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: Toy Show

Christmas is coming

Mike the Pies, Upper William Street, Listowel in November 2021


A Street with Four Names

As well as Main Street, An Príomhsráid and Sráid Mhór this area of town is also known as The Small Square.


It’s Nearly December

so I’m allowed to start including Christmassy things.

This essay is by a Cork writer, Declan Hassett in his book, All our Yesterdays.

(Apologies for the repetition. I’m getting used to this snipping. Apologies as well for the blue background. No idea!)


A Christmas shop window display

When it comes to decorating, Danny Russell is in his element. His window this year is impressive, as always.

Naughty or nice?

The old tradition was that children had to be “good for goodness sake’ or Santa would leave them a lump of coal instead of a present at Christmas.

Danny is keeping the tradition alive, just adding to coal’s bad press these days.


Lovely to have a child in the house for the Toy Show

….even if the child is way too young to have a clue what’s going on.


One for the Diary

A note from John Murphy about tonight’s programme

That radio doc Fergal (Keane) and I were working on will be broadcast on Radio 4 next Tuesday at 5pm (repeat on Dec 5th at 17:30).

Also to be found here afterwards:


Just a Thought

My reflections in the Just a Thought slot on Radio Kerry for last week are at this link

Just a Thought



Longueville House, An Old Wife’s Tale from Mountcoal and the Toy Show

A Chaffinch

Photo; Chris Grayson


In Longueville

While I was in Kanturk we were in celebratory mode. We had Sunday lunch in Longueville House. It’s a kind of Downton Abbey style experience, only the food is better. I’d definitely recommend it for a (very) special treat.

This lovely mannered dog met us on arrival.

To the Manor born!

The way Sunday lunch goes is that you order your main course and you choose as many starters as you want from a table heaving with temping things to eat.

I’ll stop teasing you now but suffice it to say that the ambience is warm and welcoming, the food delicious. They make their own cider and brandy and they have a policy of sourcing their ingredients as close to home as possible. It’s not really a place for children but the little ones in our company were made welcome and there is a maze for them to play in to work off the lunch.


Bread of Heaven

Strange tale of religion and superstition from Dúchas Schools’ folklore collection

Little Hands and the Bread Shoes

Once upon a time there lived a man with his wife and son war broke in France, and every Irish man had to go there, and this man had to go also. He wrote letters every day to his wife, and once a wire came to his wife that her husband got killed in the war. She had only one little boy, and he was only a baby. It was a slate house they had.

One day as the little boy was sleeping in his cradle, a slate fell off over the window, and a branch of ivy went in the window and it grew around the child’s cot. The child was about four years when he went to school. After a time the children got the “flu”, and the little boy took it, and he was very sick, and it was worse he was geting, and at last he died.

His mother kept a little red pair of shoes under her bed, and when she went up in the room the mice had them eaten, and then she took out a loaf of bread out of the bin and softened it in boiling water; and while she was softening the bread a man went in and asked a piece of bread for God’s sake. The woman said that she had bread inside, and she had a loaf in the bin.

The man who asked her was Christ at last the boy was buried, and the threw herself on the grave, and the neighbours pulled her away, and she went to bed after going home, and a few nights after her son appeared to her and said I am in the first step of heaven mother, but the bread shoes are keeping me back, and the night he came he said he was in the second step of heaven, but the bread shoes had kept him back and the next night he came he said he was in the third step of heaven but the bread shoes had kept him back, and then they took off the shoes, and he went to heaven. After a short time the boys mother died, and she went to heaven


Eileen Hannon Age 14- Informant- Mrs Ellen Foley-Age 74- Address, Mountcoal, Co. Kerry



Great news broke this weekend as the sod was turned on the extension from Listowel to Kilmorna of The Greenway.

We owe a big debt of gratitude of the people who fought so hard for this

You can see the story in this Facebook video shared by Mike Guerin

Mike Guerin’s video


Late Late Toy Show

The unanimous verdict is that it was the best yet and I’ll tell you why. This year it was more about the children than the toys.

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