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: St. Joseph’s

St. Michael’s Football in 1970, opening of St. Joseph’s and Doe a Deer in Beaufort

Wild Garlic in Garden of Europe 


St. Michael’s County Cup Winners 1969

Left to Right 

Front :    Kieran Fitzgerald , Maurice O ‘Sullivan , Mick O’Connell , Tom Lyons  , David Kissane .

Middle:  John Hynes , Tadhg Moriarty , P J Browne  , Timmy Shanahan , Jimmy Deenihan , Pat Stack .

Rear    :  Eamon O’ Carroll , Maurice O’Connor , Pat Stack , Tommy O ‘Flaherty, John O’ Connell , Jerry Kiernan , Pat Quilter .

Tim Kennelly was also on that team but was missing ( or maybe mitching ) on the day of the photo.

Johnny Flaherty and John Molyneaux Snr. were in charge .

Kieran writes;

It would probably be hard to believe ,at a remove of 50 years , what St Michaels stood for in those days . It concentrated  on imparting a classical education through the medium of Irish with no small amount of disciplinary measures thrown in as a bonus .  Teachers took great pride and spoke often  on the success of their ‘Alumni’ and , in retrospect , there is no doubt that many a successful career was launched from St Michaels . 

I have a couple of photos somewhere of successful college football teams in 1969 /70 . We won both the County and Dunloe Cups which up until then was undreamed of  . Our teams included Jimmy Deenihan , Tim Kennelly , Jerry Kiernan , Tommy Fla and younger brother Pat , Tim Shanahan ( who later starred in London ) Eamon Carroll , Gerard Leahy ,  Maurice ‘Toots’ O’Connor and yours truly . By any standards it was a very talented group which was  marshalled firmly  by Masters Flaherty and Molyneaux Snr . I will forward the photos if I come across them .

The school was also very successful on the Athletics front at that time . John O’Connell was a wonderful athlete as was Kiernan and all the names mentioned earlier . Success at Provincial and National Level was the norm for a few years . John Molyneaux Snr and Pat Kiernan ( Jerry’s father ) were the driving force . There was even an athletics track in the Sportsfield with lane markings  all around , burned onto the Grass . There were  jump pits with proper sand  and an area reserved for the high jump and pole vault . It was a hive of activity which was not welcomed wholeheartedly by some in the Emmett’s fraternity . Unfortunately I have no photos from that era. 

Others I remember as being in the class are Tim Shanahan ( Clounmacon ) , John Neville ( Bedford) , Pat Hayes R.I.P , James O’Donnell  ( Ballybunionish ), Timmy Lawlor  ( The Square )  but I dont see them in the photo 


A Forgiving Poem from Róisín Meaney

For some, it’s all about reading,

For others it’s painting, or kneading,

If it helps you come through itFind time just to do it,
Right now, it’s our souls that need feeding.


Opening of St. Josephs

Photos and story from Patsy Kennedy on Facebook

Opening St. Joseph’s unit in Listowel hospital 1984

First patient Maggie Nolan being welcomed by matron Sr Peter Hudson and staff


Motherly Love

Chris Grayson took these photos in the grounds of St. Mary of the Angels. Beaufort

Maria Sham Remembers Growing up in Listowel in the 1950s

Medieval Style

Mallow Camera Club organised a novel event for its members. Here are two of Jim MacSweeney’s great shots from the event.


Ballybunion Memories

Mairead Gorman found this and posted it on her Facebook page. Sr. Lucy O’Sullivan and some Ballybunion  girls on their confirmation day.


Success for Pres. Girls

Presentation Listowel badminton team who recently won the County schools competition.


If we could turn back time…..

Maria (Canty) Sham grew up  in Listowel in the 1950s. She had a very happy childhood and a few years ago she decided to write down her memories so that her English family would learn something about their Irish heritage.

Maria has very kindly shared these memories and her photographs with us. Her experiences will be similar to many others so I’m sure many in the Listowel Connection community will enjoy this trip down Memory Lane. I will serialise Maria’s reminiscences over the next few days.

I was born on the 1st May 1938to Bridget and Timothy Canty,

the third of their
children and the first daughter. They had moved into 68 O’Connell’s Avenue and
I was the first of the family born there.

 It was May Eve and mam always said the fairies
brought me or maybe Duffy’s Circus which was in town that night. I was
christened Mary Ellen after my grandmother Moloney. My brothers were Neilie and
Paddy. My sister Doreen was born 3 years after, and our brother Junie came
along 10 years later.

 We lived on a council estate, a very close and
friendly neighbourhood. Everyone knew their neighbours and watched out for each
other. The children all went to the same school and the same church. Neighbours
would pop in to one another for a chat or to borrow something. I remember that
we always left our door key on the door. There was never any crime.

I went to the
Listowel Convent School when I was 5 years old and sorry to say hated every
day. The nuns then were very strict and in those days were not allowed outside
the walls of the convent.  I am sure if
they had more patience I could have learned a lot more. My favourite subjects
were History and English which I love to this day and later on the cookery
class. I wish now I had paid more attention and learned to speak Irish; I found
it very hard to get a grasp of.   It
would be nice to be able to speak my own language.

Timothy and Bridget Canty

Maria’s parents, her uncle, Peter and their next door neighbour, Jack Hurley

Scairbhín, 1927 Arrests and an old Ballybunion Golf photo and a first taste of this year’s Women in Media

Photo: Chris Grayson


Spring Weather 2016

Our ancestors referred to this period of great uncertainty in our weather as The Scaraibhín. They knew that it was a dangerous time with temperatures see sawing from day to day. In 2016 Scairbhín has been particularly unpredictable. The below picture was posted by Finuge Freewheelers as they headed out for a cycle in April 2016 dressed in their winter gear.


No Joy on this One so Far

Surely someone recognizes someone in this old North Kerry school photo.


Tough Times for political speech makers in 1927

Irish Independent  Friday, 16 September, 1927; Page: 7


Mr. Eamon Horan, ex-Brigadier-Genl.
of the National Army, who was candidate for Kerry at the June election, on
behalf of the now defunct Clann Eireann Party was arrested at Tralee, under the
Public Safety Act, charged with inciting to murder. The charge arose out of a
speech alleged to have been delivered by him at a Fianna Fail meeting. Mr. John
Murphy, ex-M.P. for East Kerry, was arrested at Killarney, charged at common
law with ” falsely accusing a person of a crime punishable by law.” Mr. P. J.
Tuohy, Dublin, Fianna Fail organiser for Kerry, was arrested at Annascaul on a
similar charge. The three accused were conveyed to Limerick Jail.


Ballybunion Golf Club

An old photo given to me by Patsy O’Sullivan some time ago.I’m reluctant to name people as I would fall well short of naming everyone so I’ll have to leave the naming to someone who knows better.


Always a Great Weekend


Enterprising Young Foodies

I met this group of business minded young people and their teacher in Bank of Ireland on Friday last. They are pupils of Transition Year in St. Joseph’s in Ballybunion. They were in town with their Business teacher to promote their new product. .. A Rip Bar made from seaweed and kelp. They promised it would give me energy to keep going through the day. I don’t know if that claim was 100% true but the bar was delicious.


Women in Media 2016

This woman in media set out for Kilcooley’s in Ballybunion with three amigos to sample the wares and to learn much about the latest in media.

We met up with Elizabeth Dunne, chair of Writers’ Week and Mary Fagan whose voice is familiar to Radio Kerry listeners to her weekly Horizons programme.

We were treated to a very interesting symposium on the role of new media in The 2016 general election.

This young lady was the project manager of ALL of Rte’s online coverage of the recent general election. She is frighteningly competent in the use and coordination of various social media apps and platforms in order to tell a story, and boys, oh boys, was she competent at bringing us the full story of GE2016.

Anyone who followed the election online will know that absolutely every twist and turn was brought to us, video profiles of candidates, vox pops from the man in the street in the various constituencies, graphs, charts and trends, live updates colour pieces, debates etc.etc.

Note down the name of this young lady. It is Patricia O’Callaghan. I predict a glittering future for her.

I must confess, I missed the performance of another young lady who everyone thought was brilliant on the night. She is Niamh Sweeney, Head of Public Policy on Facebook. If Patricia does not return one day as RTE Director General, Niamh will.


Hen Night Epiphany

This group from Athea brought us a lively night of drama in St. John’s on Saturday April16 2016.


Magic in store at Listowel Writers’ Week 2016

Read this from the press release and put Weds June 1 to Sunday June 5 2016 in your diary.

“Joining us at this year’s festival will be award-winning philosopher AC Grayling, novelists Joanne Harris, Louis de Bernieres, David Park, Lucy Caldwell, James Runcie and AL Kennedy.  There will be readings from short story prizewinners, Danielle McLaughlin, William Wall, Anthony Glavin and Caitríona Lally. Also appearing are Pulitzer prize-winning poets Paul Muldoon and Gregory Pardlo, who will be travelling from New York to woo the Listowel audiences with their poetic vision. Other internationals attending are award-winning writers Jean Echenoz from France and Israel’s Savyon Liebrecht.

An innovative addition this year will see IMPAC Winning Dutch writer (and gardener) Gerbrand Bakker take a small group of lucky people to one of Listowel’s most beautiful spaces, the Garden of Europe, where he will talk about sense of place and the link between nature and writing.

Best-selling author Paula Byrne has just released a new book based on the life and times of Kick Kennedy, the forgotten sister of John F Kennedy – she will tell all on Friday 3rd June in Listowel and Richard Skinner who is directing our Novel Workshop on three mornings of the week will also be talking about his new book The Busby Babes with local award winning sports journalist Weeshie Fogarty.”

Any information you need is at Listowel Writers’ Week

If you are as excited as I am let them know. The conversation is started at  #ListowelWW2016


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