‘Intensely Irish’: Probing a Kerry Claim on Celebrity Minstrel Denis O’Sullivan

He came to Ireland with a concert party in the flush of his great success and sang from Cork to Portrush some of our loveliest melodies as, without exaggeration, they were never sung before In 1901, American tenor and actor Denis O’Sullivan, described as ‘intensely Irish,’ was approaching his zenith, wowing audiences with his baritone…Continue Reading

Specs on! A Close Look at The Kerryman Calendar of 1934

In January 1934, The Kerryman issued a ‘pictorial almanac,’ described as an introduction to some of their special correspondents who helped to make the newspaper ‘so widely popular.’[1]  It was printed on art paper at the Kerryman printing works in The Market and Russell Street, Tralee:   These contributors are already well-known by repute to…Continue Reading

Search for family of Edward Victor Twiss, Captain of the Royal Munster Fusiliers

Castleisland District Heritage has been contacted by Liam Brophy who has in his possession a photograph of Edward Victor Twiss whose family descended from Kerry.  Liam found the image among the papers of his great great grandfather ‘Jack,’ otherwise John Thomas Greeves O’Sullivan of the 6th Connaught Rangers.  Information on the back of the photograph…Continue Reading

Cottage and Castle: Sizing up History at Coolcurtoga

Flesk Castle, Killarney dates to circa 1809.[1]  Its origins are associated with the Coltsmann family, butter merchants of Northumberland stock, who established themselves in Kerry as landlords.[2]  Its construction is attributed to John Coltsmann junior Esq, the only son of John Coltsmann Esq of London and Killarney.  His achievement was described in an obituary composed…Continue Reading

Daniel O’Connell on the Protestant Church in Kerry

Past West Cove, the road carries one down to the village of Cahirdaniel. Nestling in its woods under the towering hills, and beside a stretch of golden strand where the Atlantic flings its wrecks unchecked, lies the home of O’Connell.  Derrynane!  Truly a home for a chief[1] ‘There is an old proverb,’ wrote O’Connell in…Continue Reading

War and Words: The Unfinished Castles of Kilcrohane

In the disturbed days of the reign of Elizabeth I, the sept of O’Sullivan of Caherdaniel decided to construct a castle at Ballycarnahan, their chief residence in the district.[1] O’Sullivan’s Tanist lived nearby at Liss.  The two men were compelled to go away and fight in the Elizabethan wars.   The Tanist’s wife considered herself…Continue Reading

Floorboard Find a Treasure for Padraig O’Keeffe Scholars

A letter discovered under a floorboard adds substance to the family history of Sliabh Luachra fiddle master Padraig (Patrick) O’Keeffe.  The correspondence was uncovered thirty years ago by keen-eyed Knocknagoshel native John Cotter, author of King William Brown (2014).   John, who now resides at Knockdown, Cordal and will shortly be launching the second and…Continue Reading

Tribute to the late Timothy Murphy, Castleisland

The committee of Castleisland District Heritage has been greatly saddened to learn of the death, on 7 March 2023, of Timothy Murphy, Limerick Road, Castleisland.  Timothy had a passionate interest in the local history of Castleisland, and his photographic record of the town is extensive.   Timothy was a friend of Castleisland District Heritage, and…Continue Reading

Portrait of James Edward John Julian, JP, QC, a Model Kerry Landlord

‘It is quite plain that if the other landlords were like Mr Julian the country would be better off’   A man by the name of McAuliffe made the above remark during a meeting of the Lixnaw United Irish League.  The meeting was about compulsory purchase and landlordism, and it throws light on the life…Continue Reading