A Note on the Seigniory of Tarbert

From Laois to Kerry (2016) is Michael Christopher Keane’s study of Patrick Crosbie’s early 17th century plan to transplant seven Septs, namely the Moores, Kellys, Dowlings, Lawlors, Dorans, Dees and McEvoys, into North Kerry:   In 1607, Patrick Crosbie persuaded the government to agree to a remarkable proposal that he be granted the 4,000 acre…Continue Reading

Happy Days: Reminiscences of a Kerryman

Happy Days My Memoirs is one of those wonderful positives to emerge from the darkness of Covid-19.  Its author, Eugene O’Keeffe, used the hours provided by lockdown to set down his life story.  The nonagenarian cast his mind back to 1926, the year of his birth, and with the help of a recording device, gave…Continue Reading

James Blennerhassett Leslie, Ecclesiastic and Historian

Rev Canon James Blennerhassett Leslie, MA, D.Litt, MRIA, died at his home, Tigh Beg, Haddington Park, Glenageary, Co Dublin on Sunday 20 April 1952.  He was in his 87th year.  Rev Canon Leslie had enjoyed a distinguished career as cleric:   He obtained his BA at the Royal University of Ireland in 1888, and his…Continue Reading

Poff and Barrett: Location of their Remains

On the foundation of the Irish Free State, in a letter home to Ireland from the United States, Rev George Marshall, formerly of Mountnicholas, suggested that the relatives of Poff and Barrett should seek to have the remains of ‘those two victims of Irish landlordism and British hate’ disinterred from the old jail burial ground…Continue Reading

An Historical Sketch of Co Kerry by Miss A M Rowan

The following extract was included in a short sketch of County Kerry written in 1898 and published in serialised form in a local newspaper.[1]  The sketch was the work of Miss Anne Margaret Rowan, daughter of Archdeacon (and author) Arthur Blennerhassett Rowan of Tralee.  Miss Rowan, who was born in Tralee in 1832, was also…Continue Reading

A North Kerry Boy at Heart: The Incredible Adventures of Vere Chamberlain Harvey-Brain, Master Mariner

Finally they’d have to learn that this was a form of communism – where each of us was a servant of the boat   In the summer of 1938, one year before England declared war on Germany, 27-year-old Vere Chamberlain Harvey-Brain, author of Seychelles Saga and My Seychelles Years, set out from the south east…Continue Reading

Tribute to John O’Donoghue of Carrigeen, Killarney, Barrister and Littérateur

‘He may be classed as one of the ablest writers of the period’ In 1841, during the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, John O’Donovan surveyed the parish of Killaha, Co Kerry, including the ancient church and ruined castle of The O’Donoghue of the Glen:   About half a furlong to the south of this old church…Continue Reading

Irish at Heart: On the Trail of James Reynolds, Horseman, Artist, Author, Folklorist

There can be little doubt that Castleisland’s historic First of November Horse Fair would have attracted horseman James Reynolds, whose early years were devoted to a round of hunting, race meetings and horse fairs.[1]     This much is learned from his writing, a career that commenced later in his life (in his 50s) and…Continue Reading

The Monarch and the Scribe: King Felim of Munster

A few miles outside of Castleisland, on the road to Farranfore, the passer-by will be forgiven for not recognising the place where once stood Kilfelim Church.  Nothing remains of it today; indeed, nothing remained of it when John O’Donovan enquired in 1841:   The site is pointed out in the south end of the townland…Continue Reading

A Sketch of Coolclogher House, Killarney

Castleisland District Heritage has kindly been granted access to Coolclogher House Visitor Book 1950-1961.  Coolclogher House, otherwise known as South Hill, Killarney, Co Kerry, is an eighteenth century residence built on the former Herbert Estate, and designed in the manner of Muckross House.  Its construction, according to former owner, Mr Hilliard, was in stages:  …Continue Reading