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 Marys

Listowel Guide

Main Street


Kerry to Her Core

14.10.23 : Kerry Association honours award winners at Dublin banquet . Katie Hannon at the Kerry Association awards in Dublin . Katie Hannon was honoured as 2023 Kerry Person of the Year and 2 Radio Kerry Sports Broadcasters were honoured as the 2023 Laochra Chiarraí winners by the Kerry Association in Dublin at a banquet in the Louis Fitzgerald hotel on Saturday 14th October 2023. Photo By : Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD . Domnick Walsh Photographer is an Irish Aviation Authority ( IAA ) approved Quad

Photo and text from Kerry Association in Dublin on social media


Listowel Ball Alley Today

Symbols of Listowel painted by volunteer artists

The one looks appropriate for Halloween

Listowel in a bubble


Pages from 1990s guide


Blast from the Past

If you are under 50 you will probably have no idea what these are. My friend, Margaret, found these artefacts among her treasures.

In the 60s and 70s wedding cakes were usually three tiers of rich fruit cake, iced with marzipan and royal icing, pretty much like three Christmas cakes. I dont know when this fashion for chocolate biscuit cake, red velvet or other lighter cakes came in.

The bottom cake was cut up and served to the guests at the wedding with a cup of tea after their dinner. Before the 1960s it was a wedding breakfast but that’s a story for another day. The top tier was put into storage for the christening and the middle tier was brought home to the house of the bride. Brides usually lived with their parents until the wedding.

This cake was cut into fingers (small rectangles) put into these little boxes and posted to people who had sent presents but had not attended the wedding….Daftness!

You will notice that the boxes were decorated with horseshoes . Brides often carried a silver ornamental horseshoe with their bouquets. These were charms to bring good fortune to the marriage….More daftness.


A Fact

If you commute to work every day, taking one hour to get to work and one hour to get home, between the ages of 22 and 65 you will have spent 2 and a half years in transit.


Changes in business and church going, Handball Memories and Outdoor Dining in 2021

Upper Church Street in June 1 2021


Beautiful stucco and paint work

When strolling around Listowel, It’s always worth giving a look upward to the beautifully decorated shop names. This one is at Listowel Travel in Main Street.


Covid Regulations in St. Mary’s

The church is divided into sections and we sit, wearing our masks, 3 people to a seat. We hand sanitise on entering and leaving and we obey the instructions of the volunteer ushers.


Lovely to see your name above the door

There is nothing beats the thrill of having your own business. It’s your “baby” and in your interest to nourish and grow it. Hannah McGrath has taken over Number 18 Hair and Beauty on Church Street.


More Handball Memories from the War Years

(from Junior Griffin)

One of the highlights of Listowel’s social calendar in the 1940s was the Handball Club dance in the Plaza on St. Stephen’s Night. The chairman, Stuart Stack was the driving force behind this event. Catering was by Diana.

During the war years the alley was usually packed with players. So great was the demand for games that the side wall too became an alley and it was used quite a lot, usually by younger players, anxious to hone their skills.

Employment was scarce, emigration not an option so the alley provided a welcome outlet for the young men who had little spare cash and were anxious for exercises.

Some of the greatest Listowel players in action in those years were Gatler Moloney, Paddy Rowan, Pat Joe and Diclk O’Connor,Tommy Daly, John Joe Kenny, Jackie Fitzgibbon, Stuart Stack, Tom Sweeney, Christy Mackessy, Connie Keane, John O’Mahony, Tim Shanahan, Mick Glynn and Kevin Sheehy were looked on as ” the cream of the crop”

In this picture provided to us by Breandán ÓMurchú are John Keane, Breandán Ó Murchú, Junior Griffin, Mr Fitzgibbon, Johnny Halloran, Seamus Browne

The annual doubles tournament was always played in front of a large crowd. It was taken as seriously as if an All Ireland title was at stake.

Toddy Enright played in one such tournament in the 1940s;

“I was not playing long when I was asked to enter the tournament. I was partnered with Gatler Moloney who was one of the star players of that time. I got my instructions very early on from Gatler.

“You keep in around the short line and leave everything to me.”

I did as I was told and picked up a few handy aces near the front wall from time to time but Gatler mastered everything and we eventually won out the competition, defeating Tommy Daly of Market Street and his partner whose name I can’t remember, in the final. Tommy was a Listowel footballer around that time as well.

We got a few shillings for winning. I don’t know if that made us professionals or not. The few bob was handy.”


A Sunday Stroll

This year it was not feasible to have the very popular guided walks of Listowel during Writer’s Week. The Walks and Tours committee came up with a great alternative, a virtual walking tour of the town.

It has the advantage over the usual tour in that it is permanent and it is available to a wide audience at home and abroad. People will be watching this lovely informative and entertaining walk around Listowel for years to come. Production values are of the highest standard.

Well done everyone involved

Here is the link. See for yourself.

A Sunday Stroll


Outdoor Dining 2021

Take a look this space. It’s about to change very soon. Our new outdoor dining room is going to be located here.

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