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Tag: Casement

The Rose Hotel, Tralee, Writers Week Children’s Festival and Casement commemorated.

Sunset in Ballybunion May 14 2016


The Rose Hotel, Fels Point

I was dying to see how this hotel looked after its recent refurbishment. It is the new home of The Rose of Tralee Festival. It lived up to the hype. It is sumptuously furnished with lots of comfy couches and armchairs, the loos are the first thing in luxury and the food in the newly extended dining room and bar was excellent and very good value for money. The young staff were very friendly and helpful. Any of them could audition for the job of Rose escort and I’d give him the gig. Yes, on the  night I visited, they were all male.

 My friends, Mary Jo and Bridget, agreed to pose in the spacious bright foyer.

They made me pose beside the photograph of this year’s Rose.


Treat in store for the Children

The National Children’s Literary Festival at Writers’ Week have a super programme planned for the first days of June.

Listowel children can be among the first to meet PJ Lynch as he takes up his new role as Laureate na nÓg.

photo: CBI 

All the information and online booking is Here


Ardfert remembers Casement

Ardfert school was represented at The Kingdom County Fair. They had on display a genuine gun recovered from the ill fated Aud. The pupils had designed a commemorative medal to celebrate the 1916 centenary.

They had a “Casement” in the dock  to promote their medals.

They brought along a mural which used to hang in a local pub.


Gardaí at the Fair


Extract from a Letter to the Editor 

Tralee Chronicle  Friday, 09 August, 1861

DEAR SIR,— Having seen in one of your late papers the preliminary

notice for sale  of the Duagh Estate, in this county, I send you a few

notes relative to the history of it, and or the family to which it

belongs, which may interest some of your readers.

This ancient estate was originally a portion of the lands granted by

M’Arthy, Prince of Desmond, to Raymond le Gros. I, shall not trace the

family of Raymond farther back than to say, that he was the son of

William Fitzgerald a Norman nobleman who lived in Wales, and whose

ancestors had come to England with William the Conqueror; under whom

they had acquired great military fame and large possessions. There is

a curious book in Trinity College, Dublin, Written by one Father O

Daly tracing this race back through the Dukes of Tuscany and all the

way to the Pius Eneas of Troy.— However, I shall be satisfied with a

more moderate pedigree and begin with the Invasion of Ireland.

Ireland was in an anomalous state at the time of this Invasion. While

it was the seat of much learning, and of the more refined arts. It was

also the haunt of savage customs, and revengeful habits. Like all

countries where feudal  customs prevailed, knowledge  belonged to the

few, great power to the chieftains; but the many were in. subjection

and ignorance. More widely beautiful than now, with Its waving

forests, wide-flowing rivers and spacious harbours, It was a bright

gem of the sea ; but torn up with domestic feuds and defective In its

political system, It was likely to become an easy prey to a powerful

Invader, well skilled in the military arts. Divided amongst a number

of petty chieftains, frequently at variance with each other, their

very animosity constituted a great part of the strength of the foe.

On Ireland in this state, Henry the Second, then Monarch of England,

cast his wily and ambitious eye, and soon found the pioneers of his

conquest in Norman adventurers, who were glad to get the opportunity

of relieving their broken fortunes or obtaining military glory and

large possessions by the Invasion of so fair a region.

At the head of these was Earl Pembroke, well known by the name of

Strongbow, and his General in Chief  was Raymond, surnamed Ramond le

Gros, either from his corpulence, or, more probably from his massive

frame and strength- Le Gros in the Norman, answering to ?  more in

Irish and big in English

Whatever the derivation of this nickname may be, Raymond seems to

have been well suited to the position in which he was placed and to

have combined the qualities of a noble disposition with those which

constitute the characteristic of a great General; for not only was he

famous for his Intrepidity, but he also possessed those, feelings of

humanity which ever accompany true courage.

A remarkable Instance of this was exhibited  in the opposition given

by him to the cruel council of. Hervey M’ Maurice  in the treatment of

the prisoners taken in a battle with the Irish, near Waterford

Raymond having landed with the thirty Knights, and bring joined by

Hervey  M’Maurice with a small troop, they made up a hurried  camp for

their defence. The citizens of Waterford, being troubled at  their

contiguity to their city, attacked them with three thousand men,

headed some Irish Princes. The Normans made a sally[j1]  out of their

little fort against  their opponents, but, finding the multitude they

had to contend with, made a hasty retreat to their entrenchments.

Being too hotly, pressed by their pursuers, they turned on them, when

the powerful and daring Raymond thrust the first of his antagonists

through the body, and, shouting his war cry, made a furious onset

Inspired by the bravery of their leader, the little band fought with

such resolution that they put their enemies to flight, and, after

great carnage, took several of the chief citizens of Waterford

prisoners. A council of war being held on these, Raymond spoke in

their defence, and strongly recommended humane measures. They are not

to be looked on now,” said he, ” as foes, but as our fellow-men, but

as men who have been subdued, who have been vanquished, who have been

conquered. Their fate being adverse, In fighting for the defence Of

their country noble Indeed, was their occupation.” In vain, however,

was his counsel. That of Hervey who at that time possessed much power

and Influence, prevailed and seventy of the noblest citizens of

Waterford having their limbs first broken, were hurled from the rocks

into the sea……..


A Blast from the Past

Synchronicity, Casement, golf and old phones

Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner. The concept of synchronicity was first described in this terminology by Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychologist, in the 1920s.[1] 


Remember Mike O’Donnell the portrait artist who painted the striking portrait of Con

Houlihan that now hangs in Castleisland library. That same Mike O’Donnell’s latest exhibition was on the theme of Roger Casement. 

This week I had an email from Bernard O’Connell of Listowel and Canada. It was on the subject of Denis Guiney, cousin of the Cleary Guineys, but had an unexpected connection to Casement. 

Here is Bernard’s message:

I saw the article about Denis Guiney on Listowel Connection. Well here is a bit more about him. He was married to Julie Griffin from Castleisland, well she was my Gran’s sister on my dad’s side, My Grans maiden name was Catherine Griffin, and her Uncle was Dan O’Mahony, he was the guy in charge of his Battalion  that went to meet Roger Casement at Banna Strand but was a day late because of the intel that he got, actually Dan O’Mahony spent some time in Africa as a young man but was injured by an Elephant when he was thrown up in the air by one. As they say we all have stories to tell.”

I have had another email from Liam Murphy of New York. He also knew Denis Guiney of Church St.

 With interest I read Martin Sheehys comments of Denis Guiney, my late father, aunts and uncle were great friends with Denis and would spend time there on all visits to town. Many the visit I made there and listened to events of his life, born in Brosna and about his first cousin of the same name the proprietor of Cleary’s. My sister who lives in Kildare and some cousins used to help at the time of the Races making sandwiches, for sale in the pub.. When he heard I was emigrating to the U.S I told of some of the tough times he experienced in the U.S. way back then of been ill and of this woman who took care of him, of the time he would take a bottle of tea for his lunch and because of the extreme cold it would be  be frozen solid when he went to drink it. I visited with him a few times after on my visits home, he always wore a sports jackets with leather around the elbows, a hat and chewed some gum.

(Those elbow patches are now the height of fashion.)


Rory McIlroy celebrates the European win in the Ryder Cup. He is sporting the biggest watch ever as he pokes fun at himself for nearly missing his tee time. All’s well that ends well.

Golfers from nearer to home: this is the Newcastlewest team celebrating their historic victory in The Pierce Purcell Shield ; their own Ryder Cup.


A few pieces of nostalgia from the internet

If you are my age, you will remember these telephones. In the days before mobile phones this is what a public telephone looked like and this was your only method of contacting someone when you were away from your home. These ones are in an airport but we had them in train stations, pubs, schools and in any location where people might need to use a phone. 

You lifted the receiver from its cradle. You lined up your money on the black box. If you needed a local number, you put in your coins and dialed the number on the clunky metal dial, one number at a time. When it was answered, you pressed button A and the coins were gobbled up by the machine. If there was no reply you pressed Button B and got your money back. There were no answering machines in my day. You spoke to a human being if there was one there or you spoke to no body.

If you needed a long distance number, you called the operator and she told you how much you needed to have ready in coins and she rang you back when she had dialed the number for you. If your message was for one particular person at the other end, you could book a “person to person” call and then you did not waste your money talking to her mammy or her flatmate or whoever was passing by the phone when it rang.

Ah, those were the days!

Old love

Open wide: these boys are lined up for their weekly dose of aperient (Maybe Castor Oil!)


This is a link to the names of Irish men and women on the commemorative wall of veterans of the Vietnam War in Washington.

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