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

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Rattoo, Arizona and Kildare

Photo: Rattoo Round Tower in 2022 by Moss Joe Browne


Sr. Consolata was in Arizona in 1997

Sr. Consolata and me in 2019


(Continued tomorrow)


Listowel Badminton has a rising Star

Grade E ladies doubles winners Bríd Murphy (Kingdom/Castleisland) and Deina Vesko (Listowel), on the left, along with runners-up Helen Browne Moyvane and Samera Hayes (Killarney) and Munster Badminton President Michael McGrath at the Munster Badminton Championships at the Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre Killarney last Sunday. Photo by Tom Bradley

Deina Vesko was the star turn at the Munster Senior (Premier) and Grade E Badminton Closed Championships in Killarney Sports & Leisure Centre on Sunday with the Listowel woman winning three provincial titles on a day when the host county’s players performed extremely well.



Aoife’s Christening

Aoife McKenna was baptised in the lovely White Abbey Carmelite church in Kildare town. I’ll tell you more about my trip to Kildare later on but I couldn’t resist sharing a few pictures of my gorgeous granddaughter on her first big day.

Aoife posing with her Daddy. No, she is not standing. She is being held.

Me with 5 of my 6 grandchildren. Róisín had a trial for a soccer team, so, unfortunately, missed the big day.

Aoife sitting on her godmother’s lap and getting to know her cousins.


Listowel from John Kelliher’s Drone, A Poem from Noel Roche, 1992 panto in Pres. and Speed Cameras

Swans at Rattoo

Photo: Bridget O’Connor


Listowel in Lockdown

Drone photos from John Kelliher


HMS Pinafore 1992

Presentation Secondary School, Listowel operetta


Another Poem from Noel Roche

This poem needs no words of introduction or explanation. Noel says it best in his own words. And remember he is 40 years sober this year.


Bet You didn’t know this

The speed camera was invented to speed cars up not slow them down. A Dutch rally driver and engineer called Gatsonides wanted to take corners faster. His first device was 2 strips across the road. The first strip started a stop watch. The second stopped it. Then he thought of adding a camera so he not only had a record of the vehicle’s speed, he also had a picture of the car. He could see how much extra speed he could squeeze out of a corner by approaching it along a different line.

His invention was called the Gatsometer and speed cameras are often still referred to as Gatsos. He realised its application in the detection of speeding offences when he replaced the pressure sensitive strips with a radar beam.

Of course the Listowel connection is our own Irish GoSafe speed camera network has its headquarters in Listowel.


“Oh, lest the world should task you to recite….”

Ursula Stack sent us this Covid fact.

Dame Judi Dench has tasked herself with learning all of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets during Covid 19 lockdown


From Isolation -Inspiration

Thank you, Nan Bailey for the heads up on this marvellous resource.

This is an initiative of the Irish Embassy in London.

From Isolation – Inspiration involves a series of short videos posted on the Embassy social media channels which feature individual Irish artists currently in domestic isolation performing their art – a musician, singer, poet, novelist, actor etc. The videos are filmed by the artist in their home or garden and are designed to inspire and bring solace and cheer in these testing times.

Access the recordings    HERE


A (very late) Message from Listowel Celtic PRO

Our own Barbara Mulvihill is nominated for the Best Actress Award in the Kevin Rowe Events Oskars.  She is raising money for St. James hospital.

If you want to vote for Barbara here is the link.

Best Actress at Kevin Rowe Events Oskars

Martin McCarthy is up for Best Actor. He is raising money for the Mercy Hospital Foundation.

A vote costs €1

NNB Voting closes this evening at 5.00

Rattoo, Duhallow Knitwear, Lord Listowel and a Poem for our Times

Wolfhound at Rattoo

Photo; Bridget O’Connor


Duhallow Knitwear

Do you remember this brand? The hosiery, as it was always called in Kanturk, made this great, hard wearing classic knitwear for many years. If you look closely at the advertisement you will see that Duhalow made “hose and half hose”. This is probably why it was called a hosiery Has anyone any idea what hose and half hose stand for?

The Sheehan family who owned the business were one of the biggest employers in my home town and surrounding area in the fifties and sixties.


Lord Listowel


As Others See Us

Despite massive Famine-era emigration from the area, Kerry retained “in a great degree its peculiar and characteristic features,” Irish lawyer and author William O’Connor Morris wrote to The Irish Times in October 1869.

“The people of Kerry are a thoroughly Celtic race; and, though a variety of influences has injured in some measure their finer nature, they show all the marks of Celtic character. They are shrewd, quick-witted, fanciful, sensitive, affectionate if you touch their sympathies, prone to submission, and to respect those connected with them by ancient tradition. On the other hand, they are jealous and irritable, tenacious of custom, and unprogressive, and above all, impressionable and fiery, rather than persevering, steady and courageous.”

Source: Mark Holan’s   Irish American Blog


A Poem for a Pandemic

This poem was written in 1869 by Kathleen O’Mara:

And people stayed at home And read books
And listened
And they rested
And did exercises
And made art and played
And learned new ways of being
And stopped and listened
More deeply
Someone meditated, someone prayed
Someone met their shadow
And people began to think differently
And people healed.
And in the absence of people who
Lived in ignorant ways
Dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
The earth also began to heal
And when the danger ended and
People found themselves
They grieved for the dead
And made new choices
And dreamed of new visions
And created new ways of living
And completely healed the earth
Just as they were healed.

Reprinted during Spanish flu pandemic, 1919 and again during the Covid 19 pandemic, 2020
Photo taken during Spanish flu

The Poor of Listowel, Ballygologue Park, Rattoo Round Tower and Ladies Bountiful in the 1870s

William Street Neighbours

Stacks of The Arcade and Keanes of John B. Keane’s Bar have been neighbours and friends for years.


The Poor of Listowel

(Kay Caball found us this one)

From The Kerry Evening Post Saturday January 11 1879

 Misses Harnett collected alms and purchased warm clothes for the poor. The warm clothes seem to have consisted of blankets and warm underskirts. I know which I’d prefer to receive if I was freezing.

So who were the Misses Harnett?

Dave O’Sullivan has the answer:

The Misses Harnett referenced were Mary and Florence, daughters of Richard Creagh Harnett and Robina Forbes. 

It seems they ran a successful campaign for clothing for the poor, blankets especially during these years.

They lived at 10 The Square, Listowel. Richard was a solicitor and coroner. He died in 1885 and is buried with his wife (died 1903) and son Thomas (d.1917) at St Michael’s cemetery. (Headstone photo attached)

It seems from an auction notice that they left Listowel in 1909.

Mary and Florence never married, Mary died aged 81 in 1926 in what was then described as The Home for Protestant Incurables’ , now St Luke’s Home, Mahon, Cork. She lived at 3 Sorrento Villas, Old Blackrock Road, Co Cork, Florence died at 3 Sorrento Villas, Old Blackrock Road, Co Cork in 1937 aged 84.

And Mary’s bequest in 1926. Includes the Sustentation fund of the parish of Listowel.


Ballygologue Park Junction in April 2019



Photos by Elizabeth Brosnan on Facebook


I learned so much about the great Fitzmaurice, Knights of Kerry clan yesterday in Lixnaw. Watch out for more on this topic later.

Rattoo Sunset, Bank of Ireland Mural and Pitch and Putt in the sun

Rattoo Sunset

Photo: Michael Pixie O’Gorman


Olive Stack’s Mural in Bank of Ireland, Listowel

The mural depicts The Square as it was. It’s sad to see so many of the characters who have passed away


Well Done Tidy Town’s People

The old telephone exchange is not a particularly pretty building at the end of O’Connell’s Avenue. My eye was drawn away from the industrial bleakness of it to the lovely flower tubs at the corner.


Pitch sand Putt Course Looking Resplendent

As I was walking through the park last week I spotted three happy men out for an early morning game of pitch and putt.

Don’t they look like photos from Florida?


Ballybunion/ Ballybrown……Could be in Florida

These photographs of Ballybunion Golf Course this week were taken by Barry O’Halloran and he tells me that CTH stands for Closest To Heaven as it is on  the highest point on the course.

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