Firstly Vincent has provided me with the source for the old song about Lord Listowel. It comes from the pen of D.C. Hennessey and is to be found in The Lays of North Kerry edited by Pádraig deBrún. I might get back to D.C. Hennessey at another time when Vincent gives me all the lowdown. I have a few more songs as well, all equally long and saccharine sweet.
Now to some more of Vincent’s memories, evoked by the recent passing of The Knight of Glin.
Vincent Carmody remembers,
I have a personal story about the late Knight of Glin. It was at the time when I was gathering photographs in preparation for the printing of North Kerry Camera. I made contact with the Knight through the good offices of Padraig De Brun.
I explained to the Knight the type of historical photographs that I required. Without hesitation he invited me down to Glin Castle and gave me permission to look through the various photographic albums stored in the library. Accompanying me, on a cold February night , was ace camera woman Gemma Hannon (mother of the lovely Aoife, just returned from representing Ireland in faraway Brazil in the Miss Universe competition).
We copied many of the prints. Afterwards the Knight gave us a tour of the castle and invited us to sup some hot punch in the the sitting room in front of a blazing log fire. Marvelling at the size and grandeur of the place, I remarked to the Knight, “How did it escape from damage during the troubles?” He replied, ” My grandfather, who was wheelchair bound, was in the castle one night when the boys (the IRA) burst in to the castle. After ordering the staff to leave, they found the Knight in his rooms.
“What do ye want?” asked the Knight.
“We have come to burn the castle,” said the volunteers.
“Alright then, ye can burn me inside it also, “was the Knight’s reply.
That night, when we were in the castle, I asked Desmond Fitzgerald what was their reply. He said, the volunteers told the Knight that they would have to go back down to the village to replan. Luckily, they never went back to the castle and so this architectural gem has remained to this day.
There is a another story told, that a “Knight of the Irish roads”, one Michael Faulkner (who was a personal friend of the last Knight’s father) was in Shaughnessys pub in Glin one night. Some local man, entertaining American cousins decided to poke fun at Michael.
“They say you are a friend of the Knights” asked the local, of Mikey.
” Aye, you’re right sir” said Mikey.
“Well, if you are, how do you address him so?” said the local.
Mikey thought, and said, ” Well, if I meets him by day, I’d say, “Goodday Knight,” and when I sees him by night, I’d say, “Goodnight Knight”.
Desmond John Villiers Fitzgerald, 29th Knight of Glin was a friend of the people of Glin and of the Irish Nation. May he rest in peace.