Rising of 1798 in Castleisland

A thinly disguised fictionalised account of the attack on Castleisland Barracks in 1798 is reproduced below. It was published in The Kerry Magazine in 1856, close enough to the event to take its content from local history.[1]  The author was not given.   Characters and Facts in 1798 at Castleisland Barrack Daisies had opened their…Continue Reading

‘Ballad-Maker Supreme’: The Patriotic Songs of Thade Gouran of Duagh

If you are doomed to meet the call, and die for Erin dear, A soldier stand, a soldier fall, like the blacksmith volunteer – ‘The Blacksmith Volunteer’ by Thade Gouran Castleisland District Heritage has acquired a copy of the CD, The Songs of Thade Gouran produced in 2007.[1]  Twenty-one ballads are recorded on the CD,…Continue Reading

Spex On: A Look at the Family of Corkman, John Fergus O’Hea

For more than a quarter of a century, the cartoons of John Fergus O’Hea formed a picturesque and striking record of the second half of the nineteenth century.[1]  He signed his work ‘Spex,’ a nickname he inherited in his (bespectacled) schooldays.   O’Hea was born in Cork in 1841, son of barrister James O’Hea (1809-1882)…Continue Reading

Killegy: Burial Place of Colonel Maurice Hussey of Kerries and Cahernane, Co Kerry

In 1917, a Kerry priest living in England described Killegy cemetery at Muckross as ‘a sombre spot in the extreme – I doubt if Muckross Abbey itself has got a more funereal aspect.’ He added, ‘most of those who lie buried there belong to another creed, many of them are strangers whom death has surprised…Continue Reading

Jack Dempsey Cup: Memories of the Kerry Team in America

In April 1924, legislation was passed by the Dáil to establish the new court system for the Irish Free State.[1]  At this historic juncture, amid a sea of change, Kerrymen in New York subscribed £58 towards a fund for the training of the Kerry football team.[2]   A great effort followed to popularise Gaelic football in…Continue Reading

Castleisland Steps on the Global Irish Famine Way

Michelle Kranjc, a descendant of John Heffernan and Mary Mullins of Caheragh, Castleisland, contacted Castleisland District Heritage recently about her ancestors who left Castleisland with Edward Hogan and his family of Caheragh after the Famine.  They were resident in Hamilton, Ontario by 1857.[1]  Michelle is hoping to find out exactly when they departed and if…Continue Reading

Mike Healy and the ‘Moss Tommy’ Schools Project

Who decorates that butterfly The silkworm and the moth? What artist claims the wings that fly To the sweet forget-me-not? – M J Reidy[1] Mike Healy of Glenlarehan, Cordal, Castleisland was about twelve years old when he first became properly acquainted with his neighbour and lifelong friend, Maurice J Reidy (‘Moss Tommy’), the Cordal poet.[2] …Continue Reading

Ireland on My Mind: Recollections of Castleisland Descendant, Michael Murray

Big boys do cry, I’m pleased to say, Sometimes occasionally, Sometimes all day. – Michael Murray An illustrated memoir, 87 Years of Michael’s Miscellaneous Memories, was the gift of Michael Murray, a native of Brookland, USA, to Castleisland District Heritage during a visit to the town last month (April 2024).  Michael was in Kerry to…Continue Reading

Remember Poff and Barrett: A Journey towards Justice

Go máire ainmneacha James Barrett agus Sylvester Poff go deo May the names of James Barrett and Sylvester Poff live forever Castleisland District Heritage will celebrate its tenth anniversary this year.  Among the many projects undertaken during this period, two are of particular note, the Posthumous Pardon of John Twiss of Cordal, Castleisland in 2021,…Continue Reading