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 Nook


Wild Garlic in 2017


Now and Then


Listowel Writers’ Week 2022

In 2019 we took a stroll around The Square with contributions from singers, readers and players. These are the kind people who helped me out then.

They are Paddy MacElligott, Clíona McKenna, Dave O’Sullivan and Éamon ÓMurchú, Mary Fagan, Mary Moylan and Mike Moriarty

This year we will have a slight change of personnel but we’re all looking forward to doing it all again.

Listowel Writers’ Week Morning Walk around Listowel Town Square is planned for Friday June 3 2022 starting at The Listowel Arms at 10.00 a.m.

No charge

A little taster here;

Paddy sings Isle of Hope

Friday promises to be a great day at Writers’ Week. Why not come to town early for the walk and stay for the day. Poets’ Corner in Christy’s with the wittiest of M.Cs, Sean Lyons, starts at 9.00p.m.

Some of the people in the 2019 audience have told me that they will be back again.


Edel Quinn

I come from Kanturk in Co. Cork but my home was in the parish of Castlemagner. I was back there last weekend for my lovely grand niece’s First Holy Communion.

Jessica Ahern on her First Holy Communion Day, May 21 2022

Castlemagner is also the parish of Edel Quinn and they have erected a little grotto to her in the Church Grounds.


From Pres. Yearbook 2006


Laundry for the Elderly

The generous volunteers who work in this vital service attended their annual mass and get together recently.

Standing; Helen Kenny, Majella Stack, Margaret Leahy (hidden), Jenny Tarrant , Eileen Sheehy,  Anne Doran, Bridie ORourke,  Josephine Cronin, Mary Commerford,  Eleanor Cronin, Joan Kenny,  Olwen Keane Stack, Joan O’Donnell,  Bridie O’Connor, Joan Buckley,  Jean Quille, Anne O’Connor,  Margaret Murphy

Sitting; Nora Scanlon , Mary Walsh, Julie Gleeson, Helen Moylan, Fr.  Jack O’Donnell, Mary Hanlon, Norita Keane Killeen 


Some shops then and now

Dan Paddy Andy Festival

What are John and Noreen up to?


Grotto in O’Connell’s Avenue last week.


That was then; this is now


Horan’s Fruit and Veg

Can you have too many signs?


St. John’s

I took the opportunity recently to photograph the stained glass window in the chancel of St. John’s.


Regenerating Tralee town centre

A disused food factory site is to become an attractive public market area in the centre of Tralee, Co Kerry.

The former Denny bacon plant — seen as a catalyst for the regeneration of the centre of the town — was handed over earlier this year to the local town council, by the Kerry Group, without preconditions.

The 2.5-acre site, vacated in 2008, is to be cleared in the coming months and plans are to develop a facility similar to the Milk Market area in Limerick.

While plans are still at an early stage, the idea is it will include a farmers’ market, an area for new businesses and crafts and a performance area for entertainers.

Tralee mayor Jim Finucane said the development would rejuvenate the centre of Tralee.

The full story is in yesterday’s Examiner  HERE

The last of 2014 Corpus Christi procession photos and some beautiful paintwork on Church Street

Today is July 4th.  Have a great day all my American followers!

The stars and stripes are flying outside St. John’s.


Liam Murphy and family

Liam, on the far left,  is pictured with his sister, Catherine (Kath) brother Tom and sister Mary. The photo was taken in 2012. The story of Liam’s emigration is a happy one. He loves Kerry and in particular his native Lyre but he made a good life for himself in the U.S. and he now loves both of his homes. The land of opportunity gave him a good job, a home and family. Now, in his retirement, he returns often to visit his family and renew old acquaintances.

 Happy Independence Day, Liam!


Corpus Christi procession 2014


Church Street Looking good

Lovely, absolutely lovely!


In Gerry O’Carroll remembers his father who played his part in WW1

02 JULY 2014 12:00 AM

LAST Saturday marked the 100th anniversary
of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo.

The shooting led, of course, to World War
i, a conflict which drew in millions of people around the world.

Among them was a young man from Listowel,
Co Kerry, named James O’Carroll. He was my father.

He was one of thousands of young Irishmen
who answered John Redmond’s call to join the British Army and fight for the
freedom of small nations.

My dad was just 16 when he left north
Kerry for London in 1916. There he joined the Royal Engineers and, after four
months of basic training, was sent to the Western Front.

He fought in France and later in Belgium.
Like thousands of his fellow countrymen he endured the horrors and hardships of
the Great War – the mud, the blood, the daily terror and struggle for survival.

In early 1918, having survived two years
of that living hell, he was seriously wounded during an over-the-top attack in

He was shot through the shoulder and,
following a mustard gas attack, lay blinded and choking in a shell-hole for ten
hours before he was rescued.

My father was taken to hospital and
recovered from the wound. Alas he suffered lifelong effects to his lungs from
the gas attack.

James O’Carroll remained in France with
his regiment until the Armistice in 1918 and was demobbed the following year,
after which he returned to Listowel.

My dad’s experiences in France and Belgium
left him a changed man. In later years he became a committed pacifist.


He also went on to raise a family of 15,
living in the soldiers’ houses in Listowel, a terrace built by a trust for
wounded veterans of the War.

Growing up In the staunchly Republican
heartland of north Kerry I always had the feeling that the houses were looked
on by many people as a curious anomaly.

Perhaps one of the reasons for this was
that our family would sell the poppy each November, not a common practice in
the town.

Sadly my dad, like many other veterans,
was seen by many not as a person who fought for freedom, but instead as someone
tainted by treason, for taking ‘the King’s shilling’.

Likewise no monuments were erected to my
dad’s many Irish pals who never came home.

Only now, at last, are they being properly
recognised. It’s taken a century but I’m glad to see it.

I’m sure my dear departed father would be

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