Irish Election Literature

… what you maybe meant to keep…

Tom Doodle Monster Election Rally photo-Listowel 1951 General Election. February 26, 2010

Found this old pic at home (I have also seen it in various books on Listowel and North Kerry).
This is a photo of a rally held in Listowel for the election of ‘Tom Doodle’. Prior to the 1951 General Election John B Keane had set up a fictitious political party, the Independent Coulogeous Party, complete with a fictitious candidate, Tom Doodle, who appeared at a ‘Monster Rally’ in Listowel. The picture is from that rally.

A Fergal Keane article about Tom Doodle explains it all… or almost all.

Theres also a short youtube clip of John B Keane talking about Tom Doodle.
I’ve also attached a pic of a class in Listowel taken during the fifties. Notice how many boys are shoeless…


14 Responses to “Tom Doodle Monster Election Rally photo-Listowel 1951 General Election.”

  1. […] 1951 John B Keane set up a fictitious political party, the Independent Coulogeous Party, complete with a fictitious candidate, Tom Doodle…. [This is stunning stuff, brilliant find […]

  2. Liam Byrne Says:

    Not wearing shoes in the 50’s was no great problem! Shoes, when available, had to be kept for big occasions – like going to Mass! I’ve often heard older people talk about children HAVING to wear shoes in school and the joy of liberation after school, when they could kick them off and run home barefooted! The school in the photo must have had a liberal policy? Nice photo’s. Well done!

    • R Conway Says:

      A wonderful find there. My late grandmother was from that neck of the woods and used to mention Tom Doodle. From what she told me, the Tom Doodle business lasted a year or two after the election campaign.

  3. mike sheehy Says:

    It was great seeing old photos of tom doodle.we lived accross the road and that is my mother at the window upstairs and my father in the doorway.We might not have much at that time but our parents never worried about us as we all showed up when our bellys were empty as it was usually time for the dinner.The school picture is mrs. crowley as one of my brothers is in it.probably 1950.She used to slap my knuckles as i was left handed now 2 of my 3 kids are leftys and they never change them. different times.

  4. Martin Sheehy Says:

    The Tom Doodle photo shows my father’s shop ( ‘ J. Sheehy ‘) across the street ( Main St./Small Square, Listowel) & that is my mother ( RIP) in the window on the second floor with, perhaps myself & another brother with her.

    The second School photo is of High Infants with Mrs. Crowley, teacher at Scoil Realte na Maiden, and there I am in the second row from the front, 6th, from the left!.—Marty Sheehy.

    • Brilliant Martin.
      What shop would be there now? Would it be Wolfes?
      I’ve looked around and am wondering if there are more Tom Doodle related photos about.
      The Tom Doodle campaign seems to be etched in every Listowel persons mind.

      • Martin Sheehy Says:

        8 Main St. today is Morkam’s the jeweler.

        Yes, the Tom Doodle affair is well-remembered by those of us from that generation, even by my generation, & I was a mere 7 or 8 years old at the time ( as you can see from the photo of J. Sheehy’s shop in that famous photo.). When Vincent Carmody published the ‘ Tom Doodle ‘ photo in his ‘ North Kerry Camera ‘ book of ~ 20 years ago, it brought back those great & treasured memories. BTW, Vincent has since reproduced that ( & several other evocative photos of Listowel) on place-mats & coasters since. See

        [ Vincent doesn’t retain me as his ‘ pitch-man ‘. I am just giving credit where credit is due. ]

  5. Martin Sheehy Says:

    I was just mentioning Vincent Carmody’s collection of ‘ Irish Originals ‘ in the attempted link above.

  6. Martin Sheehy Says:

    And, yes, there are several more photos of that great ‘ Tom Doodle ‘ day– a Thursday evening, June 1951– in Listowel extant. EVEN a copy of the menu of the Grand Dinner of the Independent Coulogeous Party held that night at the Listowel Arms Hotel, which concluded—‘ after all the porter had been consumed ‘—with the Doodle Anthem.

    Oh, what joy, fifty years onwards, to have been a small part of it.

  7. Martin Sheehy Says:

    ….– SIXTY years onwards!.

  8. Jake Says:

    Does anyone know the O’Connor s, Im from Australia and Ive been trying to find my relatives in Ireland, My grandmother Is called Gladys Small, if you know of any O’Connor familys please to tell me

  9. Jake Says:

    My relatives from Ireland*

  10. Mary Cogan Says:

    Check out North Kerry Reaching Out at

    They will help you look for your Listowel relatives.

  11. […] is John B Keane Talking about Tom Doodle (I posted this myself a few years back) Share this:ShareFacebookTwitterEmailDiggRedditStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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