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 Holocaust

Holocaust Memorial, Community Fruit, Nut and Herb Garden and Juvenile Tennis in 1988

This is the Holocaust Memorial in Listowel’s lovely Garden of Europe. It is made from old railway sleepers, a reminder of the railways that carried so many condemned people to the concentrations camps of WW2. The sleepers are bound together with steel bars and surrounded by chains, reminding us of the inescapable horror that faced Jews, gypsies and anyone else who fell foul of the Nazi regime.

We do well to remember these horrors lest they happen again.


Judgement Day is Nigh

The Tidy Town judges could arrive in town at any minute so we must be vigilant. Town is looking absolutely resplendent but I read last year’s judges’ report and it would appear  now that so many towns are so beautiful that they have to find tiny little things to separate them.

 Tiny little things like a carelessly discarded plastic bottle in the beautiful riverside community garden could just make that tiny difference.

I was amused at the name of the drink as I threw it into the bin which was not 3 feet away from where it was discarded. Litter certainly won’t boost our Tidy Town mark.


Fruit, Herbs, Bees and  a Picnic

The area beside the old ball alley is now a beautiful peaceful picnic area. The good folk of the Tidy Town committee have planted fruit trees and herbs. They have erected bee boxes and planted trees to shade the picnic tables. It is a truly lovely corner of town now. I urge you, if you are in town, to go and take a look. 

Those of you who are far away will have to make do with my photographs


I was at the Cork Summer Show

The sign on this scarecrow said, “If you ate today, thank a farmer”

This is my family’s newest hope, EPA Murray. Here he is being ridden by the judge. His usual rider is Felicity Ward. He behaved impeccably for both of them.

Everyone was delighted when he won his first rosette.


One from the Archives

Listowel young tennis players in 1988

Back row, L. to R. John MacAulliffe, John Finnegan, Seamus Cronin, Catherine MacAulliffe, Clodagh Finnegan, Ruth Kelly, Kathleen Cronin, Louise O’Shea, Karen Carmody and Sharon O’Mahoney

Front L. to R. Bobby Cogan, Neil O’Sullivan, Dan Browne, Declan Kenny, Anne Cogan, Maeve Queally, Fiona O’Sullivan, Ursula Carmody, Catherine Moylan, Valerie Queally and Yvonne Croghan.

Garden of Europe, Flanagan’s, a new Art technique at Olive Stack’s Gallery and the first of my St. Patrick’s Day photos

Big Name for Listowel Writers’ Week

Joanne Harris of Chocolat and Five Quarters of the Orange fame is coming to Listowel. She has written lots of other great novels as well but the above two are my favorites.


Good Idea!

Patrick Kavanagh asked that his memorial should be “a canal bank seat for the passerby”. This always struck me as a good idea.

Flanagans in Listowel has a similar idea.

Now, isn’t that clever? The seat can be removed and brought indoors when the pub is closed.


Great Music and singing at the monthly session in The Seanchaí

March 2016


Garden on Europe and Listowel’s Holocaust Memorial

Recently Kerry Business Women’s Network marked International Women’s Day by inviting a very interesting special guest. Eva Schloss is an 86 year old Holocaust surviver. She is the step sister of Anne Frank. Eva has written about her time in the “camp” and the horrors that she has witnessed in her books, Eva’s Story and After Auschwitz.

Maria Leahy was in Ballygarry Hotel to hear her on March 12 2016

“Eva took to the stage and you could not hear a pin drop from the time she started to tell her story,200 or so guests were totally in awe of this woman and the story she had to tell.”

    The day after her interview with Ryan Tubridy Eva was brought to Listowel to visit The Holocaust Memorial in The Garden of Europe.

    Junior Griffin gave me these photographs from the official opening of the memorial which was attend by the German ambassador and other dignitaries.


    New Artist in Residence

    They are always making beautiful things in Olive Stack’s. The newest artist in residence is Sheary Clough  who paints using this ancient technique. Encaustic is a paint made from beeswax, pure pigments and tree resin. The finished effect looks a bit like enamel, really colorful, shiny and beautiful.


    St. Patrick’s Day in Listowel 2016

    As I headed to town for the parade there was evidence on Church St. that local people were preparing.

    Denis Fitzpatrick had his vintage car polished and ready to roll.

    Flags were flying on Church Street shops.

    Jim Halpin had his army jeep ready for action.

    Our local historian, Vincent Carmody was amongst women as he headed home from mass before returning to view the parade.

    Bhí go leor Gaeilge le cloisteáil agus le feiceáil ar na bhfógraí ar na fuinneoga.

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