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: Rás Tailteann 2018

Watching Rás Tailteann, Iceland Opens and an icon in St. Mary’s

Photo: Chris Grayson


People I met at Rás Tailteann on May 23 2018

Helen, P.J. and Joan stopped on their way from mass to wave the cyclists off.

Eilish, Maria and Sharon popped out of the Writers’ Week office to promote the festival to the race watchers.

Christy, Norita and Joan in The Square

Moriarty family out in force to support Eugene


From the Johnny Hannon Archive

Batt and Gertie O’Keeffe


It’s Open

Iceland Listowel in Mill Lane opened on May 22 2018


In St. Mary’s Listowel


Famous People meet a Blog Follower

Danny O’Connor from Gurtinard met father and son actors, Brendan and Domhnall Gleeson in New York


Woodford Pottery

Pat Murphy gave me a sneak peak at his latest design innovation. He is still making his trademark blue  black and green kitchenware but now his creative juices are flowing in a whole new direction  and he is planning a white with a pop of colour range for the autumn.

I love them. What do you think?

Pat also has a beautiful range of souvenir mugs especially for Writers’ Week. You can pick them up in the craft shop at Galvins in William Street.

Church Street Auction, Cars from the Movies and Jackie Moore

Donkeys photographed by Ita Hannon


Old Auction Poster

A little bird tells me that a local historian is compiling a book of old posters, like this one I found on Facebook. Posters, in their own way, add a valuable element to the history of Listowel. 


Your Help Needed

I posted these photos before without success. The first was taken at the door of St. Michael’s College. The last one looks like a pilgrimage. Any help with identifying these people would be appreciated.


Pop up Craft Shop

When it’s gone, it’s gone. This lovely addition to our town’s retail offering is only staying until after the June weekend so if you want an artistic craft item, pay a visit while it’s here.


Friends and Neighbours Meeting

Tony, Alice, Anna and Ella were having a chat when I met up with them in Main Street in May 2018


Iconic Vehicles in Town


Julia’s Balloon Animals

Meeting Julia is always an uplifting experience. She is someone who is incurably cheerful and positive. Here she is making her balloon animals at the History Festival 2018.


A Listowel Pipesmith

Photo; John Hannon

This is Jackie Moore photographed in his workshop in Charles Street Listowel


R.I.P. Denis Keane

I took this photo of Denis Keane with his friend, Mary O’Flaherty in 2015 when he was in town for Writers’ Week. May his gentle soul rest in peace.


Rás Tailteann leaves town May 23 2018

Buttevant, Bridge Road, a tip for Town Planners and Rás Tailteann 2018

 Photo: Chris Grayson


 I was in Buttevant

Butevant is a very historic town in North Cork. I was there recently and I made a few observations.

Isn’t this a good idea? They have  seats celebrating local families and the history of the family in a notice close by.

There are lots of old shopfronts left unchanged.

Just like us they have a castle in the middle of the town. Ours is in better nick though.

The convent in Buttevant has been sold.  The identity of the buyer was a topic of speculation on the day I was in town.

This old graveyard is in the grounds of the church. It is ironic that the man whose funeral brought me to the town would be the very man who could have told me all of the history.

The church had an ancient feel to it too. The galleries, there were three, are accessed by a stairs from the outside.


Bridge Road

Prompted by Derry Buckley’s account of Bridge Road houses, Kay Caball who also came from Bridge Road, wrote the following;

“…..In connection with Derry Buckley’s photo of  the Bridge Rd.,  my parents rented one of the three houses built and owned by his grandfather, facing the river.  Then they moved to the left hand side of the bridge to what must have been new houses in the early 1940s.  We lived in the second from the stone wall – I think it was owned by Mrs. Murray who had a shop in Main St., selling religious goods – rosary beads, holy pictures, scapulars etc.  (The Murray also must have had the ‘franchise’ for holy goods at the missions in all the north Kerry churches. They would have covered stall in the yards of the churches at .mission time’ selling all these good like hot cakes.

Other people who lived down our (left hand side) of the Bridge Rd., were the Nielsens (Hilary Nielsen taught in the tech), the O’Sheas (Fr Kieran O’Shea), Mr. O’Sullivan the Creamery Manager, (we called everyone Mr. or Mrs. then, had no idea of their christian names). the McElligotts (I think Mr. McElligott sold encyclopedias) and the Woulfes (Mr Woulfe worked in McKennas).   Accross the road we the Griffins (Juniors people) the Kennys, Hassetts, Rita Purcell and her lodger Dan Daly, the Callagys and at the top of this side there were two shops- beside the road going down to the track – Bolsters who sold lovely Lucan Ice Creams and Moloneys (no relation) who had a large shop selling everything, tea, sugar, meal  and shoes.”

Peggy Brick who also lived in Bridge Road remembers a Mulligan’s shop as well.


Seen on Twitter

A picture paints a thousand words


Neighbourly chat in Charles Street

I met Jerry and Violet on a sunny morning in May 2018


Rás Tailteann in Listowel May 22 2018…a little known Listowel Connection

It’s May 22 2018. There I was on Market Street waiting for the Rás to hit town and filling my time by taking a few snaps of the locals when………

who do I spot across the street but my old school friend from Scoil Mhuire, Kanturk? 

Why was Mary Kiely (now Corkery) in Listowel at the Rás finish?

This is why. Her lovely grandson is riding in the race. Here is Dylan Corkery with three proud grandparents.  

And here is the Listowel connection or, to be more precise, the Duagh connection. Dylan’s grandfather is an O’Keeffe from Trienireach, Duagh. Dylan at 19 is one of the youngest riders in Rás Tailteann.

(More from the Rás to come)

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