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: Róisín Meaney

Bromore Cliffs, Thomas Moore and Covid Queueing and last Week’s just a Thought


Listowel Credit Union Building in Church Street in May 2020


Good News from Bromore Cliffs

We are open again since Monday 18th of May ! the Seapink and Vetch are in full bloom.  The Bromore Fox had three cubs. The Ravens fledged two chicks and all the other birds and wildlife are busy high and low on the Cliffs


Róisín Meaney is on Song

Earl Grey in the garden for me,

Or maybe a large g&t;

I won’t let this jazz

Steal my razzmatazz,

To covid I won’t bend the knee

Róisín Meaney


Are you Right there, Thomas, are you right?

Boston Pilot (1838-1857), Volume 1, Number 47, 15 December 1838



It having become known to the inhabitants of Fermoy that the high-minded and disinterested patriot, Moore, was sojourning at Convamore, the seat of Lord Listowel, a meeting was held in that town on the 22d ult. to frame an address to him on his visit to the land whose wrongs, whose sorrows, and whose sufferings he has immortalised in song. It was intended that the address should be presented by deputation, but the sudden departure of Mr. Moore having prevented the adoption of this course, Counsellor O’Flanagan (author of “ Impressions at ‘Home and Abroad,”) who acted as secretary to the meeting, forwarded it to his residence. We insert, with much pleasure the address and answer, confident that every Irishman must feel proud of any tribute paid to the writer of Those songs whose every tone, When bard and minstrel long have past, Shall still in sweetness all their own Embalmed by fame undying last.



Bowood, October 5. Dear Sir —Owing to my absence from home, your letter and the flattering address from the inhabitants of Fermoy which it enclosed, did not reach me till this morning, and I lose not a moment in endeavouring to express to you how truly sensible I am of the value of the high compliment thus conferred upon me. I should feel too vain could I, for a moment, persuade myself that my own deserts were in any degree proportionate to the generous estimate set, upon them by my fellow-countrymen. Such tributes, however are not less gratifying for the kind excess of praise over merit in which they indulge ; and, for myself, I can only say that, accustomed as I am to such overflows of heart from my countrymen, I still feel them with all the freshness of my first gratitude and surprise. Wishing every happiness to you and the other unknown but kind friends who have thus honoured me, I am, dear Sir, your

Obliged servant,

To J. R. O’Flanagan, Esq., Fermoy.


Follow the Yellow Brick Road

We are becoming familiar with yellow markings like these on the pavements. They mark where we are to stand while queueing.


Leaving Cert 1970; a few more names

By email;  Re the St Michael’s photo.. I think Stephen Stack in middle of second row.. And myself John Hynes  second last in middle row.


Covid Thoughts

My last week’s reflections are at the link below

Just a Thought

St. Michael’s Football in 1970, opening of St. Joseph’s and Doe a Deer in Beaufort

Wild Garlic in Garden of Europe 


St. Michael’s County Cup Winners 1969

Left to Right 

Front :    Kieran Fitzgerald , Maurice O ‘Sullivan , Mick O’Connell , Tom Lyons  , David Kissane .

Middle:  John Hynes , Tadhg Moriarty , P J Browne  , Timmy Shanahan , Jimmy Deenihan , Pat Stack .

Rear    :  Eamon O’ Carroll , Maurice O’Connor , Pat Stack , Tommy O ‘Flaherty, John O’ Connell , Jerry Kiernan , Pat Quilter .

Tim Kennelly was also on that team but was missing ( or maybe mitching ) on the day of the photo.

Johnny Flaherty and John Molyneaux Snr. were in charge .

Kieran writes;

It would probably be hard to believe ,at a remove of 50 years , what St Michaels stood for in those days . It concentrated  on imparting a classical education through the medium of Irish with no small amount of disciplinary measures thrown in as a bonus .  Teachers took great pride and spoke often  on the success of their ‘Alumni’ and , in retrospect , there is no doubt that many a successful career was launched from St Michaels . 

I have a couple of photos somewhere of successful college football teams in 1969 /70 . We won both the County and Dunloe Cups which up until then was undreamed of  . Our teams included Jimmy Deenihan , Tim Kennelly , Jerry Kiernan , Tommy Fla and younger brother Pat , Tim Shanahan ( who later starred in London ) Eamon Carroll , Gerard Leahy ,  Maurice ‘Toots’ O’Connor and yours truly . By any standards it was a very talented group which was  marshalled firmly  by Masters Flaherty and Molyneaux Snr . I will forward the photos if I come across them .

The school was also very successful on the Athletics front at that time . John O’Connell was a wonderful athlete as was Kiernan and all the names mentioned earlier . Success at Provincial and National Level was the norm for a few years . John Molyneaux Snr and Pat Kiernan ( Jerry’s father ) were the driving force . There was even an athletics track in the Sportsfield with lane markings  all around , burned onto the Grass . There were  jump pits with proper sand  and an area reserved for the high jump and pole vault . It was a hive of activity which was not welcomed wholeheartedly by some in the Emmett’s fraternity . Unfortunately I have no photos from that era. 

Others I remember as being in the class are Tim Shanahan ( Clounmacon ) , John Neville ( Bedford) , Pat Hayes R.I.P , James O’Donnell  ( Ballybunionish ), Timmy Lawlor  ( The Square )  but I dont see them in the photo 


A Forgiving Poem from Róisín Meaney

For some, it’s all about reading,

For others it’s painting, or kneading,

If it helps you come through itFind time just to do it,
Right now, it’s our souls that need feeding.


Opening of St. Josephs

Photos and story from Patsy Kennedy on Facebook

Opening St. Joseph’s unit in Listowel hospital 1984

First patient Maggie Nolan being welcomed by matron Sr Peter Hudson and staff


Motherly Love

Chris Grayson took these photos in the grounds of St. Mary of the Angels. Beaufort

Kerry in Christmas 1902, Ballybunion, Knockanure, Activity at the bird house and a Quiz

Charles Street, Listowel in 2016


Nesting Birds Observed

by Tom Fitzgerald in his garden

Anyone home?

I’m right behind you


A Moderate Christmas in Kerry in 1902

From Kerry Sentinel, Wednesday, December 31, 1902

Christmas is gone, and the people of the kingdom have reason to congratulate themselves on the highly creditable manner in which the Great Festival has been observed in the county. We publish elsewhere particulars of ceremonies in the churches, which speak for themselves. And apart from the religious observances, the conduct of the people was satisfactory in the extreme. In years gone by—and not so very long ago either—the notion seemed to prevail amongst a section of the populace that Christmas was a privileged time when over-indulgence in liquid as well as solid refreshments and luxuries could be countenanced, and as a consequence there were numerous scenes of drunkenness, with their attendant miseries. That regrettable state of affairs was naturally most pronounced in large towns and villages, but things have changed for the better, and in town and country alike the year now drawing to a close has broken the record in reform.

Take Tralee, the capital of the ” Kingdom,” for example; The holydays just passed have been voted the most enjoyable known in the present generation. On the whole the people seemed to enjoy themselves to the fullest advantage, but they did so rationally, tempering their festivities with moderation. Of course there is an exception to every rule, no community is absolutely perfect and a few stragglers may have seen indulging themselves “not wisely but too well,” but they are not to be taken into account to any great extent under the circumstances. Taking the town in general, there was no real disturbance to disgrace the holiest season of the year. This fact was patent to all who were around, but the best proof of it was furnished by the last Tralee Petty Sessions. The business listed for disposal there was the lightest ever known in the history of the Court, the few paltry cases listed taking less than half an hour in hearing. The people of this large and populous district certainly have reason to be proud of the fact. We doubt, if there is a town in Ireland of the same size that can show a cleaner sheet. Mr. Sullivan, D.I.., expressed his admiration of the manner in which the people of all grades of society acted during the holydays. The publicans, he said, showed no desire to take advantage of the season, and that was only what he expected from them, knowing that the vast majority of them were most respectable people. “What we have said of Tralee, we believe, applies to the other towns in the “Kingdom,” and we repeat, that the people of Kerry are to be congratulated on the manner in which the greatest season of the year was observed.


Two Ballybunion Photos

 One evening a few years ago, as I was passing the recycling centre on the way to the beach I met this lady painting dolphins on the wall.

These toilets have been demolished. When work recommences on the new ones, Ballybunion will have state of the art facilities.


Sobriety in Rhyme 

One of the tools that helped Noel Roche on his rehab journey was his faith. In this poem/prayer he outlines how he takes life one day at a time and relies always on God’s help.

One Day

Lead me gently through the day

Don’t let me do it my own way.

If I stumble, let me fall,

If I can’t walk, let me crawl.

If I’m in denial let me doubt,

If I’m in self pity, let me pout.

If I’m in pain and it’s real

All I ask is, Let me feel.

Please don’t let me drink today

Because that would be the old way.

Oh Holy Father, don’t you see,

It’s Footprints time. Please carry me.

Hold me in your arms

Hold me near

I have faith in you, my God

Because its stronger than my fear.

Yes my faith is stronger than my fear today

So I’ll handle anything that comes my way.

I’ve got to work the steps, do the next thing that is right.

Ask God for help in the morning,

And thank him every night.


A Tree of Hope

The bishop and the late Fr. Pat Moore at a tree planting in Knockanure.


A Quiz from Mattie

These 32 clues correspond to the 32 counties of Ireland. Have fun.


Róisín Meaney is turning over a new leaf

The start of a new lockdown week,

And a better plan for my physique

I’ll yoga like crazy

I’ll stop being so lazy

And of chocolate, you won’t hear a squeak. 

Covid 19 cartoons, a murder and poem

Chris Grayson’s Killorglin

Old photo of Presentation Convent, Listowel


Preparing for Culture Night 2019

Paul Shannon, Sinead McDonnell and Aimee Keane


Mike O’Donnell’s Covid 19 Sketches


A Young Fred Chute and Friends

Thank you, Elizabeth O’Carroll for the photographs.


Lord Ormathwaite, a murder and the land war

The murder of a ‘land-grabber’ and the Land War in Kerry. By Mark Holan

A thunderstorm swept across Pittsburgh in the early morning hours of Aug. 22, 1923. Winds gusted to 35 miles per hour and dropped the temperature to 51 degrees before daybreak. The thermometer barely had reached 60 degrees as Nora Foran Scanlon set off for a notary’s office about a mile from her apartment in one of the city’s Irish enclaves.

It’s likely she was wearing her best Sunday morning dress as a sign of respect to the notary and in memory of her late father. Her purse would have been stuffed to bursting with letters and documents related to rectifying what she attested to the notary had been a “violation of justice” 35 years earlier along a rural road in County Kerry. Her sworn affidavit told the story: “My father held an evicted farm in the vicinity of Listowel, Coolaclarig. He was boycotted to the meanest extreme and finally shot to death.”

The murder of John Foran was one of over 100 killings associated with the Land War.

Nearly 100 agrarian murders occurred in Ireland from the start of the Land War in 1879 through the conclusion of the Parliamentary special commission on “Parnellism and Crime.” This story explores the viciousness of the period by looking at the case of one family. The murder of boycotted farmer John Foran caught the attention of newspapers and Parliament and echoed up to the founding of the Irish Free State.

The Foran family and 19th century Listowel

Nora Foran had grown up near the North Kerry market town of Listowel, about eight miles southeast of where the River Shannon empties into the Atlantic. Knocanore Hill, an 880-foot summit isolated from Kerry’s taller southern mountain ranges, is another area landmark. Then, as today, the district is dominated by farms and bogs.

The Foran family were from Listowel, north Kerry, where they farmed a 150 acre lease in the Tullamore townland.

Nora’s father, John Foran, had grown up there, too. He’d been in his early twenties when a potato blight and English indifference triggered Ireland’s Great Famine. He’d seen widespread starvation and death as Kerry’s population plummeted 18 percent between 1841–1851.

Property records for 1851 show John Foran (either Nora’s father or his father) was farming a 150-acre lease in Tullamore townland, about five miles north of Listowel on the east side of Knocanore. Foran leased the land from John Benn-Walsh’s estate of nearly 9,000 acres, which had been acquired from the 3rd Earl of Kerry in the early 1770s. The estate included another 2,200 acres in neighboring County Cork and holdings in England and Wales.

Benn-Walsh was a British politician and the first Lord Ormathwaite—taking the name from his County Cumberland property in northwest England. His North Kerry estate was larger than most, but dwarfed by a handful of others. Foran’s farm was among 1,900 acres in Galey civil parish, where Ormathwaite maintained his mansion Tullamore House and a smaller residence called Duagh Glebe, a few miles east of Listowel.

The Foran’s farm was a large sub-lease within the 1,900 acre estate of Lord Ormathwaite.

Omathwaite considered his purchase of Coolaclarig opposite Tullamore to be “a very good investment,” according to his surviving journals. In 1858 he hired George Sandes as local agent for his properties. Sandes was a North Kerry native and lawyer, but the agent position made him very unpopular among the locals……..

You can read the rest of Mark Horan’s account of the story HERE


Another Covid 19 Isolation Poem

Róisín Meaney

I ate my way through last week,

As I waited for covid to peak

I must try harder

To bypass the larder,

Or I’ll never regain my physique. 

St. John’s. School photos, A Covid 19 card, a Covid 19 poem and Easter Ceremonies in Listowel 2020

St. John’s in Lockdown

I took these photos a day or two before  I was locked up.


Newspaper photo of the opening of Tarbert Comprehensive School


Senior Infants 1986


Being a Nana during Lockdown

An Post has given us free postcards to send to people to cheer them up. I haven’t sent mine because I’m not allowed to leave the house. I was delighted to receive one last week.

To explain, Róisín doesn’t have a phone and you need a phone number to associate with  a Tik Tok account. She can text and use the account from her iPod. 

Sometimes its easy to make someone happy.


A Poem from Róisín Meaney

To Venice the fish are returning,

Down under, the bush has stopped burning.

When humans stay home,

And leave nature alone,

The world gets the break it’s been yearning. 


Jill Freedman Subject identified

“That’s Mikey Faulkner , a much loved traveler in North Kerry in the 1940s and 1950s”

 Jim MacMahon.


St. Mary’s , Listowel, Holy Week 2020

Thank you Canon Declan and Denise

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