Directory of Castleisland

Michael O’Donohoe created his own nineteenth century directory of Castleisland to form an image of the town in commercial and residential context.1   His 27-pg handwritten directory, which covers the period 1846 to 1917, was formed from existing sources including Slater’s, Guy’s, Kelly’s and Macdonald’s Irish Directory and Gazetteer of 1917.   Michael arranged the…Continue Reading

Church of St Stephen and St John, Castleisland

The Michael O’Donohoe archive contains a study of Castleisland parish church, Church of St Stephen and St John.     In 1878, Most Rev Dr M’Carthy, Bishop of Kerry, spoke of the ‘great want’ of a parochial church in Castleisland during a visitation there.1   The church that then existed was described as ‘very seedy looking’…Continue Reading

Castleisland Schools: Presentation Convent Girls

‘They shall shine like stars for all eternity in the Kingdom of His saints’ – Very Rev Monsignor Tobias Kirby, Rector of the Irish College, Rome, congratulating the Presentation nuns on founding a convent at Lixnaw in 1877   A 102-pg registration book for Castleisland Convent School Girls dating from the 1860s to 1947 forms…Continue Reading


Céad slán chun na hÉireann, ‘si mo léan í go dubhach, Is chun Caisleáin Ghriaghaire, ní him aonar bheinn annsúd; Is mó óigbhean mhilis mhaorga do shilfeadh braon ós mo chionn ‘Gus nár ró-bhreagh an bás é seachas é dh’fhagháil i mBellvue.   Céad slán chun na hÉireann was composed in the nineteenth century by…Continue Reading

Irish National Land League

Castle Island … a village which has attained the unenviable notoriety of being considered about the worst in the country1   During the Land War, a reporter for the Illustrated London News stated there were ‘four roads going out of Castle Island, on every one of which a man has been shot within the last four…Continue Reading

Tralee Board of Guardians

The hive contains more than it can support … the excess must either perish of famine or be destroyed by internal contests for food – Robert Torrens, 1817 An assessment of the level of poverty in pre-Famine Ireland can be made in the writings of nineteenth century political economist Colonel Robert Torrens.  In 1839, he…Continue Reading

Samuel Murray Hussey

Nineteenth century land agent, Samuel Murray Hussey (1824-1913), finds a place in the collection.  Michael O’Donohoe studied Hussey’s memoir, Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent and created his own index to the work.1   Michael made notes on the book and on Hussey genealogy, including Clarissa Hussey of Dingle, ‘a most beautiful benefactress to the religious and…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

Castleisland Schools: Convent Boys

In his role as principal of the Boys’ National School, Castleisland, Michael O’Donohoe appreciated the value of school records.  He dedicated a considerable amount of time to copying, by hand, a number of school registers.     An admissions register for Convent Boys’ School Castleisland appears in the collection.  It covers the period 1872 to 1951.…Continue Reading