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: Titanic

Community Garden

By the River Feale Aug 2022


The Other Side of the Wall

Our apples are ripening nicely.

This area will be beautiful when the flowers and climbers grow a bit.


Meeting a Former Pupil in Ballylongford

On my visit to the traditional crafts farina Ballylongford I ran into my friend, Bridget O’Connor and then together we ran into a former pupil, Dora Mulvihill. Dora and I are in a framed picture in Presentation Secondary School Listowel, celebrating Dora’s gold medal for achieving the highest marks in Irish at her Leaving Cert.

Dora’s lovely son took the picture for me.


From 2015

When browsing through Boards recently I came across a link to these old photos.


Bet you Didn’t know this

Fourteen years before the Titanic sank, a novelist Morgan Robertson published a novel called Futility. The story was about an ocean liner that struck an iceberg on an April night.

The name of the ship……….Titan


From Kanturk to Ballybunion

a poem


The Time of the Cuckoo

Athea Church at Easter 2022


A Few Hard Cuckoo Facts

Cuckoo by

This parasitic bird is usually associated with this time of year.

The striping on the underside of the cuckoo’s body mimics the sparrowhawk. This frightens the sugar out of smaller birds. They abandon their nests long enough for the cuckoo to lay her eggs.

The eggs take 12 days to hatch. From day one these nestlings are bullies and they chuck the legitimate hatchlings out of the nest.

Cuckoo chicks grow quickly and are known for their voracious appetites. They often grow to several times the size of their adoptive parents. These parents are usually worn to a thread trying to feed their ever hungry offspring.

Wait for this bordering on incredible fact!!!!!!

A female cuckoo may visit and lay eggs in up to 50 nests in a breeding season.

By September they all clear off to Central and West Africa where they rest and gird their loins for another onslaught on the unsuspecting little Irish birds.


From Pres. Listowel 1983/84 Journal

The journal opened with this kind of mission statement.


History and NFTs

Photo; Jesuit photo archive

In 2015 I posted the Titanic story of this man. He is Dr. Francis O’Loughlin, formerly of Tralee, who drowned with The Titanic.

Here is the story I borrowed from a Facebook page called Historical Tralee and surrounding areas:

Bravery of Titanic Surgeon Dr. William Francis Norman O’Loughlin

New York Herald

Monday 22nd April 1912

In accounts printed about the Titanic and the bravery of her officers little has been said of one who probably was the most widely known and best beloved of all classes. He was Dr. William Francis Norman O’Loughlin, senior surgeon of the White Star Line, who perished with the ship.

During the forty years Dr. O’Loughlin has been a surgeon aboard ships of that line he gained the close friendship of innumerable men and women of prominence. Known as one of the most upright and kindly men, he also was regarded as a leader in his profession and a student of the highest order.

Survivors say they saw Dr. O’Loughlin on deck going from one to another of the frightened passengers, soothing them and aiding them in getting into the lifeboats. As the last lifeboat left the vessel he was seen standing in a companionway beside the chief steward, the purser and another officer swinging a lifebelt. He was heard to say: “I don’t think I’ll need to put this on.” He was in the companionway when the vessel went down. From those who knew him well statements were obtained yesterday regarding the fine character of the friend all were mourning. All agreed he was one of the kindest men they had ever met. Many incidents showing his unselfishness were related. One of the friends said: “He was the strongest personal friend of every officer and seaman he ever left a port with, and he was a most thorough officer. He would give his last dollar to charity and was never known to speak ill of anyone. He was the most tenderhearted man I ever met.”

One of Dr. O’Loughlin’s intimate friends in the profession was Dr. Edward C. Titus, medical director of the White Star Line. He said: “Dr. O’Loughlin was undoubtedly the finest man that I have ever known. Kind at all times, his work among the persons he met endeared him forever to them. Always ready to answer a call for aid at all hours of the day and night, he would go into the steerage to attend an ill mother or child, and they would receive as much consideration from him as the wealthiest and mightiest on board. “He was one of the best read men I ever met. Dr. O’Loughlin was always doing some charitable act. Of his income I believe it will be found that he left little, having distributed most of it among the poor. There is no doubt that he died as he wished. Once recently I said to him that as he was getting on in years he ought to make a will and leave directions for his burial, as he had no kith or kin. He replied that the only way he wanted to be buried was to be placed in a sack and buried at sea.”

Dr. O’Loughlin was a native of Tralee co kerry in Ireland. Left an orphan he was raised and educated by an uncle. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. When twenty-one years old he went to sea because of ill health and followed the sea continuously thereafter. Prior to being transferred to the Titanic he was surgeon on board the Olympic.


Fast forward to April 2022 and I have an email from Lorelei Llee whose job title is

 Titanic Content Developer for E/M Group & Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. 

In her research she has come across my blog post about the good doctor and she wants to use it. I have to inform her that it’s not my story anyway and I certainly didn’t take the photo. Im old but….

So, of course, I look up her company. They are e/m group “an experiential media group”

And here is the gas part. You know the way you have never heard of something one day and the next you are seeing it everywhere.

So it is with me and NFTs.

Enter to Win!

Don’t miss your chance to own a piece of history! RMS Titanic, Inc. is offering a select lot of NFT’s available for download and purchase.

The above is taken directly from this group’s website


Poetry Day 2022

On Poetry Day 2022 I got a present of an anthology of modern Irish poetry.

Thank you, Nancy

Here is a short poem from my new book

It’s a lovely poem about the great human family, the tillers of soil and cutters of turf.


Belfast, 1916, and the 1977 North Kerry fleadh committee

My Trip to Belfast

Recently I travelled north of the border for the first time in ages. I spent two days in Belfast and found it a lovely city. Belfast people are among the friendliest in the world. Every time I and my traveling companion were standing puzzling over our map, invariable someone would come over with an offer of help. On one occasion, a lady who was obviously on her way from work stopped to offer help. She turned our map the right way round and walked with us until we got our bearings. This was typical of the kindness and helpfulness we encountered everywhere in Belfast.

I thought I’d pose with one of my beloved pillar boxes. That’s my ever present map in my hands.

I took this to entertain you with this rather amusing sign.

Belfast City is divided in quarters. Our hotel was in The Queen’s Quarter which was very central to shops and restaurants. It was near the university, as the name suggests.

We were just a short train ride from the Titanic Quarter where we went to visit The Titanic Experience.

The iconic cranes

This is Clíona outside the Titanic Experience. It is a marvelous visitor attraction. One is not allowed to take photos so you’ll have to go yourself to see what it looks like inside. As a museum it is not like any other I’ve visited. There was lots of reading but there was also lots and lots of interactive experiences. We were there at a quiet time and it took about 2 and a half hours. The time flew and we both agreed that it was super.

We had planned our visit before the euro fell to an all time low due to the Greek crisis so we had a good excuse for not buying the overpriced souvenirs.

Clíona looks a bit worried by these two. The Art piece is about women in the workforce. What drew me to it first was the crochet bombing. On closer inspection, the ladies are weighed down with telephones and typewriters, ladles and rolling pins. The statues are outside the main bus station.

This artistic piece is in the City Hall in Belfast.

There are some lovely stained glass windows in the city hall. The lower one is called the Famine window.

I was there in the week after the Berkeley tragedy and people were queueing to sign a book of condolence.


1916    2016

Here is a link to the complete list from the military archives of the rebels who fought in 1916

1916 Names


North Kerry Fleadh Cheoil 1977

Committee of the 1977 N K fleadh includes; 

L-R, Christy Stack Joint Treasurer, Matt Mooney Secretary, Michael DowlingChairman, Tim Brosnan Joint Treasurer,

 Second row, Babe Jo Collins, Collette O Connell, Maureen Dowling, Betty Stack, Babe Hilliard, Elizabeth O Reilly, Josie Molyneaux, Helen Leahy

 Back, Jack Flavin, John Enright, Tom O Connell, Maurice Molyneaux, Tom Murphy and Jack Larkin MCC.


A More Recent photo of people planning for the upcoming Munster Fleadh

Photo; Listowel/Duagh Comhaltas


Tripadviser’s list of things to do in Listowel

This list 

Twelve Listowel Attractions

is doing the rounds of Facebook. The list is not at all exhaustive. It’s just the list of places people have reviewed for Tripadvisor. We all know that Listowel’s Military and History Museum, Teampall Bán, Listowel Cinema, Craftshop na Méar, Listowel Emmetts’ Sportsfield, Listowel Community Centre, Listowel Pitch and Putt Course, Olive Stack’s Gallery, The River Walk  and so many great shops are part of Listowel’s attractiveness to visitors. We all need to get reviewing!


On the Street

Noreen Queally and Marie Moriarty out and about last week


+ R.I.P. Val Doonican +

The rocking chair is empty. Tá laoch ó laethanta m’óige ar lár.


A Rarity

Stephen Smyrl posted this photo on Facebook of a very rare post box spotted in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary.

“George V continued to reign until his death in 1936, but generally after partition postboxes ceased to bear his initials. After him, his son George VI reigned until the “Free State” declared itself a republic, outside of the Commonwealth of Nations.”

It would appear that the door alone was replaced with the Saorstát Eireann (Irish Free State ) logo someone time around 1922.

Vintage cars and tractors.Craftshop na Méar, dogs on The Titanic and Irish soda bread

Some of the old vehicles in the St. Patrick’s Day parade and a few winners



Mike and Grace Flahive representing Ballybunion Sea Rescue



Happy crafters in  Craftshop na Méar were delighted with their 3rd prize for their window display.

Here are some of the goods currently for sale in the shop.


Useless piece of information coming up

Twelve dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic. These are three of them according to a site called Historical Pictures


For lovers of Irish Soda Bread

Kelly Browne alerted me to this great post on the internet. John Giuffo reminisces about Irish soda bread and shares his favourite recipe.


I remember a time when every woman had her own individual way of making her bread. In the days when shop bread was a rarity, housewives baked bread every day. There was no weighing scales used and every ingredient was measured in handfuls and pinches. It was a joy to visit a neighbour and be treated to a cut of newly baked bread spread with real butter and homemade jam. My mouth is watering at the memory.

John Giuffo’s Listowel great grandmother passed on a version of soda bread I have not before encountered, but I’m willing to give it a try. I’ll keep you posted on results but, as John says, it’s easy to make but also easy to mess up. There’s chemistry involved!


Moyvane Drama news from Jer

Cast of Play staged in Moyvane 21 March 2014, They hope to sell a CD of the night later. 

MC was Tom Moore.

“What Love is: A Farmers Version, Moyvane Boro Players, Play written and directed by Katie Galvin. Taking part Donie Enright, Katie Galvin, Aine Cronin, James Fogarty, Jamie Vaughan, Jennifer Kennelly. March 2014. Co Directed by Aine Cronin. Money from the event went to LiveLife and Irish Cancer Society. Sound and Lighting Joe Mulvihill and Catherine Dore. MC Tom Moore. Hair and Make Up, Karina Sweeney and Anna Fogerty. Front of House, Regina Galvin. Stage and Set Design; Kevin Greaney, Joe Mulvihill and Jamie Vaughan. Prompters Brenda Kennelly and Caroline Maune”


One for  Dublin people with a Listowel connection

Titanic Windows

The Coleman who executed these marvelous windows has a Knockanure grandmother. Jer Kennelly brought us this story.

Stained Glass Windows
St Patrick’s Church, Lahardane

County Mayo, West of Ireland

‘Titanic Rescue’ and ‘Emigration’ Stained Glass Windows

In 2011 a dream became a reality with the installation of two specially commissioned stained glass windows in St Patrick’s Church, Lahardane. The windows were the inspiration of the Addergoole Titanic Society, as part of the preparation to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of RMS Titanic with the Mayo Titanic Cultural Week 8th – 15th April 2012. Fourteen people boarded Titanic from the locality in April 1912, eleven perished.

New church windows in Lahardane in memory of Irish emmigrants and local people who perished on the Titanic

*Photo courtesy KM Noone Photography, Lahardane Co Mayo Ireland*

Designed by local artist Michael Coleman of Whitethorn Studios, the task of constructing the windows went to Art Glass in Derry, who also has the commission to create the stained glass dome ceiling in the re-created ballroom of the new signature building in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

Titanic memorial church windown in LahardaneThe two stained glass windows, one entitled ‘Emigration’ and the other ‘The Titanic Rescue’, required research with an eye for detail, as well as respect for those who perished and those who survived.

Fortunately, present day descendants of the Addergoole Fourteen have kept this story committed to memory and the windows are a memorial to their ancestors. The windows are appropriately placed either side of the existing marble memorial plaque, which was placed in St Patrick’s Church in 2002, to honour the memory of the fourteen emigrants who sailed on RMS Titanic in 1912.

The Titanic Window, depicting Boat 16 being lowered, is based on what Addergoole survivor, Annie Kate Kelly, who became Sister Patrick Joseph, an Adrian Dominican Sister in Michigan USA, remembered. Annie was standing in line waiting to enter Boat 16. A man accompanying two woman was refused entry. One woman said: “I’ll not leave my husband”, and the other “I’ll not leave my brother”. They were Catherine and Mary Bourke from Addergoole. Annie, next in line, was given a place. As the lifeboat was lowered she looked up and saw her cousin, Pat Canavan, and the others including James Flynn. As the window depicts, Pat was holding his rosary beads and waving.

The lifeboat’s capacity was 65, but it was not full. Eleven other passengers who also boarded at Queenstown were saved in this boat, which was lowered at about 1.20am. Eight were from County Longford and three from County Galway. A Galway survivor, Ellie Mockler from Caltra, also became a nun with the Sisters of Mercy.

*Photo courtesy KM Noone Photography, Lahardane Co Mayo Ireland*

The Titanic Window is likely to be one of the very few church windows, worldwide, dedicated to Titanic victims. Equally the Society is not aware of any church window in the country dedicated to Emigration. Significantly, these windows stand alongside the ‘Harry Clark’ classic church window of the Madonna and Child, a triumphant trio of church craftsmanship for all to see in St Patrick’s Church, Lahardane.

American descendants of the three survivors generously donated the cost of the Titanic Window. Then Society members, Bridie Syron and David Donoghue, descendants of ‘The Addergoole Fourteen’, secured funding for the Emigration Window from other descendants in America and the UK of those lost. Donations were also received from other local descendants and from people with an interest in the Addergoole Titanic story.

The official dedication and blessing of both windows takes place on Sunday 15th April, as part of the Cultural Week, 8th to 15th April 2012 and will be a lasting legacy to the memory of all Lahardane emigrants.


Last week I met Mrs. McAulliffe in Catch of the Day as she was buying some fish.

Time was when we all bought our fish in MacAulliffe’s. Mrs MacAulliffe remembers when mackerel was one shilling. In those days there used to be a long queue outside her shop every Thursday and Friday. I remember queues down the street as far as Scully’s Corner on Holy Thursdays.

On my way home from town I met these two boys spraying the weeds and keeping Listowel looking beautiful.


NKRO’s festival date is confirmed for the week beginning August 3 2012. The week’s events will run until August 10. If you want help in locating ancestors or  relatives prior to your visit, please contact

Committee members, remember tonight’s meeting in The Seanchaí at 8.00 p.m.

Keep an eye on the Facebook page or follow us on twitter to keep abreast of plans.

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