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 Street

Hanna Sheehy Skeffingtom, Learning English in Ireland and Entertaining summer visitors

North Kerry Sunset June 2018

Photo: Mike Enright


Will They ever Come Home?

This summer I’m doing a spot of dog sitting while Molly’s family is away. This is herself last week when they were only gone for a few hours.


Things you learn on Twitter

When Hanna Sheehy married Francis Skeffington in 1903, they each took the other’s surname as a gesture in support of equal status for women. Good idea?


Believe it of Not

A photograph tweeted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Friday from the EU summit in Brussels showed him beside three of his counterparts, each of whom spent a portion of their formative years in Ireland. 

In the tweet, Mr Varadkar mentioned his “pre-dinner chat with the three prime ministers who spent time in Ireland learning English as school kids”, referring to Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez, Austria’s chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel.

Source: Irish Times on line


If you are going to the beach in the evening you must bring a hurley and sliotar. 

I love a night at The Kingdom Greyhound Track with my young visitors.


Make Hay While the Sun Shines

Photo: Bridie Murphy

Hay and Tae in Bromore on July 1 2018. That’s Micheal Flahive atop the wynnd.


The Barber Opening Today

July 5 2018 sees the opening of a new business at 53 Church Street.

The lovely Aoife welcomed me and my visitors inside for a quick look around. They have done a lovely job with the refurbishment

Aoife, Aisling and Carine beside the lovely feature fireplace.

The old range is looking good as new.

The long gallery will be the work area.

Visitors to this lovely place are welcomed by a flagstone bearing the lines from John B. Keane’s The Street.

More from Writers Week 2012

The town was jam packed with people for Writers’ Week, some of them the greats of Irish literature. On Thursday I went on a walk to commemorate John B. Keane and on Friday for a while I just stood on Church St. and photographed whoever was passing.

First the walk; On Thursday morning it poured rain but this did not deter the hardy souls who wanted to stroll around Listowel and learn more about John B. Keane.

Here we are at the starting point; The Listowel Arms, with our guide, Vincent Carmody.

We headed off up Church St., past Fitzpatrick’s Hatcheries where John B. worked as a fowl buyer. We stood for a while at the house where he was born and then headed on to the KDYS premises which in John B.’s day was the library.

A lovely man walked beside me and introduced himself to me. He is Tim O’Donovan and John B. was first apprenticed to his father in their pharmacy in Rathkeale.

Tim with Vincent

In the KDYS we went upstairs to the room where John B. was taught by his father while the boys’ school across the road was being refurbished. Here we heard amusing anecdotes from Tony Barrett.

Here is Tony with John Keane in front of the mural of John’s late father.  I apologize that I got so excited about picturing them in just this spot that I had my camera on the wrong setting and consequently the photo has a horrid blue hue but I’m including it anyway.

Karen Trench sang John B.s haunting Sweet Listowel and Maria Dillon read a snatch of Mena from Sive

This is part of the audience who enjoyed every minute of the performance.

We moved on from there to St. Michael’s where John B.’s grandson, Bill O’Flynn read John B.’s The Street  in the very room where John B. first recited it and was punished by a troubled priest who refused to believe that a pupil could have written anything so good.

We finished our walk with a visit to the cemetery where we said a prayer at the graveside of the great man.

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