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

At Home in Ireland: Lt-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart

A childhood of shifting scene and a mixed nationality may be responsible for my useful knack of growing roots wherever I happen to find myself – Happy Odyssey (1950) It is always of interest to the local historian, in this case one in Castleisland, to learn about the background of famous people.  In this respect,…Continue Reading

Castleisland Theatricals from Harry Brogan’s ‘Party Pieces’

Castleisland District Heritage has acquired an original typescript monologue performed in 1957 on Harry Brogan’s radio programme, ‘My Kind of Recitation,’ sponsored by Jacob’s Biscuits.[1]  Sixty years ago, the monologues were popular entertainment and could be purchased for a shilling from Radio Éireann.     In Castleisland, the monologues were performed locally to packed halls…Continue Reading