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: Slea Head

A National Treasure

John Hooton shared this image of Slea Head on Facebook


Michael O’Connor. Illuminator: an update

Quick recap; in 1965 The Jewish Community in Ireland gifted President Eamon De Valera a forest in Israel. To mark the presentation of that gift they gave Dev a beautifully illustrated book in thanks for his peace making efforts during WW11 and his welcoming of displaced Jews to Ireland.

The book was illuminated and calligraphed by Michael O’Connor who is on the far right of the picture above.

Stephen Rynne is making a study of O’Connor’s work and he is helping Kerry Writers Museum round up some of the scattered artworks to bring back to O’Connor’s childhood home at No. 24 The Square, now the home of Kerry Writers’ Museum.

Stephen visited the Book of Honour in the De Valera archive and he took a few photos for us.

The book is 31 pages and many of them list the names of Irish Jews who contributed to the project. The pencil is to give an indication of size.

The book is a magnificent piece of artwork. Michael O’Connor was a massive talent. I’m looking forward to seeing Kerry Writers’ Museum bring him the recognition he deserves.


An Art and Writing Project

Kathryn Crowley is an artist. She lives in Listowel and this is her latest project.

On the Wings of Creativity

It’s a writing and photography competition on the theme of birds, feathers, flight.

The above link will give you all the details.


Comings and Goings

Diarmuid O’Sullivan, Optometrist is the new kid on the block on William Street Lower.

Ladbrokes has gone online.



Slea Head

Photo credit; Graham Davies on This is Kerry


If today you are complaining about your job, take a look at this turfcutter. Bord na Mona employed men on a casual basis to harvest the turf. They were paid, not by the day or the hour, but by the amount of turf they cut. I don’t know if this man was in Lyreacrompane. I doubt he was as most of the photos seem to come from the bigger bogs in the midlands where there were villages of Nissan huts set up during the turf cutting season and the men (there were no women allowed) slept and ate in these huts and spend every waking hour turf cutting.

Men of the Travelling Community used to come to Lyreacrompane for the turf season and these men were a significant cohort of the Lyre workforce.

This photo, also from the great Bord na Mona Archives shows a mountain of turf in the Phoenix Park Dublin sometime during the war. Turf was exported to Britain, as there was as s shortage of coal due to the war.

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