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Tag: Tom Dillon Page 1 of 2

Historian in Residence, A Generous Maloney, Stained Glass Windows

When there was a phone box on every corner


Tom Takes up a new post

Ennismore native, Tom Dillon is a passionate historian. He is an expert on North Kerry men who fought in two world wars. He has recently been appointed as Historian in Residence by Kerry County Council.

Tom has always been a busy man and now he is about to become even busier. I heard him recently with Frank Lewis on Radio Kerry’s Saturday Supplement telling the fascinating story of one of Kerry’s most notorious faction fights between the Cooleens and the Lawlors at Ballyeigh.

Tom is on the far right with Jim Dunn, Mike Lynch and Rose Wall Volunteering at a Graham Norton event at Listowel Writers’ Week.

Tom is among North Kerry history lovers, Martin Moore, Declan Downey, Michael Guerin and myself in Ashe Hall where Tom gave an excellent lecture on the Fitzgeralds, Knights of Kerry.


A Duagh Philatropist

William Maloney was born in Duagh County Kerry, Ireland, in 1828, and died in Pittsburgh, Dec. 28, 1870.

All affairs bearing on the public good interested Mr. Maloney, and the weight of his influence and his moral and financial support were always forthcoming in aid of such activities. Charitable cause made and unfailing appeal to his warmly, generous and sincere nature, and he was especially friendly to St. Paul’s Orphan Asylum. He was a member of St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church, then at Fifth and Grant streets, and there was no branch of its work that did not owe a large part of its comfortable ease in financial relations to his never-failing donations. He was known for his ever-courteous manner and was a musician of accomplishment. His religious convictions were strong, and, practical man of affairs the he was, he believed that they were worthy of the best of his means.

William Maloney married Mary B. Mullin, daughter of Thomas and Mary Mullin, her father a linen manufacturer of note at Carrickmacross, a famous linen center of Ireland. Her mother, Mary Mullin, came to the United States a short time after her son John, Mr. Maloney’s partner, had made Pittsburgh his home. Mrs. Maloney, a devoted mother, and active charity worker, an accomplished home maker, died Aug. 25, 1914. 


Listowel Convent Windows in their new home

A Corkman, Eddie Hyland has been studying stained glass windows from the Harry Clarke studios in Dublin. His research brought him to two windows in Presentation Convent chapel  in Listowel.

The chapel was deconsecrated and the windows dispersed. Eddie started a search that brought him to sources like Listowel Connection as well as the Presentation archive.

Here is his latest letter bringing the news that his search iOS over and has been successful

Dear Mary

I’ve located the Saint Patrick window; it is in the parish church [named Saint Patrick’s]

in the tiny village of Knockavilla near Upton in Co Cork.

I’m sending to you as attachments photos of both windows. As you can see the Saint Michael

window has been reworked somewhat to make it fit into the opening in Blackrock Church, Cork.

The Saint Patrick is however unaltered. It is not however fitted into a wall opening but instead

is located in a custom made wooden frame and artificially back lit

Again thank you for all of your help and encouragement


Ed Hyland 


James Carmody, An Upcoming Lecture and Faction Fighting in the nineteenth century

Photo; Lisa Egan


Date for the Diary


Faction Fighting in North Kerry

I haven’t read this book yet but it sounds fascinating. Here is a small section of a long extract that was published in The Irish Examiner;

“At Lisselton, on Christmas Day 1828, Maurice Flaherty was attacked by three men of the Mulvihills and a man named Fitzgerald, and ‘cruelly beaten’ with sticks and stones.

‘It appeared that a drunken fellow [,] one Fitzgerald, infuriated with whiskey, brandished his cudgel and halloed for one faction; he was instantly replied to, and a most bloody affray soon commenced.’

It was asserted that Flaherty was killed ‘under circumstances of the

most shocking and unmerciful cruelty’.

John Mahony Mulvahill, ‘a young man’, was convicted of manslaughter, and, seemingly based on the terrible nature of the killing, sentenced to transportation for life, ‘amidst the deafening shrieks and lamentations of his male and female friends’.

At Ballyheigue, on the evening of St Patrick’s Day 1839, a crowd of about 20 people, whom a policeman believed to be Cooleens and Lawlors, struck each other ‘as hard as they could pelt’.

At Beale, Ballybunion, the pattern day ‘was usually marked out for a faction fight between the two great factions then in North Kerry — the Cooleens and the Mulvihills’, said a later folklore interviewee.

A recollection of Beale fair, which was held on 21 September, written in 1928, stated: ‘It was the battle ground of the old faction fighters and next to Ballyeigh ranked as North Kerry’s biggest event. Many and sanguinary were the fights that took place there between the rival factions that held sway in North Kerry and old men still tell tales of broken heads and bones.’

The two parties also met at the pattern days held annually in Knockanure on 15 August.

In the earlier part of the nineteenth century this Pattern was the scene of many a faction-fight between what were known as the Couleens and the black Mulvihills; young and old assembled there to see the fight; the contending parties being armed with black-thorn sticks … Hard strokes were given and received, and many a young man was maimed for life.


An Unlikely Hero

I have heard that there was once a strong man in Beale. His name was James Carmody. One day he was forced to fight a bull and with the first blow of a stick he gave the bull he killed him. After that he was forced into a wrestling match with a strong man from Tarbert. When he got his hands firm around the man’s body he squeezed him to death. He was considered the strongest man for miles around and he was a famous man that lived around the locality at that time.

Patrick Mulvihill v.

Lensechane, Ballybunion.

June 24th 1938

Opening Night Listowel Writers Week 2019, Horan’s Closure and Glin Castle

Opening Night, Listowel Writers Week  May 29  2019

I positioned myself by the entrance to the hotel and here are a few of the good folk who I snapped as they headed towards the ballroom for the festivities.

You will spot some local folk as well some prizewinners and other visitors.


Change of Tenant Due Here

Making a living as a small retailer in Listowel is tough.


Glin Castle

Tom Dillon took this photo when he toured Glin Castle with the Irish Georgian Society. These are some of the stories he brought back.

“Best bit was the great stories that go with the family portraits particularly the Cracked Knight who rode his horse up the stairs, the Knight who died dancing at his own wedding and the Knight of the Women who had all his mistresses living in the different lodges on the estate.”

Sounds like those knights were a fairly daft lot.

Newmarket, WW1 Stories, Field Names and Christmas in Listowel

Olive Stack’s Christmas tribute to her hometown


Tree in Listowel Town Square in November 2018


Pals Brigades

This is one of the recruiting posters from World War 1.  This and other similar posters played on man’s desire to be one of the gang. This policy of putting men from the same area together worked in that it cemented friendships between men who shared common memories and loyalties. It also formed a bond born out of shared experiences in the battlefield.

At his excellent lecture on Kerry and the Great War in Kerry Writers’ Museum on Sunday November 11 2018 Tom Dillon told us several stories of men risking life and limb to save a friend from home.

Denis Baily of Tralee won the Military Cross for bravery. At the Battle of the Somme in 1916, he went out, under fire, to rescue a fellow Tralee soldier, Patrick Collingwood.

Paddy Kennelly from Ballybunion lay dying on the battlefield in Messines in 1917.  The soldiers were under orders not to stop to help the wounded or they would be shot. Mickeen Cullens, a neighbour of Kennelly’s recognised him, defied orders and hoisted the wounded soldier up on his shoulders and brought him to safety. Both men survived the war and remained friends back home.


Newmarket Co. Cork

Just outside Newmarket, Co. Cork there is a lovely place called The Island Wood. Raymond O’Sullivan took this photo there.

Here is what he wrote on his Facebook page to accompany the photo;

Strabo, the Greek geographer, philosopher and historian who lived around the time of Christ, believed that in Ireland the limits of the habitable earth should be fixed. He described the natives as wholly savage and leading a wretched existence because of the cold. Other Classical writers also describe it as a cold and miserable place and go even further to to accuse us of cannibalism, endocannibalism (the ritual eating of relatives), incest and all forms of fornication. Opinions reflecting Classical prejudices to anyone living outside their narrow sphere, no doubt. It is clear that none of them ever set foot on our green and misty isle and definitely never stood on the bank of the Poll Fada on a sunny mid- November morning


Shannon Mouth (Dúchas Collection)


Field Names

Our ancestors had a name for every field. Maybe families still retain these names. Do farmers invent names for fields anymore?

Here is a contribution from a child in Ballylongford to the folklore commission and now preserved in the Dúchas Collection.

There are many names given to the different fields in our farm, such as, the “Well’s Field,” so called because there was a blessed well there one time. This well moved from where it was first, owing to a woman who washed clothes in it one time.

The Three Cornered Field, so called because there are three corners in it.

The Pound Meadow, this gets its name from cattle who were being pounded in it at night, long ago.

The New Field, is so called because it was a garden before, and now, cattle are being pounded there.

The Parkeen, this gets its name because it is a small field.

Griffin’s Field, this gets it name from a family of Griffins who once lived there. This family left the place and it is now owned by my father.

The Fort Field, is so called because there was a fort there at one time. The ring of the fort is all that now remains to be seen, as the trees were cut down long ago.

The Long Field is so called because it is the longest field in our farm.

The Gate Field, this field is so called because there is a gate going in to it from the public road.

The Hill Field, is so called because it is a very hilly field.

These were told to me by my father who lives in the townland of Ahanagran about two miles from Ballylongford.

Collector Teresa Holly- Informant Patrick Holly, Relation parent, Age 60 Address- Aghanagran Middle, Co. Kerry, Location- Aghanagran Upper.


Christmas in Listowel

This year once more the local traders have a Christmas website up and running. It’s worth while checking back every so often to see what’s happening and what’s on offer.

Christmas in Listowel

This is the Christmas supplement that came last week with Kerry’s Eye. The eagle eyed will spot yours truly in the picture on the cover.

Church Doors, Food Fair Craft Fair and the last of my Young Adult Bookfest 2018 photos

Gurtinard Wood


Listowel Church Doors and a Window


Old Homestead

This is a photograph taken in Duagh. It is part of the Duchas collection and the photographer is Caoimhín ODanachair


Listowel Food fair 2018

Some more photographs of crafters that I took at this year’s craft fair on the Sunday of the Food Fair.


Young Adult Bookfest 2018, November 15 2018

 In a packed programme full of inspirational speakers there was no one more inspirational then Joanne O’Riordan. Joanne was born with a condition called total amelia. She has no limbs.  She has just graduated from UCC with a degree in criminology. She is a sports fanatic and her ambition is to be a sport’s journalist. She knows lots of sportspeople including Kieran Donaghy and they all have the greatest respect for her.

Joanne shared the stage with Pat Falvey, another man who does not let anything thwart him from a path he has chosen.

Helping out on the day were Seán McCarthy, David Browne and Tom Dillon


Seeking Irish Relatives

My name is Ken Duckett and I’m tracking a legacy of my mum and 19 1st cousins she received in the 1980’s/90’S from a Denis

Buckley, son of Edward Buckley and his wife Mary {Mai) Stack (married in New York). She was an aunt of my Mum’s (Kathleen Hanlon)

as Margaret (Madge Stack) was my grandmother and Patrick Hanlon my grandfather who farmed in Asdee.

So I’ve been trying to track down the families involved and one came up in your post in 2013. I’ve found by looking at Joseph Vincent 

Buckley 31st January I’ve been able to track the line of the family of six so far with sons/daughters and grandsons/granddaughters.

The parents have been identified in some of these posts as Michael Buckley and Nora (Nellie) Shine, however I cannot find records

For them in the usual places. That’s why I’m asking if you have any further information from members near to Listowel?

One other favour can you put me in touch with a local contact who I can purchase a copy of Asdee in the 1940’s/50’s I believe by 

a  Costelloe?

I enjoy your posts it keeps me in touch of my roots,



(If you can help Ken I have his email address)


Things you Hear at the Hairdressers’

The following have not been checked by Storyful so could contain an element of Fake News.

We are soon to have an Olde Worlde Sweet Shoppe on Church Street.

A popular local hairdressers’ is soon to relocate to a gorgeous new premises.

Bailey and Co. is planning to extend its range to include “affordable fashion”.

Two Listowel retail businesses are to close their doors in the new year.


Look Who ran into our Lizzie of Lizzie’s Little Kitchen?

Lizzie Lyons and Michael Parkinson were stars of Ireland am on Sunday No. 25 2018

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