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: summer 2015

An American wedding, Lyre, Ballybunion and Kissane Photo Gallery opening

“Ireland unfree shall never be at Peace”

This photo from the National Library is of Padraig Pearse delivering his famous speech at the graveside of O’Donovan Rossa, one hundred years ago.


Anne MacNamee of Paper Hearts took this lovely wedding photo of an American bride who returned recently to the hometown of her ancestors to get married. The wedding in St. Mary’s Listowel and The Listowel Arms was featured in this article in  The Irish Independent

Wedding of Corey and Shannon


A Party in Lyre

The good people ofLyreacrompane had a party and they put the photos up on Facebook. I’ve copied a few for you and I’ve printed here the reflection, Fr. Pat Moore, their parish priest sent to them. As Fr. Pat continues his recovery, his parishioners are never too far from his thoughts. He shares with them the valuable life lessons he is learning, lessons that are deeply personal but have a universal application.

His flock have got to know their shepherd a lot better in these past few months.


I now realise I have felt it all my life. Again and again I find myself going down to the shoreline, negotiating the last few steps where the road meets the strand. We always called it the pinch. Breathe in the air, feel a bit of warmth in it. I turn west along the strand, by Dexter’s Rock where the Englishman who deserted his army, read his newspaper. The soft carpet of sand beneath me, ground stone taken from cliff. Nothing is permanent, rock and land to sand and the rock rises out of the sea. Listen, listen to the conversation between the sea and the shoreline – the taking and the giving. It is now enforcing the lack of permanence for things are always changing. At a deep level there is nothing to hold onto.

Yet the voice of the sea speaks to the soul. I am walking in the shadow of faith. Believing,I now realise is not seeing. Where is my frantic activity bringing me, bringing us, in our world? How do I keep my zest for life? What helps me value building family and community? What I hold onto brings me within, through the heart to grasp something to hold onto, something that lasts. I have sensed it as an invitation and the response I have hitched my wagon to is in and through Christ. The zest can’t come from myself, it comes from beyond.

Is it God that gives me the impulse to want God and that sense of permanence I seek?


A Few more Listowel ads from 1960

Both of these businesses are still going strong today.


Rough Summer in Ballybunion

The sea is cold and rough, the beach is deserted. I have pity for the poor people who depend for their income on the tourist season in seaside towns in Ireland this summer.


Kissane Photo Gallery Launch

Eamon, Eily and John at the opening of the Kissane Photo  Archive in The Horseshoe Gallery on Sunday August 2 2015.

The archive is an extraordinary collection of photographs of three Kissane families, of Lacca, Kilcox and Kilgarvan, all descended from the same ancestor. Eily Walsh has done trojan work in researching the family tree. Eamon OMurchú, whose mother was a Kissane, did the work on the photographs, editing, mounting and captioning them. They have done their families a huge service.

Jimmy Deehihan performed  the launch. He was mightily impressed with the exhibition and he will be using it as an example of what can be done. This family has many high achievers in its midst and the younger generation of high flyers was well represented on Sunday evening.

The gallery is open to the public. Do drop in while the Kissane photos are in situ. You will be amazed at the beautiful black and white photos and the extraordinary story they tell.

Summer weather, Áras Mhuire and a Grotto in Cork

Lovely photos;  Shame about the weather

One day in July Elizabeth Brosnan photographed the weather story of summer 2015 in North Kerry.


A Close Call

Photo: Timothy John MacSweeney


A Presentation at Áras Mhuire

Last week I visited Áras Mhuire for the occasion of the presentation of a bequest from a long time resident of the retirement home who had passed away recently.

Seán Collins had lived in Áras Mhuire for 18 years. He had made his home there and he was among friends. The outstanding memory everyone has of Seán is usually his piety and his devotion to The Holy Rosary. It was fitting that his statue of Our Lady, adorned with rosary beads. should be the symbol to represent him at the little ceremony.  Trish Joy, Person in Charge at Aras Mhuire, accepted the donation from Eilish Dillane (sister of the late Sean Collins) and her husband Michael gave a lovely little speech outlining Sean’s time in the home and expressing the family’s  appreciation of the care he received there. John O’Keeffe represented the Board of Management.

John O’Keefe, Eilís Dillane, Trish Joy and Michael Dillane.

Some of the care assistants I met .

Some of the residents who were present.

I met an old friend, Eileen Fitzgibbon. She is pictured here with Claire Carmody who organized my visit.

James Gould took me to the  oratory and showed me the fittings which had come there from Listowel’s Presentation Convent Chapel.

This was the side altar in the convent chapel and the prayer stools came from the convent as well.

The Annunciation  and Presentation Windows once adorned the Pres chapel as well.


A Peaceful Oasis in Cork

For my Cork family reading this, be assured, I’m only touching that flag out of politeness. The other flag bearer, Fr. Pat Moore is a proud Kerry man and well on his way back to The Kingdom. I found Fr. Pat in great form, definitely on the mend and only looking a little the worst for his recent ordeal. They say that faith can move mountains. Fr. Pat is living proof.

He is convalescing in a lovely spot, Mount Desert.

Cork is located in a valley and appropriately enough, Fr. Pat’s new abode looks down on that valley.

Just down the road from the gate of Mount Desert is this entrance to a magnificent shrine, a feat of engineering set back into the hill.

This extraordinary heart shaped  thing on top of the grotto  looks like it might light up at night. Should be worth seeing.

I looked this effigy up on Google and this is all I could find;

“Set of twelve freestanding rectangular rosary stations, erected 1952, comprising carved limestone plaques with incised pictures and lettering. Located at intervals against wall to roadside marking decades of the rosary and terminating in grotto to west. Grotto comprises stepped structure housing statues with limestone boundary walls and wrought-iron railings. Dedicated to Our Lady.


Marking decades of the rosary and terminating in a grotto, these plaques are a very unusual feature to the roadside. The plaques have been executed to a high standard by skilled craftsmen. Opened on Assumption day 1952 the grotto and plaques play an important role in both the religious and social fabric of the area.”

I spotted those “rosary Stations” alright. I’ll have to go back for a closer look. As they say on Facebook…..feeling fascinated.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén