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: rutting stags

Stags, A Crolly Doll, Sive songa and a George Fitzmaurice quote

Chris Grayson took these rutting stags in The National Park, Killarney in October 2017


A National Treasure

Gaeltarra Eireann made these dolls right up to the 1960s. They were much prized by U.S. tourists and are now “collectable’. 


Berkie Browne’s


Sive Songs

These verses are on the wall of Lynch’s Coffee shop in Main Street 


Poetry in The Square

This is one of the pieces in Listowel Town Square


One for the Exiles

Rut in Killarney National Park, County Show and a rising star in the world of Digital Marketing

Rutting Season

The spectacle of The Rut in Killarney National Park has attracted photographers from far and near. It is an extremely sensitive and dangerous time to be around deer so I stayed well clear of it. The photographs below are from excellent photographers with powerful zoom lenses who photographed the deer from a safe distance.

The stags look magnificent with their imposing antlers. I was watching Country File last week and I learned that, in the U.K. they sedate the stags and saw off their antlers in the interests of the health and safety of the stags and the hinds. It looks awful but we, the viewers, were assured that there was no pain involved and the antlers grow back.

I also learned that all that bellowing is not so much to warn off other stags as to summon the hinds and announce that the buck is ready for action.

(Ita Hannon)

(Jim MacSweeney)

(Tom Healy)

(Timothy John MacSweeney)


The County of Kerry Agricultural Show 1901

Extract from an account in The Kerry Sentinel Sept 7 1901

Horses’ Judges—Major Kiggel and Mr J Evans.

 Cattle Judges—Messrs W Roberts and W M’Donald. 

Judges of Kerries—Messrs J Butler and H M’Clure. 

Judge of Butter—Mr R Gibson. 

Judge of Honey—M W Boxwell, Patrickswell, Co Limerick. 

The County of Kerry Agricultural Show was
held in Listowel on Tuesday, and taking all circumstances into
consideration must be regarded as a successful exhibition. The weather
was favourable, and the attendance of the public, particularly in the
evening, was extremely large. All the arrangements were well attended
to and left very little to be desired. 

Mr M W M’Elligott, hon sec,
with the capable assistance of Mr E J Gleeson, was responsible for the
management and  discharged his duties in a highly satisfactory manner.
The same observation applies to the other officials, all of whom
appeared to give general satisfaction. 

With regard to the exhibits,
the entries in the horse section were large, and some of the animals
were of an excellent class, while numbers were not up to the mark. The
entries in the cattle department were not so large, but the quality of
the exhibits showed an improvement on last year. The sheep entered
were fairly good, and the pigs exhibited, though not large in number,
were of a particularly good class. The butter section afforded some
first class exhibits, the fowl and honey departments very little
interest was taken though some of the exhibits were of a good quality.

Of the exhibitors Messrs Philip Healy, G Mullins, and J F Shea were
most successful. Mr Healy won a number of prizes, while Mr Mullins bull
Silver Beam, retained his title as champion of the county for three
years in succession. Mr Shea , Glenbeigh got first prize for his
handsome black filly, Biddy, and would have been awarded first prize
for his bay gelding, Tommy, in the remount class but for the fact that
he was disqualified for being ” docked ” They are both by his own
horse, Hampton Moor, a sire that is sure to make his mark. The filly
should distinguish herself in the hunting field or between the flags.

Mr J J Galvin, Listowel, offered a number of special prizes for which
there was keen competition. The number of industrial exhibits in
connection with the Show, though not numerous, were interesting.
Messrs McKenna and Kennelly, Listowel, and M MCowen, Tralee, had an
imposing display of agricultural machinery, while the Derrymore Tweed
Mills were also well represented, and their exhibits attracted
considerable attention.


One to Watch

In the centre in this photograph is Padraig O’Connor of Ballyduff. He is pictured adding another accolade to his impressive cv. Last weekend he was in Dublin to collect his award in the Marketing and Commerce category of the Irish Blog Awards.


Ar Scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine

(People live in the shelter of one another)

Our president, Michael D. Higgins is a master of finding the right words to suit the occasion. He was brilliant on his state visit to Britain and he is brilliant again as he visits the U.S.

He was at his eloquent best when visiting Berkeley. I swelled with pride in him as he thanked the people who had helped our traumatized and injured young people after the balcony collapse earlier this year.

This is part of what he said, “In the blink of an eye, these young, talented and bright students – most of whom were thousands of miles from home – and their families and friends suddenly needed the compassion and intensive support of those where they found themselves, people who turned out not to be strangers but great friends,” 

“You did not fail them. Your actions gave such powerful definition to the term ‘hospitality’.”

Well said.

Rutting season, some sport and Rathea girls names

Oh Happy Day!

End of austerity as a miraculous goal gained Ireland a draw against World Cup holders, Germany, last night. And the budget wasn’t too bad either.

Ireland is surely on the up and up now.

(Photo; Irish Examiner on Facebook)


Rutting Season in The National Park, Killarney

( photo:  Kerry’s Wild Side)

There are seven dominant stags in the herd and they are to be given a wide berth at the moment as the see off the threat from young stags.


Lovely photographs of Irish children from The Irish Photo Archive


Ballybunion golfers

Local golfers who won The Belvedere Cup in Newcastlewest.  (photo; Bridie O’Rourke on Facebook)

Kerry Football legends who played a friendly in Finuge recently.  photo; John Kelliher


Spotted in Ballincollig

Beware low flying witches!


I met this lovely couple, my friend, Cathy and her husband, Carl, out walking their dog in the park on Saturday.


Rathea Schoolgirls 1950

Tom Fitzgerald gave me all the names of the girls in Betty Stack’s photograph:

Back Row : Tess Brassil, Marie Galvin, Nellie Mai Kelly, Celia Carey, Eileen Doyle, Eileen Brassil, Phil Stack, Biddie Brassil,Frances Carey, Noreen Curtin, Bridie Sullivan & Sheila Howard.

2nd Row: Betty Sheehan, Margaret Trant, Bridie Whyte, Mai Hannon, Peg Curran, Kathleen Doyle, Mary Stack & Joan Carey.

3rd Row: Eileen Hannon, Josie Doyle, Norrie Casey, Mary Sullivan, Maureen Doyle, Nora Mai Connor,Mary McElligott, Kathleen Halpin, Anne McElligott & Lal McElligott.

Front: Kathleen McCarthy, Peggy Brassil, Maureen Sullivan, Nina Scanlon, Kathleen Buckley, Theresa Buckley, Bridie O’Connor, Noreen Carey, Kitty Dillon, Noreen Curran & Mary Whyte.



 Coco Kids has moved from here

to here.


Great resource for Ballybunion friends

Every week this great free ezine keeps us up to date with happenings in Ballybunion. If you love Ballybunion and you have not signed up yet, do it right away.

Ballybunion News

Words and Music and Saturday at Listowel Races 2013

 The entertainment at Listowel Writers’ Week Words and Music event on Saturday evening,

 October 12 2013 was second to none.

Kathy Nugent, accompanied on the piano by Colm O’Brien, had the audience in the palm of her hand with well known Doris Day, Sinatra and Tony Bennett numbers. Kathy has a powerful voice and a really winning stage presence.

Claire Keane gave us a lovely rendition of John B.’s Sweet Listowel.

Gabriel Fitzmaurice’s theme was family as he read some warm sonnets to his granddaughter, his late father and his wife. Admiration, awe and love shone through in every line.

Veronica, Bernie, Margaret and Norella, all from the Writers’ Week committee were working hard on the night.

This local group of multi talented young musicians wowed us all with their versatility and musicianship.

Mary Kenny was one of the star turns. She spoke about The Femme Fatale, Terry Keane and then in Part 2 she gave us a little insight into her own unconventional upbringing.

Cyril Kelly is one of a group of Listowel people exiled in Dublin. Like all of this group, he retains a huge affection for his native town and mines these happy memories of growing up in this special place in much of his writing. He read  a poem he wrote for Miriam Kiely, celebrating happy days as teenagers in Listowel. He also took up the theme of family with a revealing insight into his first venture into fatherhood in the days before epidurals, when pain relief had not advanced much further than mopping his wife’s brow with a flannel!

Owen MacMahon is an expert on his father’s work. He gave us a unique insight into Bryan MacMahon, short story writer. As always, his talk was laced with amusing local anecdotes, self deprecating humour and erudite classical and Irish references. He even ended with a song beloved of all past pupils of The Master, Kerry Candle Light.

A happy Seán Lyons, chairman, Listowel Writers’ Week signed off on a very successful evening.


On the Saturday of The Harvest Meeting of Listowel Races 2013 I went to The Island en famille. I am a very proud mother and grandmother so people have been wondering where those Saturday photos went. Well, here they are…

Bobby Cogan met up with his friend, Fergus O’Connor who was at The Races with his dad.

 The boys studied form in the parade ring before committing their (or my) money.

€2 each way on Number 4.

Listowel Tidy Towns were holding an upcycling competition.

 Some people seemed a bit unsure of what constitutes upcycling.

There was a bit of early canvassing going on.

This lad was doing a good job of cleaning the ring.

Carine met a work colleague and family.

Clíona met her friend Gillian.

Madeleine and Margaret looked every stylish even though they told me that they were more dressed up the day before since it was Ladies’ Day.

Clíona and Seán picked a few winners.

Edel, Frances and Liam were winners in the upcycling competition.


John Kelliher took this great picture of rutting stags in The National Park, Killarney


Jer.’s video clip from the community procession at Listowel Parish Mission 2013


(Pic: Goracing)

A tug o war was one of the many fun events which took place at Limerick racecourse yesterday. All funds raised on the day will go to help injured jockies, Johnjo Bright and JP MacNamara

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