Bank of Ireland, Castleisland

On Sunday December 1 1878 a meeting was held for the purpose of discussing the erection of a new church in Castleisland.  The meeting was attended by the then Bishop of Kerry, Most Rev Dr McCarthy.  Redmond Roche, JP, played a prominent part in the discussion.


Introduction of Railway, Telegraph and Bank


During the course of his speech, he informed the meeting that “We have constructed a railway and introduced the telegraph and have a bank established in our midst.”  Doctor Richard Harold also took part in the debate.  He practised in the Castleisland area but he was also dispensary doctor for Brosna and Cordal.  He gave up those positions in 1885 on the sudden death of Dr William Nolan when he then became dispensary doctor for Castleisland.


This depiction of Castleisland in 1974 (property of Tomo Burke and work of Timothy Murphy) once adorned the wall of the Bank of Ireland


A bank document of 1927 tells us that the premises were acquired on May 1 1878 and that a 999 year lease was signed on the same day.  The parties to the document were Richard Harold, deceased, late of Castleisland and the trustees of the National Bank Limited.


Dr Richard Harold


My first record of Dr Richard Harold was from a trade directory of 1856.  He was not listed in 1846.  Another document shows that there was some form of lease by Richard Harold from 21 Sept 1864 to “the present time”.  The lease was dated 21 September 1871 and it was registered on Nov 10 1871.


A very detailed document dated 23 March 1923 reveals that James M Harold MD, 15 Herbert Place, Dublin, appointed Agnes M Lamie as his agent with full powers.  An article in the Kerry Sentinel of July 23 1892 tells us that, on the previous Thursday, Agnes Mary Harold, daughter of Richard Harold, MD, married Thomas J Lamie, solicitor, whose father Daniel, a deceased solicitor, had resided in Rossacon House, Kanturk.


A rates book shows that Thomas J Lamie, who practised law in Castleisland, shared a house at 14 Main St, Tonbwee with Richard Shanahan.  Dr Harold also had an office there.


‘Properly conceived within wedlock’


A document of March 30 1928 states that the rent was payable to St John Harold until the minority of his son, Richard, had elapsed.  St John was asked to provide evidence of birth.  A letter of Oct 8 1928 informs us that Richard was born in Castleisland in September 1916.  The bank was asked to contact Dr Rice for a certificate to confirm this.  Richard was properly conceived within wedlock.  Church records show that St John Harold married Minette O’Connor in 1913.  She was a daughter of C D O’Connor who then ran a business at the corner of Chapel Lane where Ted Kennelly now runs the news agency.


Note: Further reference on Dr Harold held in collection code IE MOD/37/37.3 (House League).