An Overview of the McMorran Collection

Castleisland District Heritage has recently acquired a selection of papers from the collection of the late historian, Russell McMorran, courtesy his brothers, Chris and Clare McMorran.  The material, which has been added to the Castleisland District Heritage archive, includes photographs, journals, Financial Reports of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (1957) and a copy of the…Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Fountains

A mid-nineteenth century altercation between two civil engineers casts an historic light on one of Castleisland’s famous landmarks.  In the Famine year of 1846, the construction of two fountains – one in Tralee and one in Castleisland – to supply a ‘sufficient and unfailing supply of water to the poorer classes of townsfolk’ was being…Continue Reading

In Praise of Presentation Convent Castleisland, 175 Years on

In October 1843, during a Repeal Banquet at the Rotunda, Daniel O’Connell spoke about ‘the growing spirit of religious observances, moral conduct, and practical piety’ that was distributing itself ‘throughout the land’:   I see it in the youthful females of Ireland, educated under the sacred care of the religious ladies who in every town…Continue Reading

Tullig House, Castleisland: ‘The Small Mansion’

Tullig, a townland a few miles outside Castleisland, was part of the extensive Herbert estate.[1] The building of Tullig House in 1750 is attributed to the landlord’s agents, the Saunders family.  In 1786, Tullig was the seat of ‘Mr Sandes.’  Thomas Saunders was in residence in 1814.[2]   The genealogy of the Tullig branch of…Continue Reading

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