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: The Country Boy

1972 communion in Knockanure, Some Listowel Placenames, a Listowel Marathon and works begin at Greenlawn

 The King of all Birds

Wren photographed by Ita Hannon



Yesterday’s announcement was a bit premature. When I passed through William Street today there were the roadworks….gone! Looks like it was only a temporary patching job which leaves the surface marginally more drivable. Be warned! the margin of improvement is small.

Please accept my apologies for getting your hopes up.


First Holy Communion in Knockanure in 1972


Some Listowel Placenames and their meaning

Ballinruddery;  I used to think that this one came from Baile an Ridire, meaning the home of the knight. The Knight of Kerry did have a house close by.

Dan Keane’s great book on the placenames of North Kerry, Tralee and Ballymacelligott set me straight.

Baile an Riodaraigh means the home of the riddles or Ruddles. A family of Rddles lived in the area.

Ballyduhig: This is in Irish Baile an Dhufaigh, meaning the home of the Duffys.

Ballygologue: Baile na Gabhlóige. A gabhlóg was a fork in a road.

Ballygrennan: Baile an Ghrianáin:  The home of the elevated sunny place.  True enough!

However Bedford has no Irish root whatsoever. An English man (probably from Bedford in England) built his home here and he called it Bedford House and the name stuck replacing the previous name for that area: Ath an Turais meaning ford of the journey or pilgrimage. The ford was on the Listowel Ballylongford road which is now crossed by Shrone bridge. There are two holy wells across the river, Tobar Rí an Domhnaigh ( The King of Sunday’s well) and Tobar Naomh Parthalán ( St. Bartholomew’s well)

Behins: Na Beithiní  means little birch trees.

Here endeth today’s lesson


A Few Photos I took during last week’s marathon


Another premises being refurbished


The Country Boy at St. John’s

Drama is thriving in Listowel in 2016. The latest offering was The Country Boy from the resilient Lartigue company. It was sad, funny and sweet  and very popular with Listowel audiences.

Norella Moriarty and Batt O’Keeffe took Joan Kenny’s ticket and gave her a programme.

 The cast take a curtain call

Ballybunion From the Sea, an old cottage and a cottage industry

A Different Aspect of Ballybunion

Photographer, Marie Rohan, posted this image on Facebook. She took the stunning photo during a boat trip at last year’s Seaweed Festival


Preserving the Memories

( Photos from the Connemara History and Heritage Centre)

A man sits on a súgán chair outside a modern recreation of an old stone cottage.

There would have been no home drinking in those days.

Apart from a table and chairs the dresser was usually the only good piece of furniture in a 19th. century cottage. Delf was wealth and it was valued and displayed. To the left of the dresser is a creel for turf and a griddle pan for cooking bread etc. To the right is the butter churn.

 The hearth with black pot hanging on the crane over the fire. As was common there is no fireplace as we know it today, just a shelf well up above the fire and a line like a clothes line on which clothes and horses’ tackling were hung to dry.

Hand cut turf, unlike today’s machine cut uniform sods. This turf does not look black enough to be considered the best. Turf is judged by its dryness and darkness of colour.


Craftshop na Méar’s New Look

Crafters have been busy painting and rearranging the shop. They would love everyone to pop in for a look. There are some lovely things on display. All craftwork is done locally.

Cushions, quilts, clutch bags and jewellery

Books and puzzles for sale include my own Listowel Through a Lens which I am now selling at the knockdown price of €5. All proceeds from the sale of my book  now go to Listowel Chapter of St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Sharyn makes beautiful vintage style jewellery.

The shop is still the sole stockist of the beautiful solid silver My Silver River Feale range.

Viveca’s gorgeous lamps can be custom made two your own design.


Aran Knitting

Long before there was ever a craftshop, Listowel women were knitting and sewing beautiful creations. One of these ladies, Dolores Carroll, was an expert knitter of aran jumpers. She send many of these to her sister in the U.S. who sold them on to her work colleagues. Many people, even some with no Irish connection were eager to wear a genuine Irish sweater. The pictures below show Dolores’ sister and her husband wearing some of Dolores’ handiwork.

Right now Dolores would prefer that I was reminding Listowel people that The Country Boy with The Lartigue Theatre Co. opened its run  in St. John’s on Thursday night, March 31 2016 . It runs until April 4 and there are still a few seats available.

 John Murphy’s comic drama reflects on the social problems of emigration and rural life in the late 1950’s.  Directed by Denis O Mahony, the cast features; Lucille O Sullivan, Clare O Connor, Margaret Murphy, Robert Bunyan, Mike Moriarty and Con Kirby. Dolores is doing as great job on the  publicity.

Humans of Listowel on St. Patrick’s Day 2016, and The Country Boy in St. John’s

More from Listowel St. Patrick’s Day 2016

Some photographs of Listowel people on St. Patrick’s Day 2016


Post Boxes

The old British post boxes are so much more photogenic the An Post ones of today. I’m so glad they left them behind.

This is Listowel’s example at the corner of The Square.

In Dublin they are painting them red for the commemorations of 1916.


Something to look forward to

Next week all roads will lead to St. Johns from Thursday Mar. 31 to Monday April 4 for The Lartigue Theatre Co. present John Murphy’s comic drama reflecting on the social problems of emigration and rural life in the late 1950’s.  Directed by Denis O Mahony, the cast features; Lucille O Sullivan, Clare O Connor, Margaret Murphy, Robert Bunyan, Mike Moriarty and Con Kirby.



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