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: vintage cars

Vintage cars and a request for help with family history

Summer…… last!

Yesterday morning in Ballybunion: Photo by Mike Enright


Eyes down, watch your numbers

Due to damage to The Plaza during Storm Darwin of last February, the weekly Sunday night Bingo is now held in The Community Centre. It is still proving as popular as ever.


As part of  Listowel Military Tattoo in early May 2014 a display of vintage cars was held in Market Street. I have finally got round to posting my photos from that day.


Family search

I had a letter from Jo Chellwood who is researching her North Kerry ancestors.

Here is an extract from her email:

My father Maurice Brennan born 1913 Ballybunion Married my mother Josephine Carey born 1920 Dublin. She never lived in Kerry.  My father moved to England and we followed later.
His father Martin  married Hanoria Linnane….Lacca 1904.  Her father John married Mary Fitzmaurice
A sister of Martin, Bridget married Jer Murphy  (Joseph Linnane’s uncle.)  A daughter Annie was born about 1910. no details of marriage or birth.  Hopefully Joseph can help out.
Martin’s father Michael married Mary Deenihan….Lacca  1868
One of Michael’s daughters Catherine married Patrick Lucid…children..Patrick 1892? Mary 1894? John 1895? Bridget 1896? Catherine died in childbirth.
Another daughter Mary/Maria/Mariah married  Stack.(no name)…..children Peter about 1904 and John about 1908.  Her husband must have died as she later married Jack Kennelly….daughter Mary
I have more detailed information including grave photo’s from Killehenny.
It seems they all lived in Ballybunion/Lacca/Listowel.
My grandfather Martin Brennan and his father Michael were both blacksmiths
Does anyone know of the above or have any old photo’s which they could photocopy for me.  Am more than happy to reimburse any monies.



My condolences this week go out to Jer. Kennelly on the death of his sister, Mary Rose.

Jer shares with us this poem which was read at her funeral mass.

Letter from heaven

To my dearest family and friends

There’s some things I’d like to say, but first of all, to let you know that I have arrived okay.

I’m writing this from heaven.  Here I dwell with God above,

Where there’s no more tears of sadness,

There is just eternal love.

The day Thursday, I had to leave you when my life on earth was through

God picked me up and hugged me and said, “I welcome you”

“It’s good to have you back again,

You were missed while you were gone:

As for your dearest family, they’ll be here later on.”

Please do not be unhappy just because I’m out of sight;

Remember that I am with you every morning, noon and night.

God gave me a list of things that he wished for me to do;

And foremost on the list was to watch and care for you.

When you lie in bed at night,

With the days’ chores put to flight,

God and I are closest to you ……In the middle of the night.

When you are walking down the street and you’ve got me on your mind,

I am walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb.

But together we can do it by just taking one day at a time.

And when it is time for you to go from that body to be free remember that you’re not going…

You are coming here to me. 

R.I.P. Mary Rose Kennelly

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

Vintage cars, Century Ireland, other old stuff and Dermot O’Neill

Micheál O Muircheartaigh addressing the large crowd in Killarney before the walk from darkness into light on Saturday morning in aid of Pieta House.

A group from Presentation Secondary School, Listowel took part. Teacher, Bridget O’Connor,  sent me the photo.


On Monday May 6th 2013 we had a Vintage Day in town. The Square was full of old tractors and cars and people who love these things were having a day out. 

I was there with my camera and I’ll bring you a few of the photos this week.

No, we did not have anything as grand as these Model T’s from 1910 but we had these.


Savannah McCarthy is pictured with Katie Taylor who presented her with her award at The Traveller Pride awards ceremony in Dublin on Thursday last.

Savannah from Listowel is captain of the Under 17 Irish girls soccer team. Other award winners were John Joe Nevin and Kelly Mongan.


The onward march of technology

This is the first Irish cctv in Dublin airport in 1959.

Remember these? Of course they had a querty keyboard, this one was part of a secretary’s protest.


When I was writing about the Parents  and Friends Garden Fete, I omitted to mention the star attraction. It was  celebrity gardener, Dermot O’Neill. His talks proved very popular and people found him approachable and very free with his advice. He posed for a few photos with his fans as well.


Two great new websites

Since Tuesday last May 7 2013 a marvellous new website is up and running.

Century Ireland

Century Ireland is a partnership between RTÉ, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the GaeltachtBoston College, theNational Cultural Institutions and other partners.

Century Ireland will make a range of archival material available to the public in the most accessible way possible, and will accompany this material with expert commentary. Alongside news reports from the time, the site will feature primary sources, academic research, and a wealth of visual imagery. The reach of the Century Ireland online news site will also be complemented with a daily blog and Twitter feed to bring information about the 1913 to 1923 period to the widest possible audience in the most easily accessible way.

Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht commented:

“Over the course of 2013, and in the decade ahead, we will celebrate a rolling succession of centenaries that mark the most momentous period in modern Irish history. In a mere decade, the social and political landscape in Ireland changed completely. The Century Ireland initiative is important because it takes our history and makes it tangible and accessible for the audience of today. The major stories featured will explain the events that shaped modern Ireland, but the everyday ones will help us imagine what it was really like to live through this decade of change.”

Professor Mike Cronin, Boston College commented:

“Century Ireland offers a decade long history of the major and everyday news events from a hundred years ago. Produced by Boston College, delivered by RTÉ and supported by the national cultural institutions, Century Ireland will bring the 1913-23 period to life. A rich mix of digital content, supported by social media, will allow the public to access a range of material and lead them through the decade of centenaries in real time.”

Noel Curran, Director General of RTÉ, commented:

“RTÉs involvement in the Century Ireland project is reflective of its commitment to opening up and showcasing some of the wealth of materials available within the RTÉ Archive. Online and mobile engagement nationally and internationally increases every year and we feel confident Century Ireland’s positioning within the RTÉ.ie website will help this project secure the recognition and visits that it truly deserves. It has been a privilege to have worked in partnership with such esteemed organisations to create a national cultural resource of such quality and value.”


If you don’t get too bogged down in Century Ireland, take a look at this great new site.

Find your Kerry ancestors


There is a great Facebook page called Rare Irish Stuff. It was there I found this treasure. It was taken in Kylemore McDonalds in Dublin on Saturday last, May 11 2013.

Ia ait an mac an tsaol  (There’s none so queer as folk!)


+  Donal Walsh R.I.P.  +

Just a short quote from his inspirational article. He was an exceptional young man. May he rest in peace.

Vintage Vehicles, more from Sunday and Ballybunion caves

As part of the vintage day on Sunday there was a display of vintage cars and farm machinery. One lady I met told me that she felt really old when she discovered that the cars she used to court in were now vintage! I too felt a pang of nostalgia as I posed for a photo beside a car of the same model as my very first car, a Ford Anglia.

The FCA marched at the head of the parade.

A lone piper played.

There were some local stalls. My photo is of Leisha who was there with Laura selling periwinkles and lobsters.

Local people turned out in  numbers to enjoy a taste of the 1940’s. Some, like Sean Moriarty, even made an effort to get into the spirit of the occasion by dressing the part.

Siobhán and Mark Hewitt were visiting from the U.K.


At the weekend we had a super moon which led to unusual tidal patterns. When I went to Ballybunion on Saturday with my weekend visitors we found the tide out further than we had ever seen it before. It meant that we could explore some caves by the sea arch which we had never been able to access before. Unbelievably I forgot to bring my camera!!!! so we had to make do with some of my son’s phone pics. Here they are:

Look how far out the tide is as the boys fly their kites.


Anyone interested in emigration should read the following thought provoking article;


I also enjoyed reading this from Shane Creevy on Vintage Dublin postcards.

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