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 Little Lilac Studio.

Lilac studio and Listowel Pitch and Putt Course and Árd Chúram Cares

 Ita Hannon took this photo on Beale


The Little Lilac Studio

This much missed little studio used to be on Main Street

Coco Kids is in that site now.


Recruitment Poster for An Garda Síochána in 1923


Listowel Pitch and Putt Course

Brenda Enright, whose father Tom O’Halloran was a stalwart of Listowel Pitch and Putt Club sent us this photo. The course may be closed but it still looks very beautiful and the members are working constantly on keeping it beautiful. It is important that people not walk on the greens as they are being worked on at the moment and could be easily damaged.

Below are some of the beautiful trees on the course.


Róisín Meaney has been composing little rhymes to help her through lockdown. Now she has inspired others to join her in this humorous avtivity.  Here’s a good one from Mags Hough

From Mags Hough – on keeping to your limit! 

A fella went walking one day.

He said he was saving the hay,

The guard said “Dat’s right,Don’t give me dat shite,
Now turn back to your home, it’s dat way.”


Árd Chúram Delivers

People over 70 are cocooned from Covid 19. People who live alone,  often in rural locations miss the social interaction of the weekly trip to Árd Chúram Day Centre. Their friends at the centre have not forgotten them and they are preparing a treat. Care packages with food, activity packs and home exercise programmes will be delivered to the service users shortly.

Chef, Sid Sheehan, preparing some sweet treats.

last Train, The Courthouse Plaza and The Little Lilac Studio

A Photo of Listowel Town Square in March 2019

John Kelliher of JK Photography


A Lament for A Railway Line

posted on Facebook by Liam O’Hainnín


Definitely not Gas 

I speculated that the digging outside the courthouse might be something to do with town gas. Wrong! definitely not gas. Seating and raised flower beds, I’m told.


Farewell Little Lilac Studio

Listowel has lost one of its little gems. The Lilac Studio was a really lovely visitor experience . My grandchildren loved it and we spent many happy times there. We have some lovely souvenirs to show for it.

Here are some photos from our last visit.

Kathy was always infinitely patient and kind to her customers. She is a natural teacher, supportive and encouraging. We always left her little studio, feeling better for the experience. Our town is poorer for the loss of this little artistic, child friendly place.

Listowel Cinema,, NKM in Dublin, Good News from Athea and The Little Lilac Studio is closing

 Photo: Chris Grayson


Then and Now

Changes at the corner


Seán MacCarthy Festival Still Going Strong

Sean McCarthy Festival 2019 is from Thursday 1st – Monday 5th August

I took this photo at the festival in 2004


NKM Strike

NKM was Listowel’s first manufacturing industry.

But by 1925, something had gone horribly wrong and the business was relocated to Dublin.

Dave O’Sullivan has discovered that the factory owners embarked on an extensive advertising campaign to re- establish the brand as a world leader in its field after the move to Dublin.

Meanwhile in Listowel


Update from Athea Tidy Towns Committee

We are delighted to update everyone on the progress of the repair of our mural painted by Jim Dunne and local help a number of years ago. Unfortunately the mural was knocked by a storm in early 2018 resulting in severe damage. The timbers had also begun to decay as a result of weathering. It seemed an impossible task to save the mural but following a commitment from our resident volunteer artist James Dunn, it was decided to salvage what we could of the masterpiece. The repair project was spearheaded by John Scanlon who enlisted the help of Joe Lavin and Shane Scanlon. It was not an easy task as they worked together to cut away and replace parts of the timbers essentially creating a jigsaw puzzle. Many nights/ evenings have been spent repairing the mural and we are beyond grateful to these men for sharing their time and skills all for the benefit of our village. When complete, the mural will be placed on the newly built concrete wall complete with protective canopy next to Batts Bar. We have also been successful in receiving funding from Airtricity to erect lighting to illuminate the mural at night. Thanks also to Scanlon Construction for their assistance with this project. Looking forward to the day when this mural will return to his rightful home!


What a Loss!

This lovely friendly workshop will be a huge loss to town.  Cathy was so welcoming and so helpful and I always loved taking my grandchildren here. It is a great pity that we are losing this unique visitor attraction. 

We all know that it is really hard to make a living out of this type of artistic endeavour. I think such enterprises should be subsidised and encouraged. They are so much part of Listowel’s attractiveness to tourists and visitors

Athea Mural, Little Lilac Gallery and Knitting

Athea Revisited

I love to visit Athea and I particularly like to see progress on Jim Dunn’s mural.

Recently, I had my Cork girls on their Kerry holidays and we were very kindly invited to visit the home of the artist. Before he took us to his home he posed for a photo with the girls.

A great blessing of advancing years is to live long enough to get to know your grandchildren. It is a blessing that has also been granted to Liz and Jim Dunn. They recently enjoyed having their two lovely granddaughters on their first visit without parents.

I asked Liz to take a few special photos for us in listowelconnection. Jim posed with Ellie and Kate, his granddaughters, beside their image, captured forever on a wall in Athea.

These little girls, because of the enormous talent of their grandfather, and his great contribution to his adopted home are now part of Athea’s history.


The Death of the Rural Parish

While we were in Athea we visited the parish church and we ran into Fr. Bohan, the last parish priest of Athea. He is soon to retire and he will not be replaced. This story is familiar today in rural Ireland as more and more parishes are amalgamating or just dying out.

Here Aisling listens, enthralled, as he tells us about his young days as a hurler.

He taught her a new word, a pullet.  He told us that he had visited a school and not one child in fifth class knew what a pullet was. He is determined to put that right and he is teaching every child he meets the meaning of the word, pullet. In case you don’t know, it is a teenage chicken.

I wondered if a future visitor to a class will ask, “What is a parish priest?” and be met with silence.


Little Lilac Studio

This is The Little Lilac Studio in Main Street. It is the most marvellous place to take children who like to do things with their hands. I took my grandchildren and they loved creating a special keepsake from their Kerry holiday.

First you choose your blank canvas, i.e. a ceramic plate, cup, vase, animal etc. This proved a tricky decision for my crew who wanted to paint them all.

Then you set to work painting your masterpiece. The lovely lady who runs the studio is infinitely patient and helpful, encouraging and cajoling the young ceramicists.

You can draw inspiration from some completed works on display, or you can just do your own thing.


Teach a child a skill for life

Colouring is a great creative activity for young people.

This holiday the two older girls learned to knit. They became so enthusiastic about their new craft that they wanted to do it all the time.

Aisling went home with a new jumper for her bunny, all handmade by herself.

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