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: telephones


Gap of Dunloe by Chris Grayson


Coming of the Telephone

Dave O’Sullivan has been doing a bit of research for us on the coming of the telephone to Listowel. We were remembering last week when local telephone numbers were in single digits.

From Dave;

Hi Mary,

Your refence to the phone system tweaked a bit of curiosity as to when the telephone might have arrived in Listowel. It appears from the attached to have been around 1915. Although by 1925 there were only 8 subscribers. Also a keen resistance from the town commissioners to having to pay for the apparatus !

Best wishes


I’ve snipped the relevant column from The Liberator. Listowel seems to have been a bit behind the times on this one.


Kildare on The Curragh

It is always heartwarming to drive through the Curragh on my way to my Kildare family. Everywhere there are sheep and lambs asserting their right of way and meandering to and fro. The other animal associated with The Curragh is, of course, the racehorse and horsey references and themes are everywhere.

When I stayed in Kildare town recently, I stayed at Kildare House Hotel.

Will you look at the inventive door openers?

In the hotel there are lots of pictures and caricatures of horsey people. This is Nina Carberry who is in the news nowadays more for her dancing skills that her horse riding.


From the Mailbag

Ms. Cogan,

Just a note to thank you for your work on the Listowel Blog.  My great grandmother, Mary McElligott (daughter of Maurice McElligott and Margaret Cashel) was born in Listowel in 1864 and immigrated to the States in 1885 as a single young woman. She was smart and determined and became a business woman running several of her own businesses along with purchasing a farm. She held a love in her heart for Listowel and County Kerry until the day she passed away.  I appreciate all that you share in your blog as it provides a glimpse into the land she loved and our ancestral home.  I hope I will get to visit in the not too distant future and enjoy it in person.

Best regards,




Will we ever learn? On Saturday February 12 2022 I spotted these two bicycles “parked” against the wall and windows of the community centre. Nearby the beautiful new bike stand stood empty.


Ballybunion,Old Phones, Ladybird Wife and Republicans in the 70s

Fields of Gold

Chris Grayson photographed this barley in Lyracrompane


 in Ballybunion by the Sea…August 2017

View of the beach from the Cliff Walk

 Peaceful cattle rest in the sunshine

 Isn’t this lovely?

The beach mission are still pulling the crowds.


Things that Take me Back

In the Lartigue Museum in Listowel there are many many things that will take you back in time. As well as the train and the train related videos and memorabilia, there is a collection of photographs and artefacts that will take the visitor on a delightful trip down memory lane. Below are some I photographed lately.

 I remember these meters and fuses from my childhood.

Ah the Sacred Heart lamp and those light fitting adaptors!


Old railway signs

My granddaughters were fascinated by the old phones. They found it hard to imagine a time when the phone rang and you answered it without a clue as to who it might be.


From the Ladybird How it Works series 

A tongue in cheek guide to being a wife


Listowel in the New York Post

Robert O’Shea shares this from The New York Post


The Girls are Back in Town

Read this blog to see what visitors who have become family at the Olive Stack Gallery have been up to. They also share a sneak peek of what’s being planned for Listowel for Christmas and its mega exciting



Were you there?

This photo was taken in Listowel on an Easter Monday in the 70s and Ballydonoghue Magazine Committee are looking for names.


I Put me Money where my Mouth is

(Well, not a lot of my money, obviously, but at least I now have skin in the game)

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