ATHEA DRAMA https://www.athea.ie/category/news/


The Mundy sisters at their Ballybeg cottage When I cast my mind back to the summer of 1936Michael (Shane McEnery)


It is a memory play told from the perspective of an adult Michael who introduces his nostalgic memories of the summer of 1936 when he was seven years old and the five Mundy sisters who raised him in rural Ireland, acquired their first wireless radio.


Their older brother Michael’s Uncle Jack  had just returned from twenty-five years spent as a missionary in a leper colony in Uganda. Michael was born out of wedlock to Chris, the youngest of the Mundy sisters  and Gerry Evans who deserted her and the child and only returns every couple of years to see her.


The radio which breaks down more than it works unleashes unarticulated emotions in the five women who spontaneously break into song and dance  with or without its aid.


Brian Friel’s play employs the central motif of dancing and music to explore themes of Irish cultural identity, nostalgia, historical change and pagan ritual.


This is one of those plays that will stay with you.. Come along to Con Colbert Hall, Athea & be entranced by the spell that is Dancing at Lughnasa.


The cast is as follows:


The Mundy sisters are Maggie (Theresa O Halloran) Kate (Nora Hunt) Chrissie (Julie Moloney) Agnes (Anne Marie Horgan) & Rose (Mary Ellen Tierney)


Michael the son (Shane McEnery)  Fr. Jack (Tom O’Keeffe) Gerry Evans (Tom Collins)


Play is Directed by Tom Denihan


The play dates  are  Sunday Feb 13th at 3pm Matinee  & then Thurs 17th,  Sat 19th,  Sun 20th,  Wed 23rd, Thurs 24th &  Sat 26th at 7:30pm. Doors Open at 7pm.


Tickets can be booked by texting or Whats App on 087 6926746 €10 per ticket.


We would also like to thank Marie Keating photography for capturing the scene & taking such fantastic pictures for us.





Taken from Athea News 15 Dec 2021




The Way I See It




By Domhnall de Barra




As I get older some things annoy me a bit more easily than they used to.  I hate the modern Dublin 4, TV, accent that cuts out all the broad vowels and goes up at the end of each sentence. It’s like a cross between an English royal accent, a mid-Atlantic one and a sort of Northern  Ireland twang. Younger people from all over the country are aping this way of speaking as they see it as a way of being accepted in certain social standings. It is almost an apologetic way of speaking and, to be honest, when I hear it I find it very difficult to take the speaker seriously.  What is it about us in the south of Ireland that makes us want to change our delivery?. I have yet to hear a Scots person or one from the North who wasn’t quite happy to converse in their own accent. It was very evident in the last century in people who went to England or America. Some of them adopted the accents of their new homes as fast as they could. I suppose they wanted to be accepted in their new communities but others, despite the fact that there was a certain hostility to the Irish in some areas, clung to their roots and continued to speak as they always did. Yes, they modified it a bit to make themselves understood but then, that is what language is all about; communication. It doesn’t matter what accent we use as long as we can get the message across. Another annoying trend, especially by presenters on TV, is the use of what I call “hand language”. Somebody, trying to get their message across, will try to emphasis their point by flapping their hands in all directions. One would think they were trying to park airplanes at an airport!.  It might not be so bad if the hand and arm movements had any meaning but they just make the speaker look a bit silly. There are, of course, certain hand gestures that do have meaning and we all know what they are e.g. when somebody puts up their hands with the palms facing forward or, if they want to be really rude, raise two fingers, but flapping away to every syllable is just distracting. When talking about hand gestures I am reminded of a true story from the 1960s.  A man from Abbeyfeale was selling a greyhound and he got a message that a certain individual in Castleisland was interested and he was told to ring Castleisland 42 to discuss the sale. At the time there was only one phone in the town and  Dan, as we will call him, had never made a phone call in his life so he asked one of the neighbours to go to the phone box with him. The neighbour turned the handle, asked the operator for the number and put in the two pence before handing the phone to Dan. They talked about the greyhound for a while and then the man from Castleisland asked Dan how tall the dog was. Dan, after a moments hesitation, put his open palm down by his knee and said “about that high”.  The neighbour made sure everyone in the town knew the story before morning!.




Other abnormalities have crept into our way of speaking such as starting every sentence with “so”.  The word “like” pops up every three or four words and everything is “really, really” good or “really, really” bad. That awful American expression “awesome” is getting more use by the day and “you guys” refers to men and women alike. Maybe I am getting more like Victor Meldrew but I miss the time when we all had our own accents and there was great diversity around the country. Anyway, it isn’t worth my time changing now so I will continue to talk with my Athea brogue and make no apology to anyone.




Rural Ireland depends on volunteers who raise money for local clubs and charities. One great way of doing that was the yearly Church gate collection. It was easy enough to get a licence from the Chief Superintendent in Limerick and, on the appointed day, people would man the gates of the local church at Mass times collecting donations from Mass goers.  Athea was a very good parish and always donated generously but alas that day is gone. The Covid pandemic closed the churches for a long time and they are still only catering for a fraction of the crowds they used to. In the past few years there has been a very noticeable decline in the amount of people attending Mass, even before the pandemic, and I can’t see any reversal of that trend in the future. Now, clubs and organisations have to come up with alternative ways to raise funds and it is not easy. Some hold collections outside busy shops but that entails people being on duty all day compared to a couple of hours at Mass times. Abbeyfeale GAA have a stand in The Square every Friday and Saturday, selling their lotto tickets. I have noticed that it is the same few people who are on duty all day long. This, to me is above and beyond the call of duty and we have to come up with alternative ideas. There is the possibility of selling tickets on line but many of our parishioners, especially the older age groups, are not tech savvy and don’t have smart phones. If anybody out there has an idea, let us know.




I had a narrow escape the other morning while walking on the Glin Road. There is a part of the road, between the water treatment plant and Synan’s Gate, that has a blind spot where oncoming traffic cannot see somebody walking towards Athea until the very last minute. If there is traffic approaching from the Glin side there is no place to go for either the motorist or pedestrian. The car that barely avoided me had very good brakes and luckily was able to stop avoiding hitting me or the oncoming lorry. I have written about this before suggesting that a footpath could be laid along that short stretch on the other side of the road without encroaching on farmland. I am not just thinking of myself as this road is a part of Slí na Sláinte and is walked by a great number of people every day.  It is a safety issue and it is better we act in time before somebody gets seriously hurt. We did it before when we recognised the dangers of the narrow bridge and what I am suggesting wouldn’t cost a fraction of the new footbridge. Surely Limerick County Council have a part to play in this.






Video link






St Michaels Churchyard at back of Sports Field Listowel






Adare Walk around Village


Video link




From Athea News Nov 2021






The Way I See It




By Domhnall de Barra




The clocks went back on Saturday night meaning we will have brighter mornings but darker evenings. I was surprised to see that the time had not changed on the Sky box which was still giving times of programmes one hour ahead of schedule. It was quite confusing and reminded me of a time, long ago, when the daylight saving time, as it was called was introduced in Ireland. Germany was the first European country to adopt the system, which was to accommodate agricultural workers during the summer, in 1920 approx.  Ireland came a bit late to the table around the middle of the last century but it did not have a smooth beginning. Some people adopted the new system straight away while others resisted the change and continued with the status quo. So, for a while we had the “new time” and the “old time” as they became known, running side by side and it created no end of confusion.  It was difficult for those in the farming world because cattle and other animals have their own body clock and it can’t be put forward or backwards. Cows know when it is near milking time and will make their way to the gate ready to be taken in to the milking parlour. Poultry and pigs also know exactly when feeding time is and they get confused when it is either an hour earlier or later. Their “clocks” can’t be put forwards or backwards without upsetting them.  Many farmers  were slow to adopt the new time  for that reason. At that time also there were very few watches  owned by ordinary people. They weren’t like the watches of today but rather like small flat clocks that would fit into the palm of the hand. They were usually kept in a pouch in an inside pocket and there was a small chain that one could attach to the clothing to ensure they would not fall to the ground or get lost. Most of the people in rural Ireland were able to tell the time by looking at the sun not that they had figures as on a clock, no, they had dinner time, supper time, cow time and bed time.  When working in the bog, people finished their labours at the sound of the Angelus bell from the town or village nearby. The problem was that some parishes went by “old time” while others went by “new time” so the workers could be finished an hour early or be doing an hour’s overtime!. It wasn’t uncommon at the time to hear an Angelus bell from one church  and then hear the bell an hour later from a neighbouring parish. I remember well, when I was growing up, seeing posters advertising events with the time always qualified by adding new time or old time. One old woman inquired as to when a local concert was starting. When she was told  it started at 8  o’clock she asked: “is that 7 or 9?”  Eventually everyone adopted the new system and  we have it to this day. There are attempts to get rid of it maybe next year. They tried it for one year in England back in the ‘sixties. I remember it well as I was working in Coventry at the time and it got mixed receptions. In the end it was decided not to continue with it because it was dark in the morning when children were going to school. I think there is no reason why we should not stay at “old time” all the year round. Most agricultural work is now done by machines and what they might lose at the end of the day can be made up by starting earlier in the morning. We have to wait and see.




It was a really bad night, weatherwise, for young people, dressed up in their Halloween costumes, going from door to door trick-or-treating. It has now become a big event with houses done up for the occasion and pumpkins everywhere. I wasn’t in favour of it once because it was an American custom and also a big marketing opportunity for the stores who make a fortune out of the costumes, sweets etc. but I have changed my mind. It is lovely to see the excitement on the faces of the kids and don’t we all deserve a bit of fun after being locked down for so long.  Even the little ones in Noreen’s playgroup dressed up for the party and had a whale of a time.  I am still not in favour of the practice of lighting big bonfires and letting off fireworks. There are obvious dangers attached to theses practices and they should be banned. It is already illegal to buy fireworks in the republic but they are freely available in the North. No problem then for somebody to drive over the border and fill the back of the car with fireworks knowing that there is a ready market for them in the South. Safety first should be the policy.




There is now a sense of panic about global warming with targets being set to reduce pollution within a narrow period of time. In Ireland’s case the biggest problem will be the reduction in methane gas emissions which are mainly caused by the dairy herds in the country. There is also a big rush on to get us all to invest in electric cars, close up our fireplaces and throw out our gas and oil boilers.  As far as I can see they have the cart before the horse. If you want people to change you have to create the conditions for them to do so. You have to look at the big picture. There should be as many charging points as petrol and diesel pumps available if we are all to drive electric vehicles. Then there is the question of the supply of electricity. The government thought they were doing a great thing when they shut down two fossil fuel burning stations in the midlands but now they are warning us that there is a possibility of power cuts this winter. In that case how will I charge my car or heat my home with heat pumps that rely on a power supply? They also rushed to close Bord na Móna’s briquette making plants and now they are being imported from Europe. We are always going to need back-up because we cannot depend on a constant flow of wind that is necessary to operate the wind farms that we have come to rely on for alternative energy. The government needs to go back to the drawing board and put down a foundation on which to build. The questions are simple enough. How can we supply enough electricity to power all the vehicles and homes at a reasonable rate?  How can we make it profitable for farmers to change from dairy to some other form of agriculture?  How can we encourage people to act together to stop the damage being caused to our planet? And the big question: how do we persuade America, Russia, China and India, the worst offenders, to come onboard with the rest of the world. We need to do it to avoid future generations being decimated by natural disasters.


Knockdown News-02/11/2021


by DomhnallDB under Knockdown News






Michael O’Connor Remembered




Plans are afoot to bring some of the works of this extraordinary but under appreciated Listowel born artist back to his family home at 24 The Square, now Kerry Writers’ Museum.




On today, September 17, the anniversary of Michael’s death, his son, Fr. Brendan O’Connor shares memories of his father with us.




Michael Anthony O’Connor (1913-1969)


Although it is over 50 years since the passing of my late father, on 17th September 1969, I still have fond memories of seeing him stooped over his drawing board in the evenings, with paints, brushes, pens and quills arranged on the table beside him. He would work patiently for hours on end, usually after we had all gone to bed when he would have less distractions.




His concentrated and painstaking artistic work reflected his good-humored and patient manner. He never had to raise his voice.




“What did your mother tell you?” was enough to convey that it was time to obey.




We looked forward to his return from the office every day – his professional work was as an assistant architect in the Department of Transport and Power – but especially on Fridays when he would bring some chocolates for us and a treat for my mother.




We were so accustomed to his artistic creations that we didn’t fully appreciate the originality, skill and dedication he brought to his art. He had the humility to continue working at a very high level of achievement without seeking to be known or appreciated. The completed work was its own reward.




This is shown in particular in the “Breastplate of St Patrick” – a family heirloom which he produced for his own enjoyment in 1961 to celebrate 1,500th anniversary of the national saint.






He responded generously to requests for illuminated commemorative scrolls and the like. He also completed a number of commissions for official government purposes, but of all of these we have little data.






Although original illuminated artwork and calligraphy in the Celtic style was not much appreciated at the time, a small circle of friends and acquaintances were aware of the quality of his achievements. Prof. Etienne Rynne and Maurice Fridberg have left written testimonies of their appreciation.


Mr Fridberg, an Art Collector, wrote in a letter to the President of Ireland in 1972 –




“Michael O’Connor was in my opinion the greatest artist of modern Celtic Illumination in this century. “




Although obviously influenced by the Book of Kells, his own individuality comes through every letter.” Prof. Rynne, wrote an article on the revival of Irish Art in an American journal, also in 1972, in which he said “O’Connor, however, produced much excellent work, notably in the form of beautifully illuminated letters. Although a master-craftsman and an original worker he depended somewhat more on the ancient models and on neat symmetry than did O’Murnaghan. … With the death in 1969 of O’Connor, the ranks of first-class artists working in the ‘Celtic’ style were seriously bereft.”




Michael O’Connor was born in No. 24, The Square, Listowel in 1913. He married Margaret Walsh in 1950 and they had four children, Michael, Brendan, Gerardine and Aidan. We used to enjoy memorable visits to the family home on the Square when we were children and were especially proud of the Castle in the garden!


It would indeed be a very fitting if belated tribute to his contribution to the ancient Irish artistic heritage and culture to have his available works displayed in his ancestral home in Listowel.


Brendan O’Connor (Rev.)


September 2021 From










The Way I See It




By Domhnall de Barra




I felt sorry for the American gymnast who had to pull out of the competition at the Olympics, after making a mistake, because she feared for her mental wellbeing. She had been the best in the world and had been phenomenal at the previous games but there was a great weight of expectation on her shoulders this time around and the pressure got too much for her. Social media wasn’t too kind to her afterwards with heartless idiots saying she had no bottle, had let her country and teammates down etc.  She is just a human being, albeit a very talented one, with  the feelings, emotions and frailties that we all have.  Do we expect too much of our athletes  and performers –  I think the answer is yes. Leading up to Sunday last week our own commentators in RTE were talking about “super Sunday” when some of our Olympians were expected to win medals. As it happened, Sunday turned out to be a day of near misses for some competitors but there were no more medals. Those who had reached finals should have been very happy, after all, these are the very best in the world and to be counted inside the top ten is, in itself, a mighty achievement. We are a very small nation and it is only on rare occasions that we can produce people capable of becoming Olympic champions but we continue to put pressure on our best to outperform instead of letting them enjoy the experience of competing with the cream of the crop. When they lose, as most of them will eventually, they sometimes feel they have left their families and country down and this is not right. I have seen something similar in music competitions where young competitors feel they have to win because of pressure from parents, teachers and Comhaltas branches. Over my years adjudicating I have observed how unhappy some of them seem to be as they try their best to please everyone. They are not enjoying what they are doing and I wonder what the long term effect on them will be. We see it all the time at football and hurling matches with parents, coaches and others roaring from the sidelines to win at all costs. At the end of the day it is only sport and sport is an activity that should be enjoyed. It should never leave anyone with mental problems.




100 years is a long time but in relation to the age of the world it is just a blink of an eye. About that long ago, villages like Athea were hives of activity and industry. Every second door was a shop of some kind. There were tailors, dressmakers, shoemakers, harness makers, coopers, blacksmiths, coach builders (a fancy term for carpenters who made carts for horses and donkeys), hardware shops, grocery shops, drapers and pubs, to name but a few. I often wonder how they all made a living but they did and it was through the support of the local community. Up to then the world had not changed dramatically for centuries with most of the work done by hand with the help of animals. Then things began to change and, little by little, shops closed, trades disappeared and we eventually reached where we are today with just a handful of businesses operating. It is now affecting my own profession as well. When I started printing first it was very different to what it is today. The “cut and paste” functions we see on our computers today was done with an actual scissors and glue. When a page was set out with text and graphics it was treated with chemicals and put into a machine that  took an image and put in on a steel plate. This was done with a lot of heat and afterwards more chemicals were used to clear away impurities and expose the image. The plate was then attached to a drum on the printing machine that picked up ink as it rotated and transferred the ink onto paper. It was a long job and the ink had to be evenly spread over the rollers to get a good finish. It could take half an hour to get the first copy off the press. Now, all the text and graphics are done on the computer, sent directly to a digital machine and the first copy is produced in seconds, no ink, no mess, no cleaning. It has certainly become easier but the modern printing machines do not come cheap and a good volume of work is necessary to justify buying one. Alas, times for the small printing office have changed and the work we used to do is disappearing, just like the old trades. Not so long age we were busy printing invoice books, business cards, posters and fliers. Now big firms will e-mail an invoice to a customer who has to print it off themselves, no books needed. Social media has taken away the need for business cards, posters and fliers. If there was some function on, a few years ago, posters would be erected in all the local outlets and hundreds of fliers would be stuck under the wipers of cars parked in the church grounds and in the street. That practice was outlawed a good while ago but now there is no need because the use of facebook, instagram etc spreads the word better than fliers could ever do. What that means for people like me is that our core business is now gone so  it will not be viable for most small printers to remain in business. I am lucky that I am well past retiring age anyway and I am happy doing a fraction of the work I was doing before but whenever I do pack it in, which I hope will not be for a good while yet, there will be no business to pass on to anyone else. In the meantime I will work away because I enjoy it and it gets me out of bed in the morning.










Castlegregory Maharees Co Kerry.wmv




Storied Kerry


Jennifer De Burca


Jan 29, 2021






9 to 11am Saturday Supplement Radio Kerry 30 January 2021




On the Saturday Supplement on Radio Kerry from 9 to 11am next Saturday (30 January 2021) Frank Lewis hears 58 years of stories from Killarney National Park from Dan Kelliher, 38 years from 1963 Killarney National Park Superintendent, Padruig O’Sullivan conservation ranger since 1981 and Seamus Hassett in charge since 2018. Stories of


the ‘all ins’ and high walls commercial fruit and veg growing stopped – without telling head office Park and gardens were over run by fourteen hundred sheep a day’s deer-stalking cost five pounds .. but you could walk the deer forests from dawn to dusk and not see a deer .. the uproar at plans to turn Muckross House into a training centre and a hotel More uproar when rhododendron was first being cleared you could then cut black alder blocking the views .. but not now the special experience of the Park at night A very sick Parliamentary Secretary Henry Kenny’s comment on Killarney, a few weeks before he died, .. “if Heaven is half as nice I’m quite happy to go” ..




Join Frank Lewis on the Saturday Supplement on Radio Kerry from 9 to 11am next Saturday (January 30) with 58 years of stories from Killarney National Park .. all within five kilometers of home.




    Visit(opens in a new tab)




Jennifer De Burca


Jan 7, 2021




An Dreoilín agus An Commedia dell’Arte Leis An tAthar Tomás Ó hIceadha






Ón Leabhar Órchiste Nollag, Máirín Uí Shé a thiomsaigh agus a chuir in eagar.




Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne a d’fhoilsigh é i 2020




In this short piece the author, Fr. Tom Hickey, himself a renowned director of theatre, makes the comparisons between the characters of Commedia dell’Arte in Italy and those found in the Wran Boys of the Irish Tradition. Once widespread throughout the country, the Wran is now continued in few locations, but survives strongly in West Kerry. Commedia Dell’Arte was an early form of theatre originating in Italy in the 16th century. It is characterised by masked ‘types’ and can be either scripted or improvised. Generally, these troupes of players travelled between towns entertaining people. The origins of the Wran tradition is certainly more ancient and may well go back to pre-Christian times as part of a mid-winter festival.




    Visit(opens in a new tab)









17 4 2021


DEATH has taken place of the Very Reverend Tom Hickey, retired P.P. Baile an Fheirtéaraigh and formerly of Dingle on the 12th of April 2021. Survived by his sister Maura O' Connor (Limerick), his brother Ben (USA), sister in law Margaret, nieces, nephews, grandnephews, Bishop Ray Browne and the Priests of the Diocese of Kerry, parishioners and the communities in which he ministered.


Minister Foley says Father Hickey was a gifted man, who shared his time and talent so generously with the communities he served and those with whom he worked. She says he spent a lifetime organising and teaching drama throughout the county, winning numerous awards in a variety of drama competitions and Kerry was blessed to experience his giftedness and his genius.


Fr. Tom was born in 1924 and was ordained in 1950.  He started his priesthood in Motherwell Diocese in Scotland, returned to the diocese of Kerry to serve in Tuosist, Brosna, Duagh, Moyvane, Tralee, Killeentierna, Irremore, Kenmare, Ballinskelligs and finally Ballyferriter.  He retired as parish priest in Ballyferrriter in 2005 and became Assistant priest from then till the present day.


More at https://moyvane.com/the-old-marian-hall-and-wonderful-variety-shows/




Moyvane Village Easter 2021


Moyvane Nature Trail Celebrating 25 years


This Easter Weekend Moyvane Development Association (MDA) will celebrate 25 years since work commenced (1996) on developing a Nature Trail Walk through the local overgrown woods. Kind permission was granted by landowners and work began on Good Friday by an enthusiastic group of about 20 volunteers who completed 450 hours of work over the following weeks.


A pathway was hacked through the undergrowth and rubbish was removed from both ends and a clear path was achieved over the weekend. Work continued by volunteers over the next number of weeks, clearing dykes, fencing and installing bridges, opening to the public for the first time on the June BH weekend. This phase of the development was generously funded by North Kerry Walks.


In 1998 1000 native hardwood saplings were planted, a number of these were planted by pupils from Murhur NS and by Fr Michael O’Leary during National Tree Week.


In 1999 500 Ash saplings were planted at the end of the Church Car Park field. In November ’99 the walk was awarded The North Kerry Walks Open Gate Trophy for being the best walk in Nth. Kerry for the 1st time, receiving it a further 3 times since.


The Walk was extended in 2001 around the GAA Pitch with the kind permission of the Community Sports Hall Committee, Mike Brosnan and the GAA. The walk had a big influence on Moyvane achieving the Best New Entry Award in the Tidy Towns Competition that year and a plaque celebrating this achievement is on display at the entrance to Murhur NS.


In 2005 the walk was extended to the Lime Kiln where a foot bridge was erected and the Lime Kiln was restored with the kind permission of Pat & Bridie Hayes.


In 2017 2.5 Ha of land donated by KCC, at the rear of Woodgrove, was planted with 1200 native hardwood saplings, with a path laid throughout, joining both woods. A further 1000 native saplings were added here in 2018. Saplings donated by KCC.


MDA received generous sponsorship from Eirgrid in 2018 and completed laying a tarmacing surface on both sections of nature trail walk. Tarmac was laid to the Kiln in 2019 with the assistance of a grant from KCC Community Support Fund and sponsorship from Gas Networks Irl.


In 2021 with a further grant from Eirgrid and some MDA funds the remaining sections of the walk was completed with a tarmac surface.


Over the years seats have been provided throughout the walk with kind sponsorship from KCC and MDA funds. A beautiful viewing area with seating is located with views of Knockanore, Kerry Head and Mt, Brandon.  Information Boards and directional signs are provided throughout the walk sponsored by NEKD and Leader funding. Further information boards and Lecterns on biodiversity are to be erected in the walk over the coming months, also generously sponsored by Eirgrid as part of their recent Community Sponsorship Fund. 


In National Tree Week this year, as we celebrate 25 years, 200 saplings were planted in the new plantation. These were kindly sponsored by KCC (100) and Analog Devices Limerick (100) encouraging their “Trees on the Land” Green initiative.


Thanks to all our generous Sponsors over the years and all those who helped with any of the maintenance work, Volunteers, SSE Community Scheme, Community Employment Schemes participants and members of MDA.


The Nature Trail and Village Walk has been a great asset to the local community, especially during this current Covid pandemic. It is a great local amenity and a huge benefit to the people of the parish and North Kerry.


We hope to be able to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the development of the walk once Covid restrictions allow. In the meantime, we encourage people to use the walk to celebrate this amenity especially over this Easter weekend.















Woulfe Family








DEATH of Robert Nolan, Carrueragh, Kilmorna, and late of Speedy's Bar, Moyvane, on March 18th, 2021. Predeceased by his wife Anne and sister Margaret. Survived by his son Liam (Speedy), daughter Linda, grandchildren Oliver, Paige and Ellie Mai, brothers Jim, Frank and Willie, sisters Mary and Carmel, daughter-in-law Eileen, son-in-law Jamie, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, and nieces. Requiem Mass being celebrated in the Church of the Assumption, Moyvane, on Monday at 12 noon, which will be live-streamed on https://bit.ly/2NwKEGh , with burial afterwards in Ahavoher Cemetery, Knockanure, Moyvane.






Sincere sympathy to Liam, Linda, Eileen, Jamie and the Nolan family on Robert's sad and sudden passing.  He was a good friend and a great colleague.


Despite his mild and happy demeanour he was a man of steel, substance and the utmost integrity during his time as Chairman of Newtownsandes Co-op


Michael & Marie Liston    Moyvane




To Liam Linda Robert's brothers and sisters and extended families .we were very saddened to hear of Roberts death and so sudden .Robert was a lovely person and had time for everyone .He was so kind in taking people home from the bar to make sure they got home safe .He will never be forgotten and hope he is at peace with his Anne.


Breeda and Pat Scanlon Leitrim west Moyvane






My sincere sympathy to the Nolan Family on Robert's untimely passing.


A really genuine and caring man. May he  Rest In Peace.


Des Broderick and family.


Des Broderick







The Kerry Champion  August 11-1934 edition




Dance Band -Castleisland Never Lost its Tradition for Music!




One remembers wistfully the triumphs of Miss O’Connell’s ‘Kerry Diamonds’ and with pride the recent superb achievement of Miss Joan Hanifin.


Now, a long felt want in Castleisland – the organisation of a Dance Orchestra – is met by the enterprise of Mr. Patrick Breen, whose band will, I believe, give their opening programme at Killorglin and ‘The Mall’ in the near future.


The members comprise:- J.  Barry (drums); H. Fitzgerald (piano); P. Breen and M. McGillicuddy (accordians).


This accomplished little group should achieve a great success. L.B.








New York NY Irish American Advocate 1932-1934 - 0865.pdf




Tobin and O'Connor—At St. Nicholas Church, Adare, Co. Limerick, by Rev. Canon Murphy, PP., Abbeyfeale, Jack Tobin, Abbeyfeale, and late of New York City, to Margaret, daughter of the late William D. and Mrs. Margaret O'Connor, Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick




O'Regan and O'Connor —At St. Nicholas Church, Adare, Co. Limerick, by Rev. Canon Murphy, P.P., Abbeyfeale, John J. O'Regan, Los Angeles, Calif., to Bee, daughter of the late Wm. D. and Mrs. Margaret O'Connor, Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick.






Mayor O'Brien and Running Mates on the Ticket Get Hearty Endorsement Saturday night last close to 2,000 Irish citizens rallied in the grand ballroom of the Pennsylvania Hotel to the call of the Irish-American campaign committee for the election of Mayor O'Brien and the other members of the party running with him. The meeting was opened by Col. T. J. Moynahan, who introduced as permanent chairman President General James McGurrin of the American Irish Historical Society as permanent chairman of the meeting .Mrs. Kenneally, wife of Major William Kenneally of the Rainbow Division, sang "The Star Spangled Banner," followed by the "Soldiers' Seng" Among the speakers were Frank J. Prial, candidate for Comptroller; Judge James C. Madigah of the City Court, Owen W. Bohan, candidate for Judge of the Court of General Sessions; Denis O'Leary Cohalan, Miss Martha Byrne, Mrs. E. ODonovan Rossa McGowan and Mayor O'Brien himself, who spoke convincingly and tellingly of his great program of public works that will give employment to hundreds of thousands of workers for many months to come. These include the Tri-borough Bridge, the 38th street tunnel, high schools in Bronx and Queens.




General O'Duffy was given a great welcome to his native Monaghan when he arrived at Clones Friday night for the Monaghan County Convention of the Untied Ireland Movement. Delegates, many of them wearing I blue shirts, were present from all, (see Paper for much more)












New York NY Irish American Advocate 1935-1936 - 0442.pdf








Gerard Fitzmaurice


April 22, 2019 - 10:20 pm




It seems to me that the premise of your research is somewhat tainted by the gossip of the 1700s. Falling in love, marrying an older women and a divorcee, is not abhorrent. Having much of your fortune confiscated in the French revolution is a tragedy that I would not call frivolous. Francis only received minimal compensation for his losses. Spending your money on worldly goods, especially when you have no children to leave it to, is normal. Almost all tenant farmers in Ireland were poor not just Francis’ Kerry tenants. Paupers were not buried in Westminster Abbey. I suspect Francis paid a grand sum to be buried with royalty. The story of Francis is far more than the negative quotes about him. Also, the earldom is not extinct but the title is held by Simon Henry George Petty-Fitzmaurice, born 1970, and heir apparent to his father, the Marquis of Lansdowne. In my opinion history has not been fair to Francis. I hope you can put his life in the context of the times. Thanks.








Andrew McDonald


April 23, 2019 - 2:53 am




Good to hear that you are putting pen to paper re the FitzMaurices. I look forward to publication.




You may be interested in one much earlier tale about that family that has been passed down in Stack Family law. From around 1325 one key event burned its way into the Stack collective memory, emerging in the record made by Colonel Robert Stack in 1766 – a remarkable 441 years later. The event was a turning point for the FitzMaurice family in their dealings with the Earl of Desmond and was significant for the Errimore Stacks many of whom were able to trace descent to William Fitz Nicholas FitzMaurice, the “Blind Baron”.




The Annals of Inisfallen record that in 1325 Diarmait Mac Carthaig was slain, in the monastery of Tralee, by the son of Nicholas FitzMaurice and other septs including the son of Nicholas O Samragyn the Bishop of Ardfert. As became apparent William was exercising a warrant for Diarmait’s arrest. However the Earl of Desmond had welcomed Diarmait as his guest, and taking exception to these events took revenge on those taking part. “The Legal Proceedings Against the First Earl of Desmond” by G.O. Sayles (Analecta Hibernica, No.23 (1966) describes the consequences. It translates from the Latin as follows:




“It is also said that the Earl, in breach of the Kings peace, picked out the eyes of William son of Nicholas, who in furtherance of the Kings peace had killed the felon MacCarthy; and William’s people who had taken part in the felon’s death were captured and beheaded; some were hanged; some were drawn between horses; without judgement proving that it was beyond the justice of the King which will not punish or put to death without judgement or just cause.” (I suspect there were Stacks among “William’s people.)




The handwritten manuscript accompanying Colonel Robert Stack’s application for arms in 1766 details the impact for William Fitz Nicholas FitzMaurice of the loss of his eyes. Under Brehon law it also meant banishment from his homeland and loss of his right to be the Baron of Lixnaw. For the Stacks of Errimore the conflict with the Earl of Desmond would be long remembered, and would serve to strengthen their links with the FitzMaurice family.




QUARTZ: In Kerry, those quartz crystals are called “Kerry diamonds” or “Kerry stones”. Professor Patrick N. Wyse Jackson, from Trinity College Dublin discusses the origin and history of those stones in “Kerry Diamonds: Facts and Folklore” article that was published in the Kerry Magazine (2001 – Issue 12). Although not precious, but the Earls of Kerry seemed to be fascinated by them too. It is said that the Thomas, 1st Earl of Kerry used to wear them as buttons, and a set of earrings and neckless were presented to Queen Caroline by the Countess of Kerry. Samuel Lewis in “Topographical Dictionary of Ireland” describes the process of acquisition of amethysts from the Kerry Head, “persons suspended by ropes from the cliffs, and detach them with hammers from the crevices of the rocks”.




Quartz from the vicinity of Ballyheigue is said to be of the best in terms of quality. A few years ago, I was given a small quartz crystal (size of 2 Euro coin) that perfectly clear. I sent it to be cut into diamond shape and polished. Now, it looks very like a real diamond!







MEMORY of our dead;









June 2020

Athea Notes June 2020 by Domhnall de Barra.


Have we become too thin skinned?




In the aftermath of the “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations, there has been a rush by certain organisations to rewrite history. The removal of one of the classics of the film world “Gone With The Wind”, and  tv shows like “Fawlty Towers” and “Little Britain”, because they depict what is regarded as racism, are going completely overboard. Gone With The Wind does portray black slaves who speak very bad English and cow-tow to their owners. This is the way things were in those times before the South was beaten in the American Civil War. Of course the slaves had bad English, they were snatched from their homes in Africa, having had little or no formal education, and sold into bondage to work for a roof over their heads and simple food which was not always of the best quality.  They had to pretend to like their owners or they would probably have been whipped. It was a cruel and barbaric practice but it was not thought to be so by many people at the time and, lest we get on the moral high ground here, slavery was practiced in Ireland as well. Chieftains, especially along the east coast of Ireland, regularly raided the lands along the English and Welsh coasts and captured slaves to work in their houses and estates. Some say this is how St. Patrick got to Ireland. My point is, it would be wrong to pretend that things were different at any particular time. We have become too sensitive.  It is not PC to say somebody is black, even though the colour of their skin is actually black. Would I take offence if somebody describe me as white?; of course not. There were bands, like “The Black and White Minstrels” who blackened their faces to look like the jazz musicians of the American South. Today they would be shunned as racists. Racism is nasty but it exists and has done for centuries. Certain white people have always thought of themselves as superior to others with a different skin pigment. This sense of superiority is not confined to race or colour. People who live in capital cities think they are a step above other citizens, townies look down on country folk, people with land look down on those who don’t – I could go on; the list is endless. They are, however in the minority and most of us are tolerant, understanding and respectful of other races and creeds, in fact we have a lot to learn from them. Time was when comedians could make jokes at the expense of people from different cultures or those with physical disabilities. That would not be tolerated today but we must remember that they were only jokes and should not be taken too seriously. We had the Kerryman jokes here a few years ago and these were the same as the Irish jokes in England or the Polish jokes in the US. Even today you might hear somebody say that something that was ridiculous or stupid was “a bit Irish”. When I was in North Africa I was looked down on by the Muslim population because I was an “infidel”. It didn’t really bother me and I eventually won the respect of quite a few of them. That is the thing – respect has to be earned. It is not enough to say “I am different; respect me” if your actions are anti-social. Discrimination is not confined to race or creed. The greatest discrimination in the world is against women. It is only about a century ago that women finally were given the right to vote in elections. Up to the middle of the 1900s, female civil servants in Ireland had to resign if they got married. An organisation that has done great good in the world, the Catholic Church, has a poor record in this regard. Even the marriage vows, up to recently, included the words “love, honour and obey”.  A wife had to be subservient to her husband and at all times willing to submit to his demands and “rights”. Thank God that has all gone but women are still being discriminated against because they are not allowed to be ordained into the priesthood. Is it any wonder that numbers attending Church services continue to wain when the, mostly old, men who control things still have their heads firmly stuck in the sand. It is time that women were finally treated as equals in every walk of life. It would not be hard for them to improve on the performances of some men.








Athea Community Council Company Limited BY Guarantee was founded on 14 Apr 2000 and has its registered office in Co Limerick. The organisation's status is listed as "active". It currently has 6 directors. The company's first directors were Domhnall De Barra, Jeremiah O Connor, Joan Griffin, Lillian O'Carroll, Patrick Joseph Brosnan and 2 more.






Strange Times




by Domhnall de Barra




Due to the current state of affairs with the Covid-19 pandemic we have had to stop publishing  Athea and District News. With all the clubs and organisations grounded there simply isn’t anything to fill the pages. It is the first time in almost 30 years that we have been unable to get copies onto the shelves but theses are not ordinary times. Athea is quiet but not as quiet as other villages. Collins’ shop continues to provide an essential service along with the butcher, chemist, garage and a few tradesmen. The CE scheme is continuing on a limited basis but the workers are managing to keep the streets tidy and are cutting the grass that has sprung up all over the place. It is strange to see the Church closed, especially on Sundays. Fr. Duggan, who is on retreat at the moment, tells me he is thinking of his parishioners and saying Mass for them every day. Children must find it hard to pass the time, but then we all do. I have noticed a big surge n the use of social media with people swapping news and funny videos that lighten the mood. Most people are observing the social distancing advice but there are always a few idiots about who have no regard for their friends or neighbours. By working together we can minimise the effects of this outbreak and return to what passes for normality in this area. One good thing has come out of it already; a realisation of what is really important in this world and it is not material possessions or “success”. Family, friends, caring for each other and human decency have come to the fore and we must never forget the sacrifices of those who put their own welfare on the line to provide us with essential treatment and necessities. They are the real heroes and we salute them.  We will continue with a piece online, if there is anything to report so feel free to contact me if you have something to say. Stay safe, stay healthy.


Famine Poverty and a Kind Landlord


from the Schools' Folklore Collection


The Quarter field is situated on the side of a hill. It contains nine acres in the beginning of the nineteenth century many families lived in this field The field was owned by a Land Lord and he allowed these poor people build houses in it. Each family got a quarter of ground. There was no division between the quarters only paling. They used to set potatoes in the quarter every year and used to get the manure from the neighbouring farmers. These people had no other way of living only whenever they would work for another farmer for small hire. When the potatoes failed in the years 1845 to 1847 all these people died of starvation. When they were gone my grandfather bought this field with more land surrounding it and my father is in possession of it now My grandfather threw the remains of the houses away and it is all one level field at present. If you walk through parts of it on a summers evening you could see the form of the houses and the little gardens alongside it.




COLLECTOR-  Liam Ó Duilleáin, Address- Gortacloghane, Co. Kerry


INFORMANT- Parent, Address- Gortacloghane, Co. Kerry


The Christmas Coat  


Seán McCarthy  1986




Oh fleeting time, oh, fleeting time


You raced my youth away;


You took from me the boyhood dreams


That started each new day.




My father, Ned McCarthy found the blanket in the Market Place in Listowel two months before Christmas. The blanket was spanking new of a rich kelly green hue with fancy white stitching round the edges. Ned, as honest a man as hard times would allow, did the right thing. He bundled this exotic looking comforter inside his overcoat and brought it home to our manse on the edge of Sandes bog.




The excitement was fierce to behold that night when all the McCarthy clan sat round the table. Pandy, flour dip and yolla meal pointers, washed down with buttermilk disappeared down hungry throats. All eyes were on the green blanket airing in front of the turf fire. Where would the blanket rest?




The winter was creeping in fast and the cold winds were starting to whisper round Healy’s Wood; a time for the robin to shelter in the barn. I was excited about the blanket too but the cold nights never bothered me. By the time I had stepped over my four brothers to get to my own place against the wall, no puff of wind, no matter however fierce could find me.




After much arguing and a few fist fights (for we were a very democratic family) it was my sister, Anna who came up with the right and proper solution. That lovely blanket, she said was too fancy,  too new and too beautiful to be wasted on any bed. Wasn’t she going to England, in a year's time and the blanket would make her a lovely coat!. Brains to burn that girl has. Didn’t she prove it years later when she married an engineer and him a pillar of the church and a teetotaler? Well maybe a slight correction here. He used to be a pillar of the pub and a total abstainer from church but she changed all that. Brains to burn!




The tailor Roche lived in a little house on the Greenville Road with his brother Paddy and a dog with no tail and only one eye. Rumours abounded around the locality about the tailor’s magic stitching fingers and his work for the English royal family.  Every man, woman and child in our locality went in awe of the Tailor Roche. Hadn’t he made a coat for the Queen of England when he was domiciled in London, a smoking jacket for the Prince of Wales and several pairs of pyjamas for Princess Flavia


The only sour note I ever heard against the tailor’s achievements came from The Whisper Hogan, an itinerant ploughman who came from the west of Kerry.


“ if he’s such a famous  tailor,” said Whisper, “why is it that his arse is always peeping out through a hole in his trousers?.




Hogan was an awful begrudger. We didn’t pay him any heed. Tailor Roche was the man chosen to make the coat from the green blanket. Even though it was a “God spare you the health” job, a lot of thought went into the final choice of a tailor.




The first fitting took place of a Sunday afternoon on the mud floor of the McCarthy manse. The blanket was spread out evenly and Anna was ordered to lie very still on top of it. Even I, who had never seen a tailor at work thought this a little strange. But my father soon put me to rights when he said, “Stop fidgeting, Seáinín , you are watching a genius at work.” Chalk, scissors, green thread and plenty of sweet tea with a little bit of bacon and cabbage when we had it. A tailor can’t work on an empty stomach.




The conversion went apace through Christmas and into the New Year. Snip snip, stitch, stich, sweet tea and fat bacon, floury spuds. I couldn’t see much shape in the coat but there was one thing for sure – it no longer looked like a blanket. Spring raced into summer and summer rained its way into autumn. Hitler invaded Poland and the British army fled Dunkirk, the men of Sandes Bog and Greenville gathered together shoulder to shoulder to defend the Ballybunion coastline and to bring home the turf.




Then six weeks before Christmas disaster struck the McCarthy clan and to hell with Hitler, the British Army, and Herman Goering. We got the news at convent mass on Sunday morning the Tailor Roche had broken his stitching hand when he fell over his dog, the one with the one eye and no tail. Fourteen months of stitching, cutting, tea drinking and bacon eating down the drain. Even a genius cannot work with one hand.




Anna looked very nice in her thirty shilling coat from Carroll Heneghan’s in Listowel as we walked to the train. Coming home alone in the January twilight I tried hard to hold back the tears. She would be missed.  The Tailor was sitting by the fire, a mug of sweet tea in his left hand and a large white sling holding his right-hand. I didn’t feel like talking so I made my way across the bed to my place by the wall. It was beginning to turn cold so I drew the shapeless green bindle up around my shoulders. It was awkward enough to get it settled with the two sleeves sticking out sideways and a long split up the middle. Still, it helped keep out the frost. Every bed needs a good green blanket and every boyhood needs a time to rest.


The ghosts of night will vanish soon


When winter fades away


The lark will taste the buds of June


Mid the scent of new mown hay.




Cobwebs Glory Listowel Players




DEATH took place at end of October 2019,in Australia of Moira Donohoe, nee Kennelly of Listowel, she was aged 93 and daughter of Tailor Kennelly of Listowel.






Moira (nee Kennelly)Born July 15, 1926. Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland.


Died peacefully at Anglesea Aged 93 on October 31, 2019.


Much loved wife of Ted (dec) and mother of Anne, Mark, Brendan and Neil, and grandmother of Annabel, Boyd, Cheyne, Kyden, Rose, Ned, Clementine, Grace and Erin. Beloved mother-in-law to Ross, Nic, Caro and Karen. Survived by her younger brother Matt.


A wonderful mother, grandmother, adventurer, selfless and tireless worker and much loved member of the Anglesea community.


Will also be sadly missed by the extended Kennelly family across America and Ireland.


The Funeral Service for Moira Donohoe will be held at St Christopher’s Catholic Church, Anglesea,


on TUESDAY November 12,2019  at 10.30 am. Anglesea, VIC, Australia. 72 Bingley Parade, Anglesea VIC 3230, Australia


J52Q+33 Anglesea, Victoria, Australia


cam.org.au +61 3 9926 5677






Welcome to our parish website!


 We are tremendously blessed to call this most beautiful end of the Archdiocese of Melbourne our home. Stretched just over 30km in length to embrace Grovedale, Torquay, Anglesea and the new area of Armstrong Creek, we are simultaneously a suburban and a coastal parish. Our parish is home to some of the most stunning beaches and surfing locations. We also have some amazing bushlands and beautiful walking tracks. God’s great gift of beauty in nature is almost at every turn.










Dear Joseph and Jer,




As Jer would know, this is the sister of Matt Kennelly at Cloth Hall.


She was my third cousin, as is Matt Kennelly of Cloth Hall. She was married to Ted Donohoe.


Her son Brendan Donohoe is a famous television  7News reporter in Melbourne. She lived in Anglesea, a beautiful town on the south west coast of Victoria. Her husband Ted passed away earlier this year or late last year. Thirty years ago I was told by Patrick, your wonderful father Jer, that there was a third cousin in Anglesea, but I list the paper with the name and address.


I could not remember the name nor whether she was a close relation. I only found the details again 2 years ago. Because of my health I could never travel to meet her, but I wrote to her at Christmas in 2017, (or 2016) and spoke to her in 2018 (or 2017) on the telephone. She was recovering from a stroke.  She spoke beautifully, with all the kindness, graciousness and courtesy that I have found in all my relations from Kerry.


Karen subsequently spoke to her, also on the telephone. I attach the notices from our paper, the Age. Much love to you both,




 From moyvane.com




January 14, 2019 at 6:30 am


Tom Lyons




Greetings and Happy New Year! My name is Tom Lyons and I live in New York City. My grandfather, Michael J Lyons was born Feb 6, 1880 in Killomero, Ballylongford to James Lyons & Margaret Sullivan. He was the oldest of, to my knowledge, 5 siblings. The remaining were Bridget b.1881, Jeremiah b.1884, James b.1886 & Thomas b. 1888. Michael came to New York around 1900 where hi aunt, Ellen Sullivan, introduced him to Ellen Butler from Knockanure. They married in 1902 and went on to have 11 children. I see here in the Moyvane Newsletter the mention of a Dano Lyons and Linda Lyons. I’m curious to know if either of them, or anyone reading this, has any connection to or knows of descendants of the Lyons or Butler family? I appreciate your time and thank you in advance for any information you may provide!


Reply ?




    January 14, 2019 at 9:41 am


    Martin Moore








    James Lyons of Larha married Margaret Sullivan of Killomoroe in Ballybunion Feb 1879.




    They had at least 5 children:- Michael, 1880; Bridget, 1881, Jeremiah, 1884, James [1886] and Thomas [1888].




    You can get these at http://www.irishgenealogy.ie


    Reply ?


        January 18, 2019 at 3:54 pm


        Tom Lyons




        Thank you Martin for taking the time to reply! Actually, the information I had came from the site you mentioned! It has helped me tremendously with my research. My interest was peaked when I saw the mention of a Dano Lyons & Linda Lyons in the newsletter. I know nothing of Michael’s siblings and was hoping to see that there were possibly descendants who still lived in the area. To my knowledge only Michael came to the States but not 100% sure. Again, thank you for your reply! Hopefully, after relocating from New York to Florida, I will have the opportunity to visit the area and walk the earth from where my roots are planted!




        Reply ?




January 12, 2019 at 9:30 pm


Con Shanahan






My great grandmother, Bridget Hoare (Hore) moved from North Kerry (possibly Moyvane) to Ballysteen, West Limerick along with her siblings during or shortly after the famine where she married my great grandfather Cornelius Shanahan in April 1858. Many years later, in 1905, her brother Simon Hoare was killed when he ‘fell from a common cart’ near Ballylongford on the Tarbert Road probably whilst visiting his relatives. The coroner’s report has not survived but a brief report of the accident was carried in a local newspaper. (All of the Simon’s children emigrated to the U.S. in the 1920’s). I have received information that there may be a connection between the Hoares and the Kearneys of Moyvane and would appreciate any information that might throw some light on this one way or the other.


Reply ?


January 3, 2019 at 10:11 pm






Hello my name is Aimee Leigh Aherne I am 15,my dad was Micheal Anthony Aherne of Moyer Cross I do not have any contact with any of my dads family,Their choice would like to see old pics or hear from anyone who knew him,he died when I was seven please help me if you can thank you.


Reply ?


December 23, 2018 at 2:29 pm


PJ Mackessy




Hello There PJ Mackessy hear living in Tipperary, Just want to wish you all in Moyvane A Very Merry and Peaceful Christmas………. My Mom Came from There and you could hear the pride in her Voice when ever Mom Spock of her Home in MoyVane….R.I.P. Mom ( Ne, Mary Scanlon) Mary Mackessy Thank you for letting me write hear………


Reply ?


November 13, 2018 at 11:51 pm


Robert Burns




I just found out through DNA and my own research that my Great Grandfather Daniel Burns was born in Moyvane in 1842. From what I found out, his Father was Michael Burns and his Mother was Mary Mcelligott ,


My Great Grandfather was married to Catherine Mannion. They left Ireland in the 1860s and settled in Baltimore Maryland USA and had 4 children,


There has to be some Burns’s left n Moyvane.


If these names mean anything to anyone, please contact me at graybfox@hotmail.com.






George Fitzmaurice (1877-1963) Playwright




George Fitzmaurice of Kilcara, Duagh was born at Bedford House near Listowel on January 28th 1877. He was the son of a clergyman, and the tenth of twelve children. George’s father was the local Church of Ireland parson in Listowel. His mother was Winfred O Connor of Duagh, a Catholic. As happened in many mixed marriages of the time, the boys in the Fitzmaurice family were brought up in the religion of the father, and the girls in that of their mother.




George Fitzmaurice belonged to the gentry. He came from a family, which in Burke’s “Landed Irish Gentry” can be traced to the fourteenth century. The combination of being Protestant, belonging to the gentry and living in a Great House( as Fitzgerald himself put it in his play “ the Moonlighter”) all served effectively to separate young George from a social life in the community.




After George’s birth the Fitzmaurice family moved to Springmount House at Duagh. Later, the family moved again to their lands at Kilcara, Duagh. Where they remained until the last member of the family died. Following the death of George’s father, the Fitzgerald family gradually became poorer. This is believed to account for his shy manner.




George attended the local Primary school in Duagh and went to St.Michael’s College in Listowel. This contact with the local people was of invaluable assistance to him in his delineation of the characters who would populate his plays.




About 1901 George went to Dublin and took a job with the Land Commission. His first play, The Country Dressmaker based on a local dressmaker from Duagh was a success and attracted comparisons with Synge and Lady Gregory when it appeared at the Abbey in 1907. His originality was confirmed with The Pie-Dish (1908) and The Magic Glasses (1913), plays combining peasant realism, satire, symbolism, and fantasy.




Between 1908 and 1913 George was on sick leave and spent most of his time with his family in Duagh. As a person, George Fitzmaurice was an introverted and almost pathologically shy man. As he got older, he became more withdrawn and eccentric.












Since I first contacted you months back, I have amassed much genealogy data, thanks to your site and other sources. Just a little query and maybe somebody out there can assist please. My husband is a descendant of the Dillane/ Dillon family from Glountane. A first cousin of John now living in Florida speaks of a Kitty Dillon and her niece Mary Theresa coming to her family -  Betty Cronin nee O’Connell in N.Y. This Betty, was  niece of Kathleen Davenport and Margaret Doyle and Sr. Mary Ann. Kitty stayed for a while but then returned to Ireland. Mary Theresa, remained and married an Owen --. Would anybody know to who she is referring? I have traced all this Dillon family except one – a Helen or Nellie. She appears in a photo taken in N.Y but that’s as far as I get. The Matt depicted in the mural is of this family also. Any leads? Will be most grateful. Regards, Noreen O’Connell  noreenmneville@eircom.net




Archive held by RTE

Personalities/Groups                     Fitzmaurice, Gabriel (1952 -)


Description                         Poet, author and teacher Gabriel Fitzmaurice from Moyvane, County Kerry, during the recording of the sixth series of RTÉ Television's traditional Irish music series 'The Pure Drop' in January 1992.




This series of 'The Pure Drop' came from the Pearse Museum in St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham, County Dublin. Gabriel Fitzmaurice appeared on the first episode broadcast 2 March 1992. 


Collection                            RTÉ Stills Department 


Photographer                    Rowe, John  




Telling it as I see it




By  Domhnall de Barra




A couple of items in the news this week reminded me of the fact that we are a nation of begrudgers at heart. Every time somebody climbs the ladder of success there are those at the foot of that ladder trying to topple it. First we have the investigation into the spending at Áras an Úachtarán. Call me cynical but I see opportunist politics written all over this. Why is this happening now, during a presidential election when nobody asked a question over the past seven years?  It is a blatant attempt to cast a shadow over Michael D. Higgins and his attempt to get re-elected to a post he has filled admirably. That politicians can suddenly get worried about  sums that are insignificant in the grand scheme of things when there is so much waste going on in other departments is baffling. Then you have the commentators who question the amount of money spent on hotels for the President while he is abroad on official duties. Do they want to book him into air bnb’s ?  Should he queue up for a seat  on a Ryanair flight?  Let’s go the whole hog and have him use his travel pass at home and use  the bus and the Luas to get around. What nonsense.  Our President is our representative around the world, the holder of our highest office, and should be given  the  treatment that office deserves. Maybe we don’t need a president at all and people are entitled to that opinion but, while the office is in existence, let us treat it with respect and dignity. Look at the way the image of our country has been portrayed by Michael D., Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson.  They have been the face of all that is good about an Ireland that has finally thrown off the shackles of church and oppressor and cannot just stand shoulder to shoulder with other nations but, as has been proven by recent referendums, lead the way. Let us hope that Michael D. or whoever else is elected president, will not be curtailed by a lack of funds to continue the good work.




Secondly, the J.P. MacManus affair. J.P., a long time supporter of the G.A.A., gave a very generous grant of €3.2 million to the organisation around the country. One would think that we would all be delighted at this gesture and be grateful but, oh no, not all. I was flabbergasted listening to the Joe Duffy show the other day when the begrudgers again came out of the woodwork to throw cold water over the affair. They brought into question J.P.’s financial affairs and the fact that he does not pay income tax in this country.  The sentiment seemed to be; we all have to pay for our services so why shouldn’t he?  For a start let us look at the facts. J.P.’s business is worldwide and therefore his headquarters are not based in Ireland. There is nothing illegal about that but to say he does not contribute to the finances  of this country is wrong. He provides employment for hundreds of people around the country through his projects and his racehorses. If he decided to transfer all his horses to English stables in the morning, as he is entitled to do, the country would be much worse off. He also does an amount for charity behind the scenes. Very few people, outside of the beneficiaries, know this. He does not need or have to do this. It is his money to do what he likes with but some people seem to think he has a moral duty to pay income tax in this state. Let me pose a question: how many people would pay income tax if it was voluntary?  Would there be a rush at the end of the financial year to pay every penny we owe? Of course not but we resent having to pay our share if somebody else, using legitimate means, can reduce their liability or avoid it all together. Why do we always want to screw “people at the top” and try to drag them down to our level? It is simple begrudgery and it is alive and well.  What J.P. has done is great for the development of sport, particularly for our young people and he should be applauded for that. The fact that Limerick are now All-Ireland hurling champions is due in no small part to his sponsorship down through the years. He did not just jump on the bandwagon when things were going well, he was there during the barren years to create the environment where hurling could improve and reach the pinnacle it has today. Look what that success has done for County Limerick. We are all standing a bit taller because of it so thanks and gook luck to J.P. and to hell, with the begrudgers.




On a different theme entirely, we have come to that time of year again when voluntary organisations take stock and hold their AGMs. Athea Community Council Ltd. is one of those and I’m afraid it is in danger of being wound up due to lack of members on the board. Over the years the council has done an amount of work in Athea through the Community Employment schemes it has sponsored. This work includes the footpaths, stone walls, townland signs, the footbridge, the acquisition of the Library and Community Council offices. The village is also kept tidy on a daily basis as the council works closely with the Tidy Towns. We once had a very large and vibrant committee but over the years, due to people getting older and taking well deserved retirement, the numbers have dwindled to the point that there are now just a few trying to keep it going. At the AGM in a few weeks time we will be hoping that some new faces will join us to help carry on our efforts to promote Athea and make it a better place for our children and grandchildren, otherwise we cannot continue and as the old saying goes: “you’ll never miss the water ‘till the well runs dry”






By Tom Aherne




The Ardagh Chalice 150 festival concluded on Sunday night last after three brilliant weekends of diverse entertainment. It was a festival to celebrate the finding of the Ardagh Chalice on September 17 1868, 150 years ago. It was hosted by St Kieran’s Heritage Association, with support from clubs, organisations, and numerous individuals, who did Trojan work to present such a full program of events. The festival catered for all age groups, which generated an upsurge of community spirit amongst all participants, whose talents shone through in providing entertainment for all who attended the various events. Finally thanks to all who provided sponsorship, looked after social media, guest speakers, and volunteers who gave of their time freely (John and Owen for the Sam Maguire Cup) in supporting the festival. The Heritage Association was founded only two years ago, and by hosting the Fenian Anniversary last year, and the Ardagh Chalice this year they have made a big impact to date.


August 2018

LYONS near Listowel.


(A)          Photographic Exhibition


On Friday August 17th 2018 at 8.30pm the Lyons Photographic Exhibition will be launched at St. John’s Theatre, The Square, Listowel. This is an open invite to all relatives and friends. Anyone who is involved with preparations for this Exhibition knows that it will be a real treat and one not to be missed. We have a fabulous collection of over 130 black and white Lyons photographs displayed in the beautiful setting of St. John’s. This is a FREE public Exhibition, and due to expected interest, will remain open until end of August. All these photographs will also be included in the book to be launched on the 25th August. Free Event.


(B)          Banquet at Listowel Arms


On Friday August 24th the Banquet will be held at The Listowel Arms Hotel. Cocktail Reception at 7.30. Banquet starts at 8.30. Tickets are available at reception or by email. We are all Lyons descendants and we all need each other to make this a monumental occasion. Tickets cost 55 euro, and for this you will receive a five-course meal which will be followed by entertainment and a night of dance. Please consider buying a ticket and supporting the Lyons Gathering on the night. We really look forward to having a good representation from every branch of the family. Thank You in advance for supporting!


(C) The Great House of Lyons: Launch


On Saturday August 25th the publication, “The great House of Lyons” will be launched at 12 o’clock at St. John’s Theatre, Listowel. Almost 400 pages, 132 of which are photographs. If you want to hear about all your ancestors and the life and work of the Lyons Family, then this is the event to attend. We are expecting a large attendance at what promises to be a most informative and enjoyable session. Free Event.


(D) Irish Music Night


 On Saturday Night August 25th starting at 9pm there will be a Lyons Irish night of Fun and Irish Music in Christy’s Bar, The Square, Listowel. This will be a Gathering point for all Lyons Descendants and locals to meet, talk and celebrate as well as perform and share their musical talents with each other. Free Event. 


     (E) The Scattering


 For those who are still in the Gathering Spirit we are visiting Barretts “Rale McCoy”, Glin on Sunday 26th at 3pm. for a farewell afternoon of music and sheer joy. This is another Lyons family establishment and we expect a reception of boundless comradery and friendship; a fitting finale to a great weekend. The Lyon’s Gathering is your Gathering! Free Event.




Schedule for Lyons Gathering


(A)          Photographic Exhibition


On Friday August 17th 2018 at 8.30pm the Lyons Photographic Exhibition will be launched at St. John’s Theatre, The Square, Listowel. This is an open invite to all relatives and friends. Anyone who is involved with preparations for this Exhibition knows that it will be a real treat and one not to be missed. We have a fabulous collection of over 130 black and white Lyons photographs displayed in the beautiful setting of St. John’s. This is a FREE public Exhibition, and due to expected interest, will remain open until end of August. All these photographs will also be included in the book to be launched on the 25th August. Free Event.


(B)          Banquet at Listowel Arms


On Friday August 24th the Banquet will be held at The Listowel Arms Hotel. Cocktail Reception at 7.30. Banquet starts at 8.30. Tickets are available at reception or by email. We are all Lyons descendants and we all need each other to make this a monumental occasion. Tickets cost 55 euro, and for this you will receive a five-course meal which will be followed by entertainment and a night of dance. Please consider buying a ticket and supporting the Lyons Gathering on the night. We really look forward to having a good representation from every branch of the family. Thank You in advance for supporting!


(C) The Great House of Lyons: Launch


On Saturday August 25th the publication, “The great House of Lyons” will be launched at 12 o’clock at St. John’s Theatre, Listowel. Almost 400 pages, 132 of which are photographs. If you want to hear about all your ancestors and the life and work of the Lyons Family, then this is the event to attend. We are expecting a large attendance at what promises to be a most informative and enjoyable session. Free Event.


(D) Irish Music Night


 On Saturday Night August 25th starting at 9pm there will be a Lyons Irish night of Fun and Irish Music in Christy’s Bar, The Square, Listowel. This will be a Gathering point for all Lyons Descendants and locals to meet, talk and celebrate as well as perform and share their musical talents with each other. Free Event. 


     (E) The Scattering


 For those who are still in the Gathering Spirit we are visiting Barretts “Rale McCoy”, Glin on Sunday 26th at 3pm. for a farewell afternoon of music and sheer joy.