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: Seán O’Connell

St. Patrick’s Day 2014, St. Patrick’s Toledo and Sr. Brendan O’Connell

Billy Keane and Mayor of Listowel, Jimmy Moloney at the official start of the 2014 Listowel St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Liam Brennan as St. Patrick

Seán Moriarty was a marshall and Noel Kennelly attended the parade with his family.

One of the treats for us who watched the parade in the Square was Jimmy Hickey’s dancing display;

(more photos tomorrow)


It never ceases to amaze me how the ripples from some little story I post resonate around the world and evoke a response in people far away from Listowel who still harbour an affection for our little town.

Two such responses came to me by email this week:

“Good morning Mary.  Wising you a happy St. Patrick’s.

Your photos of the tiles at St. Mary’s brought to mind our Historic Church of St. Patrick here at Toledo.  Here are photos of the tiles.  I am sure the Irish in Toledo made many sacrifices to have this church built.  There is a complete history in  The Church is well loved.”

This came all the way from Toledo, Ohio from Kathy Taylor and this is the St. Patrick’s church she refers to;

Kathy took the following photos of some of the tiles in the church featuring shamrocks, a testament to the Irish in the congregation who contributed to the rebuilding of the church.

 Would you believe that St. Patrick’s in Toledo was officially dedicated in 1901 by Archbishop Ireland?  I kid you not.


The second email came in response to this photo of Storm Darwin damage in St. Michael’s graveyard, Listowel.


Hi from NZ,

Your recent blog post shows a picture of storm damage done to the burial plot of the Presentation Sister’s grave. The fifth name on the marker, the one with the crack right through it, Sister Brendan O’Connell belongs to my great great grandfather’s younger sister Anna O’Connell who died 4 November, 1904.

Taken from Kerry Sentinel Nov. 12th 1904.

Sr. Mary Brendan O’Connell a native of Ballybunion died at the Presentation Convent Listowel. Her brother Capt. Chevalier Michael O’Connell had command position in the Papal Army and her other brother Fr. James Hennessy O’Connell a priest in the Melbourne Diocese. Cousins in Ireland:

•Mr T Kissane, Lacca.

•M Byrnes, Inch.

•Mr and Mrs Maurice Keane, Main Street, Listowel.

•J. O’Connor, Coolkeragh.

•Mr and Mrs W. Keane, Ballygrennan.

•Mrs O’Connor, Lisselton.

•Miss Keane, Lisselton.

•Maria Kissane, Lacca.

•Mrs O’Shea, Tullamore.

•P. Grady, Glouria, Lisselton.

•Mrs Murphy, Cool, Ballylongford.

•Miss Fitzgerald, Greenville, Listowel.

•Mrs Cremins nee Hennessy, Glin.

•Mr E. Hennessy, Lahard.

It would be nice to know that it will be fully restored and who will have to foot the bill as I would like to make a small contribution if possible.

Sister Brendan’s family is the subject of the Kiwi O’Connell website at

Sean O’Connell


New Zealand


Showband Days

Yesterday was all about Hennesseys. You read about the three people who had been sponsored and the mystery of how only two arrived in Australia. Thank you, Sean O’Connell, for solving the riddle.

Apparently Johanna “declined to emigrate” and a £2 penalty had to be paid.

Now we have a story.

Why did Johanna stay behind?

What became of her?

Are her descendants still living on North Kerry?

I hope somebody can answer those questions for us.

You can read about Sean’s own Hennesseys here

Today I have a trip down memory lane for some of my older readers.

This is the Bunny Dalton band featuring the late Bunny Dalton, his two sons and Teddy Moloney. This official band photo was taken by the river Feale. Many is the Listowel person who danced to the music of this quartet.  Memories, memories!

This is the same Bunny Dalton with some Charles St. neighbours. Any help with names or an account of the occasion would be appreciated.

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