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: weather

Summer weather, Áras Mhuire and a Grotto in Cork

Lovely photos;  Shame about the weather

One day in July Elizabeth Brosnan photographed the weather story of summer 2015 in North Kerry.


A Close Call

Photo: Timothy John MacSweeney


A Presentation at Áras Mhuire

Last week I visited Áras Mhuire for the occasion of the presentation of a bequest from a long time resident of the retirement home who had passed away recently.

Seán Collins had lived in Áras Mhuire for 18 years. He had made his home there and he was among friends. The outstanding memory everyone has of Seán is usually his piety and his devotion to The Holy Rosary. It was fitting that his statue of Our Lady, adorned with rosary beads. should be the symbol to represent him at the little ceremony.  Trish Joy, Person in Charge at Aras Mhuire, accepted the donation from Eilish Dillane (sister of the late Sean Collins) and her husband Michael gave a lovely little speech outlining Sean’s time in the home and expressing the family’s  appreciation of the care he received there. John O’Keeffe represented the Board of Management.

John O’Keefe, Eilís Dillane, Trish Joy and Michael Dillane.

Some of the care assistants I met .

Some of the residents who were present.

I met an old friend, Eileen Fitzgibbon. She is pictured here with Claire Carmody who organized my visit.

James Gould took me to the  oratory and showed me the fittings which had come there from Listowel’s Presentation Convent Chapel.

This was the side altar in the convent chapel and the prayer stools came from the convent as well.

The Annunciation  and Presentation Windows once adorned the Pres chapel as well.


A Peaceful Oasis in Cork

For my Cork family reading this, be assured, I’m only touching that flag out of politeness. The other flag bearer, Fr. Pat Moore is a proud Kerry man and well on his way back to The Kingdom. I found Fr. Pat in great form, definitely on the mend and only looking a little the worst for his recent ordeal. They say that faith can move mountains. Fr. Pat is living proof.

He is convalescing in a lovely spot, Mount Desert.

Cork is located in a valley and appropriately enough, Fr. Pat’s new abode looks down on that valley.

Just down the road from the gate of Mount Desert is this entrance to a magnificent shrine, a feat of engineering set back into the hill.

This extraordinary heart shaped  thing on top of the grotto  looks like it might light up at night. Should be worth seeing.

I looked this effigy up on Google and this is all I could find;

“Set of twelve freestanding rectangular rosary stations, erected 1952, comprising carved limestone plaques with incised pictures and lettering. Located at intervals against wall to roadside marking decades of the rosary and terminating in grotto to west. Grotto comprises stepped structure housing statues with limestone boundary walls and wrought-iron railings. Dedicated to Our Lady.


Marking decades of the rosary and terminating in a grotto, these plaques are a very unusual feature to the roadside. The plaques have been executed to a high standard by skilled craftsmen. Opened on Assumption day 1952 the grotto and plaques play an important role in both the religious and social fabric of the area.”

I spotted those “rosary Stations” alright. I’ll have to go back for a closer look. As they say on Facebook…..feeling fascinated.

Dr. Michael O’Connor on cigarettes, Bob Dylan on weather and Galvin’s shopfront

Bryan MacMahon said that a teacher leaves the track of his teeth on a parish for 3 generations. I think the same is true of a doctor.  Certainly, this man pictured above, Dr. Michael O’Connor of 24 The Square, Listowel keeps coming up in folk memory here.

Today my titbit is an old letter that my good friend, Anne Moloney, unearthed for us. The quality of the copy is poor so I’ll transcribe it for you.

It is dated  13.12.’22 and the address is The Square, Listowel and it goes:

Dear Sir (or Madam),

It has been brought to my notice by a tobacconist in this town that some soldiers in Listowel Barracks have been using my name as their excuse for refusing to buy Irish made cigarretes, stating that the Doctor said, “Irish cigarettes caused skin disease”. This slanderous allegation is, of course, entirely untrue and was never uttered by me. Indeed there is nothing, as far as I know, in Irish or any other cigarettes likely to cause skin disease.

It is a poor specimen of a man or a soldier who has not the moral courage to say, when purchasing cigarettes made by Irish girls, that he prefers those made by foreigners.

                                                                                                       M. O’Connor M.D.


This photo appeared in The Advertiser a while ago with the caption. Tullamore School. It looks like a retirement.  Any further information welcome.


Mike Enright’s lovely photo last week of a calm Cashen inclines me to think that Spring may finally be on the way after this oh so inclement winter.

Our recent fascination with the weather sent me to my copy of Brendan MacWilliam’s Weather Eye .

Here is a fascinating piece of useless knowledge for you all:

“Dr. Alan Robock of Rutgers University, new Jersey has examined 465 songs performed over the years, by rock singer, Bob Dylan, and dicovered that the word “sun” appears in 63 of them; “wind” turns up in 55, “rain” in 40, “sky” in 36,  “cloud’ in 23, “storm” in 14, “summer” in 12 and “snow” in 11. Other weather words occurring but scoring less than 10, include hail, winter, lightening, thunder, flood and, of course, “weather” itself.

According to Dylan, the answer to many vexed questions is “blowin’ in the wind” and ” You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing”.


Market Street premises then and now


The Frank Lewis Saturday Supplement on Listowel is available here;

One of the many great Listowel stories you will hear on the programme  concerns this building. During The Troubles it was forbidden to have a shop sign in the Irish language and for years this shop had Galvin’s name in English over the door. During a much later refurbishment, this beautiful mosaic sign was uncovered. Apparently, some master tilers who were in town working on mosaic work in St. Mary’s were employed by Galvins to do this magnificent shop sign. Luckily it was not destroyed to comply with regulations.  The wily owner just covered it up for future generations to enjoy.


Listowel girl honoured

Savannah McCarthy ( Listowel Celtic)  was chosen as the under 17 Player of The Year at the recent FAI Player awards.

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