Volume 6, Winter 2019-2020
Compiled by Maurice O’Keeffe and Jane O’Keeffe
December 2019 sees the publication of the much-anticipated 6th Volume of the Old Kerry Journal. In this newest edition Tralee historian, Russell McMorran, writes about the memorials in St. John the Evangelist Church in his native town, and on the Parochial School, founded in the early 1900s and in existence until the 1950s. Kerry historian, Donald Cameron, provides extracts from ‘Kerry Days’ written by Olive Trench, born in 1887, and daughter of George Trent, Land Agent to the Ardfert Estate.
2019 marks the centenary of the first meeting of Dáil Ėireann and Cork-based historian Dr. Helene O’Keeffe, describes this pivotal event with specific reference to the Kerry connection. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the production of David Lean’s film ‘Ryan’s Daughter’ on the Dingle Peninsula. Micheál de Mordha’s article entitled ‘The Best Government we ever had…’ gives a rare insight into the response locally, the cast and crew, and the financial benefit to the entire region.
Dromore Castle in Templenoe is a wonderful Gothic Revival building, built by the Mahony family in the 1830s to sit serenely above the Kenmare River. Relative of the Mahonys, Jane Waller, is featured in Jane O’Keeffe’s ‘Voices from the Great Houses: Cork and Kerry’ from which this excerpt is taken. She recalls her happy childhood days at Dromore and the heart- breaking decision to sell the property in 1992.
Kildare-based historian, teacher and author, Eamon Mulvihill, whose ancestry is in Ballydonoghue in North Kerry, writes about the life and times of politician, writer and landlord, John Benn Walsh, Lord Ormathwaite (1798-1881), who purchased 9,000 acres in Kerry from Francis Thomas Fitzmaurice, 3rd Earl of Kerry. Journalist Gordon Revington and barrister Joe Revington are members of the merchant Revington family of Tralee which operated from the elegant red-bricked building on the southern side of The Mall. The building still proudly displays the date AD 1857. They detail their family history and provide an insight into a thriving business in the county town over 108 eventful years.
Tim Buckley of Killarney writes about the Kerry connection to the Belfast Harp Festival of 1792, the most significant documented event in the history of harping in Ireland. It was organised to collect and preserve the airs of the ancient Irish instrument. The article includes a fascinating account of a Christmas night of harping and jollity at the residence of Thomas Browne, 4th Viscount Kenmare at Killarney House in the 1750s.
Retired teacher, Pat McKenna of Milltown, recalls the Spout on Spout Lane which was a focal point in the village where generations of Milltown people came to draw water. It was also used for other diverse purposes and was the site of many a riveting conversation and romantic encounter
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