In the audio collection of Witnesses to Independence (previously known as ‘Recollections of 1916 and its Aftermath - Echoes from History’) and this accompanying book, Maurice O'Keeffe and Jane O'Hea O'Keeffe capture the atmosphere of our revolutionary period. Those interviewed were good story-tellers. They recalled incidents which impacted vividly on their young minds and imaginations. For the most part the events they remembered were dark.
There was the terror struck on all and sundry in Tralee and its neighbourhood by the notorious Black and Tans, known as ‘Big Paddy and the Jew’ in 1920-21. An incident witnessed by the father of Mike Christopher O'Shea is related. Mick O'Connell, father of the later famous footballer had to come to Caherciveen from his home in Beginish Island, as the Angelus bell began to ring he removed his cap and knelt down on one knee in the street to pray. He was approached by two members of the Black and Tans, Coffey and Allen, and ordered to say "To hell with the pope." He refused to comply. The Tans beat him mercilessly with their rifle butts and walked calmly away. But, as more than one interviewee acknowledged, not all members of the Crown forces were repressive. The people at Camp addressed the resident RIC officer as follows:
Buckley is a gentleman Barney is a spy
Phelan is a traitor and a traitor he will die,
Not forgetting Shelbourne
And Burke is worst of all
He made the people shiver when he came from Annascaul
These interviews were conducted by Maurice O'Keeffe during the past few years and in so doing he has ensured the preservation of information which otherwise would have gone to the grave. Herein are valuable snippets of information which add colour and sometimes extra detail to well known events in the narrative of the War of Independence and its aftermath.
The book, compiled by Jane O'Hea O'Keeffe to accompany the recordings, will be of interest to local historians, students of our revolutionary period and Irish people at home and abroad. 88 pages + CD including excerpts of the audio recordings.
Voices from Great Houses – Cork and Kerry
Edited by Jane O'Keeffe. The contextualised voices of the descendants of the families who lived, or still live, in some of the Great Houses in Cork and Kerry may be heard through the pages of the book, as they discuss their family history and their immediate predecessors, their family experiences during the War of Independence and the Civil War, their love for their Irish heritage, their feelings of sometimes being displaced, and many other fascinating subjects.
The Chronicles of Cork - An Oral Record
Features ten of the people recorded for the three Cork collections. The book is edited by Jane O'Keeffe. Our own personal geographies, combined with our unique histories, form the building blocks of the people we become. In these chronicles, Cork is the keystone.
The Premier County of Tipperary - Living Voices
The book relates to 45 recordings compiled and produced by Maurice O'Keeffe, over the past five years. Included with the book is an hour-long CD, giving snippets of each of the recordings. This book is written by Jane O'Hea O'Keeffe.
A Pictorial History of Tralee
This book contains over 100 photographs of Tralee and its vicinity, the majority of which have never been published before. The pictures are accompanied by a lucid and informative commentary which ranges from the Neolithic to the first half of the 20th century. The main developments in the history of the town, since its foundation in the 13th century, are covered in some detail. There is also a great deal of new material on such diverse topics as the Slieve Mish, the May Boys, the 19th-century merchant princes, and the Mount Hawk Races. You can also read about the three Spa fishermen who were awarded medals for a heroic rescue in Tralee Bay, and "The Liberator" - the Tralee-bred horse who came second and third in five attempts at the Grand National. A Pictorial History of Tralee (not related to the recordings) is a collaboration by Russell McMorran and Maurice O'Keeffe. The book is a limited edition and is in hardback format with a dust jacket.
Written in Stone: the Graffiti of Kilmainham Jail
An important cultural artefact, recording a highly vulnerable and rapidly disappearing part of our history. The book, by Niamh O'Sullivan, includes images of the graffiti left on the walls of Kilmainham Jail by its ordinary inmates and by political prisoners during the War of Independence, Civil War and even further back in Irish history, including messages left by some British troops imprisoned during the Great War.
Racing Reflections – the Lives and Times of Irish Racing People
By Margaret Lantry and Jane O'Keeffe, was published in late November 2012. This lavishly illustrated book is based on interviews with trainers, jockeys, breeders and other involved with Ireland's horse racing industry. €5 from the sale of each book will be contributed to the Jockeys Accident Fund (in Ireland).
The Ancient Barony of Duhallow - Living Voices
For generations past, the rich culture, tradition and heritage of Duhallow has been cherished and preserved by the people who live there, amidst the stories, music and folklore of this ancient and beautiful place. Now that wonderful oral tradition is permanently preserved on this comprehensive collection of 45 CDs, along with the accompanying book. From Mass Rocks to matchmaking, from battlefields to sportsfields, from skellig lists to songsmiths - they are all told with great skill, humour and pathos by the custodians of the living past of ancient Duhallow.
The Old Kerry Journal
December 2006. Volume 1.
Compiled by Russell McMorran and Maurice O'Keeffe.
The Old Kerry Journal
June 2008. Volume 2.
Compiled by Russell McMorran and Maurice O'Keeffe