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: Song of the Sea

Listowel Castle, new Garda Station in Castleisland and success at Newcastlewest Show

Beauty on our doorstep

Ita Hannon took this haunting picture of Littor Point, Asdee.


Back in the Saddle

Johnny Joy and Finuge Freewheelers out for an evening spin.


Daniel O’Donnell on Tour

Daniel O’Donnell is on a tour around Ireland for a TV show he is making. Here he is having a game of draughts with his Donegal neighbor, Hughey Sweeney who is 104.


Listowel Castle

May Langan pictured earlier this summer at Listowel Castle.

The castle is open every day to visitors. It is one of the many great Listowel attractions that every Listowel person should visit at least once.


Song of the Sea

Have you ever heard of  a selkie?


Well, they are mythical creatures who are women on land and seals at sea. Song of the Sea is a film all about selkies. It is a lovely Irish made animated full length family film.  The dialogue is lovely and you will recognize many familiar voices, the animation is simple but forceful, the pictures are lovely and the music superb. You will never look at a seal again without wondering.

What’s not to love about Song of the Sea?

 Bring the whole family.


CastleIsland have a new Garda Station

On Ftiday last, July 17 2015 Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and Minister for The Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan opened a new Garda Station in Castleisland. The following photos are from the Garda Síochána Facebook page.

members of the Garda band at the opening
Garda Commissioner, Nóirín O’Sullivan
Minister Deenihan inspects a guard of honour


Latin in Kerry Catholic church registers

Above is a link to Kay Caball’s site. It has a translation of some of the most common names as they are entered in Latin in Kerry parish records. This is very useful if you are researching online through the old registers now available at National Library of Ireland Catholic parish registers


Newcastlewest Agricultural Show 2015

I had a great day out last Sunday at Newcastlewest Show. I took lots of photos. Here are a few. When news is in short supply next week I’ll post a few more.

This minion, created from 2 round bales and tyres greeted us on arrival.

My brother, Pat and my niece, Elizabeth won the champion’s cup for the best ridden hunter with their horse, Sonny Bill.

There is always a Listowel connection. I met Mike Laffan of Kerry Group and his wife, Margaret supporting their local show by showing a bullock.

Listowel lady, Kelly St. John had a beautiful array of crochet goods for sale.

Live Aid, Listowel, Ballybunion and Moyvane and some film news

Today is July 13 2015. Thirty years ago  in 1985 on this day two very significant
events took place. One had world significance, the other just changed my small
world forever.

July 13 1985 is now known as Live Aid Day.

“Live Aidwas a dual-venue concert
held on 13 July 1985. The event was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds
for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine.
Billed as the “global jukebox”, the event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium
in London, England, United
Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy
in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people). On the same day, concerts
inspired by the initiative happened in other countries, such as Australia and Germany. It was one of the
largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time: an
estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live
broadcast.”    Wikipedia

Meanwhile back in Ireland I was in a Cork maternity hospital
giving birth to my baby. She was eleven weeks premature and only two and a half

Never was the difference between the first and third world so
evident to me. Babies like mine were not even being treated in Ethiopia. They
had no hope. Every effort was being put into the healthy ones.

In Cork my little scrap of humanity was placed in an incubator
with her own nurse whose only task was to look after Clíona round the clock.

Today Clíona is thirty.

 Happy birthday, my baby.

“Where are you goin’ my little one, little one?

Where are you goin’ my baby, my own?

Turn around and you’re two

Turn around and you’re four

Turn around and you’re a young girl

Going out of the door.”

The words of the late Val Doonican’s song say everything about how fast
30 years have flown.


Some Random Listowel Buildings in Summer 2015

This premises on Market St. used to be Mary B.’s. The dining part has had various Chinese restaurants over the years and now it is Nanjing Listowel. The licensed premises has changed hands a few times too. It is now Brosnan’s Bar and has recently been refurbished.

O’Connor’s Pharmacy on Market St. is one of the prettiest shopfronts in town.

This building on Main St. used to be Chute’s Bar. In the heyday of the Celtic Tiger this was one of the busiest bars in town. It is now slowly undergoing a change of use and has been recently painted.

The Star and Garter on Church St. is another business that has recently undergone a change of ownership. It is now the bar to go to for craft beer, I’m told.

Next door to The Star and Garter is the New Kingdom, a popular bar with a popular and generous host.

 This is now that stretch of Church Street looks today. The shop at the end is the old Coco, now relocated to William St.

 This is the new look Listowel Garden Centre, well set back from the road with its own parking area.

Changes Hair and Beauty is a thriving business in a very pretty building on Upper Church St.

This is the side view of Listowel Credit Union and the lane beside it on a day when it was, very unusually, free of parked cars. This is directly across the road from Changes.


Ballybunion 2015

McMunns have added this outdoor eating area on the cliff top.


In Athea 

photo: Athea Tidy Towns


Calling Moyvane People

“Historical Walk around Moyvane.

Who remembers Mary Walshe’s Dance
Hall that was once in Moyvane? Did you know it was once possible to get a suit
made without leaving the village with a choice of two tailors? Join us for a
historical walk around the village on Friday, July 17 at 7.00pm. Learn about
all the businesses that once thrived in the village like bakeries, butchers,
harness makers, and the legendary characters who ran them.

The walk led by Gabriel
Fitzmaurice will start at the site of Horan’s forge on the Tarbert Road.
Refreshments will be provided in Brosnan’s bar afterwards where the
conversation can continue. All are welcome to attend.

We will notify people on thisFacebook page if the walk has to be cancelled due to weather.”  (From the internet)


Who he?

This young man’s name is Mark Noonan. 


He has just won awards all round him in Berlin and Galway for his film, “You’re Ugly Too”.


He has a Listowel connection.

Tell me.

Mark is an up and coming film writer and director. He is the nephew of Helen Moylan and Tess Noonan of Listowel.

While I’m on the subject of films, don’t forget that the great Song of the Sea is in cinemas now.

Will Collins, who scripted Song of the Sea was in Listowel for this year’s Writers Week. He is pictured above with Máire Logue.

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