Dandy Lodge Facelift
A Book Recommendation
I haven’t seen this one yet so I’m giving you advance notice of what sounds like a must for all local historians.
Lyreacrompane native, Joe Harrington, has just published a book on very first Butter Road from Kerry to the Cork Butter Market. Joe describes the book, ‘Once Upon a Road’ as a “search for the olden days on a sixty-mile journey through 275 years of time”.
The subject of the book is the road from Ballyduhig, near the Six Crosses, through Lyreacrompane, Castleisland, Cordal, Tooreencahill, Millstreert, Aubane, Vicarstown, to Kerry Pike outside Cork City. It was originally built as a tollroad/turnpike, under a 1747 Act of Parliament. The man behind the venture was a John Murphy from Castleisland. ‘When I was growing up, I remember the dispensary at Pike, halfway between Lyreacrompane and Listowel. I often wondered why it was named Pike. Researching the history of this road over recent years I discovered that Pike in fact alluded to a turnpike/toll gate on this spot from the early 1750s to 1809. It was one of six that John Murphy was entitled to erect on the road all the way to Cork up until the latter date”, Joe explained.
The book ‘Once Upon a Road’ with 364 full colour pages and 315 images, maps and photos which Joe was delighted to have printed locally by Walsh Colour Print, Castleisland with graphic design by Easy Design, Causeway.
Joe has been researching the history of the road for the past five years and it initially led to him writing a song on the subject; ‘The Road John Murphy Made’, which won the Sean McCarthy Ballad Competition a couple of years back. “The ballad was about one man’s trip on the road in the 1750s and the book broadens the story of the road that connected the dairy lands of north Kerry and the famous Cork Butter Market”, Joe explained.
‘Once Upon a Road ‘dips into the local history of the townlands, towns, villages, and settlements through which the road passes. Every mile on ‘The Road John Murphy Made’ has a story to tell and along the way we will meet Whiteboys and Hedge Schoolmasters, Freedom Fighters and Moonlighters, Famines and Natural Disasters, Mass Rocks and Wedge Tombs, Bronze age hoards and Bog Butter, Lost Estates and Evicted Tenants”, Joe explains. The road even played a part in the slave trade he reveals.
From Ballyduhig, where the road began near the present day Six Crosses, to Kerry Pike near Cork City the book is a travelogue in time and place. Like the rest of the book, the Listowel to Lyreacrompane section is packed with the happening in the area since the road was built in the 1750s. The killing of the Earl of Desmond at Gleanageenty is revisited as is the adventures of the Earl of Kerry who owned much of the land through which the turnpike was built. Matchmakers, bog slides, new and ancient, and the story of the Lyreacrompane man who oversaw at least three hundred executions in an American Prison fill the pages as do heroes like Amelia Canty and villains like Lucy Ann Thompson. The visit of William Makepeace Thackeray, of Punch fame (or shame) to Listowel is recounted.
I would like to thank all the local historians along the route who unstintingly related to me all they had discovered about their own area and, on a road known for its ‘straight as a gunbarrell’ stretches, to Kay O’Leary, who, so to speak, kept me on the straight and narrow.
Once upon a road is widely available including from Joe Harrington, Lyreacrompane. Joe can be contacted at 0872853570.
A Few More from Ladies Day 2022
A Piece of History
Back in 1949
This was Marie Neligan Shaw’s found treasure which I shared with you yesterday. I had found no one to tell me who Pat Crowley was. No one that is until Dave O’Sullivan came to our rescue.
Dave searched the papers and found that Pat Crowley was a big name on the dance scene in 1949 and for years afterwards. Here is what Dave found
Now this begs the question; Does anyone remember Des Fretwell or the Pavilion?
Hi Mary, I was really interested in your post of the Butter Road from North Kerry to Cork. I’ve heard of this before but would love to get hold of the book. I know you have put in the telephone number of Joe Harrington but have you the ISBN number to order it?