Photo credit; Liam Downes


Thank You Teachers

These notes were recently left on the railings at Presentation Primary School, Listowel


The Last (Lamp) Post

By Mattie Lennon

At dusk and at morn, long before we were born

His bark had re-echoed on the old barrack square.
His life’s breath departed and grieving now started
We walked slowly behind him, emotions laid bare.

With moves synergetic and memories genetic,
In sorrow united by our hero’s demise,
Distraught, but none bolder, we stood shoulder to shoulder,
From a long line of soldiers, our gait was precise.

Then one of our party, all bouncing and hearty,
Made some crack or other within the cortege.
Through stiff-upper-lip training and morale restraining
He evaded chastisement, which befitted our age.

There was slight improvising; what the bugler was rising
Was not made of silver or bright gleaming brass.
‘Though sorrow abounded, no volleys resounded
As the pallbearers laid his corpse down on the grass.

In the sombre enclosure, we retained our composure,
Then adjourned to environs more private and lax,
Where concerns ballistic and matters more mystic
Were debated ’till fiction got mixed up with facts.

Then an offer from Alice, without favour or malice,
Meant a hasty collection was arranged on the spot.
She conveyed by suggestion, that without any question,
For proceeds sufficient, she’d show all she’d got.

No libidos developed, in mystery enveloped,
At our stripper, quite curveless, we gazed all agog.
But it still seemed like Heaven; we were all aged eleven


An Gleann Football Team

Here is Noel Roche’s photo again. Now between Noel and Neil Brosnan we have most of the names. The year is 1965

Players back row from left   D OConnor, Mickey Barry,[rip]  Paudie Carey[rip]  Jasper O Driscoll.[rip] Noel Roche, ? O Connor, Jimmy Woulfe, Thomas McDonagh.

middle row from left PJ Browne, Kevin Woulfe, Ned Lyons,[rip], Pat Loughnane, Charlie Nolan, Michael Hannon, ? O Connor

Front from left. Jimmy O Driscoll, Charlie McDonagh and Stephen Downey.


A Note of Appreciation

I know that people appreciate what I do on Listowel Connection because they tell me so all the time.

This happy sad email from Frances Blaikie makes me want to keep on posting  despite the lack of “news”.

Thank you Mary!  When I open my emails and see the Listowel Connection I smile immediately.  My Dad was born in Listowel in 1907 and came to the US in the early 1920’s.  My link to your wonderful town is through him and so many of the O’Brien transplants.  I may not be able to visit Ireland again (age) but everyday you open the town up to me. 

I do keep in touch with my cousins in Listowel.  My Uncle died at age 100 two years ago and I truly miss knowing him.  I traveled to Ireland about 8 times in the last forty years and the highlight of my trip was spending time with Uncle David and Aunt Crissie.  Roots go deep and for a ‘yank’ it’s important to know your roots.  My Dad was a true Kerryman.  He always said ‘once a Kerryman always a Kerryman’.  I understand what he meant.

 God bless you.  Frances

Thank you, Frances.