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: Vincents

Listowel Success Stories

Ballybunion in Nov 2022


My Friends in Vincents

Vincents of William Street, Listowel, is one of my all time favourite shops. Recently I am meeting many new people manning the shop on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Helen, Theresa and Eileen
Frances, Mary and Hannah


A Laugh from Mattie Lennon

An elderly man, in Listowel,  was quite unhappy because he had lost his favorite hat. Even though he was a man like myself who was always as honest as hard times would allow, rather than purchasing a new one, he decided he would go to church and steal one.. When he got there, an usher intercepted him at the door and took him to a pew where he had to sit and listen to an entire sermon on the Ten Commandments. After church, the man met the Priest  in the vestry  doorway, shook his hand vigorously and said, “I want to thank you for saving my soul today, Father. I came to church to steal a hat, but after hearing your sermon on the Ten Commandments, I decided against it.” “You mean the Commandment, Thou shall not steal, changed your mind?” the Priest  asked. “No, the one about adultery did,” the man said. “As soon as you said that, I remembered where I left my old hat.”


Listowel Tidy Towns

The good people of Listowel Tidy Towns held a great local awards night recently. They have shared photos of all the winners on their Facebook page

Listowel Tidy Towns


A Listowel Success Story

Seamus Given sent us an account of this one.

No Magic Pill is as play by Christian OReilly. It played to universal acclaim at the recent Dublin Theatre Festival.

“It had previously run in the Black Box Galway and had its Dublin opening night on 5 October. 
It is a dramatisation of a campaign for independence for disabled people in Ireland, based on the life of Martin Naughton.
It was rapturously received by the Dublin opening night audience, which included many Listowel residents and Dublin exiles.
It continues Christian’s stellar year. His play “The Good Father“ presented by Bunclody/Kilmyshall Drama Group was placed second in the Athlone All-Ireland Drama Festival in May and his play “Chapatti”, presented by the Palace Players from Kilworth, came third.” Seamus Given.

Christian is a native of Listowel.


What I’m Reading

They now have copies of this book in Woulfe’s and Kerry writers’ Museum.

Noel Grimes is a native of Listowel. He now lives in Killarney. His book is a very readable account of the Famine in the Killarney area. It is perfect for someone who wants the sad story in accessible form. I highly recommend it.

Well done and thank you, Noel!


Garda Recruitment in 1923, Izzy’s Magical Football adventure and a Minute of Your Time

Photo: Chris Grayson


Garda Recruitment Poster  in February 1923

This is a recruitment poster for the new Freestate police force.

2000 were to be recruited, all men aged between 19 and 27, minimum height 5ft. 9ins., minimum chest measurement 36 ins and in good health .

The entrance exam comprised the writing of a simple letter, the writing of a little dictated material and some simple arithmetic.

500 places were reserved for Irish speakers and only men who had “worked” for Ireland in the war against the English would be considered.

Does anyone know what happened to the serving RIC men ?


Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure

Emma Larkin is a Cork native, like myself, exiled in Listowel, (Rathea actually, but that’s as near Listowel as makes no difference). She has found herself right at home in the home of Irish writing. She has just written her first children’s book and she is launching it in Kerry Writers’ Museum on Friday November 22 at 7.00p.m. You are all invited.

There will be music and nibbles and Aislinn Desmond and Miriam O’Keeffe, Kerry ladies football players, will be there. There will be some Cork ladies footballers in attendance as well.

Emma Larkin, author of Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure

Emma says about the book;

This book is aimed at readers from age seven onwards starting to read independently. It is based around the themes of promoting strong girls, encouraging girls to play sport and girl’s ability to play sport at a high level, while also having a fun magical theme. It is 32 pages long, about 1,700 words and has lots of lovely illustrations.

It is inspired partly by my grandmother Maureen Hennebry (nee Cashman), who was a strong woman in many ways, she won three All Ireland Camogie Medals between 1939 and 1941 for Cork. It is also inspired by my only daughter, who puts up with her three brothers on a daily basis (!), and this book is my small way of trying to help normalise and promote female sports for not only my daughter, but for all women. My hope would be to write a series of books about Izzy and her adventures in sport.


Still book promoting

Susan and Oonagh in the library

My friends in Vincents were enthusiastic in their support for the book.

Nancy, Helena, Sabina, Liz and Eileen pictured on Friday October 25 2019.


A Halloween Window

 Lynch’s, Main Street

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