Not exactly Rudolf but a red stag in Killarney last week. Photo by Chris Grayson


Well, I never

I thought you might be as surprised as I was by this fact from Durrus History

While reading the evidence before a parliamentary enquiry into land tenure taken in Bantry in 1844 I came across a reference to a tenant paying his landlord with a £3 note.  I never came across this before, I do remember the old orange 10 shilling note.

When I checked it out the history was interesting.  Ireland apparently joined sterling in 1825 (currency fluctuations are not new) and the Bank of Ireland was given authority to issue notes.  Included was the £3 and 30 shilling notes.

In 1844 a farm laborer was lucky to get 8p. per day and the salary of a Resident Magistrate started at £300 per annum.  If you took  a laborer now at a low €75 a day that would give the value of £3 at €6,750 or the pay of the modern equivalent of a Resident Magistrate a District Justice at €123K then the value of £3 would be €12,300. Obviously the differential between £1 and £5 was too much hence the £3 note!


The Last of the Enterprise Town photos


Christmas in Kerry in the 1920s

This account by Eamon Kelly of his childhood Christmas is from a book called Christmas in Ireland by Colin Morrison

….It was the quality
of the candlelight, too shy you’d say to penetrate into every nook and corner,
and giving the kitchen the appearance of an old oil painting that I remember
from Christmases long ago. I remember too all the work that went into making
the house ready for  the feast -bringing
in the berry holly to deck out the kitchen, fixing the candles and cutting the
log, Bloc na Nollag, and placing it in position in the hearth lying flat as it
fell, we were told, and the sods of turf standing as they were cut. It took the
block some time to take fire but when it did the chairs had to be moved back,
even the cat had to shift herself when the little jets of steam and sparks
making loud reports came from the log. In the wider circle, we, the small lads
sat on the floor with cups of lemonade and sweet cake after the Christmas Eve
supper of ling, white onion sauce and laughing potatoes. And we made room for a
neighbor or two while my father uncorked a big earthenware jar and landed out a
few healthy taoscáns of the dark liquid and it was  “Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas everyone”
reechoing what was painted on the mottos pinned to the chimney breast.

(more tomorrow)


An Invitation for You