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: Tim Danaher

Hay and Tae in Bromore in Summer 2018, Ballybunion and Smores

Life’s a Beach…Ballybunion July 2018


Hay and Tae in Bromore

Every year Michael Flahive organises a unique event at his farm near Ballybunion. This year in ideal weather his meitheal saved the hay the old fashioned way. A man who posts on Facebook as Salva Tore took these priceless photos.

This is the meitheal gathered for the photo when the work was done.

This is how they took the photo from that angle. No drone here.

Here the men are piking the gathered hay on to the wynn and Michael is spreading it and shaping the cock. There is a special skill in that job. You do not want to peak too soon. My poor dead mother would have a heart attack if she saw that man in bare feet with so many pikes about.

This haymaking was done to musical accompaniment.

You’ve heard of piping the captain on board his ship or piping the bride into the wedding breakfast but this is a new one, piping the farmer on to the wynn.

 What a lovely picture as Michael holds the next farmer who may make hay in a different way.

Sliding off the wynn can take a bit of skill too. Dried hay can be very slippery.

All the loose hay is combed down from the wynn and the whole lot is secured with a súgán. A súgán is a rope made from twisted hay.


Late Evening Ballybunion July 2018

 My young visitors were playing in the sea until late evening every evening.


Sunny’s Hair and Beauty, Church Street


Please sir, may I have s’more

Here are my grandchildren and friend roasting marshmallows over a disposable barbecue to make smores.

I never heard of this delicacy until last week but its amazing what you can learn from children.

s’more is a traditional nighttime campfire treat popular in the United States and Canada, consisting of a fire-roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker.[1] National S’mores Day is celebrated annually on August 10.[2] The Guinness World Record for number of people making s’mores at one time was 423, set April 21, 2016, in Huntington Beach, California.[3  

That last is not from the children. It’s from Wikipaedia. We didn’t have Graham crackers so we 

improvised with digestive biscuits.


John B. Keane Festival

As part of the festival to celebrate John B. Keane on July 19 to 21 2018, there will be an 

exhibition of photographs at

The Seanchaí. Here is one from the Seanchaí’s collection

Some of the founders of Listowel Writers’ Week with Marie Keane of RTE.

Seamus Wilmot, John B. Keane, Bryan MacMahon, Marie Kean and Tim Danaher

Listowel Town Square, Tim Danaher, Open Air theatre and Listowel Visual Arts Week 2018

Photo; Graham Davies


In Listowel Town Square

This piece of street furniture which we Listowel people use as a seat is actually an important piece of sculpture.

In 1998 when the reconfiguration of Listowel Town Square was completed this area was dedicated to Listowel and North Kerry’s writers. It is located outside the house where a local man, Tim Danaher, grew up.

RTÉ Radio producer Tim Danaher, in the control room at the station’s Henry Street studios, in August 1973. He was present for the recording of the RTÉ Radio serial ‘Glenmalin Park’, which he was producing at the time. 

Tim Danaher joined RTÉ’s sound effects department in the 1950s, becoming a radio producer in the mid-1960s. He was the founder of Listowel Writers’ Week. He died in 1995 at the age of 71.  (From the RTE Library)

Tim Danaher’s vinyl recording of The Gift of Ink along with his early contributions to Listowel Writers’ Week are part of his legacy to his native town. The Gift of Ink takes it’s title from Bryan MacMahon. The recording itself features contributions from all the great literary characters of Listowel in the early part of the twentieth century.

The piece of street furniture is designed to look like a quill pen and an inkwell, the seat part being the quill and the circle the inkwell. Around the rim of the “inkwell” are quotations from some of the local literary greats.


A Doctor in Spite of Himself

Photo; John Hannon Archive

There is an extraordinary story behind this scene in Listowel Town Square. We are not sure of the date but probably early 70s.

Danny Hannon of The Listowel Players was the first artistic director of Writers’ Week. He was forever thinking up challenging, innovative or plain daft ways of presenting drama to the people. This is one of his most daring dramatic presentations.

Danny told me the story when I met him with his friends, Jed and Joe in The Listowel Arms.

Danny loves this Moliére play. He was only the the second in Ireland to produce it. The first was the Trinity Players.

Danny planned to put it on en plein air during Writers’ Week. Damien Stack went to Kerry Co Op and borrowed 100 palettes. They purchased a few planks of plywood in a nearby hardware shop and thus the stage was constructed. The hotel lent 100 chairs for the audience and Danny was ready to go. Because it was outdoors, there were a few innovations Danny was willing to try. One character rode up on a bicycle and another arrived by ass and cart.

The prompter had a tough time. Even though she was sitting in the front row there were times she had to shout to be heard above the noise of the traffic. Some of the thespians remember it with great fondness. Cliff Gore and Mike Moriarty were in it. Jackie McGillicuddy was there too as were the late Maurice Geale and Jetta Grogan

If any of you remembers it I’d love to hear from you.


Listowel Visual Arts Week 2018

One of the highlights of the festival is the event that took place on June 2018 in Allos.

The task that was set for the artists was to paint a portrait of our great singer songwriter journalist Mickey McConnell.

They were doing marvellous work while enjoying a serenade from the model.

These are the works in progress.

When I called in the artists were taking a refreshment break.

The model and his wife were relaxing between sittings.

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