John J. Ó Ríordáin, CSSR (No. 1) b. 1936
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John J. Ó Ríordáin, CSSR (No. 1) b. 1936


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Fr. Ó Ríordáin speaks initially about his home in Knockavorheen, Kiskeam, and traces his ancestors who were involved in skirmishes during Land League days in the 1880s. He also explains that his home was a meeting place for the leaders of the IRA. He discusses the bond between his father, Jim O’Riordan, and Sean Moylan who fought the War of Independence; Jim a member of H(Kiskeam) Company, Seán of D(Newmarket) Company and O/C of the 6th (Newmarket) Battalion, Cork 2nd Brigade, IRA.

He describes the research he conducted when writing Kiskeam Versus the Empire, and explores the boundaries of the ‘Kiskeam Republic’ and his study of folklorist Edward Walsh (1805-1850). His understanding of the spirit of Western Duhallow and Sliabh Luachra people – their music, song and dance is explained. He describes the area traditionally known as a repository of old Gaelic and Latin learning passed on through ‘spoilt priests’ and hedge schools masters, such as Edward Walsh and Kerry Horan.

He also discusses old Celtic structures and his inspiration for writing books on the subject. He further explains his work as a priest over the last 50 years, and discusses those who inspired him during his lifetime.

Additional information



Audio series:

Men of the South: The Freedom Struggle in North Cork 1919-1923


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

72.41 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Kiskeam Vs the Empire: An Oral Record

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore

Date Recorded





Mt St Alphonsus, Limerick City