The Irish in America

Get to Know Listowel


Beautiful Listowel, serenaded night and day

By the gentle waters of the River Feale.

 Listowel where it is easier to write than not to write,

Where first love never dies, and the tall streets hide the loveliness, 

The heartbreak and the moods, great and small,

Of all the gentle souls of a great and good community.

Sweet, incomparable hometown that shaped and made me.

John B. Keane (1928-2002) 

Listowel (courtesy of Vincent Carmody)

Listowel (courtesy of Vincent Carmody)

Leading up to our St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway of a signed copy of Vincent Carmody’s Listowel – Snapshots of an Irish Market Town 1850-1950, we would like to spotlight this County Kerry town on The Irish in America over the next couple weeks.

We will look at the rich literary tradition of Listowel, as well as the town’s history and people. Naturally, since this is The Irish in America, we  are interested in the stories of those who left Listowel for America. Vincent Carmody has already got us started with essays on Elmer Walsh – the Chicago man with Listowel roots who defeated Richard Daly and Kathy Buckley – the Listowel woman who impressed the likes of J.P. Morgan with her culinary skills and made it all the way to the White House.

To begin your journey to Listowel, listen to this Radio Kerry podcast. Presenter Frank Lewis brings listeners on a tour of Listowel, and is joined by our friend Vincent Carmody. Sit back, listen to the program, and get acquainted with Listowel, County Kerry.



Author: Aine

I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. My heritage pretty much covers the map of Ireland: great-great-grandparents from Cork (Crowley, Foley, Regan), a great-great-grandmother from Clare (Quinn), a great-great-grandfather from Fermanagh (McMahon) and his wife's parents from Mayo (McAndrew), a great-grandmother from Connemara (Hannon) married to my great-grandfather from Laois (McCormack), great-grandparents from Sligo (Flannery), and a great-grandmother from Kildare (Hill). All of those people ended up in Minnesota, where my four grandparents were born. Three and four generations after my people left Ireland for America, I retain all Irish heritage. So much for the melting pot...

2 thoughts on “Get to Know Listowel

  1. My wife and I visited Listowel in 2012…..I have many cousins from my Barrett, Donoghue and Slemon families who still call Listowel and the surrounding area home….It’s a busy place with a small town feel and the folks there are very welcoming….we’ll be going back, to be sure….those from thr Barrett family who did emigrate, settled in Holyoke, MA, birthplace of Volleyball and home to one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country.

    • I did not know about Holyoke’s St. Patrick’s Day parade – how cool! I hope you check back to the blog on Thursday – we are announcing how you could win a copy of Vincent Carmody’s “Listowel – Snapshots of an Irish Market Town”. It is a beautiful book! Thanks for the comment!

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