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: toilet

Everywhere looks better with Flowers

William Street, Listowel, August 2023


Will They Ever Learn?

Bike stands at the new public toilet in Market Street

A few short steps away, bikes parked on the footpath against the shop window at Spar on Sunday August 20 2023


Railway Station Signs

Shared online by Olive Whelan


From the Newspaper Archive

( Thank you, Jer Kennelly)

Kerry Sentinel Wednesday, 11 July, 1906; Page: 2

Concert in Listowel

On Friday night a grand concert was given in the Gymnasium Hall, Listowel, in aid of a highly deserving local object, the maintenance of the National brass band. Having regard to the fine Summer weather, which was calculated to militate against an entertainment of an indoor character, the attendance was large and highly appreciated the various items, every one of which was warmly received and encored. It would be invidious to distinguish between the artistes, all of whom showed considerable merit, but the dance items by the Misses Kirby and Master T Breen, Killarney, deserve a special word of praise, while the contributions for which the band, under the capable conductorship of Mr J Hennessy, was responsible could not fail to evoke well-merited appreciation.

The following was the programme—Part I—Overture by band ; song, “Some Day I’ll Wander Back Again,” Mr MI Keane; song, “The Flight of Ages.” Miss Buckley ; violin solo, ” The Coulin.” Mr G Caball. Tralee; song, ” The Irish Emigrant,” Mr J O’Reilly; recitation, “An Incident of ’98,” Miss May Kirby ; song, ” Ever so Far Away,” Miss E Creagh ; skirt dance, Misses May and Joe Kirby ; song, ” Little Dolly Day Dream,” Mr M Dalton.

Part IT—Pianoforte duet, the Misses Kirby ; dance, Irish reel, Master T Breen, Killarney; song, “Pansy Faces,” Mr-M Keane; violin solo. ” Killarney” Mr G Caball; song, ” Dermot Asthore,” Miss Buckley; song.” The Idler,” Mr M Dalton; dance, Irish jig, Miss Joe Kirby ; song, ” The Memory of the Dead,” Mr J O’Reilly.

The accompaniments were skilfully played by Mrs O’Connor.


He “Walked with Kings but Kept the Common Touch”

A great read I bought for 50c in Vincent’s Listowel. Michael Parkinson got to meet so many interesting people, he lead a charmed life….and he could have been a miner! May he rest in peace.


Momento Mori


Believe it or Not

No plant or wild flower yet has ever produced a blossom that is completely black. Attempts to produce one artificially have failed.


Hurling and Knitting

Greenway mural at old Neodata site in August 2023


I think you can go now

It looks like Listowel’s public toilet has finally got the green (or is it red?) light


The Crotta O’Neill’s Fairytale

They say GAA is family and nowhere is this more true that in a small rural village like Kilflynn. I watched the game on TG4 by chance and I have been fascinated by the story ever since.

This essay by Noel McGrath from Facebook describes it well.

Glory Glory Crotta

Sometimes words failed to describe a feeling, and in this case words will fail.

What this means to Crotta people and the community cannot be put in to words.

Crotta have had 54 years of pain walking out of Austin Stacks in  preliminary stages, quarter, semi and finals where each year leaves a scar on the heart. Some of us have lived through all of these, while others have lived through some due to age or have moved on to the next world. 

As the great Mick O’Connell said, we play sport for fun and take a break from life for a while. 

We all have a competitive side though and the will for your club to win is always there. Unless you’re from Crotta you won’t understand the hurt and pain each year has been, where you see your club and the players not getting over the line. Some of these players may have been you, your brother, son, nephew, grandson, neighbour and your heart goes out to them.

Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the potential required to unleash a major change.

With this current team, I have witnessed the huge amount of work  and commitment put in by the players themselves and mentors along the journey from u6 Coiste na nOg up to senior.

A lot of mentors these players have gone through will be here today, and should give themselves a pat on the back, without your commitment this day would not exist.

The veterans on the team, the likes of Shane and Sean have shown how leadership is done. Shane, top scorer in the championship and a work rate like it was his first year at championship, Sean seamlessly transitioning from a back to a forward with sensational breaking the line plays.

The younger members of the team know what winning is from minor and u21 and have brought this mindset into the team. As an older person looking at them their mindset and drive for success is admirable, they carry no weight of the past, there is only one way forward.

Going through each player would be too much here, but a special mention on our captain Bill Keane as he is the captain. A captain should be among other things a model of excellence to his teammates. I have watched Bill playing for both Crotta and Senans and what a model, sheer hard work and 100% commitment always and no airs and graces. Delighted  for him and his family.

We all have heroes or people we look up to, whether it’s Muhammad Ali, Katie Taylor, Cian Lynch and so on.

But sometimes these heroes are right beside you,  and I am happy to say as a person older than all the players, they are our heroes and people to look up to and admire.

We have waited a long, long time for this day, and we should have in our thoughts those no longer with us, and we wish could be here to witness this historical moment in our club as the “new kids are in town” have arrived.

So with that, I would like to thank this team for giving us a memorable year, sometimes driving our hearts into overdrive but most importantly making our dreams come true.

The scars in the heart have healed instantaneously like magic.

2023 is the new 1968.

Let the celebrations begin.

Crotta abu

Photos from Facebook

Former @crotta.gaa Senior hurlers Pascal Nolan ,Cyril Nolan, John Joe Conway, Mike Hickey and Brendan Twomey keeping a eye on the Crotta Senior training on Wednesday evening before the final.

supporters Shane Herbert, Fr.Gerry Keane, Paddy Weir, Paul Sheehan and Paud Twomey  keeping an eye on the Crotta Senior training on Wednesday evening .


Learning from Nana

I have taught each of my grandchildren in turn how to knit. Cora is a great student and has mastered the key skills of plain and purl, casting on and casting off after just a few days practice.

Knitting requires patience and perseverance. There are no quick results with knitting. it is a great skill to learn in a world where results are mostly instant.

Killian is a bit old now for the knitting with Nana lark but back in the day….


Kanturk, My Hometown

I had a small wander in Kanturk last week and I was well impressed.

This is O’Brien Street. Just to the right of this picture is the lovely little riverside park.

The ducks were sheltering on the sunny day I visited. If you are going to break your journey to Cork, I’d advise a little stroll here. I’ll share more pictures tomorrow.


There is Always a Listowel Connection

My niece took the photo. Her Listowel connection, apart from me, is her husband, sitting to her right ( left in the picture). He is Michael O’Sullivan, formerly of Knockanure.

The lady in blue is Maureen Larkin, formerly of Listowel. All were in a pub on a night out in Dublin in August 2023.


Writers’ Week 2023

Bridge Road in May 2023


Witty Window

Harp and Lion Antiques in Church Street.


May Images from Childers Park


Choosing Kerry

These lovely people have bought a house in Beale and are relocating there shortly. Unfortunately they will miss Writers’ Week 2023. Maybe next year.


Will Collins, Scriptwriter

This photograph is from 2015 when Will Collins was a guest at The Children’s Festival during Listowel Writers’ Week. In it I am beside Will’s wife Karen and his lovely mom and dad are on the right of Will. Luke is in the buggy.

Will today is even more famous than he was back then. Here’s why.

Will Collins, who grew up a stones throw from my family home, co-wrote an episode of the Star Wars Visions’ series alongside Jason Tammemägi. 

The programme, which is currently streaming on Disney Plus, is titled Screecher’s Reach. 

The episode formed part of an ambitious project that allowed filmmakers and animators all over the world access to the Star Wars universe.

Will’s previous screenwriting credits include the Oscar nominated feature animations, Wolfwalkers and Song of the Sea with Cartoon Saloon.

Will got to live out every Star Wars fan’s dream with a trip to the George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch located north of San Francisco.


Man of the Moment (and girlfriend)

Stephen Connolly, curator of Listowel Writers’ Week 2023, is being helped at every step of his new venture by Manuela.


Saturday June 3 2023

If you join me outside The Listowel Arms Hotel at 10.00 a.m. we’ll take a short stroll to the Tidy Town seat and we’ll have a few songs there.

Then we’ll take the short stroll to the castle steps.

That’s the walking part done.

We’ll be entertained and informed. Hopefully the sun will shine on us and everyone will have a good time. I’m looking forward to it.


Opening Night Writers Week 2023

Opening Night will start at 8.00p.m. The doors will be open at 7.00p.m.

Jack O’Rourke will entertain us. Prizes will be distributed and the John B. Keane Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to distinguished actor, Stephen Rea.

Ger Holland is the official photographer but I’ve got permission to snap some local folk for Listowel Connection.

I’ll be taking annual leave to enjoy the festival and then some more annual leave to recover.

See you back here soon.


Last word on the toilet for now

Tuesday May 30 2023

Nearly there but no electricity yet so unfortunately it looks like it won’t be ready for Writers’ Week.

You saw it here first! the kindly Kerry County Council staff gave me a sneak peak. No super loo this…a bog standard wheelchair accessible public toilet.


An Old Problem Arises again

May evening 2023 in Ballybunion…Photo: Alice Moylan


A Few More Busking Photos

Every year friends of North Kerry M.S. Society come out to sing, entertain and collect for the charity. Busking Day is always a great day in the Small Square. Music lifts the spirits. The lovely people in Lynch’s provide electricity, counting facilities and endless cups of tea and coffee. Here are a few last photos left over from May 19 2023.

Some people sat and listened to the music. Some paused for a minute, donated and moved on. One volunteer left what she was doing and helped a tourist couple to take a souvenir photograph. Volunteers rattled buckets and stopped traffic. And the band played on.

Great day!


Abbeyfeale Trip

I was in Abbeyfeale on Saturday and there was a vibrant craft market in full swing in The Square.

Here is the Listowel Connection I chanced to discover. My attention was grabbed by the most beautifully decorated cakes I have ever seen.

They are fifishadesofcake and they are based in Lisselton. Their cakes are works of art, beautifully presented. I bought two cupcakes as a present for someone who is herself a great baker and has decorated a few cakes in her time. She was blown away as I was.

These beauties are far too good to eat but we ate them anyway. AND they were as good as they looked.

You can catch them in Ballybunion Market from now on or you can contact them on their Facebook page Fifishadesofcake

Feast your eyes on these. For those in the know this is not fondant icing but butter cream. For those not in the know this is much harder to work with but way tastier.


Another Book from Emma


And there is was …Gone!

Monday May 22 2023, Market Street and the most expensive loo ever is

gone, never to be forgotten.

This is how our public convenience used to look. It was costing us nigh on €40,000 a year and bringing in around €1,000. It gave spending a penny a bad name.

A public toilet in Listowel was ever and always a contentious issue and the present plan to locate it temporarily at the old Neodata site is not meeting with universal approval either.

David O’Sullivan did a thorough trawl through the papers for us last time this issue came up when the contract for this one came up for renewal. I’m going to rehash the whole saga now. If you dont have time to read it now put it aside for a few days. I’m going to take a bit of a break from here to go and help my friends at Writers Week so, from Wednesday next May 31, there will be no blog for a while.

More on this saga tomorrow when a man named Kidney draws up a proposal and Listowel Town Council have a win in the Prize Bonds and a win in a category in the Tidy Towns to help fund the loo.


A Fact

Today’s monkey fact is straight from my calendar. These “facts” are for entertainment purposes only. I recommend they are taken with a pinch of salt.

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