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: Second Time Around

St. John’s, Volunteers in Second Time Around and some more turf shed theatre

St. John’s, The Square, Listowel

February 27 2018 was a freezing cold day but the light was perfect for a photo of this iconic Listowel building.


Spring, a Season of Renewal

On the 28/2/2017 Fr. Pat Moore posted on his blog.

Blessed are you, spring,bright season of life awakening.

You gladden our hearts with opening buds and returning leaves as you put on your robes of splendour.

For in your life no death can survive as you exchange places with winter.

You harbour no unforgiving spirit for broken tree limbs and frozen buds.

Season of hope and renewal.

Wordless poem about all within us that cannot die.

Each year you amaze us with the miracle of returning life.


Second Time Around

“The salt of the earth” my friends in Listowel’s St. Vincent de Paul shop


Turf Shed Theatre Remembered

Marie Shaw took a trip down memory lane when she read accounts of the entertainments staged by Listowel children in the 1950s. Here is what she wrote;

Smiling while reading the Vincent Carmody bit about turf theatre. Remembering when we were teenagers In Clieveragh and a bunch of us kids decided to stage a play in Louis Connell’s garage. We made up our own script from a story we read somewhere called “Christine’s Necklace”

Joseph Power, John Hartnett, Michael O’Connell and Michael Broderick built a stage and made some kind of seating. Artie Chute who worked for Louis O’Connell’s law office typed up some very impressive programs for us, we raided all our closets to come up with costumes and a stage curtain and were then ready to stage our play. Only one thing went wrong, the garage didn’t have a light so right before the scheduled performance we were left with a dark garage. Not to worry, Louis O’Connell came to the rescue by moving his car right in front of the garage and shining the lights directly at the stage. Many years later I wondered if he killed his car battery through his concern. We even had a cast party in O’Connell’s kitchen afterwards. Louis and Mrs. O’Connell had so much patience with us and indulged us so much. I will always remember them fondly.




Dilligently Rehearsing

Listowel Folk Group are busy practicing in their new location in St. Mary’s for their biggest gig to date. They will sing the mass as Gaeilge when St. Patrick’s Day mass from Listowel is broadcast on RTE at 11.00a.m. on the National Holiday.

A Visit to the Lartigue Experience, Volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul shop and Caddying in Ballybunion

My grandsons posed for me on the comfortable Tidy Town seat in Listowel Town Square

on July 17 2017


Showband Stars Named

Yesterday I posted Joe Harringtons photo of some of the greats of the show band era. I posted Joe’s caption as he had it on Facebook.

Joe Dolan, Dickie Rock, Brendan Boyer, Derek Dean, Brendan O’ Brien(Dixies), Butch Moore,  Tom Dunphy, Larry Cunningham. Can’t place the other 3. 

Then Tommy O’Flahety came to the rescue. He wrote the following

Hi Mary. Great stuff on your page. The three missing names on the Showband picture are Art Supple of the Victors, next to Joe Dolan, and Declan Ryan of The Arrivals in front of Butch Moore and Tony Keeling of The Graduates to his left.


Deserted Kerry homestead

Chris Grayson is fascinated by old deserted houses. He took these photos somewhere in Kerry. They evoke another era when the house was cosy and warm.


A Visit to the Lartigue Monorail Museum

My grandsons were with me on their Kerry holiday as I visited this superb Listowel visitor attraction. If you have visitors, old or young, to entertain, be sure to fit in a trip here. It is excellent, a piece of history and a unique experience to be enjoyed by everyone.

We visited on a Tuesday and that is my friend, Junior Griffin’s day for volunteering. He had read my blog in the morning and it had brought back memories of Cleeves toffees and the good old days of his childhood when handball, the sweet shop and the pictures were the centre of his world. I recorded a snippet of his tale.

Junior Griffin at The Lartigue


The name Lartigue is not that rare in the Bordeaux region of France. There is even a Chateau. The late Bert Griffin brought back two bottle of this vintage and donated them to the museum.

It’s not just tourists who take a trip. I met a past pupil of mine with her lovely young family at the door.

This family were not local. Junior is the kind of unofficial photographer.

The whole affair s very leisurely for us the visitors. It looked like hard work for the volunteers, especially John McAulliffe who was  turning the train on the turntable.

Junior took our photo. Killian hooted the horn.

Killian is on the bridge where one crosses to the other side of the train.

This is us with the locomotive in the background

These are all our travelling companions on July 18 2017


St. Vincent de Paul Volunteers

On our way home down William Street we met my good friends who volunteer in the Second Time Around shop preparing for their summer sale.

The ladies in pink are Kay Landy, Hannah Mulvihill, Eileen O’Sullivan and Catherine O’Driscoll


The Barefoot Caddy

Forget The Barefoot Contessa. Once upon a time Ballybunion had its own barefoot caddy.

Photo shared on Twitter by Ballybunion Golf Club.


Trees, Listowel Community Centre and Tennis, Melchert and Second Time Around


Catherine Moylan took these photos. The top one she took in The Garden of Europe and the one above in Gleannaginty, Castleisland.


Progress at the Community Centre

They have roofed the extension.


Listowel Tennis

In preparation for the new season the club had power washed the courts. They are looking very inviting.

The clubhouse could do with an upgrade


Melchert in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and a Reunion of Melchert workers

Photos; Mike Hannon on line


My Favourite Listowel Shop

I love charity shops. They have lots of attractions that are lacking in other shops. They always stock a variety of goods and you never know when you will come across a treasure.

Another huge advantage of these shops is the calibre of people who volunteer in them. I have met the kindest, most patient shop assistants in charity shops.

My all time favourite of these boutiques is Second Time Around, the St. Vincent de Paul outlet on Upper William Street, Listowel.

It opens for business on Thursdays and Fridays from 11.00 a.m. It stocks a great quality variety of clothes, books, jewellery and brick a brac. Stock moves quickly here. If you like it buy it. It probably won’t be here when you come back.

One of the attractions of Second Time Around is the lovely shop assistants. Here are just a few of the many friendly, helpful volunteers.

Cathrina, Eileen, Marie and Kay were volunteering on Thursday afternoon March 2 2017

Nancy and Hannah posed for me with Miriam, who was dropping off a donation on March 4 2017


Look who was on the Today show

Photo from the Rte website

Tar Abhaile, Knitwits and Confirmation 2013

Day Two of the Tar Abhaile project and things  got underway in earnest.

The very genial Evelyn O’Rourke (whose mother hails from Ballybunion) is the presenter of the Tar Abhaile programme. Here she is with me and Kay in The Seanchaí to film the introduction to the story. Since this programme is for TG4 this part is in Irish.

  Then I signed my contract for one cent. We headed back to Teampall Bán to meet Julie.

 This is Julie with Michael Lynch, the county archivist, who brought the original books with the minutes of the Board of Guardians’ meetings. Julie saw her ancestor’s name listed as one of the orphans chosen to be sent to Australia. She saw the minutes of meetings noting how shoes were bought for the girls and arrangements made for their transport to Dublin.

Kay dons white gloves to handle the precious old ledgers.

Jeanette and her daughter Peta posed with myself and Kay at the freezing cold Teampall Bán. Jeanette is descended from another of Bridget Ryan’s 12 children.

Here we are at lunch in The Listowel Arms before we head off to Co. Limerick for the next turn in the saga.


Saturday last was the kind of day when a lot of nice things happened to me. This is one of them.

We, Knitwits, were knitting and nattering as usual when this very stylish lady approached us. She said that she is looking for the person who knit the scarf and hat set she bought in Scribes in aid of the St. Vincent de Paul. I lay low even though I knew that what she was describing had been knitted by yours truly. I feared that she might have found a dropped stitch or the whole thing had unravelled or it had nearly choked someone.

Not at all. She was delighted with it and just wanted to know who had knit it. Happy days!

Better still, she remembered me from school. Emily Sugrue (for it was she)  and her lovely daughter, Alex posed for us.

I was thrilled to hear that Alex has taken up knitting and she is knitting herself a hairband.


Tina, Miriam and Eileen posed for me in The Second Time Around shop. Miriam had dropped in to make arrangements for the Gaelscoil’s fundraising sale in the Plaza on Friday. They will have bric a brac and books for sale and they will have teas, coffee and buns to eat or to take away.

One man’s bric a brac is another man’s intriguing artifact.


A dawn walk for suicide prevention will take place in Kerry next month.  The ‘Darkness into Light’ walk sees participants begin their walk in the dark and finish as the dawn breaks. It’s in aid of Pieta House which is to open a centre in Castleisland later this year.  The walk will take place in Muckross Park in Killarney on May 11th – beginning and ending at the Gleneagle Hotel.  The event was launched yesterday in Killarney by Joan Freeman, founder of the Pieta House organisation.


Some more of the Confirmation children’s handiwork


A workshop incorporating the person and ancestoral journey with Fr. Jim Cogley will take place form the 23rd-25th April in Ardfert Retreat Centre.


John Kelliher’s photo of the Killocrim Confirmation class

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén