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: Santa Page 1 of 2

Halloween, Jimmy Hickey story continued, Daisy Kearney honoured and Santa in Patrick, Street, Cork in October 2016

(photo; Chris Grayson)



This year Halloween has taken on a sinister aspect with these prank killer clowns popping up unexpectedly. I preferred it when we prayed for the salvation of the souls of our dead relatives at this time of year.


North Kerry, Cork and Limerick Dancers and Musicians at the Eistedfodd

It is often claimed that
Riverdance first introduced Irish dancing to a world audience. It did not. 

Jimmy Hickey
of Listowel had already made that introduction.

This is a postcard of the lovely village of Llangollen where the annual Eisteddfod takes place.

One year at the Eisteddfod,
while they were waiting to perform in the marquee, Jimmy and the troupe put on
a performance in the local square. The local people loved it and the prolonged
applause echoed all over the town square. These open air performances became a
feature of the Irish visitors schedule as did visits to old folks homes and
schools, reaching an audience who would not otherwise get to see the show. The
directors of the festival were very impressed with this.

The whole purpose of the Eistedfodd was to introduce the countries of the world to each other’s cultures and in this way to promote peace and understanding. When Jimmy and his dancers were there there were 42 other nations taking part. In 1993 BBC Wales decided to follow the preparations of three of the participating countries. Ireland was chosen.They sent a camera crew to North Kerry and they filmed the dancers preparing, the late Mary Doyle, Kathleen McCarthy and a group of women making the costumes, a cross roads dance and a feis in Ballybunion.

The camera crew filmed the dancers dancing at Finuge crossroads and then in the programme this footage came first and then cut to the same dancers dancing in a pub in Wales.

Jimmy and his dancers appeared several times on RTE in the Bibi Baskin show, on the Late Late Show with John B. Keane and in numerous foreign television channels.

.Jimmy Hickey and his dancers at festivals and on TV


Daisy Kearney

The special guest at this year’s Gary MacMahon Singing Festival was storyteller Daisy Kearney.

Daisy Kearney tells a story


Santa Has Landed

Where else but the real capital of Ireland, Cork. I just hit Pana in time to see his arrival at Brown Thomas for his photo shoot.

This lanky fellow who could be straight out of Dickens was offering us all mince pies.

Christmas 2015 and some Kerry diaspora scattered across the globe

Christmas Day Swim in Ballybunion 2015

(photo; Ballybunion Prints)

 Grace Flahive and her father, Mike Flahive. Christmas Day 2015 was Grace’s 24th Christmas Day swim for Ballybunion Sea & Cliff  Rescue and Mike’s 30th.


Theresa Flavin was in Listowel for the holidays


The Listowel Diaspora in Oz

The following greeting came from Brian Grant in Australia;

“Merry Xmas from the descendants of Ellen Wilson of Listowel who came to Australia on the Thomas Arbuthnot (Earl Grey scheme) and John Brick of Listowel who came by here by other means. They married on the Victorian Goldfields.

35 degree Celsius here on Xmas day in Mitcham in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne.

My Grandson Archer, Daughter Cassie, Me, Son Chris, Daughter Madeline and Son Kieran with youngest Son Lachlan absent.” 


An Irish Retirement in Springfield, Massachussetts

They are the stereotypical children of Irish emigrants to the U.S.  Michael Carney and Brendan and his sister, Mary O’Halloran are retiring from the police force after 32 years service.

Michael Carney is the son of the last native of the Blasket Islands to pass away. Michael Carney, senior who died last year, was born on the island in 1920 and retained a lifelong grá for An Blascaod Mhór. It was the tragic death of his younger brother without priest or doctor to attend him that was the final straw that precipitated the evacuation of the remote and inhospitable island where generations had eked out a meagre living.

Michael senior left the island and went first to Dublin and from there to Springfield in Massachussetts where he became a part of the very strong Irish diaspora, many with west Kerry roots. 

Brendan and Mary O’Halloran

Michael Carney


Do you know the muffin man?

This photograph from the internet is of a muffin man in London in the 1920s. I don’t know if he lived around the corner .


Santa in Listowel in the 1950s

Noel Roche posted this photo on his Facebook page. Noel is on the right. He was visiting Santa (who is wearing a mask) in Listowel in 1950s. Noel thinks that the other boy’s name is Barry O’Brien from Market Street.

Windows, Yeats and Santa and Mrs. Claus in The Seanchaí

The Sacred and the Secular on The New Kingdom Windows 2014

My nomination for best Listowel Christmas window goes to The New Kingdom in Church St.


A Reader spotted outside Woulfe’s Bookshop


Rare photo of W.B. Yeats and his wife Georgia

(photo; The Wild Geese on Twitter)


Photo; Irish Historical Pictures

A very old photo of St. Michael’s College, Listowel


Those were the Days!

These lovely children are now all grown up and will kill me for posting this. Let’s just say they are, David, Talon, Evonne, Shane and Darren and it’s 2004.


Meanwhile in Killarney….


Santa in the Seanchaí Sunday Dec 14 2014

I met Santa in The Seanchaí

The Brosnan family had been very good all year too.

Santa, a sister in law of Lord Listowel up before the beak and some Christmas goodies

This is Santa’s Listowel home for 2013.

Meanwhile over on the other side of town a Teddy is typing his letter to Santa. He left it a bit late but his friends in Lawlers might help him.


Vincent Carmody shared his Christmas Santa memories in Craftshop na Méar on Monday last.


Jer. Kennelly found this interesting snippet when trawling through old newspapers.

Washington Herald August 10 1913


Sister-in-law of Earl of Listowel Taxed $5 for Menace to Postman. 

London. Aug 9  1913. The Hon. Mrs Hough Hare, a sister-in-law of the Earl of

Listowel. living at Forest House, Binfield near Windsor, was fined $5 at the

Brentford Police Court recently for threatening to shoot a postman named Henry Pizzey under extraordinary circumstances. 

Mr. H C. Duckworth, who prosecuted, said that Mrs. Hare’s motor car knocked an old woman down in Brentford High Street and seriously injured her.  “Pizzey gave assistance,” he continued and when the old woman was on the point of collapsing from loss of blood, he suggested that Mrs. Hare should provide some stimulant for the woman and take her to the Cottage Hospital in her car.

 “Mrs Hare ignored the request for a stimulant, but after some demur consented to allow the woman to be taken to the hospital if she sat next the chauffeur. There was a few minutes delay in getting the woman admitted to the hospital.  Mrs Hare said ‘Get that old woman off my car. Look at the blood on the car. I have some shopping to do, and I have also to go to a luncheon.’

 ‘Pardon me Madame.'” Pizzey replied, ‘”this woman s life is a great deal more important than our luncheon. ”  Mrs. Hare then became very excited and is alleged to have said: “You are a low-down, vulgar fellow to speak to me like that.  I am a lady and I have my revolver here, and will shoot you like a dog.

‘ Did you see the revolver?” asked the chairman. 

“No. replied Pizzey.  

“What I said was that if I were a man I would shoot you for insulting me, “said Mrs Hare. 

Her chauffeur and husband confirmed her story, and said they did not hear her use the language quoted.

There was no pistol In the car.  

“Under no circumstances should you have acted as you did.” said the chairman to Mrs Hare in fining her £5 and costs.

 Leave to appeal was granted


 We have had great weather for hunting lately. Timothy John MacSweeney took this photo of the Duhallows last week.


Some of the lovely stock in Craftshop na Méar


Duagh Community Centre nearing completion Dec. 2013

Santa in Knockanure in the 1980s

Thirty years ago in Knockanure…


In Navan on Sunday last

Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins notch up another win.


Jer found this Listowel born priest in Belsen

Fr. Michael Morrison describing Belsen Concentration Camp, 11 May 1945

Fr. Michael Morrision, SJ 185228 (born. 5 October 1908, Listowel, county Kerry  died 7 April 1973, Dublin).

Born in Listowel, Michael Morrison grew up in Ballysimon, Limerick where he attended C.B.S, Sexton Street before finishing his schooling at Mungret College. He entered the Jesuits in 1925.

Series of letters from Fr. Michael Morrision, SJ to Fr. John MacMahon, Irish Jesuit Provincial, April – May 1945, document his involvement in the liberation of Belsen concentration camp and the trauma witnessed there. Fr. Morrison was the first priest to enter the camp.

Service Record: 
1941: September: 2/5th Battalion, The Welch Regiment: Sussex, Dorset
1942: October: Middle East Forces (M.E.F.), location unknown
November: Convalescent Depot, location unknown
1943: September: No. 13 General Hospital, M.E.F. (until April)
1944: August: 2/8 Lancashire Fusiliers: Derry, Northern Ireland
December: 1/4th Battalion, The South Lancashire Regiment: Castlewellan, Co. Down
1945: April: 32 (Br.) Casualty Clearing Station, [British Liberation Army?] (B.L.A.): Belsen Concentration Camp
May: 121 (Br.) General Hospital, B.L.A.
[November]: 601 Regiment, R.A., British Army of the Rhine (B.A.O.R.)
1946: February: 113 L.A.A. Regiment, R.A., B.A.O.R.

Letters to the Provincial from Michael Morrison, S.J. include: written while serving as a chaplain with 2/5th Bn. Welch Regiment in Sussex; M.E.F. (in a Convalescent Depot, unknown location); No. 13 General Hospital, M.E.F.; 2/8 Lancashire Fusiliers in Derry; 1/4th The South Lancashire Regiment in Castlewellan, Co. Down; 32 (Br.) Casualty Clearing Station, B.L.A. ; 121 (Br.) General Hospital, B.L.A.; 601 Regiment, Royal Artillery, B.A.O.R. and 113 Light Anti-Aircraft, R.A., B.A.O.R..

Link to BBC article:



Jim Moloney, from Listowel and now living in Arizona sent us this link to WW2 planes at a veterans’ display near his home. Thank you Jim.


Above is the pledge of the Vigilence Committee Dublin 1912.

I have just learned, to my horror, that our young people  have a modern day vigilance committee. They engage in what is now known as “slut shaming”

“Slut shaming (also hyphenated, as slut-shaming) is defined as the act of making someone, usually a woman, feel guilty or inferior, for engaging in certain sexual behaviors that violate traditional gender expectations. These include using sex as a form of power or control and depending on culture, having a large number of sex partners, having sexual relations outside marriage, having casual sexual relations, or acting or dressing in a way that is deemed excessively sexual. This is often done by name calling (often using the word “slut” itself) as well as covert shaming.”  (Wikipaedia definition)

Apparently today’s young people engage in this activity on Facebook via nasty comments on young girl’s photographs.  Be warned!


Jer. sent me a bit more on St. Ita

Íte ingen Chinn Fhalad (d. 570/577), also known as Ita, Ida or Ides, was an early Irish nun and patron saint of Killeedy (Cluain Credhail). Her feast day is 15 January.

Ida, called the “Brigid of Munster”, was born in the present County Waterford. She became a nun, settling down at Cluain Credhail, a place-name that has ever since been known as Killeedy – Cill Íde, the church of Ita in west Limerick.

There, she was the head of a community of women. That group seems to have had a school for little boys where they were taught “Faith in God with purity of heart; simplicity of life with religion; generosity with love”. Her pupils are said to have included Saint Brendan.

Her legend places a great deal of emphasis on her austerity, as told by St. Cuimin of County Down, and numerous miracles are recorded of her. She was said to be the source of an Irish lullaby for the infant Jesus. She was also endowed with the gift of prophecy and was held in great veneration by a large number of contemporary saints, men as well as women. When she felt her end approaching she sent for her community of nuns, and invoked the blessing of heaven on the clergy and laity of the district around Kileedy.

Not alone was St. Ita a saint, but she was the foster-mother of many saints, including St. Brendan the Navigator, St. Pulcherius (Mochoemog) and Cummian.

At the request of Bishop Butler of Limerick, Pope Pius IX granted a special Office and Mass for the feast of St. Ita, for 15th January. Kilmeedy (In Irish – Cill m’Ide, or church of my Ita) has links with the saint as well – having first set up a church in Kilmeedy before the one in Killeedy.

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