Tony Barrett (b. 1943)
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Tony Barrett (b. 1943)


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Three generations of the Barrett family have lived and farmed the land in Clooncurra, Lispole. The old home was thatched originally, and several members of the family fell victim to tuberculosis resulting in the deaths of Tony Barrett’s grandmother and two of her children. Tony Barrett’s father, Johnny Barrett, also contracted the disease, but luckily he survived. In the 1930s, Johnny Barrett built a two storey house on the family farm. He was a great organiser, as was his uncle, Johnny Barrett, who set up the first local GAA club. The growth of the much-needed Dairy Disposal Board is described, as is the development of the Co-Op by the farming community. Tony explains that Golden Vale was attempting to become established in Kerry, but North Kerry Products had a foothold and they went on to form the Co-Op. West Kerry then joined North Kerry, and Johnny Barrett was involved in the merger. Tony recalls a meeting of farmers in Tralee who came together to elect a leader, and he explains that his father rang Denis Brosnan at to offer him the job. Tony’s own involvement, when he first joined the Advisory Committee as a representative in 1986 until 2002, is described. He served as Director of the committee for nine years and as Chairman of Kerry Group for three years. The Barrett home in Lispole was close to the stopping-point for the train on the Dingle to Tralee line. The Stationmaster, Peter Casey, is recalled. The station was a hive of activity during the Dingle Fair when extra carriages were provided to cope with the numbers of cattle being brought to Tralee station and onward to other destinations by train. Thomas Ashe, who died following force feeding in Mountjoy Jail in 1917, was a neighbour and a great friend of the Barrett family. On his trips back home to Kinard from Dublin he would always arrive at the Barrett home with his bagpipes and a fine music session would ensue before he strolled across the boreen to his Kinard home. This regular occurance was described to Tony Barrett by his godfather, Pádraig Begley, who lived at the Barrett home as a child and remembered these music sessions. In those days, a first born child would sometimes be given over to its grandparents to be reared, and this was the case with Pádraig Begley. Pádraig Begley was recorded in 2002 by Irish Life and Lore.

Additional information



Audio series:

Tralee-Dingle Narrow Gauge Railway Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

69.9 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:




Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore