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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

Tag: Rose Wall

Woodford Pottery, Listowel Races 2019, Progress on The Greenway and North Kerry success at The Ploughing

Hands of a Master Craftsman


 Pat Murphy throwing a pot at his Woodford Pottery Studio in Sept 2019

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Saturday at The Races


Saturday September 14th 2019 was a gloriously sunny day on the island. The big screens were in place to show the All Ireland Football replay between Kerry and Dublin and the Tidy Towns inspired fashion event was taking place.

 The judges were out and about mingling with the racegoers in vintage gear. In my photo the judge is in white and the lady on the far left was chosen as the winner. The rules said that your outfit had to be genuinely vintage and to have been upcycled by you. You had to wear a headpiece. This elegant lady fulfilled all these requirements.

The lovely ladies from Oonagh Hartnett’s were offering us sweets, some timely advice on sun protection, a squirt of perfume and entry into a raffle.

Another judge checking out the vintage of this lady’s garments.

 My lovely former neighbour, Anne Leneghan, came second in this smashing suit which someone else had worn to a son’s wedding. Anne had up-styled it with pearls from a broken pearl necklace and she had pinned down the lapels with a pair of pearl earrings. She was wearing her 90 year old mother’s going away hat and her lace gloves.

The always stylish Betty Stack with her daughter Maria and their friend, Anne Leneghan.

 Noelle and her friends were studying form when I interrupted them.

Gemma and Mairead Regan gave me a tip they got “from some fellow on the way in”. It won.

 Rose Wall was accompanied by her handsome son.

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Good News on the Greenway

This is the report from the council meeting:

A dedicated team in Kerry County Council is to be appointed to progress two greenway projects to completion.

The status of the North Kerry Greenway was discussed at the monthly meeting of the Listowel Municipal District.

Councillor Mike Kennelly called for all resources to be put in place to get the multi-million-euro greenway from Listowel to the Limerick border over the line.

The Fine Gael councillor pointed to bureaucracy with Government departments with such projects.

Listowel MD Manager, Joan McCarthy told Cllr Kennelly that nobody is dragging their heels on the project adding that it is protection of public funds and not bureaucracy.

Kerry County Council says a senior engineer has been appointed to oversee both the North Kerry Greenway and the Tralee to Fenit Greenway; a team will be appointed shortly to progress both projects.

Work on the north Kerry project is expected to begin later this year and will take 18 months to complete.


Regards,


Michael Guerin, Listowel


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Upcoming Events


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The Ploughing



Photo: Radio Kerry



Daniel Burke from Causeway and Derek O’Driscoll from Ballyheigue, who both claimed an All-Ireland title at this year’s Ploughing Championships



I’ve never been to “The Ploughing” but I’m told it’s possible to spend days there without seeing a plough or a ploughman. It’s a place for shopping, socialising, entertainment and education. I was delighted to see that these young men have got back to what it’s all about, celebrating the skill and art of ploughing.

Liam O’Connor, Opening Night LWW 2019, Harnett reunion and Brona Chocolates

Listowel Town Square in Summer 2019




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Liam O’Connor at Writers’ Week 2019

Liam O’Connor is the very definition of a virtuoso musician and he brought his A game to Listowel on Opening Night 2019. He had the audience in the palm of his hand as he ‘worked the room” and set the scene for a great night.

Liam had many many fans in the audience. I took photos of a few of them.

Liam grew up not far from me in North Cork and he cut his teeth playing with his father in the family band. It was lovely to see Liam following in his late dad’s footsteps as he was joined on the stage by his daughter and son.

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Some More People snapped on May 29 2019



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Calling all Harnetts


HARNETT REUNION: 

Carina Prendeville is currently working on their magazine and is looking for family pictures, stories, histories.  You can contact her on harnettreunion2019@gmail.com 

 A full programme organised for our visitors but it is also open to anyone to join.  Free admission on Friday, July 12 to the Genealogy workshops and the Patie Boy Historical Collection in the Devon Inn.  Tickets for the variety concert in Tournafulla on Friday, July 12 will be available on the door. Brian Harnett Tenor has confirmed that he will be performing.  Tickets for the Gala banquet and bus tour available from Batt Harnett or Ann Lyons. There will be genealogy, bus tours, a concert, a gala banquet and a memorial Mass, all at different venues around West Limerick/North Kerry.

The event is open to everybody.

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North Kerry Chocolate…Brona


I have met these chocolatiers at several fairs. Here is their story.


Brona Chocolate is produced on the banks of the river Feale in North Kerry which is in the beautiful south-west corner of Ireland. We are a family-run artisan chocolate producer dedicated to producing the highest quality chocolate products from the best available ingredients.

My wife Noreen and our three highly skilled team of tasters Tadhg, Harry and Brona, after whom the business is named, all help out.  We use as much local produce and as many local suppliers as possible.


The idea for Brona Chocolate initiated from running our shop, Mr Duffy’s Traditional Sweetshop in Tralee. Though we were stocking Irish chocolate (and there are many brilliant Irish chocolatiers) we felt that nobody was producing a large range of bars such as we were having to import from the UK and Europe. So began an incredible journey into research and training.

Little did I know that chocolate is the most complex compound known to science with over 1500 identified flavour components (compared to 500 in wine).

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So Sad




When they were students together at UCC and for their 50 years of happy marriage, Anne and Jimmy Moloney were inseparable. Sadly they passed away less than a year apart.

I took this photo at Writers Week in 2013

Guím leaba i measc na naomh dóibh beirt, mo chairde agus mo chomarsanna.

Catherine Moylan, Opening Night Listowel Writers Week 2019 and Listowel Business and Community Alliance

Catherine Moylan, Chair of Listowel Writers’ Week 2019


I have known Catherine Moylan since she was knee high to a grasshopper and it came as no surprise to me that this young lady, who has broken through many a glass ceiling in her career so far, is making an excellent job of what is probably her biggest gig to date, chairing Ireland’s premier literary festival.

Former chair, Mike Lynch gives the new chair a twirl just to calm the nerves before the big opening speech for Listowel Writers’ Week, May 29 2019.

Catherine gave a well crafted, well delivered  and very well received keynote address. She told us how special she felt to have grown up in Listowel where Writers’ Week was a constant every year, where Bryan MacMahon read the children a story at her friend’s birthday party and John B. Keane was someone you could meet any day on the street. She hit the nail on the head when she identified the USP that makes Listowel Writers’ Week so different to other literary festivals. The key ingredient is Listowel and it’s people.


Look at the front row of the audience she addressed undaunted.

In the audience were parents, Helen and Eddie, looking a bit nervous but massively proud.

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Pictures from Listowel Town Square on May 29 2019


Politicians, musicians, poets, clergy, businessmen and women, old friends and new were there.



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Listowel Business and Community Alliance




Rose Wall has replaced Stephen Stack at the helm of Listowel Business and Community Alliance. She is pictured here with Paul O’Connor and Maeve Queally.

Maeve of Some Studio was giving a morning talk to the local business community on the concept and importance of branding.

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David Twomey




Some people know David better as an athlete, but I first met David when he was starting out on his gardening and landscaping career. He is one of the people responsible for the planted environment in our lovely town. When I took this photo last week he was getting Listowel ready for the Entente Florale judging.

WW1survivor, John Moore, Café Hanna , Young Adult Bookfest 2018 and Ballydonoghue Parish Magazine

Photo: Jim MacSweeney

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A Soldier of the Great War and many other wars as well (and with a Listowel connection)



On the centenary of Armistice Day, Tom Dillon, who is our local war expert, gave an entertaining and educational talk on some local aspects of WW1.

Present at that lecture was another local historian, Martin Moore. Martin had contributed some of his family memorabilia to the exhibition that accompanied the talk. On Facebook I found that he had talked to his dad on Armistice Day about the family hero of the war.

Here is what Martin wrote on Nov. 11 2018

“First World War ended 100 years today, one of the greatest conflicts of humankind. This was remembered tonight at a most dignified event organised by historian Tom Dillon and hosted by Cara. It was nice to sit down with my dad who is nearly ninety years. His uncle John served with the New Zealand forces in those eventful years ..from Gallipoli, Egypt and France. He survived the War even though wounded in 1917. One of the lucky ones. John Moore’s army life brought him to the 5 Continents and he was decorated by the King of Serbia along the way!! 

Remembered on this day by his family”

Martin Moore’s picture of his father, Michael holding photographs and medals of his uncle, John.

It sounds to me like there is material for another history talk in that man’s life. 


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Lovely Old Photo


(Taken by Johnny Hannon R.I.P.)


I’m sure there are people who immediately recognise these ladies.

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Listowel Food Fair 2018



Listowel Food Fair is going from strength to strength. This year I had lunch for the over 50s in Allos, brunch in Café Hanna, a demonstration of Lithuanian cooking in Scribes, the food trail to Jumbos, The Listowel Arms, John B.’s and Lizzies and on Sunday I enjoyed the craft and food market. I only got to a faction of the many events organised for this year’s event.

If you like getting dressed up, there was a gala dinner in The Listowel Arms with a kind of Oscars of the food world. There was a grand opening too and all kinds of talks and demonstrations. If you missed it this year be sure to put it on your list of marvellous festivals in Listowel for 2019.

I met Carol and Phil at the brunch in John R.’s Café Hanna.

Cliona McKenna was my dining companion.

This was the super menu. We both had the eggs Benedict and pancakes, me blueberries, she red velvet.

Here is Billy McSweeney telling me yet another tale.

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Listowel Writers’ Week Young Adult Bookfest 2018

This marvellous one day event began life a s part of Listowel Writers’ Week June festival. The timing was not ideal for secondary school students who were usually doing end of year exams at this time. It was decided to change the date and this new stand -alone one day event took place for the first time in 2017. It was such a success that this year’s event sold out in jig time.

On November 16 2018 over 800 secondary school pupils, mostly Transition Year and Fifth Year students gathered in Listowel Community Centre for a feast of educational and entertainment.

Máire Logue is seen here commissioning two of the outdoor volunteers for their traffic duties. As you can appreciate buses and cars had to be marshalled into position to make sure everyone got to the venue safely and on time.

John Kelliher took this photo of the outdoor crew, Jim Dunn, Mike Lynch, Rose Wall and Tom Dillon. They did a great job in fairly showery and cold conditions.

 Liz and Elma were busy directing the audience to their allocated seats.

Seán McCarthy and Joanna O’Flynn helped early arrivals to take a selfie.

 Eilish Wren and Mairead Costelloe were busy meeting and greeting.

Rhona Tarrant was MC for the day. Here she is looking over her notes on the running order.

Teachers, Mary Twomey and Gerard Tarrant were enjoying the day.

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Ballydonoghue Parish Magazine 2018









Saturday morning November 17 2018 and Eason Listowel gets its first drop of Ballydonoghue Parish Magazines



The people behind this magazine have brought us another cracker. Parish magazines are becoming a rarity. It’s hard to find dedicated people to collect the stories, take the photographs, edit, proofread and lay out the journal. And then they have to launch and distribute it. Its a mammoth task. I take my hat off to the great people who keep Ballydonoghue Parish going year after year.

Each year’s publication is eagerly awaited by the Lisselton diaspora. Postage charges have gone through the roof and it means that to buy a magazine and post it is now costs the bones of €30. I beg you to continue sending it. It means a lot to people missing home.

I caught up with the delivery detail again as they made their drop in Flavin’s of Church Street.

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+ R.I.P.  Weeshie Fogarty+




Photo: Radio Kerry

Another Anniversary, St. John’s Window of Reconciliation and Paddy Drury Remembered

This shrine to St. Teresa, who’s feast day occurs in November. It is in the Church of St. John In Ballincollig.

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November is a time for remembering our loved ones who have passed to their eternal reward. I am going to share with you a piece from a lovely book  called Irish Stories of Love and Hope which was produced a few years ago to raise money for the Irish Hospice.

Another
Anniversary

Peter Fallon

You turn

Hearing the joy

Of football

In the yard

You yearn

For the footfall

Of the lost

The scarred.

Again and again

And again

You feel the sten-

Gun attack

Of that “What if?”

And that, ‘What
then?”

Well then he’d be
a boy

Who’s ten.

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St. John’s, Tralee, new Window



This is the Window of Reconciliation and it was blessed by Bishop Ray Browne on October 27 2017




My photograph does not do it justice so you’ll have to go to see it for yourself.

The window was executed by Thomas Denny who is a descendant of the Dennis of Tralee.

It is in three panels, each panel evoking reconciliation. The central panel depicts the prodigal son as he is embraced on his return by his delighted father. The right hand panel is inspired by Jesus reading from the book of Isaiah.

In the left hand panel, St. John, patron of the parish sets forth filled with The Holy Spirit.

I took this information from a leaflet I picked up in the church. It also told me that this is the first new stained glass window in the church in 60 years.

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A Few Photos I took on the day of the recent performance of his Tom Crean Show by Aidan Dooley


Rose Wall with Aidan

Eilish Wren bought Aidan’s book

Elaine Kinsella with Tom Crean actor and writer, Aidan Dooley

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John Griffin Again




This is the very competent O’Sullivan team who were looking after the sound and lighting and the media content on the day of The Young Adult Book Fest in Listowel Community Centre. On the right is John Griffin whose mother is originally from Listowel.

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A Paddy Drury Story as remembered by Jerry Histon


When Paddy came home from his war work in Scotland after the 1914 1918 war, he had, of course, some money spared. After hitting Listowel he met two cronies and took them in for a few drinks. At the time drink was very scarce and it was suggested that certain publicans were not above eking out the supply of drink with materials that never saw the distillery. Anyway, Paddy asked the lady inside the bar for “three glasses of whiskey”. When those were downed, Paddy called the woman again “Mrs, give us three more glasses of nearly!” The lady was puzzled”What nearly?” she asked. ” nearly water, ma’am,”  Paddy shot at her, to her consternation.

A missioner, giving a retreat Moyvane, asked Paddy: “what is the difference between God’s mother and your mother?” I don’t know, but I do know there was an awful difference between their two sons!” Was Paddy’s humble reply.

Paddy hired with a local farmer and one of the conditions was that he should be home for The rosary each night. The man of the house generally offered up the rosary for “myself and my four and no more!” One night the farmer asked Paddy to offer the rosary. Paddy had a few drinks on board and was, anyhow, getting tired of the farmer, So his offering was “I offered this rosary for  myself and no more!”

<<<<<<<< An Important Correction re Drury Knockanure Satire >>>>>>>>



This correction is provided by a Knockanure local and the correction of the correction by Vincent Carmody. Thanks.

“The Rhyme about Knockanure was written by John O’Sullivan.  John, from Charles Street, was a reporter for the Kerryman. His daughter May Kathleen followed in his footsteps.  She was also married to an O’Sullivan. May Kathleen’s uncle was the famous journalists, T F. O’Sullivan.

( Eamon Kelly’s father in law was. Michael O Sullivan, from the Beara Peninsula, he was an Irish teacher in St Michael’s. He had nothing to do with the O’Sullivan satirised in this rhyme.

Drury wrote about John O’Sullivan.

In Listowel Town, there lives a clown, 

who would sell his soul for porter,

Sullivan John is the man,

 a dirty mean reporter.”

And


This Knockanure Local also had a photograph of Paddy Drury

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A Wedding in the Behan Family

I took these photos of The Horseshoe window on November 17 2017


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