Kilmorna House, Kerry’s Downton Abbey


May 4, 2021


03. May 2021


Pierce the Chieftain


Pierce the Chieftain




Although Kilmorna House will always be remembered for tragic reasons – the burning of the house and the killing of Arthur Vicars – there was one larger than life character that is less known but equally fascinating.  Pierce Mahony  – Pierce the Chieftain as he came to be known – was a most charismatic man. Gardener, breeder of wolfhounds, agriculturist, politician, altruist and friend of Charles Stuart Parnell, he is intrinsically associated with the Great House at Kilmorna.




Born in Dublin in June 1850, he was the second son of Pierce Kenefeck Mahony and Jane Gunn Cunningham. He had one older brother who was 14 years older, George. Barely a month after Pierce was born, his father died, something that would have a big bearing on his life and which I will allude to later. Six years after the death of their father, their mother married Colonel William Henry Vicars. Through that marriage, she had four children including a son, Arthur Vicars, and a daughter, Edith. Edith went on to marry a Polish count and took the title of Madame De Janasz.




In line with customs of the time, George, as the oldest son, inherited Kimorna House and estate when his grandfather died in 1853 (their father had already passed away). The Mahony estate at that time consisted of 1,100 acres around Kilmorna House, 1,370 acres in an adjoining townland of   Carrueragh and 3,900 acres in what is now the parish of Balllydonoghue. The latter included the townlands of Garryard, Coolard and Coolbeithe where famously Horatio Herbert Kitchener – better known as Lord Kitchener- was born in June 1850. More on this later.




Sometime later in the 19th century, George Mahony disposed of a large portion of the estate under the land acts and by early 20th century there were just 650 acres of the estate left around Kilmorna House as well as 400 acres of bog in Doire. On George’s death in 1912, the house and estate went to his half-sister, Edith or Madame De Janasz as she was known. Edith gave permission to her brother Arthur – Arthur Vicars – to live at Kilmorna House with his wife.




George’s younger brother, Pierce, shared more than one trait with his grandfather of the same name. Both had a huge interest in agriculture and both had a mistrust of Britain. Pierce developed a love of plants and horticulture from a very young age – it’s said he bought a plant with his very first pocket money. It was through agriculture that he later got involved in politics and became convinced of Britain’s failings towards the land question whereby the vast majority of the land of Ireland was owned by absentee British landlords. It was through the Land Commission that he became an avid follower, friend and ally of Charles Stuart Parnell.


MP in North Meath




In 1890 Pierce was elected as the MP for North Meath, the same constituency that had first elected Parnell, the leading nationalist politician in Ireland. Indeed, as an indication of his huge respect for Parnell, Pierce acknowledged his friend’s efforts in his first ever contribution in the House of Commons and over the following six years became quite an active speaker in the house.




In 1899 on the death of his uncle David, Pierce left Kilmorna and moved to Co. Wicklow. His uncle had bequeathed to him the Grangecon Estate along with a fortune. Pierce brought the Visitors Book from Kilmorna House with him and it now recorded the signatures of the many people who visited him at his two homes in Wicklow. Included amongst these were many people from the Listowel area, including the Cray family who lived at that time in the house that is now the Kerry Writers’ Museum.                                                                         


The Chieftain




Pierce had grandeurs of being an Irish chieftain and duly changed his name by deed poll at the age of 62 to ‘The O’Mahony of Kerry.’ He loved a bit of pomp and would walk to Mass  – he changed religion from Church of Ireland to Bulgarian Orthodoxy and later in life to Roman Catholicism  – dressed in full chieftain’s regalia. Proudly and as befitting an Irish chieftain, he’d carry a staff and walk surrounded by wolfhounds. Wearing a saffron kilt, a green bonnet and sporting a flowing white beard, he’d come down from the hills on Sunday mornings preceded by a marching band consisting of two pipers dressed with as much grandeur as Pierce himself. It certainly added no little glamour to the Sunday Mass ritual for onlookers.




Pierce was a frequent visitor to both Russia and Bulgaria. Both destinations bore fruit in different ways for him. In Russia, he managed to successfully lay claim to a large fortune left to an extinct wing of his family. It was a handsome inheritance and in today’s money would run into many, many millions of euro. Yet, by the time of his death, he’d managed to spend almost every penny. 




Humanitarian work in Bulgaria




Pierce and his wife, Alice, set up St. Patrick’s orphanage in the Bulgarian capital of Sophia and continued to take an active interest in the lives of those who lived there.  The fact that Pierce grew up without knowing his father – he was barely a month old when his dad died – had a undoubted effect on him and very likely had a strong bearing on his desire to help orphans in any way he could.  In fact, he settled six of the orphans in Ireland and even educated some of them at Trinity College. Some of them went on to have very successful careers in the church, in law and medicine. Pierce lived in Bulgaria on and off over the following years and the country held a special place in his heart.


King Ferdinand I of Bulgaria (Reign: 5 October 1908 – 3 October 1918)






He developed a rapport with the Bulgarian King, Ferdinand I. Pierce shared a great interest and love of horticulture with the King and Ferdinand supported hunting expeditions that Pierce took part in in the wilds of Bulgaria. The King even loaned him the royal train and gave him access to the royal gardener. In fact, many of the plants grown in Pierce’s gardens in Ireland had been collected in Bulgaria.




Pierce was actually in Bulgaria when the First World War broke out and it was with great difficulty that he manged to return to Ireland. He tried unsuccessfully to use his influence to prevent Bulgaria entering the First World war on the side of the Germans and Austro-Hungarian empire.  After the war, he argued for Bulgaria to be excluded from the heavy reparations imposed on the defeated nations.




The poor of Bulgaria had great respect for him and his effort s to help their impoverished people. Indeed, to this day, there is a street in Sophia, the Bulgarian capital, called after him: Piars O’Mahoni. At home, the Meath GAA club, Navan O’Mahony’s, was named in honour of him. Of course, Pierce had served as an MP in North Meath.


Unique distinction – honoured by two kings




In 1915, while the First World War was still raging, King Ferdinand awarded Pierce Mahony the order of civil merit for his service to Bulgaria as well as his humanitarian work. It wasn’t the only honour he received from royalty. Pierce had also worked for the British during the war, helping to enlist Irishmen in British army regiments. In honour of that work, King George V awarded him a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire).  This meant Pierce Mahony had the unique distinction of being honoured by the kings of two different nations on opposite sides of the First World War. 


Pierce eventually returned his CBE in protest at British policy during the War of Independence. He also resigned his commission as a magistrate and a deputy independent.


















Tenants of the Sandes estate in North Kerry 1797 – 1828




From Athea News.


The Way I See It




By Domhnall de Barra




If you like Irish traditional music and song, and I think most of you out there do, tune into Fleadh by the Feale on YouTube, if you haven’t done so already, and pick from the concerts on Saturday night, Sunday night and the bone competition on Monday. Because of the present restrictions the organisers did the whole programme on line and did a fine job of it too. I was privileged to be part of the concert on Saturday night and, though I looked forward to seeing it, I dreaded watching myself on screen and especially hearing my own voice. The rest of the concert was brilliant as was the one on Sunday night with the best of local talent plus many from outside the area on show. For me personally, it was great to be part of it but I got far more satisfaction from watching many of my former pupils and their children give such great professional performances. There are few areas in the country that have so many fantastic traditional musicians as the West Limerick region. It is a far cry from the times when I started teaching music in the early 70s when you could count the young musicians on the fingers of one hand but, thanks to Comhaltas and people like Tadhg O’Maolcatha from Templeglantine, the classes paid off and now we have an abundance of riches in musical talent. One of the singers in the concert was Ely May Dwyer from West Cork who has connections in Athea through the Quille family. She was the singing tutor at the fleadh and sang one of my favourite songs, The Land of the Gael, which was written by the late Gary McMahon from Listowel. This song tells the story of a man who is in New York but longs to be back home in his native West Kerry Gaeltacht.  I get quite emotional when I hear it because it reminds me of men I knew in England and America. One part of the song goes: “Its fifty long years since I left there, a young fellow still in my ‘teens. Do you ever go back there you ask me, I go back every night in my dreams”. Some of the men I knew did just that – emigrated in their ‘teens because there was no employment in Ireland  and fell in with the gangs working on the roads and the buildings. They found  digs where they were sharing a room in a private house so there was no place to go at night except to the pub. They soon got into the habit of drinking and, as it is addictive to some, they never really got to break the habit. The pub was the centre of everything, even the weekly wage was paid by the subcontractors at the counter. Because they worked a week in hand they had to get a sub each Monday and they never got out of debt. Some of these men ended up in hostels run by charities like the Salvation Army, pining for their homes in Ireland. Alas most of them never saw their homes again. Another performer in the concert was banjo player Gearóid Keating who did a duet with his wife, concertina player Mairéad Corridan. Gearóid is a grandson of Mick “the Junior” Dalton from Knocknagorna. Mick’s mother was a famous concertina player who featured on Radio Éireann before any of us so it is no wonder that Gearóid inherited the talent. As they say “briseann an dúchas…..” Any way I hope you enjoy the virtual festival.




The forced resignation of Arlene Foster as leader of the DUP in the North has thrown the cat among the pigeons. When chosen to lead, she was perceived to be a hard liner who would not give an inch to Sinn Fein but, like many leaders before, she had to soften her approach in the real political world.  Her enemies did not come from outside but from within her own party who now want to go back to the politics of “no surrender” espoused by their founder Ian Paisley. The DUP split the Unionists and now they are splitting themselves. It is not a good time for Unionists. They feel betrayed by Boris Johnson who used them when he needed them but turned his back on them as soon as they weren’t of use to him any more. They can see that the nationalist population is growing at a far greater degree than theirs and it is almost certain that Sinn Fein will be the largest party in the next election.  Their next leader will probably be a hard-liner and if it is Edwin Poots, the front runner, God help us. This man really believes that, despite all the evidence, the world was created just 6,000 years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if he also believed that the earth is flat!. If the party moves too much to the right they will lose the support of the middle ground and the prospect of a border poll will be all the more realistic. They call themselves Loyalists but the truth is the vast majority of the British public couldn’t give a damn about the North of Ireland. There is a real danger of a return to violence if the fundamentalists get their way and nobody in their right mind wants that. The welfare of the people of the North should be the priority of the politicians, not what background or religious persuasion those people come from. Each side teaches their children to hate  and mistrust those of a different persuasion. It is easy to become indoctrinated when young. At school, one of our teachers was very republican and we learned to love Ireland and hate England. All our songs were rebel songs like The Bold Fenian Men, Step Together and  The Foggy Dew. We were made aware of all the atrocities committed against the gallant Irish rebels. We were ready to die for Ireland against the brutal English and would have joined a movement like the Hitler Youth if it existed. I got a big surprise when I first went to England to find out that, far from being brutes, they were a very decent race of people. The working class in England suffered at the hands of the aristocracy just  as much as we did. Whoever leads the DUP will have to deal with reality and not retreat into the past. Because of Brexit there has to be a border somewhere and it is unthinkable that it will return as before dividing North and South. Politicians have to come up with solutions that will win the support of both sides. It is a time for those with vision, tolerance and common sense to come to the fore. We just cannot go back to the past with the bombings, shootings and general mayhem that tore this country apart for so many years.






Paddy Waldron


I have restored and updated my online genealogy database, which can be found at




It disappeared for a few days last week due to changes to PHP made by my hosting provider dreamhost.com, but I had been warned in advance that I would have to replace version 9.2.1 of TNG with version 13.0.2.


The number of those included who are my direct blood relatives has increased by 1,144 to 17,879 since the last upload on 23 March 2020. You can figure out from those numbers what I have been doing during COVID-19 lockdown.


Thanks to all who have submitted updates and corrections. I am still working through a backlog of these, so I apologise if I haven't got to yours yet. E-mails about lost or forgotten usernames and forgotten passwords are at the very end of that queue, so please make sure to remember where to find your own username and password.


I have been assured that the software changes will reduce the chances that messages sent via the website about forgotten usernames, forgotten passwords, etc., will disappear into the ether, although they may still go to spam or junk mail folders.


If you are related to me and have not already done so, then please feel free to register - read to the end of the home page for the registration link.






Genetic Genealogy for Beginners TCD 2020






(Listowel Connection)


I was also interested in your passage on the certified seed potatoes. I used to inspect these in the growing season by walking through the rows looking for signs of pests




and diseases. This was part of the certification process and mainly to ensure that viruses were not present for the new crop. There were different grades of certification




and the very best actually came from usually high altitude Scottish farmers that were able to keep their crops aphid (greenfly) free. The aphids were the pests that spread




the viruses. This enabled good stocks of potato seeds to be planted each year giving good domestic potatoes with good crops.




 During the training to work on these inspections we had a gruff Scotsman we had to also identify the different varieties by their growth habit and colours of the leaves. To




learn this we had to walk from bed to bed of potato varieties and write down the name. He would blow a whistle and we moved to the next one! At the end he would walk




through them and get us to shout out to see if we had the correct variety. If you got it wrong he would call you over and point out the minor details saying very firmly in his




Scottish accent ‘Do you not see that?!’.




Ken Duckett


From Kerryman July 01 2004 12:11 AM




This week saw the end of an era at Murhur National School with the retirement of the well-known teacher Marie O’Callaghan, following many years of distinguished service. Marie has been teaching in Moyvane since 1971. In that time she has served as assistant teacher, deputy principal and the INTO staff representative, Marie is a dedicated teacher who won the heart






This week saw the end of an era at Murhur National School with the retirement of the well-known teacher Marie O’Callaghan, following many years of distinguished service.


Marie has been teaching in Moyvane since 1971. In that time she has served as assistant teacher, deputy principal and the INTO staff representative,


“Marie is a dedicated teacher who won the hearts of her pupils with the craft of a born teacher,” said Gabriel Fitzmaurice, Principal of Murhur National School.


An accomplished actress and theatre producer herself, she brought these skills into the class room. On one occasion, she produced her own class in a children’s version of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’.


Marie comes from a family of teachers, her father Tom and mother Mary B both taught in the parish for many years. Her sister Mrs Nola Adams also served as principal at the school for many years.


An enthusiastic golfer, Marie is known for her prowess on the fairways of Ballybunion and beyond. She belongs to a family of renowned sports men and women.


Her brothers Bernard and Colm both played senior football for Kerry.


“Her colleagues at Murher National School, pupils and parents both past and present wish to thank her for the many years of service she give to the school and the local community,


“We all wish Marie a long and happy retirement,” Mr Fitzmaurice said.










A man who makes the right mistakes


Aengus Fanning in the Independant


January 18 2004 12:11 AM


BRENDAN Kennelly is celebrating, if that's the right word, 50 years in Dublin this winter. A Kerry minor footballer who would have won a fistful of All-Ireland medals had he not broken his ankle, Brendan is better known these days as poet, distinguished Professor of English, man of letters, raconteur, and one who is loved unconditionally by many thousands of Irish women.




He left Ballylongford to study in Trinity College in the autumn of 1953, where he made his first non-Kerry friend in Bruce Arnold, a kindred spirit from a different background, and their friendship has survived the years.




But Trinity College baffled the young Kennelly, who had once been praised by a North Kerry farmer as being a "fine kicker of the ball, considering that you are a poet".






“Charity enters heaven when humility opens the door.” —St. María Natividad Venegas de la Torre




Mexico’s first female saint went from nurse to pharmacist to accountant to director of the Guadalajara hospital where her community did its first ministry. María’s confidence in the Lord and her hospitality kept the hospital open and assisting all amid religious persecution. An uprising known as the Cristero Rebellion resulted in about ninety thousand deaths in three years. The rebellion came to the hospital. But instead of engaging with the government soldiers in a way that would heighten the tension (and risk the hospital’s doors being closed), Madre Nati met them with courtesy and hospitality. No one who needed attention was turned away, Catholic or non-Catholic, military or civilian. She and her sisters managed to save the Eucharist from desecration by carefully hiding it in their beehives. As a result of her efforts, the hospital remained open throughout the conflict.




Alice Curtayne


Her husband, Stephen Rynne, was also a well known writer and they lived together in Prosperous, County Meath where Alice died in 1981.


The Tralee native was considered the foremost authority on Ledwidge, Ireland’s soldier poet, and is widely credited with keeping his achievements alive. Along with a collection of his poems, The Complete Works of Francis Ledwidge, which she edited, her highly acclaimed biography of the Meath man – Francis Ledwidge: The Life of a Poet – was published in 1972.




This was dedicated to her older brother, Richard Curtayne, who was killed fighting in the First World War. He had volunteered for active service in April 1915 when the Band of the Irish Guards toured Tralee and the neighbouring towns of County Kerry.


(See more at https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/174719643/posts/973  )






Victoria Kennefick’s chapbook, White Whale, won the Munster Literature Fool for Poetry Competition 2014. It will be launched as part of the Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2015. A collection of her poems was shortlisted for the prestigious Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2014 judged by Forward Prize winner, Emily Berry. She has also been shortlisted for 2014 Over The Edge New Writer of the Year Award. In 2013 she won the Red Line Book Festival Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Bridport and Gregory O’Donoghue Prizes. She was selected to read as part of the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series 2013 and at the Cork Spring Poetry Festival Emerging Writers Reading in February 2014. Her work has been published in The Stinging Fly, Southword, Abridged,The Weary Blues, Malpais Review, The Irish Examiner and Wordlegs. She was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in 2007 and completed her PhD in Literature at University College Cork in 2009. Originally from Shanagarry, Co. Cork, she now lives and works in Kerry. A member of the Listowel Writers’ Week committee and co-coordinator of its New Writers’ Salon, she also chairs the recently established Kerry Women Writers’ Network . She is the recipient of both a Cill Rialaig /Listowel Writers’ Week Residency Award and a Bursary from Kerry County Council this year.






Kay Caball



From Kay Caball March 2020

While we are all in lockdown hoping to evade the dreaded Covid 19 virus, the subject of graveyards might not be the most appropriate to-day.   However, it is a subject that I often get queries on and it’s a good chance to get over an understanding of the difficulties of locating an individual ancestor’s grave in Kerry.




A Graveyard Survey Project, completed in 2012, was a six-year project by Kerry County Council, which aimed to provide a detailed record of the 91 graveyards owned by Kerry County Council that are listed as archaeological monuments in the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP).  The resulting publication The Unquiet Grave: The Development of Kerry’s Burial Grounds through the ages, edited by Michael Connolly, is an exceptional publication emphasising Kerry graveyards’  archaeological, historical and genealogical importance and is also available online. 




The book is richly illustrated and for descendants of the diaspora, it will show the difficulties in trying to locate and/or identify an ancestral grave. Two hundred years and more is a long time, with grass & ivy rampant as well as weathering, resulting in considerable overgrowth.  To quote from the Preface, by Dr. Michael Connolly:




The papers in this book give some idea of the importance of our graveyards as repositories of knowledge, not just as the last resting place of our loved ones.  This book shows that there is much that can be learned about life in the places of the dead, and all sorts of clues to past lives are scattered throughout our graveyards.




I will summarise the five chapters over the next few weeks starting today with In Memoriam: Markers, Monuments & Headstones by Dr. Harold Mytum, on the ‘changing materials, styles and craftsmanship over the last 250 years as an indicator of the changes taking place in Irish society over that time.’




    Graveyards in County Kerry contain a rich variety of memorials, from all sectors of society and spanning several centuries.


    Relatively few gravestones belong to the eighteenth century and those that have survived are roughly shaped stone with no biographical information


    Kerry graveyards have few ‘ledgers’ – large flat slabs laid over the grave – ‘generally used by more affluent families.’


    Table and other early tom forms are also rare in Kerry


    In the nineteenth century, more people were able to afford stone memorials, and a range of simple upright slab headstone forms became common.


    Low tombs in the Gothic Revival style came into fashion, ‘commonly used for priests’ memorials, both Catholic and Church of Ireland.


    One of the most popular revival styles is that of the Celtic cross carved on stone. ‘Many Celtic crosses reflect nationalistic sentiment, and this can also be seen in the use of the Irish language. This is relatively rare across Ireland, by Kerry has a larger number of inscriptions than most counties’.


    Wood and Iron markers. These wooden and/or iron markers were the most common but these materials decay rapidly in the Kerry climate so only relatively modern wooden crosses survive.  It is important to remember that these were the most likely markers for our ancestors.  Cast or wrought iron crosses which became the norm in the late 1890s or early 1900s have survived better.


    Mausolea: Most graveyards have the remains of family Mausoleums.  These are above ground, have dedications and inscriptions and would mostly have been used by substantial or ‘strong’ farmers or business people. ‘Some have been maintained by the families to the present day, but others are overgrown or have collapsed.’




I would urge my readers to read the full details and particularly to view the rich illustrations in this book online.    Note all quotes from The Unquiet Grave: The Development of Kerry’s Burial Grounds through the ages, Ed. Michael Connolly, (Kerry Co. Council, 2012)








Next week: A Tale of Two Tombs: The Rise of the Catholic Middle Class by  Helen O’Carroll, Curator Kerry Count Museum, considers how two graves reflect a family’s change in status in the 1800s[1].




[1] https://www.academia.edu/4533738/The_Unquiet_Grave_The_Development_of_Kerrys_Burial_Grounds_through_the_Ages_Editor_


From Tom Aherne 4 Sept 2019


Saint Kieran’s Heritage Association members, and friends had three outings to mark Heritage Week. Twelve members visited Glenville House courtyard and gardens on Monday, August 19. Located on the road to Kilcolman the house is surrounded by almost twenty acres of classic parkland with mature trees and bounded on the south by a stream (Slewnaun) winding through a small deciduous wood, represents an undisturbed picture of the home of a member of the smaller landed gentry of pre-Famine Ireland.




We were welcomed by our hosts Owen and Margaret O’Neill, who are the owners since 1994. It was previously owned by the Massey’s who purchased it in 1763. They were a very influential family in the city and county and regarded as kind and supportive landlords. We were given a tour/talk of the walled garden and courtyard and two rooms of the house. We also did the river walk and saw the old original  bridge, which was in use before the road was realigned to take it away from the house. We also passed by  the ruin of what was an old icehouse, and lovely stone archways, plus  a great selection of trees, and plants to view and enjoy along the way, truly a paradise of nature.




Secretary Mary Kury  gave a detailed talk on the Massy family as part of the visit, with additional history pieces  from Owen, Margaret and John Hough. It was a very enjoyable visit and thanks very much to Owen and Margaret for their hospitality. The house and garden are open to visitors for a few more weeks. Some of the members afterwards went to Shanagolden where John Hough gave a talk on the Creamery and Shanid Castle which they visited.




On Sunday, August 25 four members participated in the bog walk in Carrigkerry which took in the townlands of Knocknagun, Carrigkerry and Glensharrold and paid a visit to Scotland bog. A good crowd including visitors turned out and it was an ideal day for walking. Scotland bog is an upland raised bog and is now protected as a Natural Heritage Area. It is a haven for wildlife and butterflies, and moths were flying about, and in the bog pools dragonflies and beetles were swimming along the surface. The pink flowers of Lousewort were  very numerous growing on the acid soil, and the Mountain Ash tree laden with red berries. The bog is a very popular place for walkers who enjoy the peace and quiet and being very close to nature. Refreshments were served in Carrigkerry Community Centre after the walk and enjoyed by all.




On Monday, August 26 ten members visited Ardagh Railway House to recall its past history and its importance to Ardagh village and surrounding area. The Limerick to Tralee railway line, was 53 miles long and it  opened in 1867/1880 and closed in 1975/1977. During its years of operation as part of the Great Southern and Western Railway it was a very busy station, with passengers, goods, and livestock arriving and departing daily. Its importance led to the late Paddy Faley composing a recitation The Railway Line to Ardagh, which is still recited at local events.




The former Railway station was a detached two-bay two-storey building built around 1867. Having gable-fronted south bay to west (front) elevation and gabled block to east (rear). Pitched slate roofs with rusticated limestone chimneystacks and decorative timber bargeboards. Dormer window to west elevation. Rusticated limestone walls. Square-headed openings with limestone sills and six-over-six pane timber sliding sash windows. Its stone construction and gabled form are characteristic features of railway structures of its time in Ireland. It incorporated a number of decorative features, including decorative bargeboards, which contrast and add interest to the rusticated limestone walls.




The house is now a derelict site, and overgrown, but the original stonework shines through, and remains as a monument to the workmen who built it. The greenway will be a great asset to rural county Limerick in future years, and several people passed by while we were there. The surface is due to be upgraded and tar macadam laid in future months. Toilet facilities and water points are also to be placed along the route,  and a ramp put in place at the creamery bridge which will be a great addition for users of the trail. It was another  enjoyable visit to a local site as part of Heritage Week, and thanks to all who participated in the three outings. The next meeting will be on Thursday September 5, at 8.30pm in Ardagh Community Centre and all are welcome.


Kerry libraries.ie has the following.....The Public Libraries Act was adopted by Kerry County Council in 1925, making the Local Authority responsible for all libraries in the county, except Listowel (which operated under a Trust until 1953). Prior to this, grants had been received from the Carnegie Trust for the erection of Carnegie Library buildings at Cahirciveen, Castleisland, Dingle, Kenmare, Killorglin, Listowel and Tralee. The Library service in Cahirciveen, Dingle, Castleisland and Kenmare still operates from these original or reconstructed buildings.


Who designed the Listowel library?


 Architect and engineer, of Dublin. Rudolf Maximilian Butler was born in Dublin on 30 September 1872, the son of John Butler, a barrister from Carlow, and Augusta Brassart, who came from Schleswig-Holstein.(1) He was educated in Dublin until he was ten, when his father died. At the time of his father's death in Dublin, Rudolf was on a Christmas holiday with his mother in Germany, with the result that he remained in Germany to finish his education. When he was sixteen he returned to Dublin, where, after a brief spell in the wine business, he became a pupil first, from 1889-1891, of JAMES JOSEPH FARRALL   and then, from 1891 to 1896, of WALTER GLYNN DOOLIN.


The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) Sat 30 Sep 1916 Page 52


Mr. Fuller's father, the eldest son of Captain Edward Fuller, who had fought with his regiment in 1798 at Killala and Castlebar against the French troops of General Humbert, was evidently a typical squireen of the old school in his devotion to sport, and the facility with which he squandered








The Catholic Press (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1942) Sat 21 Dec 1895 Page 22


 Death was an acute attack of paralysis or apoplexy. He was about 76 years of age. Mr.


Sandes' despotic rule had, for well nigh half a century,




Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932) Sat 7 Dec 1878 Page 6


A MOST HARROWING SCENE. (Snippet of article)


A correspondent of the Kerry Sentinel,


Writing from Ballybunion on Thursday week, says :  An eviction of a most heartrending


character took place yesterday evening at a place called Gortnaskehi, the property of Mr.


Geo. Hewson, J.P., Ennismore. The place lies close to Ballybunnion, and the scene enacted on the occasion baffles description. The name of the evicted person is Michael Gorman, who has a wife and live children, the youngest an infant at the breast. This property was bought by Mr. Hewson about a dozen years ago. Gorman, I believe, was born on the property, and married a niece of a man named Kissane, who adopted her as his child. Kissane's family, I am informed, resided for generations in the place.


Pat Leane represented Australia in the Olympic Games at Helsinki, Finland in 1952 and Melbourne, Australia in 1956.  He competed in the decathlon (10 events - 100 metres, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 metres, 110 metres hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500 metres). 


 He held the position of best long jumper and high jumper in Australia for many years. His parents emigrated from Finuge in the 1920's.  He lives in Melbourne.


DUAGH Priests, Sisters and Brothers


Duagh Priests, Sisters and Brothers

Morgan O Connor, John Connor, Michael Horgan, Maurice Lane, Tom Moloney, Denis Moloney, Con O' Keeffe, Denis Brosnan, Denis Brosnan, John Brosnan, Pat Brosnan, John Brosnan, John and James O'Connor, Michael Dillon, Maurice and John McCarthy, James Colbert, Gerard and Eugene Heffernan, John Lane.

Brothers Boniface and Eugenius Dower Brendan Keane, Owen Hartnett and Brother Colbert

Sisters Bridget, Kitty Thomas and Kathleen O' Connor, John Horgan, Lelia and Terecita Lane, Lil and Nora Walsh, Mary and Eileen Brosnan, Kathleen Hayes, Margaret Keane, Margaret and Nora Flynn, Mercedes Meade.

Kevin Sheehy, Pat and Maurice O'Connor, John and James Molyneaux, James McElligott, John Nolan, Denis Moloney, Brian Starkin.
Brothers Tom Enright and Christopher O' Connor

Catherine O' Mahony, Pauline, Pauline, Elizabeth and Bridget Moloney, Margaret O'Connor, Philomena Sheehy, Ann Dillon, Berchmans and Concepta Kennelly, Margaret and Teresa Murphy, Maura Nolan, Elizabeth Starkin, Elizabeth Roche, Mary Rose and Walter Gleeson, Eileen Enright, Adrian Doran, Hannah Mary and Elizabeth Ahern, Elizabeth O' Gorman, Alexis, Hillary and Eileen Fitzgerald, Dympna Costello, Sister Molyneaux, Sister Dillon.


Michael Clune, Michael Dillon, Pat and Jack Gaire, Noel Hickey, Dan Keane, Bernard O'Mahony, John Lyons, Tom, Edmond and Reginald Stack.
Brothers P O'Mahony, Cataldus Dillon and James Stack,

Alphonso Marie, Agatha, Imelda and Delores Stack, Ita O'Connor, Cleopas Relihan, Adrian Moloney, Nina O'Brien,

Lybes and Knockunderval
Pat & John Joe O Brien, Robert Finucane & Fr Finucane, Pat Carey, Con Guerin
Brother Romuld o Donoghue,

Rose Carey, Catherine Broderick, Stanislaus, Mary & Kitty Galvin,

Knockalougha and Derk
Maurice Joy, James Casey,
Mary Anne, Peggy, Sr. & Sr. Shanahan, Mary, Bridget & Gilberta Nash, Felicitas & Agnes Joy, Two Casey Sisters, Catherine & Philomena Dower, Mary & Mary Mc Elligott,

Fr Sean Maher,
Sr. Lucy & Sr.Calista Faley,

Fr Edward Walsh,

Fr Gerry & Tim Galvin,
Two Sr. Galvin

Fr Pat J O Donoghue, Fr Dan Stack
Sister Dowling,

Fr Andrew Stack
Sister Eileen & Joan Relihan,

Sr. Gerard & Sr. Brendan Sheehy,


Fr Pat & Fr Declan O Connor,
Sr. Alphonsus, Joseph & Mary Sheehy,


Fr John, Fr Denis & Fr John O Keeffe,
Brother Gerard Collins
Sr. Philomena O Keeffe and Sr. Concepta Keane,

Tom & Tom Relihan, Michael Sheehy, John O Donnell, Michael Dillon,

Sr. Michael Sheehy and Sr. Margaret Mary Broderick,

Knockmeal & Scrahan
Fr Tom O Brien & Fr Ned Corridan,
Brother Tom Sheehy & Brother Fergal Kelly,

Helena & Augustine Corridan, Margaret Moloney, Perpetua O Brien,

Sr. Consuela and Sr. Moloney, Sr. Patricia Langan,

Fr William Fitzgerald
Sr. Hilda Moloney,

Knockavallig and Ballygarrett

John, Jim & Maurice Dillon, Pat, John & Mort Daly,

Sr. Marina Daly & Sr. Kathleen Kelly

Fr Maurice Lyons & Canon Denis Flynn,
Sr. Mary Rose, Sr. Mary & Mary E Flynn, Sr. Lelia Burns,

Fr Tim & Pat O Connor, Fr John Keane, Fr Tom Molyneaux,
Brother Edward Kelly,

Eileen & Margaret Keane, Helen & Barbara Broderick, Patricia O Connor, Anne Maria Horgan, Johanna Harnett, Laura Kelly,

Michael, Gerry & William Costelloe, Stephen Stack, Tom Collins,

Tim, Dan & Tim Harnett, Pat, John , Fr & Fr Sheehy, Matt, Jerry, Jeremiah, Pat, Paul, John & Matt Dillon, Jim Nolan, Jim & John O Brian, Patrick Maher, Maurice Joy, FR & Fr Horan, John & Jim O Brien,
Sylvester and Winifred Hartnett, Maureen O Brien, Rosarie Maher, Gerard Dillon,

Fr Vincent O Connell & Fr Sean Harnett,
Sr. Ignatius Mc Carthy, Sr. Angela O Connell,

Fr Pat O Keeffe & Fr Jerry Molyneaux,
Sr. Agnes de Sales Molyneaux,

Sr. Mary Flynn

Tim, Michael & Dan Cronin, Michael O Donoghue, Maurice Mc Kenna, Con Scannell, Michael Walsh, Pat Quille,

Brother Baptist Quill & Brother Raphael Cronin,

Joan Cronin, Peter & Claver Kirby, Anastasia, Mary & Francis O Connor, Margaret & Mary O Donoghue, Baptist Kirby, Eileen Finucane, Mary Quille, Joan Mc Carthy,


Fr Denis, Fr Bartholomew & Fr Tom? O Brien.

From My Notebook
Of Duagh Fr Tom Stack Duluth Ordained 1944, Fr Tom Moloney Santiago Ordained C 1943, Sr. M Patricia Dillon of Presentation Waterford died 31st Aug 1887 aged 61years.



Mortuary Cards Kennelly
Date of death

30th July 1971 Denis Daly Knockane aged 59.
19th Aug 1968 John Daly Knockane aged 19.
21st may 1983 Catherine Shine Moyvane a 86.
4th Jan 1962 Rev H Cunningham born 1878.
23rd Aug 1969 Padraig O'Callaghan N.T. Knockanure.
13th Jan 1969 Teresa Kennelly Knockanure.
11th Oct 1977 Dora Goulding (nee O'Sullivan) Keylod.
17th March ? Julian McElligott.
6th Nov 1932 Rev R. A. Harnett.
11th June 1949 Cathy O' Flaherty.
24th May 1989 Sister Magdalen Kennelly age 72 yrs.
12th March 1991 Bill Kennelly Knockanure.
15th Mar 1957 Sister Stanislaus Kennelly age 37 yrs.
7th Jan 1946 Fr Denis J. Moloney Newbrighton born 1881.
21st Mar 1989 Ml Moloney Foxford.
25th July 1950 Jeremiah Kennelly M.C.C..
14th Feb 1992 Mary T. Kennelly Gortdromagowna,.
8th Aug 1977 Tom and Imelda Stokes Knockanure.
7th Feb 1972 Mary Jane Diggins Ballincloher age 78 yrs.
10th Aug 1974 Ml O'Donoghue Chicago and Duagh.
2nd May 1968 Timothy J. Kennelly Listowel age 51 yrs.
17th Apr 1977 James T. O' Kane Omagh age 52 (Moloney).
20th May 1958 Kenny Sheehy.
30th Aug 1957 Ellen Sheehan .
30th June 1973 Ml Diggin Lixnaw age 79 yrs.
24th Aug 1968 Patrick Barry Gortdromagowna.
28th Feb 1956 John Daly Knockane.
9th Mar 1969 Rev L. O'Dwyer P.P. Texas age 36.
29th Mar 1967 Fr William F. Scanlon ord. 15-6-1935.
7th Jan 1985 Mai Kennelly Skibereen age 73 yrs.
10th Dec 1982 Dermot Kennelly Skibereen.
Feb 1984 Daniel G. Kennelly Sycamore Road Dublin.
24th Nov 1982 Bridie Cunningham Court House Road Listowel.
20th May 1978 Danny O'Mahony, Ballydonoghue.
24th Nov 1985 Murt Daly Knockane Listowel.
24th Jan 1984 Fr Pat Daly Ordained 1946 for Salford Eng.
5th Nov 1983 Elizabeth Stokes, Gortdromagowna age 83 yrs.
13th Feb 1986 John Hanlon Ballydonoghue
22 Mar 1985 Paddy Barry Derry Listowel O'Sullivan.
26th July 1987 Mary Daly Duagh age 93 yrs.
5th Feb 1982 Peter McMahon Ballybunion age 32 yrs.
5th Aug 1968 Ellen O'Mahony Ballydonoghue age 89 yrs.
8th May 1988 Jack Flavin Coolard age 78 yrs.
16th Apr 1988 Eileen Galvin Daly Knockane Listowel.
4th May 1988 Mary Jo Daly Foynes and Duagh.
1968 Mother Gerard Kennelly buried Dingle.
27th May 1946 Mary O' Riordan .
13th Dec 1941 Dr Lawlor Ardfert.
6th June 1943 Stephen Scannell Tralee ?.
11th Oct 1988 May Galvin Gortacloghane Listowel.
4th Dec 1988 Bridget Galvin.
15th July 1988 Mary Kennelly [nee Kennelly] Main St Listowel.
22-3-1985 John Mc Mahon Lisaniska.
21st Nov 1985 Patrick Scanlon aged 65.
1962 K Van Laer
8th July 1957 Rev Crishan aged 77.
28 Jan 1984 Mary Ann Kirby aged 82.
12th July 1953 Fr Daniel F Collins Ballinasloe.
Oct 1964 Fr John Murphy All Hollows aged 67.
22-3-1983 Michael Mulvihill.
18-1-1986 Ellen Leahy.
15-12-1961 Bridget Moran Keylod.
5-6-1984 Tom Kennelly Knockanure aged 66.
18-1-1984 Mrs Ellen O Connor aged 97.
16-4-1986 Fr Tom Moloney Ord June 13th 1943.
16-4-1960 Mary Daly Knockane aged 73.
9-4-1943 Nora Danaher Woodcliffe House aged52.
5th Nov 1983 Elizabeth Stokes Gortdromagowna aged 83.
26th Oct 1983 Dan Stokes Knockanure
16-1 -1977 Pat Moran Keylod a 59.
4th April 1966 Fr Tom Daly Knockane born 1928.
28 May 1987 Sean Bunyan Ballydonoghue
24th June 1981 Maurice Harnell, Leitrim West aged 72
3rd Oct 1972 Pat Scannell, Listowel west aged 84
4th Sept 1984 Willie Curtain, Kilacullan aged 16
5th Aug 1987 Dan F Leahy





 The O'Connells of Ahalahana that you mention in your e-mail to Kathleen that lived in Kissane's Rea are my ancestors. I had heard of a connection with a Shanagolden but I didnt know that some of the family moved there. My grandfather Richard went there quite a lot so that makes sense.

The death of a family member in an accident in the USA I am not too sure about but there was mention of a female dying in the USA from pneumonia.

I wrote to the parish priest in Moyvane for the baptismal records of Richard and his siblings. The only names I knew were Richard and Daniel. On the records were Mary, Patrick, John, William, Ellen, Ellen, (2), Michael, Joanna, James, Daniel, Richard and Mary (2). My grandfather died when my dad was 10 so he didnt have any knowledge of his uncles and aunts.

Regarding the Foleys, please pass on my name and address to Mr Foley. The details I have are scant but here goes.

Nora Foley (my grandmother) married to Richard O'Connell. She was born in Aughrim. Father was Maurice Foley - mason. Do not know her mothers name. Siblings: Maurice (emigrated to Australia no date), Marie married to a Tom Roche. Do not know of any other siblings.




The only thing I know about my Kerry relations is that my
greatgrandfather Michael Windle is that he married Anna Long , in
Ballybunion May 25, 1867. Both were born in Kerry, according to the
1901 Census of Ireland. All of their children were born in Limerick.
The first in Ballyquilttown, the second in Dromerisk the third thru
seventh in Ballyquilttown and the last three in Glenagragra. There is a
descendant of Michaels still living on the property that they had in
1901. He has not responded to my correspondence.

Michael's parents were Henry Windle/Wingle and his wife was Bridget
Culhane. In addition to Michael they had the following children that I
am aware of, Thomas, Henry, Maurice, Ellen and Mariam. Mariam was born
in Limerick on September 7, 1853. This has been confirmed by the
Limerick Heritage Center. I believe she was the last child born. I
suspect that there were other children born but I can't confirm it. The
only reason that I know about Thomas, Henry, Maurice and Ellen were that
they came to the USA and died here. I have copies of there death
certificates indicating who their parents were.

What I am trying to determine is where in Kerry Michael was born and if
he had other siblings and who his grandparents were. I realize that the
last part of the request might be a stretch. I know that records might
not go back that far.

Any help that you can give me would be very much appreciated.

James Kanaley canada

My great-great-grandfather. This is James Kanaley in a military photo. He was a general in World War II for Canada. He was the son of Thomas Kennelly and the former Rose Flynn, husband of Mary Wallace (daughter of Andrew Wallace and Kate Bulger), and father of 5. He was born on May 15, 1868 in Cobourg, Ontario and died in 1918 in Cobourg.





In the ploughlands of Kilbaha there dwells a comely maid,
Its many the young and foolish heart she has betrayed
Loved by rich and poor though humble in her cot
Her name I wont tell where she Dwells is always called the lot
Connell and Power like salmon in a scour they're dying with the hatch
The man says that he'll entertain them and the house they'll thatch
Maggie she is wide-awake drawing them every hour
The Maid was smart and Won the heart and a watch from power.

About Maggie forester

Mickey Drury was married to Joan carroll their children Paddy, born 1859, Jack was lame, Billy had his neck a bit twisted, Mick called Ruck they had one sister


Ballydonoghue Pioneer's
Spiritual Directors
1935 Fr Michael Cannon Fuller, 1947 to ‘48 Fr J J Maher CC, 1950 to ‘56 Fr J Barry CC, 1957 Fr Daly CC, 1957 to'60 Fr Moynihan CC, 1961 to '63 Fr Edmond Stack PP, 1964 to '66 Fr Mc Elligott CC, 1967 to '68 Fr J B Daly CC, 1969 to '72 Fr Noel Moran CC, 1973 to '74 Fr Edmond Stack PP, 1975 to '91 Fr Michael Stack PP,

1935 Denis Collins, 1947 to '53 Patrick Tarrant, 1954 to '74 Lizzie Mary Stack, Michael Donovan, Richie Kissane, Brian O Connor, Siobhan Nolan, Edward Kennelly, Myra Kissane, Milie Costelloe, Ned Joe Kennelly,

1935 Richard Mc Carthy, Tom Carroll, 1950 to '56 Maurice Barrett, 1957 to '66 Michael Donovan, 1967 '72 Sean P O Moran, Mary Nolan, Maurice Mahony, Neilus Carr, Ann Tydings, Eileen Mc Carthy,


New York Savings Bank
Kerry savers
Catherine Foley b 1813 of Kerry, Hannah Foley b 1844 Manhattan, Matt Driscoll b 138 of Kilflynn, John Ford of Listowel, Maurice Gunn b 1844, Daniel Curtin b 1930 Brosna, Jeremiah Dowling Abbeydorney, Pat O Brien Ballylongford, Nora Perry Ballylongford, Jer Perry do, Bridget Barry Kilflynn, Margaret Beggan Ballylongford, Thomas Mc Elligott b 1839 Irramore, Tom Dean Ardfert, Ellen Mack b1808 of Abbeydorney, Ed Stack Kiltomey, Ellen Stack Tralee, Robert Stack of Stacksmountain, Annie Tuohy b 1848 {Dore}.

Limerick Names
John J Dore b1843, William Stephens, Bridget Taylor b1814, Mary O Brien Ardagh, Mary Moore b1816, Michael Moore b 1809, Edward Madigan Newcastlewest, Pat Leacy b1797, Alice Lacey , John, Dan and Catherine Kennedy, Bridget Keely b1814,
Ellen Keily 1802, Mary Kelly1829, Catherine Hurley b1832, Mary Hennessy b1836, Pat Hanrihan1833, Ann & Ellen Griffin, Matt Flanagan b 1845, Ml Egan, Ellen Egan 1836, Nora Connell b 1841,Catherine Condon b1792, James Cole b1846, James Collins b1822, John Collins b1810, John Clancy b1822, Sarah Callanan b1815, Johanna Baggot, James Barrett b1842, Mary Barry b 1836, Mary Ahearn b 1839.



Abbeyfeale Abbington Adare Almer Anglesborough Ardagh Ardpattrick Askeaton Ballingarry Ballingarrycramer Ballinvreeny Ballymagarrydown Ballybrood Ballyscanlan Bilboa Bruff Brury Caherconlish Cahirellywest Castleconnell Castletown Cluggin Court and Curraheen Croaghburgess Croome Drumcollogher Dromon Fedemore Galbally Glanogra Glin Herbertstown Hospital Kilfennycommon Kilfinan Kilmallock Kilmiddy Kilmore Kilteely Knockaderry Knockany Knocktoran Knocklong Limerick city Lismullane Mountpelier Murroe Nantenant Newcastle Pallasgreen Patrick's well Portrenard Racahill Rathkeale Shanagolden Singland Spurreboy Stonehall Tubbermurry Tullow Turagh.




By Pat Brosnan



Pat O’Donovan’s special guest on West Limerick’s “Story and a Song” programme last Saturday afternoon was Anne Phelan, the well known and highly popular musician from Castlemahon. Anne recalled playing music as early as the age of 5 and obtaining a scholarship in music already at the age of 9. She used to travel once a week by train from Charleville, accompanied by her mother, to get music tuition in Dublin. To get the early train they had to be out of bed at 4.00am on the days they were travelling. Anne, who has been a member of the RTE Light Orchestra for years, is an accomplished performer on various musical instruments, but is perhaps best known for her playing on the Violin. Anne described her National School days in Castlemahon and attending Secondary School in Charleville. She told how she got her first music lessons from a nun in Buttevant at age 5. Anne played some great tunes on the programme classical, topical and traditional. These included a Hungarian Gypsy tune, the Marina Waltz, the Cualin, Danny Boy and many other airs. It was indeed a very interesting hour listening to Anne telling her own story and hearing some of her delightful music. Well done to Anne and also presenter Pat O’Donovan for coming across so well on West Limerick Radio. It will also be recalled that on the day of the late Mickey Liston’s funeral, the well-known Athea Seanchai, in January 2009 Anne Phelan played some wonderfully appropriate music for the occasion during the Requiem Mass in St Bartholomew’s Church, Athea.




Kerry Captains

• Back to Kerry Captains

Tom Costello - The Man Who Captained Kerry to Victory 100 Years Ago in 1909


by Weeshie Fogarty

I find it quite amazing with all the talk and hullabaloo in relation to the year that's in it, the 125th anniversary of the GAA, not one mention (to my knowledge) has been given to a man who 100 years ago this year led Kerry to their third All Ireland victory. The name Tom Costello has always held a great fascination for me when ever the names of renowned dual legendary players come up for discussion. Sadly here is one man whose memory seems to have been completely forgotten and neglected despite the fact that only for his likes the great Kerry tradition we know today probably would not exist. So let's take a nostalgic trip back in time. Let's peer back through the mists of all those decades, back through the vista of all those years long since passed and recall the deeds of the great Tom Costello who led the Kingdom to their third All Ireland title in 1909. To me what the "Mile Height Boy" achieved is just as relevant as and probably more so to day than away back then.

Tom Costello was born just one mile from Tralee on the Killarney side hence the nick name "The Mile Height Boy" The house and surrounds where he kicked his first football are still there. His club was Tralee Mitchell's and he achieved remarkable success with them winning four football county championship medals and three hurling medals. The football wins were achieved in the years 1907-08-10-17 and the hurling successes came in 1908-11-12. He also had the distinction of captaining the Mitchel's to both a hurling and football title. He first came into football prominence when he came on as a substitute as a young boy for "Long Tom Sullivan" against Tipperary in the early summer of 1903. He was now becoming one of the best left full backs in the country and while he was on the losing side against Kildare in the 1905 final his greatest day was just around the corner.

Tralee Mitchel's won the Kerry county championship in 1908 defeating the Dingle Gascons in the final and at a subsequent meeting of the club Tom was unionanamously proposed as the next Kerry captain. And so on December 5th 1909 in Jones Road Dublin Tom Costello led The Kingdom to glory against Louth as they triumphed 1-9 to 0-6. Years later he spoke about that historic day. "It was a year of strange happenings. Cork beat us in the Market Field Limerick in the Munster final. We objected to Derry Beckett who played with Cork and were awarded the game, Beckett was declared illegal but we refused to accept the match. We won the second day after a great tussle and it was the first time our great forward Jack Skinner lined out with Kerry. Louth were our opponents in the final, their first, and their lively ground football puzzled us at the beginning.

"A great goal from Skinner and points from Dick Fitzgerald saw us ahead at the short whistle. We proved far too good for them in the second half and ran out easy winners 1-9 to 0-6. What I remember most about the game was a magnificent point scored by Dick Fitzgerald. He got a free out near the corner at the canal end of the ground and swerved the ball beautifully over the bar. I believe this was the first time spectators had seen a screw kick as it was Dicks first time playing in Dublin. After all those years I can still see in my minds eye the ball going between the posts because I had a great view from my position in the full back line. To lead all those great men in an All Ireland final was the proudest moment of my life and that of all my family at home in Tralee".

Tom Costello went on to win two more All Ireland medals in 1913-14 and also added a Croke Cup medal to his collection. Unlike most of the old time players, subsequent to retirement he maintained a very keen interest in the affairs of the Association. He was elected chairman of the Kerry selection committee, a position he held up to the date of his untimely death in September 1934. He operated his own lime kill business from his home at The Mile Height and it was his lorries which were placed at the disposal of the county board when improvements were undertaken at the Austin Stack Park. And it should also be added that Tom Costello's lorry was the first to bear the victorious Kerry teams through the streets of Tralee when they returned in victory.

Tom had three sons and one daughter as a result of his marriage to Mary Minnie Brosnan. Sadly Mary died a young woman and Tom remarried to Ellen McCarthy who was a brother to the renowned Maurice McCarthy who helped Kerry to All Ireland victories. The forgotten greatness of Tom Costello has come to light following a fascinating evening Christy Riordan C/R videos Caherceiveen and I spend with Toms two grand sons last week. Michael and Tom Costello have wonderful and vivid memories and photographic history of their great relation all of which they so kindly shared with us. We also interviewed Toms great grand son Patrick Kearney who is one of John Mitchells rising young stars and is well aware of his Kerry football breeding. Also a noted and highly respected referee Tom officiated at many Kerry and Munster games both at football and hurling.

Tom Costello played 50 championship games for his county and never sought the limelight. A man of few words I am reliably informed that when he spoke his opinion carried great weight. When he died at the young age of 46 in 1934 a massive crowd assembled for his funeral to Rath Cemetery. His old colleagues of many a hard fought field assembled in great strength. Members of successive Kerry teams from 1903 to that date formed a guard of honor and the Kerry and Mitchell's jerseys and the Tricolor were placed on the coffin. The GAA was just 25 years in existence when Tom Costello captained Kerry to victory in 1909. That is now 100 years ago. The man richly deserved to be remembered and honored in some small way.

Fogra; "Secrets of Kerry, The Captains Story" A personal portrait of Kerry's All Ireland winning captains will have its first viewing in London next March at the invitation of the Kerry London Association. Work on the project is ongoing. It includes interviews with all living winning Kerry captains and close relations of all those who have answered the final whistle.





Port Lincoln Times (SA : 1927 - 1954)

Friday 6 July 1934



A Double Record


Probably the most remarkable re cord in the whole world held by two Yugoslav peasants, Stoyan and Yolka Dimitriyevitch, who recently celebrated the hundredth anniversary of their wedding. They are each 118 years old. It is very seldom that husband and wife both attain so advanced an age — it is more usual for a centenarian

to nave had a succession of partners. The famous Zaro Agha, for instance, who enjoyed his first flight at Brook lands three years ago, when he was said to be 156, made twelve separate matrimonial experiments. Zaro Agha died at Constantinople last Friday, at the age of 160. Zaro Agha, who claimed to be the world's oldest man, married for the twelfth time at the age of 152. Known as the 'Turkish Methuselah ' Zaro Agha's most interesting recollection is of having seen the Emperor Napoleon when he was fighting against the French at Syria, He was 24 at that time. Zaro Agha fought in six wars, and was wounded six times. When he was 100 he volunteered, and fought at the battle of Plevna. Zaro Agha had a certificate, vouched for by the Turkish Government,! which had investigated the records, to prove that he was born in 1774. He was very jealous of his claim to be the oldest man in the world, and

Ridiculed the report that a Chinese had been discovered who was said to be aged. 252 years. , Then there wag Daniel Bull MacCarthy, of County Kerry, who married his fifth wife at the age of 84, and had 20 children by her before he died at 112. MacCarthy was famous for the fact that he was still riding to hounds when over the century, a feat which was not equalled until our own day when a Devon sportsman, Mr. Richard Ferris, still continued fox-hunting after his hundredth birthday. These are truly remarkable records,

but at least one woman could challenge comparison with the best of them. This was Katherine, Countess of Desmond, who died at the age of 140. She had a daughter after she was sixty-five, and shortly before her death astonished everyone by growing a new set of teeth. None of the cases mentioned can claim the longevity record for modern times, however. That belongs to Thomas Carn, whose death at the age of 207 is recorded in the parish register of St. Leonard's, Shoreditch. It seems incredible, but there are scientists who believe that the average span of human life should be 140 to 160 years, and there is evidence to prove that at least some people did live longer in former centuries.




Coming Home for Christmas




I took a walk along the old railway line in Abbeyfeale lately and as I walked upon the track I couldn’t help thinking about all the people who had travelled on the same line in the days when the steam train chugged its way to Limerick and back. I remembered my own journeys on that train, going to and coming from England. There was something special about steam trains. You could hear them coming for miles and then the beats of the engine became less frequent until the train pulled up in a cloud of steam and smoke. The smoke had a really strong, but not unpleasant, smell and it enveloped the whole station. One of the best times was coming home for Christmas. Back in the middle of the last century almost every home in the parish had a family member or more working in England. Most of them came home once a year, the married ones in the summer time but the single ones usually opted for Christmas. The Christmas mood started about the end of October when minds were made up to go home for Christmas. The lads who frequented the pubs every night  gave up the beer on the first of November to put a bit of money together. You couldn’t arrive home if you hadn’t a wad of money to spend. It was vital to give the impression that you were doing well. New clothes, in the latest fashion, were purchased and shoes with a shine that could blind. As soon as work broke up, a couple of days before Christmas people could be seen, in all the major towns in Britain, heading for the train station with brown suitcases in their hands. There was no such thing as fancy luggage in those days. The brown case was the only one available. Some of them were a bit the worse for wear and had to be held together with a piece of rope or a leather strap. Anyway, they did the job and carried the essentials for the travellers. I used to leave  from Coventry station and take the train to Rugby where we had to wait for an hour or so to catch the northern train from London. This took us to Crewe where we boarded the boat train to Hollyhead. The train pulled right up to the ship for Dunlaoghaire so it was just a matter of walking up the gangway and finding a place to sit. This was no luxury liner. It was used mainly for transporting cattle so the accommodation was very primitive. There was a bar though and as the Christmas spirit kicked in it did a lively trade. That was great for a while but when the seas were choppy, drinking wasn’t a very good idea. It was not uncommon to see people getting sick all over the place. God, I hated that boat and couldn’t wait to arrive in Ireland to get the train to Kingsbridge (now called Heuston) station.  The Cork train was boarded which took us to Ballybrophy or Limerick Junction where we changed for Limerick. Then came the last leg of the journey, the train to Abbeyfeale. By this time we would have been travelling for almost 24 hours, some with hangovers and others recovering from the sea sickness but the nearer we got to home the better we felt. As the train struggled to climb Barna hill, a sense of anticipation took over and everybody perked up. Having crawled over the top of the hill, through the tunnel, the train began to gather speed and flew along to Devon Road. This was the last stop so we gathered our belongings and were waiting at the doors as the train chugged into Abbeyfeale. The platform was usually full of people eagerly waiting to welcome sons, daughters, husbands, fathers  they hadn’t seen for at least a year. There was a lot of tears and fond embraces but it was a most joyous scene. It was the custom at the time to have a drink at the Railway Bar before heading for home. Sean Sullivan might be playing a few tunes on the melodeon and when we had our first sip from a frothy pint of real Guinness it was like heaven. The road home brought back memories of the people who lived in the houses and the days passing them on the way to school. It was a great feeling to be back in Ireland and at home. There was a great welcome from the family and the eyes of the little ones lit up when the old suitcase was opened and the presents were given out. For a while at least the world was a nice place to live in as peace and goodwill prevailed. Before too long it was time for midnight Mass  where everyone met outside the door and wished each other a merry Christmas. It was all over too soon and we had to take the train back again feeling very empty and lonely at the thought of being away for another year. But we had our memories and they kept us going in the factories, tunnels and building sites. Roll on next Christmas when we will take that train again


 Domhnall de Barra



Letter from Listowel, published in the Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier of 11th May 1865.


“To the Editor of the Daily Reporter.


Church-Lane, Listowel, 10th May 1865,




Dear Sir – In my meanderings and up-and-down wanderings through the town, I pick up a great deal of news early and late, without much profit to myself, or benefit to the public, but as I am now on the staff of the Cork Reporter, for you know it is myself, Sir,  that carries about your paper every day, and it gives me much pleasure to state that it is well received by all classes and all parties, irrespective of creed or political feelings, which, by Dad, gives me a large commission.


The great desideratum of  our gaining a local name and habitation among the “Northerns” is  already achieved and, although the “South” may have many attractions, they are not a bit beyond us in intelligence; we can estimate measures, not men,  and we can draw a distinction between what is for our good and otherwise, but that is not here or there to what I want to say.


Some few weeks ago the watchman that is here spied upon Maurice O’Halloran,  and in consequence was he fined £1 and costs for having some persons in his house at 11 o’clock at night.  This was all right you will say, but I say it was all wrong, as the watchman, being paid by the shopkeepers only to sing out the hour, ought to let the police mind their own business. At any rate, a few persons in the town, determined to put down the wretched crew of informers  that exist here, signed a paper appointing another man and the people were afraid  of signing this for fear of causing anger to themselves, or annoying the head who put his tail into it.


But as I am heartily sick of the low tricks and ignorant devices of officialism in Listowel , I hasten to inform you that I am going out on Sunday to see that far-famed and justly celebrated watering place called Ballybunnion, on a visit to your agent there.  Mr. Harence, the popular Landlord of that locality , was there last week, and was welcomed with bonfires, &c. He placed a splendid clock, at his own expense solely, in the church, which is of great advantage to the folk, as they will know “the time o’ day.” He is about fitting up a hotel, which I do not see much use of, as there is a first-class one there before, kept by one of the most obliging landlords in the country. I do not know how will he act towards this hotel-keeper, as the place will not support two; if he is strong he ought to be merciful, and look to what he exemplifies in his own case- vested rights.


I am told he is about to build a number of cottiers’ houses which will be of service to the working classes, that is if the working classes are there for them. He is also to start a public car, connecting it with Foynes Railway, so that tourists may proceed at once to Ballybunnion without waiting at Listowel. All these arrangements to be effected this season.


Ballybunnion, as a watering place, stands unrivalled for scenic beauty. All along, an iron bound coast is lashed by the billows of the mighty Atlantic, and the wild scream of the sea-birds, as they rise on high, fills one with awe. The healthful breeze blowing landward, braces the nerves and gives renewed courage to face manfully the trials of life and struggle among those contending upward and onward. There are some beautiful natural caves through which, at high-water mark, the sea rolls, disporting itself through the basalt rocks until it makes an outlet at Doon Bay, a sad and solitary spot, where the curlew’s wail is heard far away.


The strand is a beautiful level table of sand, firm and unyielding, and the places set apart for male and female bathers are well selected, and possess every advantage. Mr. Harence, it is said, will erect baths, a consummation devoutly to be wished for, as we calculate, after a little trial they will compete with any in the country. The town of Ballybunnion consists of a number of houses with a large and commodious hotel, where every accommodation can be got. Mr. Scanlan, the proprietor, is an intelligent gentleman, who gives his best attention to tourists, and all parties visiting the waters. As the season is likely to be a crowded one there, I will after my visit give you a few more particulars – I remain, Sir, your obedient servant, LAME PADDY.”