Ballybunion mourns loss of Owen Liston
BALLYBUNION is mourning the loss of a major figure in tourism, sport and politics this week following the death of Owen Liston on Sunday.
Tributes have been pouring in for a man described as central to the transformation of the town as a key tourist destination, and of Beale GAA into one of the most powerful forces in county football of the late 1970s and '80s.
A father of former Kerry football star Eoin 'The Bomber' Liston and a brother of the late Fianna Fáil TD Kit Ahern, Athea native Owen Liston played a key part in the promotion of Ballybunion as a top tourist destination through his work as a founder member of the Bachelor Festival, a member of the Ballybunion Development Company and of Bord Fáilte.
Liston's Ocean Bar which he ran from 1963 until it was sold in 1997 was one of the most popular establishments in the tourist town.
His legacy to the GAA life of north Kerry and the county was even greater as the father of The Bomber and one of the masterminds of the stunning success of Beale GAA in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Eoin 'The Bomber' Liston said his father was a figure of huge encouragement to him and his brothers in their footballing careers.
Mr Liston oversaw major development of tourism facilities in Ballybunion and was crucial to sister Kit's political successes as her director of elections for many campaigns.