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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

Tag: Sive Page 2 of 4

Old Photos, Nora Relihan and A Bridge that no one was allowed to cross

Photo; Christopher Burke

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Jill Friedman’s North Kerry Photos

I don’t know whose  funeral is in the first one is. If you know, tell me. I think I recognise the man in the second photo. He is a fisherman from Finuge.  I have posted the last one before. I think the man with the harmonica is Faulkner.





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Maharees



In those heady days before the lockdown, Marie Moriarty went walking in The Maherees. Here are a few of her photos.





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Nora Relihan as Mena in Sive

Prize giving at Scarriff


Photo; Paul O’Flynn
Nora Relihan played Mena in the original Listowel Amateur Drama Group production of ‘Sive’. This production won the all Ireland drama award at the Athlone Drama Festival in 1959. When the play was produced by the Southern Theatre Group in June 1959, Nora Relihan was asked to reprise her role. Eibhlis MacSweeney later replaced Nora Relihan in the role of Mena until the end of the production. This production played in Fr Mathew Hall for 6 weeks, then travelled to the Olympia to play for 4 weeks before touring Munster

(photo and text from Cork County Library local studies section)

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The Forbidden Bridge over the River Feale

In the House of Commons on 1st April, 1898, Mr. Flavin, M.P., (N. Kerry),  Listowel, Co. Kerry, raised the following issue and asked the following questions of Gerald Balfour, Chief Secretary: 

“I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland,

(1) if he is aware that the Grand Jury of Kerry erected a bridge at a cost of £3,496 10s. over the River Feale, between Duagh and Islandanny, and that three-fourths of the total cost is now repaid out of the public rates to the Commissioners of Public Works (Ireland), but that the general public are not allowed to use the bridge, although it has been completed and maintained for the past seven years; and 

(2), what steps will be now taken to obtain access for the public to pass over the bridge?”

Mr. Gerald Balfour: “I am informed that the facts are correctly stated in the first paragraph. The line of railway from Tralee to Limerick crosses the road or approach, at one side of the bridge, and no proper crossing has been provided by the railway company at this point. The grand jury, moreover, state they have no power to employ a person to look after the gates at what appears to be a farm crossing. I am advised there is no legal provision under which the railway company or the grand jury can be required to provide a crossing, and the Board of Trade inform me they have no power to intervene.”

Mr Flavin, M.P.: “I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman why the grand jury constructed this bridge—[Mr. SPEAKER: Order, order!] 

Mr. Flavin:  But, Sir, arising out of the question, I should like to know if the right hon. Gentleman is aware that a large number of people in the district are prevented from using this bridge.” 

Mr/ Speaker: “ Order, order! The hon. Member is continuing to argue a question which has already been fully answered.” 

Mr. Flavin: “I wanted to point out, Mr. Speaker-”  

Mr Speaker: “Order, order!” 

It would appear that no-one thought of the need for access to the bridge by those it was intended to carry across the river!  Could the bridge really have stood idle for seven years as a result of such incompetence? 

New Kerry Jersey, Gap of Dunloe and a Teacher Contract in 1923 and Christmas Parking

A Christmas Robin


Photo; Chris Grayson

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Do you Like the New Jersey?



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The Gap of Dunloe from old Kerry Photos


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Holycross and Sive


Billy Keane visited Holycross recently to lend his support to the local drama group who chose the John B. Keane classic, Sive. for their 2019 production.

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I missed this very special event in St. John’s. Poetry from the Pulpit was a great successs with local minor celebrities reading their favourite poems. I think this is our own recently retired Vicar Joe.

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The Good Old Days


Patrick O’Shea shared this on Facebook. It is from the US but I dont know if terms this side of the pond were much better.



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It’s No Ordinary Panto….It’s a Listowel Panto




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Christmas Parking in Listowel….Good News


Free parking arrangements will be put in place in Listowel in the run up to Christmas.

Beginning this Saturday, parking will be free in the town for up to two hours every day; this will continue until January 1st.

Parking on Sundays will continue to be free, as usual, during this period.

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Christmas Customs from the Dúchas Folklore Collection


Old Times Christmas
Long ago the people were not as well fed as they are now days. They had to buy meal when there was no flour, and then wet the meal with boiling water and in this way they made the bread. This bread was eaten with a cup of butter milk. There were no ovens or pans for baking but a griddle hung over the fire by means of the pot hanger and in this way the bread was baked in squares. Latter on in years they got a querns for grinding oats, and when it was ground the sieved was got and this used to keep all the shells of the oats, and leave the oaten meal through. They used also make bread from this and this bread was called oaten meal bread. This was given to the people for their dinner. The supper the people used to have that time was to get a fist full of oaten meal and put it in a wooden cup of butter milk and stir it with a piece of a stick. The people had nothing for Christmas but “stampy”. It was made a few day before Christmas. They would get the potatoes, and cut them up with a grater. Then they would get a flannel cloth and put the cut potatoes into it. Then they would twist the cloth and the water would come out though the cloth. Then it would be put down to bake, and this would be eaten on Christmas morning.
Collector, Jerry Moloney- Informant, Maurice Shanahan, Address, Liscullane, Co. Kerry.

Listowel Librarians Remembered, Stokers’ Lawn and Liam Miller R.I.P.

A Magpie


Photo: Graham Davies

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The MacSweeney family, Librarians


A while back we were talking about Listowel library.  I received an email from Billy MacSweeney outlining his families long association with the library;

“Vincent is correct about the Carnegie Library. The original Carnegie
Library in Listowel was where Mick (“Four Goals”) Barrett has his Tyre
Centre on Bridge Road. In my youth it was a shell. I was told that my
Grandmother Annie (nee Carmody) Gleeson was the first Librarian,
followed for a short time by her daughter Jo and then by my mother
Maisie (nee Gleeson) McSweeney, each of whom did some training in
Trinity College. The Library burned down but I have no further
information. The next Carnegie Library at the top of Church St was built
sometime before 1940. My mother was the Librarian there until she
retired;  each of my brothers and sisters acted as unofficial librarians
in their turn as we grew up. It was a great education for us.”


Dave O’Sullivan said he’d look up a few things in the newspapers. Here are a few library related cuttings he found.




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Stokers Lawn, off John B. Keane Road, Listowel,


Winter  2018



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R.I.P. Liam Miller

Photo; Féach News on Twitter

Cork footballer, Liam Miller who passed away at the weekend at the age of 36, had played for Ireland, Cork, Celtic and Manchester United.

“Golden lads and girls all must

As chimney sweepers come to dust.”

Sad beyond words.

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A Few Corrections



Here are a few corrections to the list of Listowel people who went to Leinster House as the guests of Dan Moloney, T.D. after their victory in Athlone in 1959.

Front Row From Left:

Jeffrey O’Connnor (Cahirciveen,  Sheila Keane’s Husband)

Brendan Carroll   (William St)

Margaret Dillon     (She played Sive)

John B. Keane        

Cecile Cotter  (‘Tasty Cotter’s’ daughter– Scully’s Corner used to be called Cotter’s Corner)

Nora Relihan

Dan Moloney T.D., (grandfather of Jimmy Moloney)

Second Row Left to Right

John Cahill,  (Main St.,)

Hilary Neilsen, (Bridge Road)

Siobhan Cahill (Main St.)

Bill Kearney  (Lr. William St. – where The Shebeen is now)

Harry Geraghty  (Bank of Ireland or maybe National Bank?)

Eamon Keane 

Mrs. Peggie Walsh  ( The Square)

Back Row, Left to Right

John Flaherty  (Charles St)

Margaret Moloney (Gurtinard)

Kevin O’Donovan (Upper William St)

Seamus Ryle  (Nora Relihan’s brother)

Ina Leahy  (Leahys, Market St)

Dr. Johnny Walsh

Peg Schuster  (John B’s sister)


Listowel Town Park, a walking race and some more from the Sive archive

Greenfinch


Photo; Graham Davies on Facebook

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In The Park, Winter 2018

The gas pipeline in a very wet town park.

The river rose much higher in the days after I took this photo.

Listowel Community Centre

Deserted tennis courts

Empty playgrounds

Blown down sign

Bleak house….The Dandy Lodge in the background. 1916 commemorative garden in foreground.

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Mad Speed Limit at Tim Kennelly Roundabout



Would you head into a roundabout at 60km per hour?

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Wren Boys and Tarbert to Listowel walking race


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Sive Revisited





When The Abbey Theatre produced Sive in 2014, some kind friends of the blog shared some of their memorabilia with us.

Kay Caball whose mother was the chair of the Drama Group kept the programme and some of the newspaper cuttings.

Margaret Dillon, who played Sive sent us this photograph of the cast visit to Dáil Eireann where Dan Moloney, T.D. received them and took them on a guided triumphal tour.

Kay Caball gave us the names of all the people in this photo.

Front Row From Left:

Jeffrey O’Connnor (Cahirciveen,  Sheila Keane’s Husband)

Brendan Carroll   (Carroll’s, William St)

Margaret Dillon     (She played Sive)

John B. Keane        

Cecile Cotter  (‘Tasty Cotter’s’ daughter – Scully’s Corner used to be called Cotter’s Corner)

Nora Relihan

Dan Moloney T.D., (grandfather of Jimmy Moloney)

Second Row Left to Right

John Cahill,  (Main St.,)

Hilary Neilsen, (Bridge Road)

Siobhan Cahill (Main St.)

Bill Kearney  (Lr. William St. – where The Shebeen is now)

Harry Geraghty  (Bank of Ireland or maybe National Bank?)

Eamon Keane 

Mrs. Peggie Walsh  ( The Square)

Back Row, Left to Right

John Flaherty  (Charles St)

Margaret Moloney (Gurtinard)

Kevin Donovan (Upper William St)

Seamus Ryle  (Nora Relihan’s brother)

Ina Leahy  (Leahys, Market St)

Dr. Johnny Walsh

Peg Schuster  (John B’s sister)


Listowel Town Park, A Listowel chaplain in WW2 and a Church Street landmark gets a touch up

A Great Tit

Photo credit: Graham Davies

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Childers’ Park


Pedestrian entrance to Listowel Town Park with Dandy Lodge in the background

The newly enlarged entrance from Bridge Road

Sign flattened by the elements

1916 commemorative garden

Dandy Lodge



Listowel Community Centre

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Listowel Parish commemorates The Holocaust


This is Fr. Michael Morrison who was born in Listowel in 1908. He was a chaplain who attended at the liberation of Bergen Belsen concentration camp at the end of WW2.

His story is here

 BBC Archive; World War 2 People’s War

Photo: Kerry’s Eye

At Sunday mass in Listowel on January 28 2018, Holocaust Memorial Day, Fr. Morrison’s grandnephew, Finbarr Walshe of Tralee presented an icon to Listowel parish. The family believe that the icon was made by inmates in the concentration camp.

The Bergen-Belsen camp was built to hold 10,000 people, but on the day it was liberated 60,000 were crammed into appalling conditions. An estimated 50,000 people died there between 1941 and 1945.

Following the war, Fr Morrison served as a parish priest in Australia, before eventually returning home to Ireland, where he died in 1973.

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Plasterwork getting a Facelift



A little touching up to the famous plasterwork was in progress as I passed by on Church St. in January 2018.

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The Success of Sive in 1959



Some more newspaper cuttings from the Sive 1959 archive. Thank you, David O’Sullivan.






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Listowel in 1968



Newsbeat came to town to see if it was snobbery that was keeping local girls from applying for lucrative jobs in a new local factory. The interviewer was the late Bill O’Herlihy.

Newsbeat in Listowel

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