Animal Sports in Castleisland

Castleisland has a great tradition in animal sports.  As far back as 1747, Castle-islanders got behind a five day horse-racing event for prizes of up to a ‘purse of 30 shillings’.   Day two of the event was to be run by ‘real hunters’ who had been at the death of two brace of foxes…Continue Reading

Castleisland and the Herbert family

Michael O’Donohoe created a useful reference to names and places of local interest found in the 1963 edition of Herbert Correspondence (edited by W J Smith).1  Smith’s introduction to the Correspondence explains its relevance to the Castleisland collection:   The letters printed in this volume constitute all the sixteenth and the greater part of the seventeenth…Continue Reading

Castleisland Church of Ireland

Church history forms part of the O’Donohoe archive and includes Michael’s impressive 39-pg study of the Church of Ireland in Castleisland.  It commences with the division of land following the death of Gerald, 16th Earl of Desmond, in 1583:1   From 1587c onwards, the seigniory of Castleisland was owned by the Herbert family, apart from…Continue Reading

Dr Charles Smith (1715-1762), historian

Michael O’Donohoe had no intention of reinventing the wheel. Papers in the archive reveal how meticulous he was in his research method.  Michael combed through standard reference sources, comparing one with another to present an informed result.   In many instances Michael created a useful index to allow quick and easy access to internal data.  You…Continue Reading

The Diary of Robert O’Kelly

A Diary of Items of Interest   A copy of The Diary of Robert O’Kelly is held in the collection.1   Robert O’Kelly was born in Castleisland on the 18th June 1835. He described himself as ‘no sort of scholar’ and acknowledged that his memoir was ‘imperfectly written’:     If I was or had any sort…Continue Reading

Castleisland Charter school

The O’Donohoe Collection contains a number of articles and references to the Castleisland Charter School which operated in the town for about forty years in the closing decades of the eighteenth century.   The material includes Michael O’Donohoe’s summary of the school from its opening on 2 May 1763 until its suppression in 1802.1  …Continue Reading