Chasing Ghosts: Fitzgerald of Ardnagragh and Ballymacadam

When the unfortunate Earl fell at Glaunageentha it was the Fitzgeralds of Ardnagragh, faithful to the last, who stole the headless body at night from the wood and laid it in their own burial place – Mary Agnes Hickson[1] John Oge Fitzgerald was Constable of the Island of Kerry for Gerald, ‘The Rebel Earl of…Continue Reading

The Kennys of Ballymacadam, Castleisland

By John Roche, Chairman Castleisland District Heritage   Kenny first came to prominence when he was elected chairman/president of the fledgling Castleisland branch of the National Land League.  This followed a monster gathering in Main Street on (date) Oct., 1880, chaired from the Crown Hotel balcony by the famous Land League priest, Fr Arthur Murphy.…Continue Reading

Nineteenth Century Church and School Building in Brosna and Knocknagoshel

Religious practice in Brosna and Knocknagoshel from the eighteenth to early nineteenth century was outlined by Peter Robinson, a correspondent of the Kerry People, in 1903:[1]   Prior to the abolition of the Penal laws, and up to 1834, Knocknagoshel had no fixed Roman Catholic place of worship and the people on Sundays assembled to…Continue Reading

Analyse This: The Persecution of De Niro’s Tipperary Ancestors

‘Rack-rents, insecurity of tenure, ejectment and extermination, these are the master-grievances of unhappy Ireland’ – Rev P O’B Davern Iconic actor, Robert De Niro, who is currently researching his Irish roots, might well be interested in The Young Irelanders, a rare book recently acquired by Castleisland District Heritage.  It was written by the Kerry-educated journalist,…Continue Reading

Con Houlihan behind Local Cabinet Decision

John Roche, Chairman of Castleisland District Heritage, recently visited Walter Lyons Furniture in Tralee and made a firm deal on the purchase of three secure metal cabinets for rapid delivery to the project offices in Castleisland.   The purchase came about following the acquisition of papers and artefacts belonging to the late and great journalist,…Continue Reading

Kilnananima: A Grave Legend of Gerald, Earl of Desmond

Gerald, The Rebel Earl of Desmond, was beheaded in 1583 thus signalling the fall of the great Earls of Desmond in Munster.  His troubled soul in ghostly form was said to haunt his grave at Ardnagragh where once stood the principal stronghold of the Fitzgeralds.[1]   Legends of the life and times of the Earls…Continue Reading

Kilmurry House, Castleisland in the Nineteenth Century

‘A fascinating house of indeterminate origins’[1]   Kilmurry House, located a few miles from the town of Castleisland in the parish of Ballincuslane, was built about 1839 by Rev Archibald Macintosh as a Church of Ireland rectory.[2]  This three-storey dwelling, with entrance set on the side, basement, four bays on south front, and hipped roof,…Continue Reading

Honouring Bob Finn, Captain of the Castleisland Moonlighters

‘The Moonlighters were the first that put hope into the nation’ – Memoir of Jerry Lyons, 1951   Castleisland District Heritage this week (19 July 2023) pays homage to Bob Finn, Captain of the Castleisland Moonlighters, at a Grave Renewal Ceremony in Old Kilbannivane Cemetery, Castleisland.  The historic memorial has been refurbished, with substantial financial…Continue Reading

‘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