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Tag: Sive Walk

Sive Walk, River Feale, Listowel Cinema and Some Old Summer Camp Photos

Freezers Corner


Sive Walk

The Sive Walk has been a godsend during lockdown, with many Listowel people discovering it for the first time. It is beautifully maintained by Jim Beasley who lives nearby and photographed by Denis Carroll who has fought hard for its retention.

All photos by Denis Carroll


Phase 2 Plus

We have been catapulted unexpectedly into an accelerated opening up of our economy. Our 5 phase strategy is now a four phase one and lots of businesses are opening today or tomorrow. In preparation Listowel streets have been deep cleaned and shopkeepers have busy over the weekend getting ready for the new normal.


River Feale in the very dry summer of 2020

There is much luxuriant vegetation growing where the river used to be.


Classic Cinema in June 2020

In one of those little ironies that sometimes occur, the last film advertised before the shutdown was No Time to Die.


Pierse and Fitzgibbon

Housed in the same building as the solicitors is HQ Listowel.

I looked it up for you so I would have it right;

“HQ Listowel follows on from the success of HQ Tralee, one of Ireland’s leading regional coworking spaces for productive, creative and collaborative people. For sole-traders, remote workers and growing businesses: HQ Listowel is a place to meet and work alongside other like-minded people.”

Sounds like just the ticket for these remote working times.

HQ is accessed by a door in the lane behind Market Street.


Summer Camps in the 1980s

Carmel Sweeney Gornall was a camp leader at summer camps back in the day. She has shared two photos with us.

1988 Summer camp at Listowel Community Centre



A Sally Switch and A Besom

I had the following emails from Nicholas  Leonard apropos of old cures.

Mary, I forgot one vital, if  imaginary, but much threatened item in my mother’s ‘medicine cabinet’ – the sally switch! this was for corrective, disciplinary ‘medicine.’ I can’t remember there ever being a sally switch in the house, although one would have been needed at times! My Grandmother always had besoms in her kitchen- these were very handy for brushing the floor or shoo-ing a hen that perched on her half-door. Or, maybe, as part of the ‘corrective medicine’ cabinet! Many people around Listowel will know well what a besom is. Perhaps birch besoms are still made and used around Listowel as there are boglands in the area. It would be great to hear from  someone who made and used besoms.  In any case, Besom, is a fascinating word with a varied meanings- from brooms, to witches, to a Scottish word for – to be brief – an ‘unworthy woman.’  It is said that the name of the household broom originated  from the shrub Genista, also called broom, which was used to make besoms. Besoms can even be bought online! I  expect  that birch besoms are still made and used by some people around Listowel as there are boglands in the area. It would be great to hear from  someone from  the North Kerry area  who made and used besoms, and maybe still do so. There is a gentleman in the area that makes excellent old-time walking sticks for the Wheelchair Association Shop in Listowel. We have a supply of them that will ‘see us down!’  Maybe besoms will be next for sale there! 

My Mother (89 years young and a with photographic memory) tells me that our besoms were made from nice, long strands of fresh heather from the nearby Blackshade Bog. These were tied securely on to a brush handle – usually a nice length of a Hazel stick. This handle allowed overhead cobwebs to be reached, and obviated the necessity for bending to sweep the floor.

There was almost nothing in those days that could not be fashioned for use around the house and yard. Our ancestors were definitely ‘eco-friendly’ and truly valued the bounty of Nature. I knew of one man, noted widely as ‘a thick man,’  who really took thrift to the limits during the ‘last’ war!  He was addicted to cigarettes, when he could get them. To save expense he would make the box of matches go twice as far  by splitting each match down the middle- even the sulphur heads were divided (two for the price of one) with a single-edge razor blade!  

Which topic reminds me of a noted Kerry saying about wastefulness, which referenced a once well-off but profligate Killarney family:  “That’s what broke the McCarthys of Looscaunagh- sitting by the fire and lighting matches for the pipe!”

Another thought struck me – about the ‘banning’ of Holy Water- Is Hand Sanitiser the current ‘holy water’; could real Holy Water be adapted to  combat viruses, etc.? Surely that would be a real work of mercy – both corporal and spiritual. Double the value- like the matches!

Adhlacadh mo Mháthair, The Sive Walk and Paddy Drury Remembered

Today’s November photo shows a little robin perched on a statue in St. Michael’s Graveyard, Listowel. Many people believe that a robin in a churchyard is the spirit of the dead loved one coming back to tell us that all is well.

Below are two verses from Seán ÓRiordáin’s poignant poem, Adhlacadh Mo Mháthair (My mother’s burial) the translation I found on the internet by Valentín Ironmonger

Bhí m’aigne á sciúirseadh féin ag iarraidh

My mind was screwing itself endeavouring

An t-adhlacadh a bhlaiseadh go hiomlán,

To comprehend the internment to the full.

Nuair a d’eitil tríd an gciúnas bán go míonla

When through the tranquility gently flew

Spideog a bhí gan mhearbhall gan scáth :

A robin, unconfused and unafraid.

Agus d’fhan os cionn na huaighe fé mar go
mb’eol di

It waited over the grave as if it knew

o raibh an toisc a thug í ceilte ar chách

That the reason why it came was unknown to

Ach an té a bhí ag feitheamh ins an gcomhrainn,

Save the person who was waiting in the

Is do rinneas éad fén gcaidreamh neamhghnách.

And I was jealous of the unusual affinity.


Farewell Sive Walk

Photo by Denis Carroll

Now that the green light for the new relief road around Listowel has been given, it means that the campaign to save the Five walk has been lost.

This lovely rural walk was called Sive after one of John B.’s most famous heroines. The walk led through a grassy pathway into a bog where John B. loved to take some alone time.

I took a walk there recently and its a lovely peaceful place but very under-utilised. Pity to see it go.

Cliona Cogan on the Sive Walk


Remembering Paddy Drury, Poet, Patriot, Wit and Seanchaí

remember  Paddy Drury
 (I typed this from a library copy of Shannonside Annual)

By Jeremiah Histon

My name is Paddy Drury,

I come from the Bog Lane,

I work for Morgan Sheehy,

Drawing Porter from the train.

This is Paddy Drury’s answer to the Black
and Tans who accosted him in Listowel the end of 1920 to ask who he was. He
escaped with nothing worse than a kick in the behind.

Paddy was a small stocky rubicund little
man, with an old hat clamped on the back of his poll when I knew him. He
was  not at all unlike the statue of
Padraig O Conaire now in Galway, but while he had a native wit he did not have
OConaire’s aptitude for writing.

Paddy was born about 90 years ago in the
Bog Lane, Knockanure, Co Kerry. I believe that all of the family were rhymers.
He had three brothers, Michael (always referred to by the family as Ruckard), Bill
and Jack (who was lame), they had one sister Mary. When Mary left the district,
Ruckard when asked where she had gone, always answered she went in the police.
Paddy had little if any, schooling. From an early age he worked for farmers
around Listowel, Knockanure and Athea. During the 1914-18 war he went to
Scotland to work in a factory on war work. 

The stories told of and by Paddy are legion.
Many of them do not sound so well in cold print, but when told by Paddy in his
own inimitable style, they had a drollery and humour  that was infectious. He was also liable at
any time to put his thoughts into rough verse, but unfortunately most of his
verses are gone into the Limbo of forgotten things and a new generation  did not know Paddy and care less about him.

One of Paddy’s best known effusions is his
diatribe on gaping neighbours in Knockanure, who are looking over at their half-
doors at him one morning as he walked along, sick and sorry after a good night
the night before. Paddy broke out:

Knockanur, both mean and poor,

with its church without a steeple,

With ignorant boors, lookin’ over

Criticisin’and dacent people!

Again one day when the North Kerry
Volunteers were lined up int The Square Listowel, Paddy noticed the 2 bellmen  (or town criers) of Listowel looking at the parade. Paddy was moved to utter:

Brave Irish Irish men you are lined up;

no doubt you are good Fenians;

you commanders too are out in view-

Mick Lane and Harry Sleeman !


An Invitation

We are all invited by Listowel Tidy Town Committee to the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate all who died in the Listowel Workhouses during The Famine. Some local Famine scholars will give talks and the plaque will be revealed at the hospital chapel. All this on Saturday next November 18 2017 at Listowel Hospital Chapel at 2.30 p.m.

Dingle, Listowel and a U.S. connection

Fungi in the morning

Dingle as Fungi sees it at sunrise

These stunning photographs were taken by the good people who photograph Fungie every day for his very own website:  w


Kerry locals for a season

I met this lovely U.S. family in Craftshop na Méar. They have to choose every summer between Florida and Moyvane and again this year they chose to be in Moyvane. They have come to North Kerry so often that they have added Namir Karim of Scribes to the list of their many Irish  friends.


A great photo of a young Bono from Eric Luke’s old negatives.


Listowel Cinema a.k.a. Listowel Movieplex

The recently extended cinema looks great after its facelift.


The Sive Walk and John Paul 11 Graveyard

John Paul 2 cemetery is always beautifully maintained and is now looking particularly well after the recent annual graveyard mass.


Jim MacSweeney took some great photos on the Ring of Kerry Cycle. Here are a few local ones from his collection of 800

Elaine McGuire

Someone from Finuge

Noel Hilliard

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