Listowel Town Square in 2023

Am I alone in liking it better the way it was?

Stained Glass Window Donor Update

Further research by Kay Caball and David O’Sullivan has led us away from the wrong track and has revealed that the true donor of the window was a Thomas MacAuliffe of Main Street. He is described as a merchant and a stationer and he lived “two doors up from the Town Hall”.

The cutting below identifies the E F Boylan commemorated in the window.

This marriage certificate gives Mamie McAuliffe’s address as Main Street

Then I got this email from Vincent Carmody and he has all the details;


I was away yesterday but somebody contacted me in relation to an item on a Thomas McAuliffe, who donated the stained glass window on the right hand side of the church, I was asked, who was he and was he anything to the plasterer. There was no relationship. His daughter (Mamie)  got married in Dublin to Edward Boylan, From my notes, McAuliffe himself was married to a Mary Brodar, they married in Duagh in 1879. They had 2 children, John 1880, and Mary (Mamie) 1882, McAuliffe died in Ballybunion in 1935. Mamie and her husband, E. Boylan took over the running of the shop and Boylan’s garage, next door.  McAulliffe’s shop was bought by M.A.Hannon in the late 1930s, the garage was bought by the U.D.C., for years it housed the council office and also housed the town’s fire engine.  Interestingly, 2 Brodar sisters (Broderick) from Duagh, worked as shop assistants at McAuliffe’s until 1904, they then opened their own shop in William Street in 1904, one of these married Paddy Fitzgibbon’s grandfather. 

If required, you will find all the information on pages 180 and 181, of my 2013, Snapshots of an Irish Market Town.

The old Listowel saying holds true, There are more Jack Barry’s in town than one.


I Know his Grandmother

I was reading Kerry’s Eye when this story about this handsome young man popped out at me.

The lady on the left, with me and friends in Boherbue this summer is Óisín’s very proud grandmother, Maureen Ahern.


The dollies and teddies are planning a sleepover at Listowel Library on Dec 1 2023.

Christmas in Abbeyfeale

Apologies to the writer who is not identified in the above anthology.

From the Capuchin Annual Archive

Windy Gap, County Kerry, 1945 

A quaint image of a cottage sitting at the crossroads of the Windy Gap near the village of Glenbeigh in County Kerry in about 1945. The Windy Gap is now a very popular walking and hiking route along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way offering a variety of picturesque views of Lough Caragh and the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks in County Kerry. The photograph was taken by J.H. Williams who submitted it for potential publication in ‘The Capuchin Annual’. 

In Upper William Street

This may not be new but I didn’t notice it before. I was parked outside it on my way to the Vincent de Paul shop on Thursday last.

Deora Dé

An article for a cold Wednesday

When I was buying my summer bedding plants this year I saw some lovely potted fuchsia plants which I admired and bought. The shop assistant said I should be familiar with them because they were native to Kerry.

On my way home that day I remembered my grandmother had a great ditch of fuchsia and we were never allowed to pull the lovely red belled flowers because they represented Christ’s tear drops on the cross. Deora Dé as she respectfully called them.

In our teen years years we often cycled from Blennerville around Slea Head and I fondly remember all those lovely fuschia bushes on the road back by Derrymore and then again west of Dingle as we headed to Ceann Sléibhe with a stop off in Kilmalkedar to follow the path of the 636 AD Saint Maolcethair and down into that seaside marsh of Muiríoch where I spent my Gaeltacht days.

After my visit to the garden centre and my youthful reminiscences I came home and opened up my gardening encyclopaedia to check out our native fuchsia. Sadly we couldn’t lay claim to it as it was native to Haiti and first found there in 1696 and named after a German Botanist named Leonhart Fuchs . He was famous for writing and illustrating the first herbal book which he wrote in Latin.

When I look out at the garden today I see our many hydrangeas losing colour and shape and when I check I see that they are native to Korea, China, Japan and the name comes from a Greek word meaning watershed.

Our back Garden is adorned with eight lovely clusters of agapanthus which burst into flower mid July every year and yes you guessed it. The name is not of Irish origin. The flower name comes from two Greek words agape meaning love and anthos meaning flower and are originally native to South Africa.

I quit and admire our native shamrock in the lawn which comes from the Irish seamair óg or young clover.

If you want to pass away an hour on some wet and dreary winter day look up the word Shamrock.

As the song “The Dear little Shamrock “goes  ‘Sure Twas  St Patrick himself sure that set it’. It’s probably as Irish as you get.

Mick O Callaghan

A Fact

Christmas 1929

Kerry News Friday, December 27, 1929;

A STORMY CHRISTMAS. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were marked by the stormiest weather associated with the great Christian festival for very many years. Almost incessantly from the afternoon of Christmas Eve until five o’clock on the evening of Christmas Day gales continued to rage with a force which at times reached the velocity of a hurricane.
Though much damage was done to property in town and country, it is fortunate that no injury to life or limb has to be recorded, in the Tralee area at all events, though there were many narrow escapes from storm swept slates. It was a great tribute to the deeply religious fervour of our people that they were found braving the elements going to the confessionals in St. John’s Parish Church and the Dominican Church of Holy Cross in the teeth of the storm on Christmas Eve, and again attending the early Masses and receiving Holy Communion in such vast numbers in both Churches on Christmas morning.