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: Ryan Tubridy

O’Connell’s Avenue

Kevin’s public house in William Street


An Enjoyable Fundraiser

This was the scene at a fundraiser for Bee for Battens. These days are now just a memory but they will come again.


O’Connell’s Avenue

Another fascinating post from Vincent Carmody’s 2016 Living History Miscellany.

Building of O’Connell’s Avenue. Listowel.

In the 10 years after our Civil War, very little was achieved, nationally, in the building of local authority housing. Around 1930, the members of, the Listowel U.D.C. were concerned with severe overcrowding in many properties and the use of many more with very poor sanitary conditions. Following a survey of the town’s housing stock, they presented their findings and a plan to the Department Of Local Government. In response they were informed that the Listowel Council had been granted funds for the building of 104 houses.

At this time, it was to be one of the largest local authority building contracts in the country. The contracting tender in 1932, was won by a local building contractor, M.J. Hannon. This in itself was a great bonus to the town, as it guaranteed a substantial number of years work, for the town’s tradesmen and laborers, with, of course, a great spin off for the town’s businesses.

Some years ago, I spoke at length, and took notes, from Mr Jim (Red) O’Sullivan of Charles Street. Jim, who had worked with the Hannon Builders since he left school, was officer manager at the time of the construction, (he is pictured in the second last row). Unfortunately, with the passage of time, the notes were misplaced. However, I can recall a number of the things which he told me. The council took soundings on a possible name, one of the early contenders, before they decided on O’Connell’s Avenue, was Eucharistic Avenue, this was on account of the Eucharistic Congress which was been held in Dublin, in the summer of that year. He also explained, that the the wage bill per week was, if I remember correctly, in the region of £400. At the time, this would have been an enormous sum of money. Jim would collect the money from the bank first thing each Saturday morning, after which, he would be escorted by an armed detective, back to the office. There, he would make out the pay packets, in readiness for paying each man, at the conclusion of the half-days work on Saturday.

All the blocks for the building work were manufactured on site. The land on which the houses were built had been purchased from Lord Listowel. Prior to it being built on, it had been used as meadowing by the O’Donnell family, family butchers in Listowel.

The main entrance to the houses was from Convent Street. Later, a roadway was built to connect up with Upper William Street. The building of this later facilitated the erection of St Brendan’s Terrace.

The man on the left of Seán T. O’Ceallaigh is Eamon Kissane, he was a F.F TD for North Kerry, the other man with the hat is Eddie Leahy and the third man is John McAuliffe.

The official opening was on Monday, June 17th 1935. It was presided over, by then Government Minister, Sean T. O Kelly. ( He, ten years later, in June 1945, became Ireland’s second President, replacing the outgoing Douglas Hyde).

The first residents had taken over their houses, prior to the official ceremony. In the main these were couples with young families. Today, a third generation of these families own many of these houses. Over the years, there has been mass emigration from the area. However, those who remained, have contributed greatly, to the, social, cultural and sporting history of the town.

This is a pamphlet which was distributed to the local businesses, asking that their employees, be allowed time off, to participate in the ceremony.


A Dan Keane Limerick


Egg Nog from an 1852 recipe

How did anyone ever drink this?


Listowel Writers’ Week Memory

Once upon a time during Listowel Writers’ Week PJ Lynch painted a portrait of Ryan Tubridy in the ballroom of The Listowel Arms Hotel.

This year, 2022 Writers Week will run from June 1 to June 5


The Bog, The Children, the nuns and Ryan Tubridy at Writers’ Week

It’s That Time of Year

Photo by Jason of Ballybunion Prints Beach

Not everyone can lie all day on the beach. For some people the fine weather means one thing…a trip to the bog.

 Bog cotton photographed by Maire Logue

Turbery and turbines photographed by Maire Logue

Some people are a little further along with the turf harvest. The Hartnett family of Upper William Street have their turf home and stowed.


The early days of Presentation Presence in Listowel

The cross gave its name to the first convent here. It was known as The Convent of the Holy Cross.

Here is a newspaper account of the death of one of the founding sisters

Irish Examiner , Friday, October 21, 1864


NOT only the religious and Catholic laity of the diocese
of Kerry, but the large circle, besides, by whom she was known and venerated,
will feel with regret that the blank left in her community by the death of
Reverend Mother Teresa Kelly on Wednesday last, will be long before it ceases
to be suffered from. A long life of activity, intelligence and holiness, under
trying circumstances, endeared her to all who know her personally or by report.

Upwards of fifty years ago Miss Kelly entered the
Presentation Convent, Killarney, and soon after passing through an edifying
novitiate was appointed superioress. In this important office she distinguished
herself by bar prudence and zeal alike; her charity knew no limit, and yet she
never involved her community in embarrassments. During her term of office in
Killarney, the first of the monks of La Trappe, whose abbey is now so well
known at Mount Melleray, near Cappoquin, came to this country from France. They
were penniless, and depended for support on the charity of the people. The
first of those who stretched out the hand to help them was Rev. Mother Teresa,
her influence procured them a house to live in, and her pecuniary aid to their
establishment in Ireland was important. Visitors to the Abbey of Mount Melleray
may hear of a lady who is publicly prayed for by the monks as a great benefactress
to their order, well-known to the older brothers, this lady is Mother Teresa.
All, but a few old monks on crutches, have died, of the brothers who came over
from France, and as silence is one of the chief disciplines of La Trappe, few
of the present community know the name of the lady for whom the public prayers are

Having filled with honour the office, of superioress at
Killarney for several years, Mother Teresa, with a few sisters, left the
community to found a convent at Milltown, a small town at the bend of Dingle
Bay. Under her able government, this undertaking prospered, and the schools
attached were filled with the children of the peasantry and townspeople. Here
Mother Teresa remained until she had passed her fiftieth year. At this period
of life few men or women undertake new and important works, but Mother Teresa,
hearing of the great want of educational establishments in North Kerry,
consented to break her attachments to the convent she had founded and made
prosperous, and begin anew in Listowel. She founded the convent of Holy Cross
in that town onwards of twenty years ago, with three assistant sisters. Of her
acts of charity during the famine, years no praise could be too loud. She was
the chief reliance of priests and people in that district during that dreary
period. Her small community gradually gained accessions, and on the day of her
death she had the happiness to see it one of the most prosperous and beloved of
the Presentation Convents.

Many priests on the foreign and home missions owe the
means which enabled them to prosecute their studies to this holy woman, and
would regret her loss were they not assured that she has passed to a place where
the virtues she practised and the peace she loved and taught here are eternal.


The National Children’s Literary Festival at Writers’ Week

Here are some of the marvellous events which the lucky children enjoyed.

RTE Juniors held a very popular workshop.

Here are the RTE Junior stars with Norella and Maria of Listowel Writers’ Week.

Singer/ Songwriter, Enda Reilly held two songwriting events, one as Gaeilge and one in English.

Kenny the Clown made balloon animals for the children.

Children’s author, Sarah Webb was omnipresent during the festival.

Ryan Tubridy and P.J. Lynch told the children about how they came to work together on the popular children’s book, Patrick and the President. They signed and posed for photos and were gracious and patient with all their young admirers.

Ryan Tubridy at Listowel Writers’ Week, 3 nuns professed in 1865 and Phil Coulter in Moyvane

Bridge Road Listowel


PJ Paints a Picture

One of the more unusual event at 2017’s Writers Week was a live painting masterclass with P.J. Lynch. P.J. undertook to paint Ryan Tubridy while an audience looked on and asked questions.

The stage is set and the easel and canvas in place.

PJ is “miked up”.

Jim Dunn introduces his friend and fellow artist, P.J. Lynch.

 The model takes his seat and endeavours to sit still.

PJ dons his apron.

Jim confesses to being a bit of a PJ Lynch groupie. He has even kept the Christmas RTE Guide because the cover is a PJ Lynch masterpiece.

Ryan Tubridy is a tough subject tp paint. He does his best to sit still as he sips a cup of tea and PJ gets to grips with his task.

I had to leave to help out at another venue but I later saw on Facebook the finished picture.

Elizabeth Dunn and Eilish Wren admire Ryan’s portrait.


Fr. Pat Moore’s  R.I.P. Birthday in Duagh


A Rare Sight Nowadays….A Nun’s Profession

January 21,

Saturday the solemn ceremony of receiving three young ladies into the
Presentation Order took place in the beautiful chapel of the Convent, Listowel.
The young ladies who received the white veil were Miss Bessie O’Sullivan (in
religion Sister Mary Ignatius), daughter of Mr. John O’Sullivan, of
Cahirciveen, and niece of the Very Rev. J. Mahony, P.P., Listowel; Miss Kate
Kennedy (in religion Sister Mary de Sales,) niece to the Rev. Mr. O’Donoghue,
Dingle ; and Miss Ellen Wolfe (in religion Sister Mary Aloysius), daughter of
Mr. Patrick Wolfe, Finuge. 

A procession of the holy sisterhood entered the sanctuary,
preceded by the cross-bearer, all having lighted candles, and chanting the
beautiful hymn, ” 0 Gloriosa  Virginum
,” which was intoned by the choir. Immediately after came the Right Rev.
Dr. Moriarty, Lord Bishop of the diocese, in full pontificals, attended by Rev.
Mr. Higgins, as his lordship’s chaplain. The other clergy present were—The Very
Rev. M. J. M’Donnell, P.P., V.F. Listowel; Rev. Garrett Roche, P.P., Lixnaw; Revs.
C Murphy and D. Lynch, Listowel ; T. Sheehy, Lixnaw J. O’Connor, P.P.,
Liselton.—Munster News.


Phil Coulter in Moyvane

The Phil Coulter fundraising concert in Moyvane was a great success. John Kelliher took the photographs.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén