Floorboard Find a Treasure for Padraig O’Keeffe Scholars

A letter discovered under a floorboard adds substance to the family history of Sliabh Luachra fiddle master Padraig (Patrick) O’Keeffe.  The correspondence was uncovered thirty years ago by keen-eyed Knocknagoshel native John Cotter, author of King William Brown (2014).   John, who now resides at Knockdown, Cordal and will shortly be launching the second and…Continue Reading

Tribute to the late Timothy Murphy, Castleisland

The committee of Castleisland District Heritage has been greatly saddened to learn of the death, on 7 March 2023, of Timothy Murphy, Limerick Road, Castleisland.  Timothy had a passionate interest in the local history of Castleisland, and his photographic record of the town is extensive.   Timothy was a friend of Castleisland District Heritage, and…Continue Reading

Portrait of James Edward John Julian, JP, QC, a Model Kerry Landlord

‘It is quite plain that if the other landlords were like Mr Julian the country would be better off’   A man by the name of McAuliffe made the above remark during a meeting of the Lixnaw United Irish League.  The meeting was about compulsory purchase and landlordism, and it throws light on the life…Continue Reading

St Brigid, ‘The Prophesied Woman of Christ’

She was a consecrated vessel for keeping Christ’s Body … She it is that helpeth every one who is in straits and in danger   Monday 6 February 2023 marks the first public holiday in Ireland in celebration of St Brigid, patron saint of poets and midwives.  In 1877, Whitley Stokes, scholar and descendant of…Continue Reading

A Camera for a Brush: Portrait of Adolf Morath, 20th Century Celebrity Photographer

‘A death-blow to the stage-Irish Tradition’   Adolf Morath, whose publications include Portrait of Ireland (1951) dedicated ‘to Irish Men and Women all over the world,’ was an acclaimed international photographer.[1]  He visited Ireland in 1946 and 1947, and was in Killarney in 1948 professionally to photograph Kerry life, ‘leaving out the usual pig and…Continue Reading

The Murder of Arthur Edward Herbert

Arthur Edward Herbert (1830-1882), magistrate and land agent, was shot dead in broad daylight at Lisheenbawn Cross  as he walked from Castleisland to his home at Killeentierna House near Currow on 30 March 1882.  Nobody was brought to justice for the killing.   A murder enquiry was set up and two rewards offered, one of…Continue Reading

Bales and Butter: Early Creameries in Castleisland

‘You want the delicate touch of an artist for successful butter making’   Watson’s Creamery, Castleisland, once occupied a site in Old Chapel Lane.  The company was established in Tralee in 1885 though initially with some difficulty:[1]   There is a factory worked at Middleton [Midleton], County Cork, and one at Hospital, County Limerick, where…Continue Reading

Encore!  Step forward Patrick Daniel Reidy, Castleisland’s Lord of the Dance

Music, like the wind, travels – and so it is no surprise to find the repertoire of Castleisland born Patrick Daniel Reidy, Irish dancer and Professor of Dance, in the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.  The manuscript is a musical treasure, containing thirty-seven dance scores from Irish musicians who long put down their instruments.[1]  …Continue Reading