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: Super Valu

Lyreacrompane Limekiln

Garvey’s Super Valu, October 2023


Lyreacrompane Lime Kiln

Karen Trench alerted me to Lyreacrompane, Heritage Group’s story of the lime kiln.

Lime Kiln

‘Learning About Lime Kilns in Lyreacrompane’, the Heritage Week event organised by the Lyreacrompane Heritage Group drew an attendance of over sixty people who gathered to hear a well-researched and excellently presented talk by Brosna native, Billy Downes, now living in Tralee. Billy outlined the history of Lime Kilns and their role in making farming possible in upland locations and he also explained how these old structures were operated to produce the lime.

The Lyreacrompane Heritage Group thanked all who had helped to renovate the kiln, including SSE Renewables, and all who helped organise the Heritage Week event.  They include, Sean Enright, John Dowling, Odhran Lyons and Darragh Enright

A special word of thanks went to Mike and Mary Buckley, on whose property the Kiln stands, for readily agreeing to its renovation. To Chris and Mary Kelly for providing chairs and parking for the event. 

Before the occasion concluded a number of singers entertained the crowd.  Timmy Nash sang ‘My home in Sweet Lyreacrompane’. Lovely to see the younger generation stepping forward to sing the Lyreacrompane anthem. Other singers included Mary Kelly from Lyreacrompane, Noel Heaslip Tralee/Abbeydorney, Tony O’Brien Firies and Karen Trench originally from Lyreacrompane.

The Lyreacrompane Lime Kiln has already become something of a landmark for people passing through Lyreacrompane and it is increasingly used for a break/picnic by visitors and locals since it was brought back into public gaze after lying relatively hidden for decades. 


A Recipe for Life (from the internet)


Gorey Postboxes

Photos; Mick O’Callaghan

The pillar box is definitely Edward VII and I think the postbox may be from the same era. Edward was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and he ruled in Britain from 1841 to 1910. These relics all over Ireland are sadly falling into disrepair.


Big Changes at my old Workplace

I soon won’t recognise the place anymore.

Soon to have a second storey added.


Oíche Shamhna

Ag dul siar ar bhóithrín na smaointe le Margaret Dillon…

Ah the days when six pence was a fortune!


A Fact

Sharks, apparently, are the only animals who never fall ill. They are immune to every known disease, including cancer.


Last of the tennis shots, Super Valu/ Iceland, and NKM in Listowel

Photo: Chris Grayson


Then and Now




Tennis 1987

Photos; Danny Gordon

As I post this on February 24 2019, Bobby Cogan is still playing tennis and is on the court as I write playing with his club Lakewood.


Whatever Happened to The Sweet factory?

This letter from Mary Murphy in 1990 asked a question we have all been wondering about since the topic of the NKM factory came up here.

Dave O’Sullivan has done a bit of research for us and the bottom line seems to be that the sweet factory relocated to Dublin in 1925 following a strike at its Listowel plant.

First, let’s go back to 1920 and ’21 when the factory was in full flight and offering good employment to what seems to be a predominantly female workforce.

(More tomorrow)


There it is ……Gone

The mystery deepens. The box which was attached to this sign is gone. Any idea what that was all about?

BnaM Peat Machine, Listowel Food Fair 2018, Bromore, more from the Y A Bookfest 2018 and R.I.P. Weeshie

Wintry Tree by the Feale


Bord na Mona Sod Turning Machine

As we approach the end of the fossil fuel era, people are looking back at our relationship with peat and particularly with sod turf. The above picture from Tony McKenna is a 1960s sod turf turner. This machine made light work of that backbreaking job of turning every individual sod in order to dry it all round. It is pictured at work on a Bord na Mona bog, probably in the midlands.


Craft Fair at Listowel Food Fair 2018

The craft and food fair in The Listowel Arms on Sunday November 11 2018 was a great place to visit.

This family took shelter in their car while they enjoyed their crepes .

Margaret and Mary did a great morning’s shopping at the fair.

Lovely Brona was offering us samples of the locally produced chocolate which bears her name.

After meeting these two bee keepers I’m beginning to think that beekeepers are among my favourite people. These two lovely men gave me a free sample of their organic honey and they gave me some seed bombs. These are “bombs’ made up of wildflower seeds which I will scatter in the wild for the bees and other pollinators to feed on.  It’s lovely to meet lovely people who are passionate about what they do.

Next door to my beekeepers was the lovely Orla with her mouthwatering cakes. The neighbours were getting on famously. They gave her honey and she gave them a Christmas pudding.

You meet such lovely people at craft fairs!

Maurice Hannon had enlisted the help of family to man his stall. He is your man for the gluten free Christmas baking. You will find Maurice at the Friday Market in The Square.

lisa and Rena were there promoting Lisa’s book, The Local Food Project. This project came about when Lisa got a wake up call when she purchased a sandwich at a local convenience store and discovered, to her horror,  that it had 40 listed ingredients. These ingredients came from all over the world. Lisa resolved there and then to try to eat just local food. I’m in the process of reading the book and it sure is food for thought. I highly recommend it. You may not go the whole hog but I guarantee you’ll look more closely at what you are eating.

If you are beginning to think that there was a lot of confectionery at the fair, you would be right.

As well as buns and cakes there was also natural gut friendly foods like Kefir.


A Visitor’s Photos

Patty and John Faley took these photos on their visit to Listowel and North Kerry.

Here the visitors to Bromore encounter, Bart, Mike Flahive’s horse.

Patty Faley took these photos on her trip to Bromore Cliffs.


Young Adult Bookfest 2018

Taking part in the panel discussion were Kieran Donaghy and Paddy Smyth.

Kieran discovered at 23 that he was dyslexic. This eventually explained to him why he struggled in school and found exams so difficult.

Journalist and Listowel native, Edaein O’Connell, also told us about her unusual career path to where she is today, in her dream job, writing for Image magazine.

Paddy Smyth has a huge online following. This is where he tells his story. You may also remember him from First Dates Ireland. He allowed himself to be persuaded that it would be good for his image. It certainly gained him a whole new audience.

 Then it was lunchtime and Super Valu, Lizzy’sand Cup and Kettle brought the mountain to Mohammed.


The One and Only Weeshie

There is a saying that when an old man dies a library burns down.  Certainly Weeshie Fogarty’s passing is like the loss of a library.  Weeshie was a repository of knowledge and lore and he was generous in sharing it. He walked with kings yet kept the common touch. I have enjoyed all the memories and stories that have poured into social, broadcast and print media since he died.

Weeshie interviewed me in his “In Conversation with….” slot on Radio Kerry. He was a gentleman and a consummate professional. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

On the subject of media, why not tune in to my Just a Thought slot on Radio Kerry at 7.30 ish and 12.00 noon  ish every weekday next week., starting November  26 2018

More from Writers’ Week 2015

A Bit Unseasonal But Lovely

John Kelliher at his best


John Kelliher Takes us Down Memory Lane

The ESB headquarters where Aldi now stands.

Super Valu in Mill Lane


Big Win for  Good Charity

These are the volunteers and friends from Recovery Haven, a Tralee based charity which this week won the top prize for Rural Innovation sponsored by Dairymaster. Recovery Haven supports  emotionally and physically people who are on a cancer journey whether as patients or family of patients.   (photo and story Radio Kerry)


North Cork Ladies on tour

I met up with some ladies from my homeland last week as they were on a bus tour round limerick, Clare and Kerry. Their trip to The Seanchaí was a highlight of their day trip . They loved the drama and they had a delicious meal in the Listowel Arms afterwards


Local People at Opening Night 2015

Conferring of Diplomas in 1954, Super Valu and Horans

This is one of the photos in Vincent’s Carmody’s Listowel, Snapshots of an Irish Market Town.

A little known fact about Vincent is that he is related to two acclaimed writers, Richard and Stephen White. Below is what Stephen writes about Vincent’s book in his Facebook page

There seems to be no end to my writing relatives, or in the amazing number of writers who have roots in County Kerry, Ireland. I’ve written previously about my mother Sara’s background. She was born in Ballylongford in County Kerry and emigrated to Chicago during the Depression. Her life story on both sides of the Atlantic is chronicled in my older brother Richard’s book, “Ahanagran: A History of Stories.” One of the important places in that history, and in my mother’s life, was the nearest market town to Ballylongford—the place my mother considered the big city, Listowel.

Now another relative—my second cousin, Vincent Carmody (his grandmother and my grandmother were sisters)—has written a glorious love letter to the Listowel of my mother’s youth. His handsome new book is called “Listowel: Snapshots of an Irish Market Town, 1850-1950.” If you have any Irish in you, or in your background—or maybe just have a love of Irish history—it’s an entrancing look back at how your Irish ancestors lived, traded, and shopped. Consider taking a look.”

High praise, indeed!

Vincent’s book is available to purchase here



 From The Kerryman in 1954


A few days ago I did a little photo essay of the refurbishment of this premises but I was reminded that I did not include a recent picture. So here it is, SuperValu as it is today.


This is now, that was then….


Martin Griffin’s lovely old photo of his father, Andrew Griffin. In the background is the old mill in Greenville.


A group of today’s young Irish emigrants in Perth attempt to recreate the iconic image of Irish workmen in New York in the 1950s.


 Trad Night is back

Friday night next in Tankers at 9.00 p.m.  A great session guaranteed.


This is the way of the future

Massive kegs of Guinness being unloaded from boats from Holland at Dún Laoghaire on Monday night      (photo;  Emma McNamara)


+  Eileen Larkin R.I.P. +

The death took place on 17 February 2013 of Eileen Larkin who was born at  Rathea, Listowel and was  Retired Public Health Nurse, Ballybunion. Requiem Mass for Eileen was celebrated on 19th February 2013 in St. Bridget’s Church, Duagh. Her body was donated to Medical Science, University College Cork.

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