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. Michael’s Reunion

Listowel Races 2022

Day 1 of Listowel Harvest Festival of Racing 2022, Sunday September 18th

And I was there with my friend, Bridget O’Connor.

I was back on The Island on the last day, Saturday, Sept 24 2022 for Listowel Tidy Towns sustainable fashion event.

And the winner is…

Andrea Thornton is the queen of sustainable fashion. She rarely buys anything new. When her gorgeous dress was bought, it was already vintage with a slightly rusted metal zip and a few rust stains on the lace. Her headpiece came from Vincent’s in Listowel when it was called Second Time Around. She wore her shoes at a Bronte literary event in the UK.

Her fan had to be the most inventive reuse of something. It started life as a Barbie doll’s dress.

Two babies later, the dress still fits Andrea as well as it did on her 21st.

The runner up is another vintage affectionado. Amy G. loves her life, travelling around the world, selecting pieces for her pre loved business.


When The Owner is an Artist

Traditionally everything in Listowel shuts down for Race Week. Work stops on building sites in town. This premises on Church Street was no exception but look at how they painted the boarded up window to match the colour scheme of the shopfront.


Tralee Pillar Box from Another Era

This Tralee postbox dates from the reign of Edward VII so it was put there between 1901 and 1910. Hasn’t it weathered the years well?


St. Michael’s 1972 Past Pupils Reunion

Back L to R.  Jim Larkin,Maurice Sheehy, Jack Flavin, Tom Stack, Brendan Keane, Eddie Flaherty, John Hartnett, Aidan Murphy, Finbarr Prendiville, Gerard Hussey, David Kissane.Front. L to R. Paddy Quilter,Gerard Neville,Jimmy Fitzmaurice, Joe Horgan,Seamus Kennelly, Neil Brosnan, Jer Riordan.

Names supplied by Jimmy Fitzmaurice.


The Greatest Irish Athlete Ever?

The eccentric Cork athlete , when asked how he felt after winning his 5th. World Championship said in typical understated fashion ‘Fine”.


Barbara’s Road Trip

In Marley Park; Éamon ÓMurchú


A Kerry Connection

Jim and Liz Dunn with their niece Rosie on Rosie’s wedding day.

Jim and Liz are huge supporters of the Arts in Kerry.

At the wedding, Liz read Gabriel Fitzmaurice’s Just to be Beside You is Enough during the ceremony.


This story is Pants


A First for Listowel Connection… A Guest Blogger

Barbara Kissane is an Irish American lady. She loves Ireland, the birth home of her parents and she has visited often.

This year her Irish holiday was a bit different. I asked her to give us an account of her trip and I will share her story of her Irish summer with you over the next few days.

When 2022 rolled around, I had no intentions of travelling to Europe this summer due to the covid restrictions.   In March, the restrictions were lifted and still no intention of traveling to Europe.  On April 12th, a mass shooting happened on the NYC subway.  The next morning, I booked my vacation on Aer Lingus for three weeks because I knew it was going to be a hot summer so I had to get out of NYC!  I hardly ride the subways!!  I had gotten an amazing deal for under $1,000 for 3 weeks.  

Our parents instilled in us a love of Ireland at an early age.   My father was from Kerry and my mother’s parents were from Mayo.   Ireland is in our blood!   We are  a large Irish/American family of 8 and we grew up in The Bronx, mostly an Irish neighborhood with lots of Kerrymen surrounding us.   I have been to Ireland the most out of my 8 siblings because I traveled with my parents a lot.

Originally for this trip, I was traveling with a friend and we were going to rent a car and travel all around Ireland for 2 weeks.  Then my friend had to back out at the last minute.   With that, my plans changed too.   I have driven Ireland by myself in 2017 and loved every minute of it.  I didn’t feel like doing it this time around.   I found a tour company called, The Royal Irish Tours and the tour dates fit perfectly for my trip.

It was totally last minute.   I would highly recommend them!   We covered a lot of ground in 10 days.   Yes, ten days and I survived being on a coach bus for ten days.  

More tomorrow….


The Boys (of 1972) are Back in Town

Jim Fitzmaurice has been in touch.

Listen up if you belong to the St. Michael’s Class of 1972.

Here is Jim’s email:

“We are organising a reunion of the Leaving Cert Class of 72 on 17th Sept. In Christys bar the Square

At 7pm. There are many we have no contact details for so a bit of publicity is needed.

Jim Fitzmaurice, Bunagara Listowel and Arklow.


A Fact

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries doctors prescribed tobacco to treat a variety of ailments. These included, headache, toothache, arthritis and bad breath.


Listowel Endurance Festival, Ballybunion defibrillator, a St. Michael’s Reunion and Badminton has started

Seán Mac an tSíthigh shared this photo of An Fear Marbh on Twitter


This event took place in Listowel on the weekend of September 22 and 23. Athletes ran 3 hour, 6 hour 12 hour or 24 hour loops of Listowel Town Park.  Respect!

Photos from Listowel Endurance facebook page. And yes, that runner is barefoot!


Such a good Idea

This is Ballybunion’s newest defibrillator. Every town now seems to have several of these lifesaving machines which I am told are really easy to use. In Ballybunion they have built a concrete replica of an old phone box and put their newest defibrillator in it. It is a great idea to have it visibly accessible in case of emergency. I’m probably missing something, but it seems to need a code to open the door!

I took three pictures so you could see exactly where the box is.


1968 Old Boys Reunion

Michael Moriarty sent me a few photos from the recent reunion of the 1968 St. Michael’s class.

 “One of the photos is of our surviving teachers along with the present principal, Johnnie Mulvihill, all of whom were our guests at our dinner on Sat 8th Sept. We had a wonderful weekend. We met up for an informal “meet and greet” on the Friday evening (complete with name tags!). On Saturday morning we were in St. Michael’s where Johnnie Mulvihill gave us a guided tour of the college including the room where we attempted to sit in the same seats we had in our Leaving Cert year. We were also treated to a tasty reception in the college. In the afternoon We had a guided tour of the town led by Vincent Carmody which was very informative both to those of us who are residents of the town and the lads who are scattered throughout Ireland and beyond.”

At the door of Listowel Garda Station Vincent Carmody, their historian guide took this photo during their Guided walk around Listowel;

 Front row: Seamus O’Donovan, Willie Keane, Jerry O’Flaherty, yours truly, my younger brother Tom, Paul O’Brien.

 Second row: Christy Sheehy, Michael Moran, Michael Crowley, Teddy Murphy. 

Back row; Maurice O’Connell, Tadhg Leahy, Ned O’Sullivan, Liam Cummins, Pat Flaherty. 

Mike Moriarty kindly gave me a bit of information on the Listowel connection of the old boys;

Seamus O’Donovan is a brother of Stephen O’Donovan, Upper William St.

 Willie Keane is a brother of Norita Killeen.

Jerry O’Flaherty grew up in the house that was incorporated into Allo’s when that restaurant expanded.

Paul O’Brien is a brother to Carmel Harnett, whose daughter runs the creche at the top of Cahirdown.

Michael Moran is from Billerough out near the six crosses.

Michael Crowley grew up in the house that is now Doran’s Pharmacy.

Teddy Murphy is a brother of Margaret Murphy who works with Dr. Daly.

Maurice O’Connell is a brother of Thomas the builder and is married to Alice Gleeson who grew up where Jumbo’s is now.

Tadhg Leahy is a brother of John (taxi man) and grew up in Leahy’s Drapery in Market St. Tadhg and myself married two sisters!

Liam Cummins is a native of Ballybunion. Came in by bus each morning but had to thumb home. Retired guard now living in Abbeyfeale.

Pat Flaherty, an only child, grew up in the Red Cottages in Cahirdown and comes home frequently from Dublin.

Christy Sheehy of Listowel

Ned O’Sullivan…no introduction necessary

    So there were plenty drapers’ sons in the class; Tadhg Leahy, Ned Sullivan and the two Moriartys.

John Molyneaux Snr., Johnnie Mulvihill, John Flaherty, Billy  Eggleston, Maurice McMahon, Pat Given.

This is a photograph of the official photograph by Liam Kelly


Leave the Kids at Home

On Oct 19th in St. John’s Theatre, Listowel at 8.00p.m. Frances Kennedy will present her one woman show, The Scandal of the Parish. Expect songs, stories and adult humour.


You Know it’s Winter When……

Junior Griffin takes to verse to announce the beginning of the badminton season.

Listowel Badminton Club

Serving the Shuttle in Listowel since 1908

Looking to pass the Winter,

Hoping to seek your fame,

For skill, craic and friendship

Then Badminton is your game

              Jnr  Griffin

New Members especially welcome

Join us at 

St.Michael’s Gym

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 

8 ‘til late

Community Centre

Thursday 8pm. to 10pm.

                          Enjoy the worlds fastest Racket Sport

Coaching for Beginners    

                          Contacts; James; 087 7851260; Margaret; 087 9604361;      

                        Cindy; 087  1144802

Tom; 087 8568727. Mark; 087 2119172; Junior; 087 9107929

A Glimpse of Heritage Day in Cork and a few other odds and ends

Christopher Grayson on Carrantuathail


A Shady seat in Childers’ Park, Listowel in August 2018


St. Patrick

On a pillar in St. Mary’s Listowel


Heritage Day, August 18th 2018

In my youth the Echo boy was a strong symbol of Cork. Everyone bought the two local papers, The Cork Examiner and The Evening Echo. I can hear the distinctive cry of the paper sellers in my head as I remember them. ‘Twas far from Tommy Hilfiger gear the Echo boy was reared.

Cork puts on a great programme for Heritage Day and I was lucky enough to enjoy lots of it this year.

One of the happenings was a talk at the Carpenter’s Hall.

This was a kind of olde worlde guild hall but nowadays it’s home to other trades was well.

The trade manuals look well used.

This is an example of a dry stone wall, built without cement or mortar.

This man was the main attraction. He is an expert on stoves and he frightened the bejesus out of half those present. He told us that he takes out more stoves nowadays than he puts in.

He explained the plumbers and other stove fitters are not lining the chimneys properly. They put the flue liner directly into the outlet of the stove. There should be a length of pipe between the outlet and the liner and this pipe should have a cooling section in it. Smoke going into a flue liner should be cold he told us.


A St. Michael’s Old Boys reunion

Below is the email I received from Ned O’Sullivan.

Hi Mary

The Class of ‘68 Re-union is all set for the weekend 7th to 9th September. We have a nice mix of events for participants with a banquet on Sat 8th in Listowel Arms Hotel. 

We are still trying to contact a few elusive colleagues who may not be aware of it. 

We’d be grateful if you would include it in listowelconnection blog which is a must read for exiles all over the world. 

Many thanks Mary,

Ned O Sullivan – on behalf of organizing committee. 

Organizing Committee. 


Boxing for Pope Francis

Saol Ó Dheas on Twitter shared this great picture of two of the Beglley family getting ready to play for Pope Francis on Saturday August 25 2018

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