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: Turf shed theatre

St. John’s, Volunteers in Second Time Around and some more turf shed theatre

St. John’s, The Square, Listowel

February 27 2018 was a freezing cold day but the light was perfect for a photo of this iconic Listowel building.


Spring, a Season of Renewal

On the 28/2/2017 Fr. Pat Moore posted on his blog.

Blessed are you, spring,bright season of life awakening.

You gladden our hearts with opening buds and returning leaves as you put on your robes of splendour.

For in your life no death can survive as you exchange places with winter.

You harbour no unforgiving spirit for broken tree limbs and frozen buds.

Season of hope and renewal.

Wordless poem about all within us that cannot die.

Each year you amaze us with the miracle of returning life.


Second Time Around

“The salt of the earth” my friends in Listowel’s St. Vincent de Paul shop


Turf Shed Theatre Remembered

Marie Shaw took a trip down memory lane when she read accounts of the entertainments staged by Listowel children in the 1950s. Here is what she wrote;

Smiling while reading the Vincent Carmody bit about turf theatre. Remembering when we were teenagers In Clieveragh and a bunch of us kids decided to stage a play in Louis Connell’s garage. We made up our own script from a story we read somewhere called “Christine’s Necklace”

Joseph Power, John Hartnett, Michael O’Connell and Michael Broderick built a stage and made some kind of seating. Artie Chute who worked for Louis O’Connell’s law office typed up some very impressive programs for us, we raided all our closets to come up with costumes and a stage curtain and were then ready to stage our play. Only one thing went wrong, the garage didn’t have a light so right before the scheduled performance we were left with a dark garage. Not to worry, Louis O’Connell came to the rescue by moving his car right in front of the garage and shining the lights directly at the stage. Many years later I wondered if he killed his car battery through his concern. We even had a cast party in O’Connell’s kitchen afterwards. Louis and Mrs. O’Connell had so much patience with us and indulged us so much. I will always remember them fondly.




Dilligently Rehearsing

Listowel Folk Group are busy practicing in their new location in St. Mary’s for their biggest gig to date. They will sing the mass as Gaeilge when St. Patrick’s Day mass from Listowel is broadcast on RTE at 11.00a.m. on the National Holiday.

Fr. Pat Moore remembered, Basketball in the 1980s and Jack Flavin has passed away

Photo: Chris Grayson


After we are gone

I was clearing out my inbox when I made the discovery. I came across an old notification from WordPress that Fr. Pat Moore had posted a new blog. It was the lovely piece that I have reprinted below. As soon as I read it I wanted to read more so I went to the his website and ……

you guessed it…..all gone.

It is apt that this essay is about birth, death and regrowth. Enjoy it.

There has been wonderful moonlight these last few nights. Go to the window in a darkened moonlight night and you see a shadowy reality outside, then turn on the light in the room and the world outside becomes totally dark. I remember John Moriarty making the point that in the same way we can be looking for answers to questions with the wrong search lights. If I want to see the fox passing in the night from my window,the light on in room won’t help. As John said,”It is with that that eclipses God that I seek God .” But God isn’t the fox that passes in the night!

Jim Kennelly tells me that when a kitten is born it’s blind for nine days. In the same way there are inside of all of us, huge awakenings. It’s as if we’re here to wake up as we begin to realise why we are on the planet at all. So that might be why we are here at all. We have to wake up from waking as Jim always says. “When your heart speaks,take notes.”

Over fifty years ago alot of neighbours around here visited the friendly garden centre in Beale, Hannons, where famously they ‘sell every blooming thing.” The Hannon family introduced the countryside to the Asian plant  cordyline. Lots of these plants started to appear down Littor Road. There was one planted in our front garden. It grew over six feet high. Then when we got severe cold weather four years ago alot of the cordyline died, including the one in our garden. This spring when we cleared away the growth seven new trees have grown and are thriving. From the death of the old plant, new life, seven new plants! Is it any wonder Jesus used the image of the seed dying in the earth and from that comes forth new life when he explained the mystery of life?  


Correcting the Tiger  by John Gardner

The tiger is a perfect saint

As long as you respect him:

But if he happens to say ain’t,

You’d better not correct him.


Basketball  in Pres in the 1980s

If you are in this photo, please remember that we are still looking for reminiscences from the 1980s for our Pres. commemorative book.


Another Familiar Face gone from Church Street


Turf Shed Theatre

Vincent Carmody remembers a time when every boy in Listowel was a performer, an actor or a scriptwriter.

I would assume that Billy McSweeney is right, as Eamon Keane used usually take his walk up and down the Bridge Road and around Gurtinard. His memory of Turf Shed Theatre was identically repeated in most backways of the town. We in Pound Lane had a thriving theatre group, with plays and concerts being regularly performed in our back shed. One memory is of my sister Nora, having been sent out to get turf, stopped a performance which was in full flow, then proceeded to tear up the stage which we had built  on what turf  was left in the shed. The show had to be abandoned. As the paying customers were leaving, my neighbour and friend, Liam Nolan, lifted a clenched fist as Nora was leaving with her turf and shouted, ‘The Stage will never Die’, to which Nora replied, ‘Its dead now’.

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