The latest posts from our blog (click on title to open):

Cork's English Market. Fr. Liam Hayes and KDYS Nativity Parade 2014

Listowel's 2014 Christmas Tree


Listowel Garda Station December 2014


Passing of an Unsung Hero

This is Fr. Liam Hayes who passed away recently. He was the son of Mary Nolan of Dromurhur, Moyvane and Paddy Hayes of Cappamore, Co. Limerick.

Fr. Hayes was the founder and administrator of several Cheshire Homes for children and adults with severe physical and intellectual disability in Oberá, Argentina. His passing at the aged of 65 is a huge loss to his family and to these people whom he always treated with dignity and compassion.

Senator Rónán Mullen, who knew Fr. Hayes paid him fulsome tribute this week:

"After studies in UCC where he was Student Union President, Fr Hayes went to Maynooth and was ordained a priest for the Divine Word Missionaries.
In the mid-1980s, he travelled to Argentina to do parish work in the province of Misiones in North-Eastern Argentina, where he would spend the rest of his life.
In Misiones he came across many children and adults with physical and intellectual disability who were severely neglected.
Some were abandoned and some were with family members unable to take care of them. Fr Hayes had sleepless nights about this.
His religious order and the local bishop gave him permission to work full-time in caring for these abandoned people.
This led to his foundation of several Cheshire Homes, places which he once described as ‘centres of prayers and centres of care’.
“They were certainly places where some of the world’s most forgotten people were loved for themselves,”
Fr. Hayes was helped by many people at home and abroad in his mission and he welcomed people of all creeds to be part of his work.
"Former President Mary McAleese and various government ministers from Ireland also visited over the years and the Irish State was generous in providing capital towards the development of the homes along the way.
Many people in Ireland and Britain raised money in their parishes and elsewhere towards the running costs of the homes.
In recent years, the importance of the homes and of Fr Liam’s work was recognised in Argentina and there has been increased support from within Argentinean society.
Senator Mullen recalled, “Fr Liam was fully committed to his work in Argentina but leaving Ireland was hard for him too. He missed the simple things like the feel of the local newspaper in his hand and the sweets or foods that you could only get in Ireland.”
Leaba i measc na naomh dá anam uasal

Spotted at the corner of Castle Street.

I hope they never get rid of these old pillar boxes. They are so classy by comparison with modern post boxes.


In Cork's English Market

The market was a buzz with activity on the day I visited. It was early in the morning and the traders were setting out their stalls for the day. I was struck by the camaraderie and banter among the neighbours. It must be so much nicer to work here where you are surrounded by other stall holders than in a shop on your own.

This inviting array of confectionery is on a stall new to the market. Hassett's Artisan Bakery from Carrigaline are now in the market. In case you missed this piece of news, Jacobs have this year removed the jelly star biscuit from their Afternoon Tea tins. The jelly star was everyone's favourite biscuit and was eagerly awaited by people at Christmas time. The good news is that Hassett's make a jelly star biscuit even tastier than Jacobs and you can now buy tins of jelly stars in Cork's English Market.

The vaulted ceiling, the Farmgate Café and the fountain are all landmarks in this popular area of town.


KDYS Nativity

KDYS posted these and some other photographs of their Nativity Parade 2014.

Christmas in Cork, Ballybunion castle and A living Crib in St. Mary's

Christmas in Cork

On a recent trip to Cork I photographed a few of the Christmassy features to share with you.

 This is the Tree of Remembrance in Patrick Street. Each yellow ribbon commemorates someone lost to suicide. It is a timely reminder that Christmas is not a happy time for everyone.

 Santa's giant post box at the entrance to the GPO in Oliver Plunkett Street.

Stylish doorway into a very stylish shop.

A group of carol singing school children were gathering outside the now closed Moderne.

Keane's jewellers on Oliver Plunkett street looking resplendent


And Then…….

Patrick Street in the 50s and 60s from a site called random Cork Stuff


Job Finished

(photo: Ballybunion Angling and Coastal Views )


Dancing on the Roads

(photo: Thomas Holmes Mason is the photographer and the photo is part of the Irish Archeology collection)

The year is 1909 and the place is a mountain outside Ventry, Co. Kerry.  A group of people is  dancing on the road and another group is watching from the nearby roadside bank.


Daniel and Majella, the Listowel Connection

Jackie and Máire from Listowel Writers' Week met up with Daniel and Majella at The Irish Book Awards recently. Majella O'Donnell's book, It's All in the Head, won the John Murray Show listeners choice award.


In St. Mary's yesterday

Everywhere I looked there was a shepherd. I was in St. Mary's for the Youthreach Nativity pageant. The weather was wet and dirty so the parade was curtailed and the children gathered in the church for a lovely Christmas ceremony.

Kerry's Green and Gold, Christmas in Dublin and Listowel and a carol service in our parish church

Kerry Christmas Tree in the U.S.

(photo: Jim Horgan)

This green and gold Christmas tree is in Atlanta, Georgia.


Ballybunion Eco Trek

Danny Houlihan is launching this great new venture right on our doorsteps. He is extremely knowledgeable about history, nature and the whole eco system in Ballybunion and he has now developed a series of walks and treks which will put Ballybunion well on the tourist walking map. Everyone is invited to come and hear all about it on Friday night.


Christmas in the City

A Listowel Writers' Week contingent went to Dublin on business recently and took a few snaps while there. Here are a few they posted on Facebook.

Liz and Jackie at Dublin Castle

Christmas Market in St. Stephen's Green


Presentation Sisters, Rathmore 2010


Craft Fair in The Seanchaí December 14 2014

Anne Egan surrounded by her beautiful knitted creations

Seasonal mulled wine was proving popular. I bought some. It was delicious.

These young people were enjoying having their faces painted.

Santa and Mrs Claus were on hand to chat to the children.


Music Department at Presentation Secondary School

Singers and musicians from Presentation Listowel at their Christmas musical event in St. Mary's on Sunday evening, December 14 2014. It was a lovely event in our beautiful parish church filled with heavenly music. A big thank you to all involved.


KDYS Live Crib and Parade today

Windows, Yeats and Santa and Mrs. Claus in The Seanchaí

The Sacred and the Secular on The New Kingdom Windows 2014

My nomination for best Listowel Christmas window goes to The New Kingdom in Church St.


A Reader spotted outside Woulfe's Bookshop


Rare photo of W.B. Yeats and his wife Georgia

(photo; The Wild Geese on Twitter)


Photo; Irish Historical Pictures

A very old photo of St. Michael's College, Listowel


Those were the Days!

These lovely children are now all grown up and will kill me for posting this. Let's just say they are, David, Talon, Evonne, Shane and Darren and it's 2004.


Meanwhile in Killarney….


Santa in the Seanchaí Sunday Dec 14 2014

I met Santa in The Seanchaí

The Brosnan family had been very good all year too.

Lyreacrompane 1956 and some Listowel people in Dec 2014

Listowel People at the Santa Parade on Sunday Dec 7 2014


Lyreacrompane, 1956

(photo: Cathy Dunne)


Success for a descendant of the Listowel Diaspora

  • Christine Kenneally is an award-winning journalist and author who has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Slate, Time, New Scientist, The Monthly, and other publications. Her books, The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures and The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language, are published by Viking Penguin. Before becoming a reporter, she received a Ph.D. in linguistics from Cambridge University and a B.A. (Hons) in English and Linguistics from Melbourne University. She was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, and has lived in England, Iowa, and Brooklyn, New York ( She is currently a contributing editor for Buzzfeed News.


    Out and About with my Camera

    Roly Chute and John Lynch

    Fred Chute at his travelling workshop

    Ruth O'Quigley at Knitwits Christmas lunch

    Mary Sobieralski with Abraham Nur and Namir Karim at Scribes

    Patricia Borley with the cake she made for the Knitwits Christmas party


    Operation Education

    One great day during Listowel Writers' Week 2014

    Operation Education


    Don't forget the Christmas Craft Fair at The Seanchaí on Sunday

     from 11 to 5.00.    Admission free

Brian Boru Crown, First Responders and People at the Santa Parade 2014

Some Local people in The Seanchaí to hear Lord Inchiquin and Jimmy Deenihan introduce the Brian Boru Crown.

Conor O'Brien,  Lord Inchiquin, Alison McCormick, founder of Jewels for Cures and Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for the Diaspora.

2014 is a millennium since 1014 and the Battle of Clontarf, in which Brian Boru, high king of Ireland was killed by a Viking enemy called Brodir. Legend has it that Brian was praying in his tent after the battle when he was slain. Brian Ború belonged to the tribe Dál gCáis and he was the first high king of Ireland. Lord Inchiquin is the head of the O'Brien clan and claims descendancy from Brian Ború.

Alison McCormick grew up near Clontarf. She is a cancer surviver. When she decided to set up a fundraising charity for cancer research it seemed a good choice to link it with her home place, Clontarf and with Brian Ború since we were in his millennial year.

The original Brian Boru crown was handed over to The Vatican centuries ago and may or may nor still be there. Alison enlisted the help of Da Capo jewelers to design and make a replica of the crown incorporating old jewellery donated mostly by ladies. There are some high profile male donors as well, Michael Smurfitt and Lord Inciquin being two. People who donate jewellery get to write their names in an accompanying scroll which will be kept with the crown in the National Gallery.

Interestingly, the jeweler who made the crown was  from Brosna.


Good to have them; Bad to Need Them

The ladies and gentlemen of Beal District First Responders


People at Listowel's Santa Parade on Sunday Dec 7 2014

Christmas at the front in WW1, An Gleann and some Christmas windows

Jim Halpin, curator of a great collection of war and other military memorabilia at his museum in Church St. invited me to photograph his Princess Mary tin and he told two very interesting stories apropos the tin.
The idea of sending a tin to the soldiers was not an original one. Princess Mary's aunt, Queen Victoria had sent such a present to soldiers during the Boer War. Jim has one of these in his collection and it contains the original straw packaging used to protect the enclosed gifts.

The Princess Mary story is fascinating. Apparently, the young princess went to the warehouse where these tins were being packed and she brought a hand written note to enclose in one tin. The note asked the finder to contact her. The story goes that the note was found by a Munster Fusilier from Limerick.

This old photo of 4th battalion of The Munsters comes from Historical Tralee

The tin is inscribed Christmas 1914. It has a cameo of Princess Mary surrounded by a laurel wreath. In the corners are the names of Britain's allies in the Great War. Other symbols of the British Empire at war adorn the box as well.


Last Rites 1915

Chaplain to the Munsters was a Fr. F. Gleeson from Tipperary. In this famous painting he is depicted giving last absolution to the troops as they paused on their way to the front.

Whilst moving forwards to the trenches on 8 May 1915, in preparation for the Battle of Aubers Ridge, Lieutenant-Colonel Victor Rickard ordered the battalion to halt at a roadside shrine in Rue du Bois, near Fleurbaix.  Gleeson, who had ridden at the front of the column, addressed the assembled 800 men and gave them the general absolution whilst still mounted on his horse. The men then sang the hymns Hail, Queen of Heaven, the Te Deum and Hail Glorious Saint Patrick before Gleeson moved along the ranks bidding farewell to the officers and encouraging the men to maintain the honour of the regiment.The battalion then moved off to the trenches from which they launched their attack at 5.30 the next morning. The Munsters were largely cut down by machine gun fire before they had advanced more than a few yards although enough men survived to capture the German trenches, the only unit to do so that day, before being forced to withdraw. (Wikipaedia)



Denis Carroll posted this old one on Facebook. The Mart Field is now Feale Drive.

Back row L-R: Gigs Nolan,?, Pa Kennedy, Miley Fitz, Jerry Kelliher, Bob O Brien, Buster Lynch, PJ Kelliher, Jimmy Griffin, Manager Roche.

Front L-R, Denny Carroll, Peter Sugrue, Kempes Kelliher, Kevin Sheehy, Liam Kelliher & Noel Roche


The Kerry Football team is one of Six Nominees for Rte Sport Team of the Year 2014

(photo; The Sunday Game )


This cool vehicles was spotted in Limerick this week


Christmas 2014 Scenes from Listowel

Christmas Comes to Listowel and Clonmel and Limerick and Cork…...

Santa Parade in Listowel Sunday December 7 2014


Scoil Realta na Maidine carol singing In The Square December 5 2014


Community Centre Fundraising Spinathon December 5 2014


Memories, memories

Two people wrote to me to give me the names of the people in this photograph.

Beta O'Brien names them as: "Dr Wm Enright (Dentist) Mr Maloney, his Dental mechanic Mrs Enright and daughter Teresa (Dentist) father of Todd( Dentist)"

Liam Enright, formerly of Cahirdown wrote:

In the photo were my grandfather William B., Jim "the Chum" Moloney, my grandmother Sheila, and my aunt, Teresa.


Boats at Beal 1964

Liam Enright wrote;

  I found the photo of the blessing of the boats very interesting . On the left of the photo there is a wheeled vehicle. This is a "DUKW".  It was a type of amphibious troop landing vehicle that was used in large numbers in WW2. They were US made. This one could well have seen action in Normandy or Anzio or some other landing site. I remember seeing that DUKW in  Ballybunion. There was great excitement on the men's beach one day when it drove down the road into the beach and entered the water. I must be getting old because I often asked people if they remember it around Ballybunion and not too many do. It was very interesting to see a photo of it. …

Anyone know anything about this vehicle?


Enjoying a Break

My good friends, Anne and Liam Dillon enjoying a weekend break in Cork recently.


A Corner of Listowel that is forever Chinese

McKenna's Does Christmas


Parish Bazaar 2014

(photo; Denis Carroll)


Nice Christmas Story from Clonmel

(photo and story ;Morning Ireland)

Clonmel, like many Irish towns has suffered a hemorrhage of emigration in recent years. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in local teams where the loss of so many young people often leaves once strong clubs unable to field a team.

Clonmel have hit on an innovative fun event for St. Stephen's Day. It's called Home to Hurl and eighteen young men are returning from Australia, the U.S., Britain and Saudi Arabia to take on the team they left behind.

The photo above shows their mammies eagerly awaiting the return of the hurlers.


On Your Bike, Limerick


Cork Knits for Simon

(photo: Vibes and Scribes)

Vibes and Scribes is a great Cork knitting and craft supplies shop. This is the scene in the shop this week where many women are knitting caps, socks, gloves and other woolies for rough sleepers and people in the Simon Community hostel.


The late Jackie Healy Rae

This great photo of the late jackie Healy Rae and supporters was taken by MacMonagle Photographers in Killarney in 2007.


Savannah McCarthy (of Listowel): the rock on which Irish success is being built

Great writeup in yesterday's  (Dec 8 2014) Irish Times

Snow, Ballincollig and The Brian Boru Crown

The Shape of Things to Come

John Kelliher's photo from 2010 is a timely reminder that, at this time of year, we can expect the worst. Predictors of a white Christmas this year are thick on the ground. Odds are shortening as the temperatures drop.


And in Ballybunion……

Looking very wintery and cold yesterday.


Ballincollig Regional Park

Photos taken on a recent walk in this lovely Cork park


The Future is in their hands

Teenagers check their smartphones in front of Rembrandt's The Night Watch

(photo; So Bad So Good on Twitter)


Sadness beyond all telling

Jonathan Corrie was a homeless junkie when he died within sight of Leinster House last week. His sad lonely death brought the country to a standstill.
Read this piece by his childhood friend and get a better idea of who he was;


Brian Boru Replica Crown…the Listowel Connection

Six Listowel ladies donated old or broken gold jewellery to the Jewels for Cures project. Pictured above are four of these ladies with the crown in The Seanchaí, Listowel on December 5 2014
Madeleine O'Sullivan, Máire Logue, Mary Cogan and Bernie Carmody.


Kerry has lost an Icon

R.I.P. Jackie Healy Rae


Ballybunion, safety matches, Santa Claus is coming to town and the Sluagh Hall is sold

Ballybunion Angling and Coastal Views captured this shot when out fishing at sunrise this week.


Mixing with the Stars

They had a great time in The Mixing Bowl when Ray, Bressie et al came to call during the week.


Christmas Shopping Made Easier

On street parking in Listowel is free every afternoon from now until Dec 19 and all day during Christmas week.


Remember this?

Do you remember safety matches? They were the ones with the black tips. They were originally called "safety matches" because they only lit when struck on the side of the box. Matches with red tip could be struck off of practically any surface.
I wonder if anyone made the baked cod recipe.


Rite of passage

My lovely granddaughter at her Ceremony of Light last week.


Santa Claus is Coming to Town

These pictures are from previous parades. This year's parade takes place on Sunday Dec 7 in The Square at 1.00p.m.


Princess Mary Tin in Listowel

Yesterday I told you about the Princess Mary tin which brought some cheer to the trenches during WW1. Jim Halpin has been in touch to tell us that he has one such tin in his William O'Dell collection in his war museum in Church Street, Listowel.


End of an era

Sold at auction yesterday for €76,000

Participating Towns

Tourist Info

Our Partners

You are here: Blogs Listowel Connection