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

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Halloween, a New Shop and Eamon Kelly’s Suit

Halloween 2021 at Scoil Realta na Maidine, Listowel


Halloween, Irish or American Style

I loved this column in Monday’s Irish Examiner. Enjoy!


Sheeple is a derogatory term to describe people who are docile and easily led. It is often used by people who oppose mandatory vaccine certs or any other government imposed restrictions that they disagree with.

“Do your own research” is a slogan used by people who are anti vaccine. Basically they are saying distrust the science and find like minded people on the internet.


Stylish New Shop on Market Street

Rose and Crowm, Market Street, Listowel


This poem will take you back to the bad old days.


Eamon Kelly, Seanchaí

Some of us who were lucky enough to hear and enjoy The Seanchaí in our youth. Mattie Lennon tells us something about the man who was the consummate Irish storyteller

Brendan O’Shea (O’Sheas Tailoring, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin) told me the following story:

At the end of September 2001, Eamon Kelly brought a suit in to Brendan for some alterations. The suit was fifteen years old. Prior to one of his trips to America, Eamon had it made by another Dublin tailor who left the jacket minus an inside pocket and the trousers without belt-loops or a back-pocket. Now, Eamon, the perfectionist, asked his fellow-Kerryman to rectify the sartorial omissions, which he did.

When Eamon died on 24th October 2001, he had left detailed instructions with his wife, Maura, about the funeral arrangements and which suit he wanted to be laid out in. Yes, you’ve guessed it!

Did the man who wrote so lovingly of Con-the-tailor, who made his first Communion suit, and who had portrayed an unforgettable tailor in “The Tailor and Ansty” want to somehow, bring the work of a Kerry tailor out of this world with him? I don’t know. And neither does Brendan O’Shea.

As his coffin left the church, the Congregation gave a round of applause. The show was over and this time there was no encore. The final curtain had fallen on a one-man show, performed by a man of many parts. Actor, storyteller and writer, loving husband, devoted father and great Kerryman.

Shortly before his death, while lecturing North American Literature and Theatre students in the art of storytelling, he said: “My journeying is over. If the humour takes me, I may appear in some Alhambra, where angels with folded wings will sit in the stalls, applaud politely and maybe come round after and say;’ that was great’ “.

As he walked into that great Rambling House in the sky, can’t you imagine the opening line?: “Ye’re glad I came”.


Savannah McCarthy, International defender

Photo; The WLN Show
Photo: The WLN Show

Savannah McCarthy of Listowel is establishing herself as a regular in the starting XI for the Irish Ladies Football team.


A Fact

The Lion King or The Lion Queen

In the time between Disney’s 1994 version of The Lion King and its 2019 remake the world’s population of lions had halved.

Zoologist, Craig Parker, of the lion research centre at the University of Minnesota told National Geographic that lion societies are matrilineal. The lionesses rule the pride while the males come and go. It would have been Sarabi who hand over her dominion to Nala, Simba’s mate.


Spring Cleaning, Pres. Listowel, Savannah McCarthy and some interesting Street Names

Storm Imogen in Ballybunion Feb. 8 2016

Photo: Mike Enright


Spring Cleaning

When I saw Joan and Isobel  hard at work I was reminded of the annual ritual of Spring cleaning. I dont think people confine their cleaning to any season nowadays. In the days before vacuum cleaners and tumble dryers we did our big clean up in Spring. It was damp enough to keep down dust and windy enough to dry big items like blankets.


Update from the Convent

I took another trip to Greenville to see if anything was going on. Things looked pretty much the same. It was Monday February 8 2016 and work was at a standstill…probably due to storm Imogen.

The railing between the convent and the schools is removed to allow access for diggers and other heavy machinery.

 A big trench is dug the length of the front lawn.


Listowel’s Savannah McCarthy Gets a  Big Break

This is what they say about our own Listowel soccer ace on the Glasgow City website:

City are delighted to announce the signing of Republic of Ireland international
Savannah McCarthy from Galway WFC.

The 18
year old central defender and current Republic of Ireland Under 19 Captain,
recently progressed into the senior Ireland set up, making the last two A squad
international call-ups versus Spain in Euro qualifying and most recently for
the double header against the world champions, USA. McCarthy will also be
heading to the Cyprus Cup with the Ireland A squad at the start of March. 

on signing for City, McCarthy said, “I would like to thank Glasgow for giving
me the opportunity to follow my dreams in becoming a professional footballer.
I’m also really looking forward to teaming up with my Ireland team mates Denise
O’Sullivan, Ruesha Littlejohn and Claire Shine and can’t wait to meet the rest
of the squad. I’m excited to be part of such a successful team and I hope that
I can help Glasgow continue that success this coming season.”

Glasgow City
Head Coach Scott Booth was not afraid to show his content and patience in
capturing the highly rated youngster. He said, “We are delighted to finally be
able to sign Savannah. She’s a player that has been on our radar for a number
of months. Sav has already proven herself in Ireland and recently fought her
way into full national team contention.

“She’s still a teenager but has the
potential to be a key player for Glasgow City over the next few years. In the
short term she offers us strength in depth along our back line. I am really
looking forward to working with her.”

City fans will get to see Savannah and
the rest of the Glasgow City team in action against Sunderland for the team’s
pre-season challenge match at the Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie, on Sunday 14th
February, 2.30pm. Entry is £5 adults and children go FREE.


When is William Street not William St.?

A Listowel story from Vincent Carmody

The street names, Upper and Lower
William Street, were named in the mid 1800’s by Lord Listowel. Prior to this
the whole street was known as Pound Lane, due to the location of an animal
pound, located roughly above where the present day Mermaids Complex is.

After the renaming, many of the
residents of the upper part of the street continued to refer to their part as
Pound Lane. They lovingly, would have been known as ‘Poundlaners’. This then
became a tradition.

In the 1920’s the nationally
minded denizens of both upper and lower William Street, not to be outdone by
those in Church Street ( Ashe Street ) and Main Street (Rahilly Square),
decided, again without a plebiscite, to re -name their own streets. So, to
public acclaim, Lower William Street was named Pearse Street, and the upper
part, Patrick Street.

However, again due to political
correctness, those names were never officially sanctioned, so as in the case of
O’Rahilly Square these names are only part of our oral tradition.  We have  proof that names existed.
 Look at the billheads  pictured above.

time ago I was asked, ” who are Poundlaners? “, I answered, ”
as a true Cockney is one born within the hearing range of the Bow Bells, a true
Poundlaner is one born within sight of St. Patrick’s Hall. !!

How many know that the Small
Square (Main Street) was renamed, and the name used in the 1920’s and 30’s’ . However, due to political
correctness and the fact that no plebiscite had taken place, the new name faded
into oblivion and the old name was restored. The name was ‘O’Rahilly Square’ and we have


Goodbye, Good Luck and Thanks for the Memories

Paul O’Connell, one of the greatest rugby players of our time is forced through injury to retire from the game he loves.

“Few players get to touch the mantle of greatness. Fewer still get the wear it. Paul O’Connell made it his own.”


Ben and Kathleen Naylor have resumed transcribing the Gleasure letters.

Gleasure Letters

Christmas Comes to Listowel and Clonmel and Limerick and Cork……

Santa Parade in Listowel Sunday December 7 2014


Scoil Realta na Maidine carol singing In The Square December 5 2014


Community Centre Fundraising Spinathon December 5 2014


Memories, memories

Two people wrote to me to give me the names of the people in this photograph.

Beta O’Brien names them as: “Dr Wm Enright (Dentist) Mr Maloney, his Dental mechanic Mrs Enright and daughter Teresa (Dentist) father of Todd( Dentist)”

Liam Enright, formerly of Cahirdown wrote:

In the photo were my grandfather William B., Jim “the Chum” Moloney, my grandmother Sheila, and my aunt, Teresa.


Boats at Beal 1964

Liam Enright wrote;

  I found the photo of the blessing of the boats very interesting . On the left of the photo there is a wheeled vehicle. This is a “DUKW”.  It was a type of amphibious troop landing vehicle that was used in large numbers in WW2. They were US made. This one could well have seen action in Normandy or Anzio or some other landing site. I remember seeing that DUKW in  Ballybunion. There was great excitement on the men’s beach one day when it drove down the road into the beach and entered the water. I must be getting old because I often asked people if they remember it around Ballybunion and not too many do. It was very interesting to see a photo of it. …

Anyone know anything about this vehicle?


Enjoying a Break

My good friends, Anne and Liam Dillon enjoying a weekend break in Cork recently.


A Corner of Listowel that is forever Chinese

McKenna’s Does Christmas


Parish Bazaar 2014

(photo; Denis Carroll)


Nice Christmas Story from Clonmel

(photo and story ;Morning Ireland)

Clonmel, like many Irish towns has suffered a hemorrhage of emigration in recent years. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in local teams where the loss of so many young people often leaves once strong clubs unable to field a team.

Clonmel have hit on an innovative fun event for St. Stephen’s Day. It’s called Home to Hurl and eighteen young men are returning from Australia, the U.S., Britain and Saudi Arabia to take on the team they left behind.

The photo above shows their mammies eagerly awaiting the return of the hurlers.


On Your Bike, Limerick


Cork Knits for Simon

(photo: Vibes and Scribes)

Vibes and Scribes is a great Cork knitting and craft supplies shop. This is the scene in the shop this week where many women are knitting caps, socks, gloves and other woolies for rough sleepers and people in the Simon Community hostel.


The late Jackie Healy Rae

This great photo of the late jackie Healy Rae and supporters was taken by MacMonagle Photographers in Killarney in 2007.


Savannah McCarthy (of Listowel): the rock on which Irish success is being built

Great writeup in yesterday’s  (Dec 8 2014) Irish Times

Garden of Europe and some Listowel changes

Garden of Europe

The Garden of Europe is a great place for a walk with the visitors.

These trees behind the holocaust memorial have grown big and tall and now completely enclose the garden. There is also a new walkway behind these trees which the boys loved to explore.

One of the joys of visiting here is the chance to see birds and other wildlife. Birdsong is a constant soundtrack accompanying your every step.

The boys were fascinated by the oldest plant in the garden.

 Bust of Schiller.



What has happened to this tree in the park? It is completely bare.


That was then;   this is now


Savannah McCarthy receiving her Radio Kerry Sports star of the month award sponsored by Radleys in Tralee  alongside her Dad Stephen and Weeshie Fogarty.                            (from Listowel Celtic)


Emmetts ladies

Listowel Emmetts Ladies Football have a new Facebook page.


History Lesson

As se commemorate the beginning of WW1 let us never forget that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are destined to repeat them.

They went with songs to the battle, they were

Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and

They were staunch to the end against odds

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left
grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades

They sit no more at familiar tables of home;

They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;

They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes

Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from

To the innermost heart of their own land they
are known

As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are

Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;

As the stars that are starry in the time of our

To the end, to the end, they remain.

From For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon

Derrynane, loom band bracelets, Rory McIlroy and a mural in Athea

Tarbert goes west

When I arrived for my break in The Derrynane Hotel I was surprised to see so many Tarbert people in the hotel lobby. It transpired that Joan Murphy was with a Tarbert group on a historical tour of the peninsula when they called in to meet their old friends, David and Mary O’Connor in the Derrynane Hotel before going home.

The hotel is a lovely family run, family friendly retreat in an absolutely beautiful corner of this lovely county.

The view from my hotel room window. The seagull came every morning.

Food miles are kept to a minimum here. This is the hotel’s herb garden. 

The O’Connors believe in supporting local producers and everywhere you looked in the hotel, there were local crafts on display and in use.


Derrynane Fairy Trail

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a big fan of the fairy folk and this summer, in the company of my lovely grandchildren, I have enjoyed many fairy related experiences. 

Derrynane is the best.

The woods are dense and the path surrounded by lush greenery. A great habitat for fairies.

The little fairy houses are beautifully constructed and often concealed in the trees. Looking for them was part of the fun.

This is the fairy restroom, a kind of public toilet for fairies who might find themselves short taken while out and about in the woods.

There is a ruined tower in the wood. Nearby a fairy architect has designed a replica for his fairy client.

I have given you just a taste of this magical place. The Fairy trail is in the woods beside Derrynane House. When you are finished visiting the fairies, you can have tea in the tearooms and visit Daniel O’Connell’s chariot. Derrynane beach is also within walking distance so this is an ideal place for a day out with small ones. 


Loom Banding; Summer 2014’s craze

Three year old Cora gets to grips with her loom.

 So many bands, so little time!

You can also make loom bracelets on your fingers.


Garvey’s Super Valu are having a loom banding day on July 25th next with demonstrations and competitions galore.

By the way I could swear that I noticed that Rory McIlroy wore a band bracelet throughout the Open and his mother was wearing one on Sunday. Rory’s Sunday one matched that fashion mistake of  a grey and pink get up that Nike kitted him out in.


Savannah McCarthy

(Photo from Listowel Celtic’s  page)

Savannah and the Ladies U19 Football team will play their semi final in the European Championship on Thursday July 24 2014.


Homeward Bound

Photo: Athea Tidy Towns

Lovely study of  man and  horse. I love the way the absolute trust between man and beast is conveyed…reins loose and hand in pocket, both in working mode yet totally relaxed…perfect harmony  and understanding.

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