the National Museum of Ireland and was the chief

archaeologist with overall responsibility for the Viking Dublin

excavations at Wood Quay and Fishamble Street in 1974.  You, your

family and friends are welcome to attend this free lecture in the Arts

Centre at the Carnegie Library in the Rathkeale area offices of

Limerick City and County Council. Starting time is 8.30pm.  The Arts

Centre can be reached by lift and by stairs.


Nana’s and Aisling’s First Camogie Match

(Aisling playing, Nana supporting)

On a misty moist Saturday morning I gathered with all the other parents and grandparents to watch my first game of camogie.

There is a lovely little ritual at the end of the game where they all line up and everyone shakes hands with everyone, your teammates as well as the opposition.


Humans of Listowel

I met former classmates, Betty Heathy and Miriam Kiely last week.

Ag. Show June 29 1953, Bríd Nolan R.I.P.

That Photo again

June 29 1953, North Kerry Agricultural Show in the sports field

Vincent Carmody and Margaret Ward have worked
hard on getting the names for our 1953 photograph. Some of the people came from
the country and were not known to my two townies. Some others were too difficult
to decipher but following is a fairly complete list.

 Included, sitting or standing in front of

Right to left,

Paddy Moloney(Charles St.), Jim O’Sullivan,
Mary T.O’Sullivan, (Charles St.)  Pat and Johnny O’Flaherty, Church St., Eileen
O Flaherty is seated in front of  Noreen and Eileen Scanlon,Greenville , Martin?
Holly (St Brendan’s Tce.), Gene Moriarty ( Charles St.) Nuala Buckley ,seated (Patrick
St.), Nora Flaherty, ( O’Connell’s Ave), Fealey Brothers, Seamus and Sean ( O’Connell’s Ave),
Mr Morgan, (Colbert St.), Brendan Behan (Colbert St.) pronounced Behane.

Included behind the railing,

Right to left,

Mrs Jim O’Sullivan (Charles St.), Mrs Enright (
Charles Street), Theresa O” Carroll (Red Cottages), Mrs Howard and daughter
Ella ( Greenville) Mrs. Nellie O’Flaherty, (Greenville) …..,….Mrs. Thomas
Mulvihill, (Lower William St.), (at back) ? Sweeney, ( Church St.)  Mona Cantillon ( Patrick St.) Jackie and Sheila Buckley, ( Patrick St.) Babe
O’Sullivan, (St. Brendan’s Tce), Lizzy Griffin (O’Connell’s Ave), Mary Whelan,(
Market St.), Marie Neligan, (Clieveragh and Colbert St.), Lizzy (Fitzgerald)
Sayers, (Colbert St.) 

Michael O’Sullivan, (Patrick Street).  at end leaning on fence

Sitting on wooden stand, 

Included right to Left,

John Keane ( O’Connell’s Ave)with white shirt,
Toddy Griffin ( O’Connell’s Ave), Michael Downey with black jacket( O’Connell’s
Ave), Michael Barrett (Ballybunion Road), John Murphy (Gurtcreen), Maurice
Cahill (Main Street), (Junior Griffin (Bridge Road), Paddy McGuiness (Upper
Church St), Edward Mahoney (Charles Street), Ned Boursin (Church Street). ?
O’Carroll (Red Cottages), Maurice Kennelly (Patrick St.)

At back,

Miss O Sullivan (Charles St.), Peggy
Walsh (Market St.), Martin Sheehy 2nd boy(Main St.), Joe Guerin
(Convent St.) Eileen Harmon (Patrick St.) Miss Kennelly (Patrick St), Mrs Clem Crowley
(Church St.) Kathleen Medill (Patrick St.), Noreen O Hanlon (Patrick St.)
Margaret Dillon (Colbert Street),

at backR to L 
Tommy Dalton, Junior Griffin, Kathleen O’Sullivan  (Dowd’s Road), Sean O Brien and John O Brien
(Convent St.)

The photograph appeared in the Thursday July 31th 1952 edition of the Evening Echo and it was captioned, “Watching the jumping competitions at the North Kerry Show, held at Listowel yesterday”  


The late Bríd Nolan

The teacher is Speech and Drama teacher, Bríd Nolan R.I.P. These are her prizewinning pupils at Pres. Listowel from the early eighties. I recognize Pio Stack, Lucinda Lyons,  Celine Kennelly and Catherine? Pierse.  Maybe someone else will fill us in on the other names and tell us where they are now.

Bríd was the epitome of grace and eloquence. Until late in her life, she travelled from her home in West Limerick in hail rain and snow to her job in Listowel. She loved her girls and she took immense pride in seeing them succeed. She was dearly loved by staff and students alike as they vied with each other to see who would “carry Mrs. Nolan’s bag.” Carrying her bag to the next class was a task always undertaken with pride. Bríd was a very devout Christian and I’m sure she would appreciate a prayer from those of you who remember her today.


House for sale

This charming house in Clieveragh has the original thatch under the tin roof. It would be lovely to see someone buy it and restore it as a typical Irish thatched cottage.


Bye, bye Sun

(photo:Ballybunion Prints)

These balmy days in early April 2015 are set to leave us for a while. It was great while it lasted.

Bromore in Winter, Listowel shops then and now and more from Listowel, Ontario

This is what Mike Flahive wrote about Bromore near Ballybunion in November.

Here in Bromore Bay the power of the Atlantic Ocean meets the 180 foot Bromore Cliffs. The storm waves rush into the dozen or so caves compressing the air before them and exploding back out again. There is a constant flow of seafoam floating on the updraft like snow.


Some Shops Then and Now




The following two photos were taken at a quiz in Pres. Listowel sometime around 2006

Happy days!


Listowel, Canada, a Listowel Ireland connection

While Tom Fitzgerald was in Listowel Ontario, he chanced to meet this local counsellor.

His name is Warren Howard


He was in Listowel Co. Kerry in 1971 as a member of a choir. He stayed in Mount Rivers and he sang in the church….I’m not sure if it was St. Mary’s or St. John’s.

Does anyone remember this choir’s visit? Better still, does anyone have a picture?


Today November 11 2013 is Armistice Day in Britain, Veterans’ Day in the U.S.

Royal Irish Rifles at The Somme

Lest any of us forget the horrors our ancestors suffered, here is a link to a site with many many links to sites related to the Irish who fought in the two great wars in Europe.

Siegfied Sassoon visited Cork and Limerick but there seems to be no account of him visiting Kerry

On April 16, 1917, Siegfried Sassoon, an
officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and arguably Britain’s greatest war poet,
was wounded by a German sniper while leading his company in an attack at
Fontaine-les-Croisilles. While recovering from his wounds in England, Sassoon’s
growing anger at the political mismanagement of the war compelled him to write
a scathing attack, which achieved public notoriety after being read aloud in
the House of Commons, “I am making this statement as an act of wilful
defiance of military authority, because I believe that the war is being
deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it.”

to risk the adverse publicity that would accompany the court martial of a man
who had been decorated for undoubted acts of bravery, the under-secretary for
war declared that Sassoon was suffering from shell shock and had him sent to a
military psychiatric hospital at Craiglockhart, near Edinburgh. It was during
his incarceration at the hospital that Sassoon wrote “Survivors,” a poem
that displayed his contempt for the authorities who patched-up shattered men
only to return them to combat. It also reveals much about the tortured state of
his own mind:

No doubt
they’ll soon get well; the shock and strain

caused their stammering, disconnected talk.

Of course
they’re ‘longing to go out again,’ — 

boys with old, scared faces, learning to walk.

soon forget their haunted nights; their cowed

to the ghosts of friends who died, — 

dreams that drip with murder; and they’ll be proud

glorious war that shatter’d all their pride …

Men who
went out to battle, grim and glad;

with eyes that hate you, broken and mad.

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