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: Writers’ Week 2014

Writers’ Week

A taster of this year’s Writers’ Week

Michael Guerin took this photo at the launch of Kay Moloney Caball’s Kerry Girls book. In the photo are Kay Caball, Mary Cogan and Áine Guerin.

Bridget O’Connor took this photo from her seat at Saturday night’s concert where they were dancing in the aisles.


Highlights of Opening Night, Listowel Writers’ Week 2014


There are lots more photos to come.


Memories, memories……..

This photo was taken on the opening night of Writers’ Week 1988

Left to right: Kay Landy, Noreen Lynch, Vera Stack R.I.P. and Eileen Hannon


1964 photo from a collection called Photos of old Dublin.

In the light of what we now know about how Ireland treated her children in those days, we can only wonder were these children, pictured at Dublin Airport, on their way to adoptive parents in the U.S.?


St. John’s to be used as R.C. parish church


While our usual 10.30a.m. Mass will take place in the church on this Monday morning (June 2nd ), the church will then be handed over to CISCO CONTRACRORS, Lixnaw who begin the project on Tuesday morning. As of then – and throughout the project the Church and Church grounds will be a building site with strictly no admittance because of Health and Safety regulations. It is scheduled to be re-opened on Thursday, August 7th but with a little luck we hope that it will re- open the weekend of the August Bank Holiday. The daily 10.30 am. (Monday to Saturday Morning) will take place at St. John’s The Square. The Saturday Vigil 7.00 p.m. and Sunday 9am. and 11am. Masses will take place in St. Michael’s College in the multi purpose area within the College. Funeral masses will be arranged in consultation with the family and can be either in St. Michael’s College or in a neighbouring parish church. Baptisms will take place in the Hospital Chapel. There will be no First Friday evening masses / Padre Pio evening masses or Adoration during the months of June and July. Confessions will take place after the 10.30 a.m. Mass at usual times in St, John’s. Our Parish Finance Council wishes to thank sincerely all who are making this project possible and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. We will keep you up-dated throughout the project and when it is finished you will be delighted with a fabulous floor. Thanks

( from St. Mary’s parish newsletter)

Garden of Europe and Evelyn O’Rourke’s Dear Ross

Recently I took a stroll through the lovely Garden of Europe. Several lovely trees came down in the February 2014 storms.

Two men were working clearing the fallen wood on the day I visited.

They told me that they were using the wood pulp as mulch for the remaining shrubs and trees.

These hardy daffodils were blooming on regardless.

Two dogs were enjoying the early spring sunshine.

I spotted these on a tree on the path from the Garden to Gurtinard. Nest boxes?


This is definitely the end of my WIM Weekend coverage

I know that that is not really a headline but I thought it might be a relief for some of my faithful followers to know that normal service is bring resumed next week.

Before that I have to tell you that I met my friend, Evelyn O’Rourke in Ballybunion.

Me with Evelyn O’Rourke

Evelyn with her mum Peigí, her aunt Eileen and  friend Mairead

Her anxious mum watches as Evelyn relives a very hard time in their lives.

Breda Boderick from Listowel is a fan of Evelyn’s and maybe its this selfie craze but I seem to be in far too many photos of the weekend.

Evelyn has written a book, Dear Ross, telling the story of a year in the life of her family. Evelyn was still on maternity leave with her first son, Óisín when she discovered she was pregnant. She was thrilled. The thrill only lasted a very short while as, within a week, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  

Evelyn wrote a series of letters to her unborn son, Ross, telling him how much she and his dad, John loved and wanted him and wanted to do everything possible not to compromise him in any way.

In the book we read of the horrors of chemotherapy compounded by the discomforts of pregnancy and the trials of looking after a small child.

In Ballybunion we saw Evelyn, the surviver, read movingly from some of the letters. We met Evelyn, the campaigner, passionately promoting the cause of breast cancer research. We  met Evelyn, the family woman, wallowing in the love of her old and her new family. And we met Evelyn, the great communicator standing before us, a testament to the triumph of will, of love and support and modern medicine over this terrible disease.


During the weekend the local Creative Writing group took the opportunity to sell a collection of their works, A Little Life Music.

As part of the weekend too we got a taster eco tour of Ballybunion.

Danny Houlihan is a man of many talents. He told us about history and wildlife in a really interesting trip to the Cashen and the Castle Green. Below are a few photos from the tour


Writers Week 2014

The programme was officially launched last night in The Seanchaí. Great night, lots of photos to come but I had to share this one.

 Eilís Wren and Máire Logue of Writers’ Week fill in my lovely granddaughters on who’s coming to this year’s festival.

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