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

Wit and Wisdom

August 2023


Gems from Micheál OMuircheartaigh

Seán Óg Ó hAilpín: his father’s from Fermanagh, his mother’s from Fiji. Neither a hurling stronghold.

…and Brian Dooher is down injured. And while he is, I’ll tell ye a little story: I was in Times Square in New York last week, and I was missing the Championship back home. So I approached a newsstand and I said, “I suppose ye wouldn’t have The Kerryman, would ye?” To which, the Egyptian behind the counter turned to me and he said, “Do you want the North Kerry edition, or the South Kerry edition?” He had both – so I bought both. And Dooher is back on his feet…

Anthony Lynch, the Cork corner-back, will be the last person to let you down – his people are undertakers.

Colin Corkery on the 45 lets go with the right boot. Its over the bar. This man shouldn’t be playing football. He’s made an almost Lazarus-like recovery from a heart condition. Lazarus was a great man but he couldn’t kick points like Colin Corkery.

The stopwatch has stopped. It’s up to God and the referee now. The referee is Pat Horan. God is God.

Dublin have scored two points, one from the hand and one from the land.

Teddy McCarthy to Mick McCarthy, no relation, Mick McCarthy back to Teddy McCarthy, still no relation.

I saw a few Sligo people at Mass in Gardiner Street this morning and the omens seem to be good for them. The priest was wearing the same colours as the Sligo jersey! 40 yards out on the Hogan Stand side of the field, Ciarán Whelan goes on a rampage… it’s a goal! So much for religion.

He grabs the sliothar, he’s on the 50! He’s on the 40! He’s on the 30… he’s on the ground!

Pat Fox out to the forty and grabs the sliothar. I bought a dog from his father last week. Fox turns and sprints for goal… the dog ran a great race last Tuesday in Limerick… Fox, to the 21, fires a shot – it goes to the left and wide… and the dog lost as well.

He kicks the ball lán san aer. Could’ve been a goal, could’ve been a point… it went wide.

I see John O’Donnell dispensing water on the sideline. Tipperary, sponsored by a water company. Cork, sponsored by a tae company. I wonder will they meet later for afternoon tea.

In the first half they played with the wind. In the second half they played with the ball.

1-5 to 0-8… well, from Lapland to the Antarctic, that’s level scores in any man’s language.

Pat Fox has it on his hurl and is motoring well now, but here comes Joe Rabbitte hot on his tail… I’ve seen it all now, a Rabbitte chasing a Fox around Croke Park!

Stephen Byrne with the puck out for Offaly. Stephen, one of 12. All but one are here to-day, the one that’s missing is Mary, she’s at home minding the house. And the ball is dropping i lár na bpáirce…

Teddy looks at the ball, the ball looks at Teddy…

Mike Houlihan for Limerick. Houlihan, the cattle jobber. He had his jaw broken by a kick from a bullock two months ago. He’s back now. ‘Twas some bullock that broke Mike Houlihan’s jaw!

Danny ‘The Yank’ Culloty: he came down from the mountains and hasn’t he done well.


Where it all Began

Liam OHainnín shared this treasure on Facebook. As you can see it is a LP of all of the great Listowel writers at the time. Tim Danaher was a native of Listowel Town Square and he worked hard to promote his native time during his time with Radio Eireann. In the early years of Writers’ Week, Danaher was a vital part of the PR network. His RTE connections opened many doors.


O’Brien Street Park, Kanturk

There are many lovely features in this park in my hometown. I love the lager than life bee and butterfly.


A Fact

The Hollywood sign erected in 1923 originally said Hollywwodland. The sign is 50ft. tall and 450 ft across. It weighs 450,000 pounds.



Celebrations and Commiserations


Story Behind The Rose of Tralee Festival


  1. I would love to get a copy of Gift of Ink. I vividly remember listening to Eamon Keane’s magical voice the night it first broadcast. I am a neurologist in Newport Beach California but born and raised in Cahirdown, a mile outside the town. My 14 brothers and sisters lived in the Soldiers Cottages ,a gift of the British government to it’s WW1 veterans. My brother Louis was in love with his town and was immersed in every aspect of Listowel life. He died too soon but he died in the place closest to his heart.

    I wait for your blog every week. It makes me feel connected to the past and to family. Please let me know how to access or purchase A Gift of Ink. I will be very grateful
    Dr Philip O’Carroll

  2. John Sheehy

    Dear Sirs,

    As this page/website is the Listowel connection, I notice many comments/connections to Kanturk!

    Different town and indeed a different county?


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