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: St. Mary’s Page 1 of 7

St. Mary’s and St. John’s

Feale Sculpture and St John’s, Listowel in December 2021

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Things you may not know about St. Mary’s

Lord Listowel gave the site for the Catholic Church in The Square. One of the sites considered was across the road in the place where the National Bank, later The Butler Centre is now. This was thought to have too much commercial potential so the site eventually chosen was where St. Mary’s stands today. However a house that used to stand to the right of the picture has been demolished so the church is more visible than it used to be.

The late Paddy Horgan told me a story he learned from his elders. He told me that Lord Listowel made it a condition of the donation of the site that the Angelus bell would be rung at 7.00p.m. instead of the usual 6.00. Knocking off time for Lord Listowel’s workmen was the sound of the Angelus bell.

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Christmas Window

Lynch’s Coffee Shop and Bakery in Main Street has a really lovely window display. My photo does not do it justice.

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A Back Lane

Listowel has many many back lanes. They tell their own story, many of them little changed over the years. This one is opposite the offices of The Revenue Commissioners.

Doors leading on to the lane on the second storey often led into a store. The delivery dray or the customer parked his cart in the lane below the door and the sacks of grain or other goods were thrown through the door and into the cart.

To this day the stonework of Listowel’s masons is preserved in these outhouses.

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Then and Now

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Taking down the flags

This is my brother taking down his Kanturk bunting and flags on Monday, December 6 2021.

In fairness the taking down of the support had more to do with the imminent arrival of Storm Barra than with the recent defeat to Newmarket.

We know how you feel, Kerins O’Rahilly’s supporters.

Garden Birds, Refurbishment and another lovely Michael O’Connor piece

Lovely Listowel ; Photo Éamon ÓMurchú

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This is the time of year when Listowel traditionally gets a facelift in preparation for the Harvest Festival of Racing. This year, the numbers at the festival will be decimated but Listowel people are determined that our town will look beautiful anyway.

Even the image of Our Lady at St. Mary’s is being cleaned.

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A Café for Birds

Chris Grayson loves to entertain birds in his garden. Bertie, his loyal robin, has become familiar to Chris’ Facebook friends from one of Chris’ other hobbies, taking photographs.

Now Chris has set up a bird café in his garden and he has been photographing and sharing photos of some of the clientele.

Chris has captured the many sides of house sparrows, caring, nurturing and just socialising.

Bertie looks a bit like the maitre D.

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Believe it or Not

July 1959;

The first female recruits were accepted into An Garda Síochána. Twelve Bean Gardaí (as they were known then) were sworn in at a ceremony in Dublin.

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A Feast for the Eyes

My half forgotten Latin suggests that this is on a book from Trinity College Library in Dublin. The art work by Michael O’Connor is truly extraordinary.

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I Love a Good Short Story

I’m enjoying these.

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St. Mary’s Listowel, Some Shops, A Crane, a Buzzard and some photos from the park

A Buzzard

Photo: Chris Grayson

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A spot of gardening at The Castle

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We’re nearing the end of lockdown….Phew!


The signs they are a changing.

Then a few days later, when I was on Market Street the tune had changed.

Barbers and Hairdressers are still closed.

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Sanctuary Lamps and Mosaics in St. Mary’s

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Dr. Dónal Daly’s

John R’s and Listowel Florist are open in a limited capacity

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At Louise Carey’s

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By the River

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Jimmy and Ruth O’Quigley out for a stroll on June 1 2020.

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A Welcome Place to Rest While Walking in The Park

Listowel Town Council have cut an extra path around the park.  Is is now easier to walk and maintain social distance.

Shakespeare spoke of the primrose path. We have a daisy path.

Black Rocks, Old FCA , St. Mary’s and some old Writers’ Week photos

Tom Fitzgerald’s photo of The Black Rocks, Ballybunion in May 2020

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FCA Picture…A Few Names


Eamon OMurchú helped out with a few names for Maureen Barrett’s old photo.

Front row: Extreme Left – Michael Whelan; 3rd from Left – Gerry Flaherty;

Second Row: 3rd from Right – Johnny Griffin; 2nd from Right – Tony O’Connor; Extreme Right – ….Moloney (not certain). 

Back Row: Second from Left Cpl Bridgeman (Tarbert); 3rd from Right at very back Bill Carmody. 

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St. Mary’s, Listowel Now


The church is now open for private prayer from the end of morning mass until 5.00p.m. It is a very changed place. Here are some photos I took last week.

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Listowel Writers’ Week 2012

Boys from Scoil Realta na Maidine form a guard of honour for Michael D. Higgins as he arrives to open the festival.

Some of the Children’s Committee on Opening Night



Large crowd in the circus tent for one of the children’s events.

Tonight was to be Opening Night of the 50th festival and the committee are inviting us all to go online to see the announcement of this year’s prizewinners.

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Interim President of IT Tralee is a Listowel man


Photo and story from Tralee Today

DR Brendan O’Donnell has been appointed as Interim President of the Institute of Technology Tralee.

Dr O’Donnell stated that he was “honoured to be appointed and looking forward to working with the Governing Body, staff and students and all our stakeholders to ensure that the Institute continues to grow and develop and is a key enabler of economic, social and cultural development.

“My key priority is to see the establishment of the Munster Technological University in collaboration with our colleagues in CIT. A University Campus in Tralee adjacent to the Kerry Technology Park will significantly contribute to the overall economic development of not only Kerry but the wider region,” he said.

Dr Brendan O’Donnell is a native of Listowel. Following the completion of an engineering degree in UCD, Brendan was employed as a research fellow with An Foras Taluntais (succeeded by Teagasc) where he completed a PhD in the field of renewable energy.

Brendan joined the engineering department of what was then Tralee RTC as a lecturer in January 1991. He was appointed to the position of Head of Department for Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths in 2012 a position he held until 2016 when he was promoted to the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs & Registrar.

Mr O’Donnell has held the position of acting President of the Institute since May 2019.

The Chairperson of the Governing Body Mr Lionel Alexander extended his congratulations to Brendan on his appointment and stated that; “The Institute is at a exciting juncture with a decision on the application to become Munster Technological University due before the end of the week. I look forward to working closely with Brendan, the executive team, and the Governing Body and would like to extend my congratulations as he takes on this leadership role during a time of momentous change for our organisation.”

St. Michael’s, Ballybunion, St. Mary’s in Lent and a Covid 19 poem

Peppercanister Church, Dublin

Eamon ÓMurchú took this great photograph recently

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“All you that have your eyeballs vexed and tired

Feast them on the wildness of the sea”   Keats


Marie Moriarty took these photos in Ballybunion yesterday

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St. Michael’s staff 1979

This photo was published a commemorative book to celebrate the centenary of the school.

May all of those who have passed away rest in peace.

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Lent


While we are in partial lockdown due to the global pandemic, Covid 19, people may not have been visiting the church as much as usual. Here is the lovely display for Lent 2020.

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Hard Times in North Kerry in 1881


Kerry Sentinel 06.05.1881, page 3 (Edited Version)

Important Meeting of Lord Ormaithwaite’s Tenantry in the parishes of, Listowel, Ballydonoghue, Newtownsandes, Lixnaw, Irremore and Ballybunion were at a meeting in the Land League Rooms in Listowel. They decided that 25% over Griffith’s valuation was a fair rent. Mr George Sandes the landlords agent refused the offer and offered an abatement of 15%, he agreed to meet Lord Ormaithwaite and let them know his reply in a few days.

The cases of the eviction in Gunsboro of Broder and Kissane, who were uncharitable put out on the road at the end of their working life, had the sympathy of all tenants.

Priests in attendance Rev. M O’Connor , P.P. Ballybunion; Rev James Burke, P.P. Newtownsandes, Rev James Casey C C. Listowel; Rev F Cremin, C.C. Lixnaw; Rev. M. Godley, C.C. Ballybunion; Rev F. Carmody, C.C. Newtownsandes, and the rev B. Scanlon, C.C. Duagh.

Priest of the Listowel Deanery held meeting and deplored the evictions on the property of Mr. Gunn Mahony and absentee, a dying man, father of large family was flung on the roadside without any shelter. North Kerry was tranquil, but it is with horror they contemplate the future, if  the evictions of law abiding and industrious people, continues.

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An Ode to St. Patrick in This Time of Crisis


St Patrick’s Day 2020

By Mary Mc Elligott

Please come back St Patrick

And bring us loads of bleach,

Soap and disinfectant

And sanitizers, yes, one each.

Back then, we thought snakes were bad,

For the Irish, a pure curse

But now in the year we have

The story is much worse.

Corona is the reason,

A scary dangerous Virus.

It’s in all the Televisions,

The papers and the wireless.

It spreads with a cough or sneeze

Or even talking to a person

And forget about a handshake.

It will only make it worsen.

If you can bring supplies,

Include some kitchen rolls

Don’t bring any toilet paper

As we all have loads and loads.

Also to be safer,

Leave your cloak and staff at home.

We’ll provide a set of scrubs

‘You’d get destroyed in bleach and foam.

We’re not out this year

But we’re not too far away.

We’re indoors and we’re praying,

That you’ll kill the bugs with spray.

We’ve even closed our Pubs,

Paddy’s day, a disaster

But we’re willing and we’re able,

If the Virus goes much faster.

You saved us many moons ago.

You’re held in high esteem.

Irish eyes will all be smiling,

When we’re out of quarantine.

We’ll be dancing and a lepping,

Down the streets, with marching bands.

Oh, a little reminder when you’re coming,

Don’t forget to wash your hands.

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