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: Sheahans

Relihan’s pub, Horses and a Holocaust Poem

Skerries by Éamon ÓMurchú


Home on the Range

On my recent trip home Mr. Jiggs and Tana came for a chat.


Upper William Street

I posted this photo of Sheahan’s on Facebook and it prompted Gerard Leahy to share the below photo of his grandmother, Mary Ann Relihan at the door of her pub which used to be next door to Sheahan’s.

This is what Gerard said “I don’t have any photos of the inside but great memories. The concrete floor, the “grocery ” part of the shop in front, dry goods: sugar, tobacco, snuff, flour etc. and the little pub counter next to it and the dining room and kitchen further back. Outhouses in the back and the gate to the backway close to the creamery.

My grandmother was a butter maker at the creamery for years and her husband Jack was the creamery manager in Coolard, it got burned down. Jack went to America and spent most of his adult life in NY. He used to come back on visits. Mrs. Quirke would send a note up to Mary Ann to say he was back. He would stay there until invited up to Pound Lane !!!

Donie Finnucane bought the place around 1976-77 after she passed.


Wild Flowers on the Pitch and Putt Course

I think this is a nice idea. They have planted wild flowers around the base of the trees. Another lovely feature of the beautiful course.


Lest we Forget

Auschwitz (Sixty Years On)

by John McGrath


Even the word is bitter

in this godless place.

No happy endings here,

only the ghosts of

poets, peasants,

doctors, lawyers,

fur-coated frauleins;

their single crime,


Children plucked from mothers,

snuffed like kittens in a sack.

Brick and barbed wire

mock survival for a few,

screams in striped pyjamas

dying time on time

before the works of death

are stilled forever.

Silence then

and silence now.

After the speeches

and the flickering candles,

after the ashes of a million dead

are scattered in the snow.

Old women, old men,

hold each other close,

look for answers

in each other’s eyes,

find only



A Song, a Story and a Few Shops

Photo; Chris Grayson somewhere in Cork


From the Pres. Scrapbook

Winner of An Post writing competition


Colourful Listowel

Some Listowel traders have chosen really strong bright colours for their recently painted shopfronts.

This is Betty McGrath’s Listowel Florist on Courthouse Road

Lizzy’s Little Kitchen on Church Street

Sheahan’s Grocery on Upper William Street

Daisy Boo Barista on Church Street


One Hundred Years Ago

As it appears from Duagh School in the schools folklore collection:

The following is a version of a song composed by Timothy Mc Govern in the year 1922, lamenting our betrayal by Mulcahy, Griffith and Collins and also the murder of Jerry Leary and Johnny Linnane by the Black – and – Tans.

The Banks of the Feale


Through the green hills of Kerry my ballads are ringing,

Sinn Féin is my motto and my land “Gránuaile”

The lads and fair lassies my songs will be singing

When I’m laid down to rest on the banks of the Feale.


When I think of the tyrants

the landlords and grabbers

My heart it feels cold and my courage runs down.

Kerry stood first in the red gap of danger

While Murphy encamped on the banks of the Laune.


When Mulcahy and Griffith and Collins betrayed us 

And battered the four courts be 

sure ’twas no fun.

The sassenachs helped them with no one to aid us.

While sharp rang the crack of an Englishman’s gun.


Brave Jerry Leary and Linnane 

from North Kerry

And Buckley, that hero of fame and renown,

With bombs and grenades they were killed in a hurry

While Murphy encamped on the banks of the Laune.


Sad was my heart at the death  of brave Rory

And Buckley and Traynor and Foley likewise

With bombs and grenades we invaded their stronghold,

Our boys were victorious in country and town.


Though we laid down our arms we did not surrender

We’re ready to die for old Ireland again

The gallant Republic has men to defend it

Regardless of prison torture and pain.


Here’s to the man who stood first in the ambush

God bless those brave men whom

the traitors shot down

My curse to the traitors who fought for the strangers

While Murphy encamped on the banks of the Laune.


Éamonn Ó Corradáin


Éamonn Ó Corradáin




Ploughing the Cows Lawn

The man on the right of this picture is the Thomas J. Murphy, victualler who arrived home to Listowel 100 years ago, having spent none months in Ballykinlar Internment Camp. Thomas was known locally as The Colonel.

The picture was sent to us by Tomas’ grandson, Paul Murphy. Paul would love to know who the other men are or what was the occasion of the photograph. Can you help him?


Artistic Turf Stack, Christmastime 1957, Glin 1849, a Covid Poem and some of Listowel’s old stock

Kennedy Home in May 2020


In Dirrha Bog,  May 2020

Photo; Con Lane on The is Kerry


Christmas 1957 in Sheahan’s of William Street

Noreen Keane Brennan shared the photo on Facebook and she has named the people too.

Taken Christmas 1957, Ned Faley, Jack Hurley, Jer Reidy, Johnny Callaghan,, Mary Moore, Peter Moloney, Timmy Canty, Anna Sheahan, Ned Brouder, Jimmy Clancy, Tom Carmody.


Melancholy Event—Three Lives Lost. — Glin, Nov. 12.1849

A circumstance occurred here this morning, which caused the utmost horror and consternation. A pensioner, named Fitzgerald, who buried his wife on yesterday, retired to rest on last night with his two sons, one aged 20, and the other 15. The house in which they slept was one of those wretched hovels which abound in the environs of most small towns in this country, and adjoining it was a house, which fortunately was untenanted. During the night, the unoccupied house, owing to the heavy rain, fell in, breaking in the gable of that in, which old Fitzgerald and his sons slept. The noise of the fall was so trifling that nothing was known of the tragic event until daylight when some passers-by noticed the ruin. A crowd immediately assembled and removed the rubbish, when melancholy to relate, the old man and both sons were found dead, and presenting a most frightful apnearance. Dr. Enright was at once sent for, and having inspected the bodies, confirmed the melancholy rumour, and pronounced their lives extinct. On examining the premise its

was ascertained they had slept under a loft, which was filled with turf and bog wood which falling upon them, crushed them to death, and left a melancholy proof that in the midst of life we are in death. Their bodies were brought outside the ruin, and excited much sympathy for their helpless fate.

(Source: Cathleen Mulvihill – Glin Historical Society)


A Covid Poem from the Sunday Independent


Time Well Spent in Lockdown

Mairead Sharry enjoyed gardening while in lockdown. She also made two stylish outfits. She was wearing one of them when I met her on Upper William Street.

Listowel Rebranding, Christmas Shop and Sitting on Window Sills

Lots of Rebranding Going on

Rebranding is not about changes of ownership. It’s more a change of ethos and business model. Listowel is seeing a fair share of this lately. It started with Stacks changing to Number 21 and on Saturday night, Oct 10 2015 the last pint was pulled in Sheahans of Upper William Street.

Listowel Community College has two new brands, Coláiste na Ríochta and North Kerry College.

What we knew as Esso is now Topaz.


This is not an ad. for Listowel Garden Centre. If, like me, you love this stuff you need travel no further than Listowel.


Nobody sits on the window sills anymore

Listowel people remember a time when ladies used to sit on the window sills outside their houses in the evening time and chat. The day’s work done, the children in bed, the women took a welcome breather and availed of a chance to catch up with the news in the neighbourhood. People moved from one window to another but nobody left their perch for too long in case a crying child or a baking cake needed their attention. There were no televisions and no phones, mobile or otherwise, to bother them. The only sounds above the chatter were the happy sounds of children’s games or the chirping of the caged birds that hung outside the doors…….Happy days!


Saturday Night’s Entertainment Sorted

Daniel may be out, but our own Daniels and Kristinas are all set and rearing to go on Saturday night, October 24 2015

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