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. Patrick’s Day 2017

Parade Photos 2017

Snapped in The Square

I met friends, Bernie Carmody and Eilish Wren heading out for their afternoon walk.


Social; Realta na Maidine have plans for April


More photos from the Rain Soaked Parade

Craftshop na Méar window looked very appropriate.

Betty McGrath was another of the many shop keepers who made a great effort.

 I caught up with St. Patrick again on Church St.

By now he was well into his stride, waving and dispensing blessings.

The school band was still in tune and in step.

Imelda and the Tidy Town gang were still smiling through.

Seán Moriarty was marshalling well.

Flavins and visitors watched from the dry vantage point of their shop doorway


St. Mary’s Listowel in Lent 2017

St. Patrick’s Day 2017 part 3

Horses Love Water

Ita Hannon was out photographing horses in Beale on Sunday last


The Parade

Dromclough National School can always be relied on to make a great effort for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. They were turning into the Square in the very worst of the weather so I did my best to photograph as many of them as possible.

Killocrim young people were next.

 One brave soul keeping everyone on track


Meanwhile in London

John Relihan is a great ambassador for Irish food. He was cooking up a storm in Trafalgar Square on Sunday March 19 2017. He took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to mingle with young and old, the famous and the not so famous. (photos: Facebook)


Finbarr Slattery R.I.P.

Killarney suffered the loss of a true legend at St. Patrick’s weekend. Finbarr Slattery was a Renaissance man.

This is what had to say about him. The photos are also from that site.

A man of enormous wisdom and a walking encyclopedia on world
events, his knowledge of current affairs was possibly unrivalled and he was a
great authority on so many subjects, not least Irish and international
politics, history, agriculture, quizzes, horse racing, golf and Kerry culture.

A native of Asdee, after attending Blackrock College and UCD,
from where he graduated with a degree in agricultural science, Finbarr moved to
Nottingham for a spell but later returned to his home county and built his life
in Killarney, with his wife Carmel (O’Leary) and their three daughters.

He wrote a popular current affairs column, Worldwide, in The
newspaper and he has the unique distinction of writing for every
single edition of that newspaper in its 30-year history.

Finbarr worked as an agricultural advisor with Acot – now
Teagasc – and he travelled the highways and byways of Kerry and beyond meeting
with farm families on a daily basis to advise on best practice and chat about
the news of the day.

Finbarr also served as Secretary of Killarney Race Company from
1978 to 1991 and he was responsible for bringing the then Lord Mayor of Dublin,
Carmencita Hederman, to a special race meeting in Killarney to mark Dublin’s
millennium celebrations in 1988. On that day also, thanks to his efforts,
Killarney staged its first ever £10,000 race.

A snapshot from many years ago showing Finbarr with a very young
AP McCoy, who was one of racing’s top jockeys

He was also responsible for bringing legendary jockey Lester
Piggott to Killarney for the July Races in 1991 and was delighted when the best
jockey of all time won three of the five races he rode in.

Finbarr organised a special tribute day to the great broadcaster
and racing commentator Micheál O’Hehir in Killarney in May 1994 and in 1996 he
published the definitive history of racing  with a 520-page book called Following
the Horses
which remains a bible for those with an interest in the sport.

Finbarr’s political predictions were always in big demand come
election time and his number was the first dialled by Morning Ireland
presenter David Hanley when he wanted an opinion on air on who the winners and
losers might be, come polling day.

Finbarr’s prediction for TIME Magazine’s Person of the
Year was also closely watched and the editors published his forecast for many
years – and while he didn’t always get it right, he seldom got it wrong.

Finbarr was a very familiar face in Killarney town where he was
on first name terms with everybody. He cut quite a dash cycling from his home
on countess Road to go about the business of the day and, for many years, he
was accompanied on those journeys by his loyal friend and canine companion,

Finbarr is survived by his wife, Carmel, daughters Aideen,
Sinead and Niamh, granddaughters Caoileann, Clare, Aoibhe, Roise, Emer, Mary
and Sally, his goddaughter Lorna, sons-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,
nephews and niece, relatives, neighbours and many good friends.


R.I.P. Bishop Eamon Casey

In Firies in 1974

St. Patrick’s Day 2017

Wetting the Shamrock

March 17 2017 beat all records for inclement St. Patrick’s Days. We had wind, rain and freezing temperatures. Many parades were cancelled but Listowel’s went ahead with much diminished attendance.

I had young visitors for the weekend so we set out determined to brave the elements and sample a Listowel parade.

We set out with three umbrellas. By the time we reached the end of the drive we had 2 and 100 yards later we were down to 1. I suppose we should count ourselves lucky  the wind was so strong it didn’t sweep a child as well as a gamp.

There they are at their first viewing position, umbrellas gone, flags waving, drenched.

Here they are at their eventual viewing position, safe and warm inside the window at Scribes.

Meanwhile Nana braved the downpour to bring you the story of the parade.

This year Listowel Comhaltas erected a stage outside Mag’s delicatessen. This was a bit of a mistake in my opinion as it divided the already small crowd.  It did give a chance to some dancers and musicians to showcase their talents…but they were soaked.

These girls shed the raincoats and gave of their almighty best despite the skies opening above them.

 As you can see the crowd of spectators was well down on previous years but there were still a few hardy souls on the streets

Any vantage point offering a spot of shelter was taken up.

From the relative comfort of the viewing stand Billy Keane and Matt Mooney directed operations.

There was a big welcome for St. Patrick. For once I got a few pictures unspoiled by raindrops on my lens.

We forgot about our own discomfort for a minute as the rescue service vehicles hove into view. Billy asked us to turn our thoughts in silence for a minute to the ongoing search for three of the rescue personnel who went down with their stricken helicopter off Blackrock lighthouse in Mayo.

As a mark of respect to their fallen colleagues the fire sirens of the local service remained silent.

(More from the Listowel parade tomorrow)


Meanwhile in New York

They had snow in New York and Boston but Denis Hegarty of Tullamore made it there before the storms struck.

This photograph made it to the TV.

Denis with  Loretta King president of Kerry Association NY

with cousin Tim Hayes, Woodlawn NY and Gortnaminch on left

with Roses

Denis’ brother, John Anthony, sent me the photos.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén