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Wit and Wonder - by Dan Keane

 

There aren't many people alive today who remember the black ass my father sold to Billy Murphy of Kilmeaney. I have heard her referred to as a Spanish ass, maybe her ancestors came with the Milesians, but there was nothing Spanish about her to me. She hee-hawed with the richness of the Kerry brogue and she stepped on the road with the calm, placid independence of a Kerry team marching onto Croke Park on All-Ireland day. She wasn't a genius in the bog. That's why, probably, she was replaced by a smaller black ass which we got from Jim Moloney of Coilagurteen, a wonderful animal able to manoeuvre her own way out of a bog made of melted ice cream. What have asses got to do with wit and wonder? - nothing; even though every ass has got its own sense. But it was the black Spanish-ass which took me to one of my earliest Wonders. My father tackled her to a new car made by Shines of Moyvane, put the seat and guards in position and placed a sack of hay neatly flattened, as a cushion on top. We were not long doing the three miles to Listowel - there was no speed limit in those days.

The purpose of my father's visit was to see Kerry playing against whom I don't know - I doubt if I ever knew. The only thing I had in mind was to see this wonder-man called Con Brosnan, whom I had heard; so much about. Even though I lived in the parish I had never seen him except in my mind's eye and I saw him then in the same bracket as Cuchulainn, Fionn McCumhail and all the great warriors of the past. I remember the black ass stepping gracefully down by Danaher's Lodge onto Nolan's at the poundland marks which I was not then aware of. I remember slowing up at Nolan's to take the turn towards the fountain of Ballygologue - where the mode of transport was parked, but before we turned my father drew my attention to two men who were chatting near the sportsfield gate. He said 'Do you know the roan nearer to us". I said no. Then he said 'That's Con Brosnan', My heart sank. He was only like any other man, I thought he would be up over the houses. Still I was happy to learn ordinary men can do great things. I always link this experience with Pudsy Ryan when the cow was sick and his father sent for the vet. Pudsy asked what is a vet. His father said a cow doctor. Pudsy waited anxiously to see the cow doctor but said sadly later, it was no cow that came it was a man.

Speaking of men there were many in the parish whose wit was a wonder. Men who could simplify wonder with their wit; men who could evade wonder who could avoid complications with the swiftness and brevity of a neutralising reply.

Such a man was Jack Manaher. I knew Jack well. He used to visit Larkins in Carrueragh. His mother actually went from Carrueragh to the , village. He was a shoemaker by trade but was no stranger to farm work. One day Jack was cutting rushes in the bog beside our house. He left the bog and went to Larkins where he reported to Jack Larkin that he had broken the scythe tree. Jack Larkin said why didn't you go in to Keane'S you'd get a good scythe there? Jack replied: 'The truth is the best to be told. I have Keane's broken tool!

It was years later when I worked at Larkins - we were cutting corn. Jack and his brother Mick were there. Jack came on the following day - Mick did not, That evening Jack Larkin was reviewing the day's work. He said: "Jack, the four of us did more today than the five Of us did yesterday". Jack replied: "isn't it a pity I didn't stay at home, the three of ye would have finished it.

I have said Jack was a shoemaker - he was also a daily communicant. One day a woman called and asked Jack if he'd repair a shoe while she waited. Jack said he would and having performed the task handed her her shoe. She was a shrewd woman and said thanks Jack, you weren't a minute. Jack perceived her designs and met her shrewedness with silence. She was forced to speak again and said "You won't charge me anything for that little biff. 'I'm afraid " says Jack "that wouldn't pay". "Go on you rogue" says she "an you fasting every morning". "Isn't that enough" says Jack "not to be fasting all day!"

On another occasion Jack was at-the door of the old church with his little box for the purpose of taking up the collection. Some poor woman came to the door. The church seemed to be full. She turned to Jack and said; "Any room here Jack". Jack replied: "no main but won't you be grand in the kitchen". This was during mission times and the story came to the ears of one of the missioners, who said he should make an acquaintance with Jack. He walked up the Glin Road where Jack lived. On seeing Jack he approached him and said: "Excuse me. Jack is this the road to Glin?" Jack said "How did you know my name?" "I guessed it" said the missioner".

Well, if you did" says Jack " you can guess the road to Glin". I could be telling stories all day about Jack. Like the day A teacher sent one of his pupils on a message. He went into Jacks and said: "The master sent me down for a file"- which, of course, when spoken sounded like 'while', Jack said: "Sit down there as long as you like". On another occasion there was a woman coming down the street in a half trot. She was wondering if he would be in time for Mass, She asked Jack: "Is the bell gone?" Jack said. "It can't be gone far. I heard it ringing five minutes ago!"

To conclude about Jack, here is one story which has a moral for everybody. One day Jack was up the street and on returning home his mother asked: Any news up the street?". Like a true Kerryman Jack said "What news would I hear?". His mother said: "Did you hear any news?Then Jack asked: "Did you hear anything about Jack Mulvihill?". Like son,like mother, she said: "what would I hear?". Then came Jack's philosophical reply: "He is either dead or gone to America - they are all talking good of him!"

From Glin Road I will go right across the parish to Carrueragh- the Bog Lane and the Drurys. They were known far and wide. Locally they not always known as the Drurys of the Bog Lane. They were always The Drurys of the Bog Lane - they were one of thirty five families evicted from the Kilmeaney area when 'The Defender of Small Nations' was confiscating the lands for the Domain, the Estate or the Great House, whichever you choose to call it Paud was probably the best known of the Drurys - he had wit - no doubt he was better known as a rhymer or poet. Sorry to say most of his songs are lost. He wrote a lot of patriotic songs, and in all revealed he had no love for the Crown. I remember one line of a song he wrote:

"If John Bull had the five and the Knave he wouldn't knock a trick out of Sinn Fein".

Easy to see he played 'forty one' - though he claimed he couldn't count that far. I remember one night, Paud was at our house. Someone said: "Would you be a great scholar if you got schooling?" Paud said: "I went to school for a day and a half. I'd be a wonderful scholar if I finished the second day!" Asked how the day and a half came in, he said: "I stole away at play-hour, down to Flavin's cock-of-hay where their sheep dog had five pups. That's how I learned to count as far as five". There is a story told about Paud being in Listowel and rubbing shoulders with a man - Mr. Hill, who lived there at the time. Mr. Hill became indignant at the idea of one he regarded as lowly touching his person in any way and told so to Paud. Paud gave a quick glance at him and said: "Between Hill and Hell there is only one letter, and if Hill was in Hell wouldn't Ireland be better!"

On another occasion Paud was working for a farmer. On going to bed an enamel jug was left on the table with milk for Paud's supper, - but they over-looked putting out the cat. Like all cats he was very obliging to himself. He jumped onto the table pushing his head down the jug as he drank. Having completed his mission he jumped off the table but being unable to extract himself from the jug, he had no choice but to bring it with him. His manoeuvers on the floor-frightened the farmer who was nervous. On hearing Paud coming in he called on him to investigate and later when quietness was restored, he called on Paud for an explanation, Paud's answer was:"

"He wasn't in prison,
He wasn't in Jail.
There was nothing out
But his arse and tail,
You were an awful man,
To stay lying on your flat,
And wouldn't come down,
To release the cat.

The Bog Lane-was noted for its characters and when put to the test they said what was needed to be said and didn't put a tooth in it as my last and next story illustrates.

There was once a woman from the Bog Lane. She worked with a family who classed themselves as the gentry. It was grand for the gentry to tolerate her when doing their work but to socialise with such a person the Ladies of the House thought beneath them. At this time there was a brand of flour known, as "The Bulldog". This was in pre-plastic days and the flour bags were useful when washed to make underwear for the ladies, of course, the servant was in a position to be aware of this fact. One day the said servant girl was in Listowel. She met one ,of the. Ladies of the Manor with whom she thought to have a friendly chat. Lo and behold, she was completely, ignored. The. Lady whipped past her, ignoring her completely. Ignored but not defeated - the servant girl rushed after her - caught her by the shoulder whipped her around and in front of all shouted at her: "As good as you are and,as bad as- I am, I'm as good as you are, as bad as I'm and I haven't the 'Bulldog' brand on my arse like you have!"

There was another man who lived in the Bog Lane - William Madigan - known always as Billy. Billy was not known as well as the Drurys. He was never regarded as a poet. I have heard of only one rhyme he ever made. Billy . lived alone. He used frequent our house a lot - my mother used occasionally bake a loaf of bread for him. One night she gave him a loaf which he put into a message bag. He then threw the bag over his shoulder and tied it with a string to his belt. When he opened the door to go home my father put the familiar question: "What is the night like?. Billy looked up at the sky and said:

"There's a moon on my back,
There's a moon in the sky.
And the moon on my back,
Will be in my belly bye-and-bye.

Billy was also a step-dancer and usually finished his dance by saying: "I'm as loose as ashes but not so scattersome". He was by nature good-natured and light-hearted but he still could look at life with seriousness and speak in a manner that was unique and poetic. My great friend, Jim Walsh of Gael Bridge, once met him in Moyvane. He did not then know him but was so impressed that he asked me who was this man of intellect with the artistic turn of phrase. It is sad so much of his beautiful sayings are lost. I'll quote an extract from a letter which he wrote to my sister Joan in Australia, having stated he had no money or no desire to have it. He wrote: "I'd rather be picking flowers in the fields of the fairies than counting coins in this false world and when I stand on the threshold of Eternity I will look back and bid a loud ha-ha to this land of bubbles. "This is only a fraction of what I could write about the Wit and Wonder and the beauty I have known. The real beauty was the bond of brotherhood that existed between them, they made jokes and enjoyed being caught out. James Leahy of Carrueragh, once told me a story which he enjoyed and enjoyed telling. My grandfather, Daniel Keane, used cross the short-cut to Knockanure for a few pints. His journey took him between two quarries which was as eerie a haunt as you could find for a ghost to appear. He placed a white sheet on a support for the purpose of frightening Daniel on his way home. Next day the sheet was missing and there was no word from Daniel. It went for a week and no word. Eventually Daniel called to Leahy's. James Casually said: "Daniel I left a white sheet in the quarry and it has disappeared". Daniel replied with an air of satisfaction: "'Tis below down on Biddy McMahon and better engaged than to be around a shovel in the quarry".

It must truly be a Land of Bubbles for they have all passed on - "May the perpetual light of Heaven shine for ever upon them". Wit and Wonder - by Dan Keane

There aren't many people alive today who remember the black ass my father sold to Billy Murphy of Kilmeaney. I have heard her referred to as a Spanish ass, maybe her ancestors came with the Milesians, but there was nothing Spanish about her to me. She hee-hawed with the richness of the Kerry brogue and she stepped on the road with the calm, placid independence of a Kerry team marching onto Croke Park on All-Ireland day. She wasn't a genius in the bog. That's why, probably, she was replaced by a smaller black ass which we got from Jim Moloney of Coilagurteen, a wonderful animal able to manoeuvre her own way out of a bog made of melted ice cream. What have asses got to do with wit and wonder? - nothing; even though every ass has got its own sense. But it was the black Spanish-ass which took me to one of my earliest Wonders. My father tackled her to a new car made by Shines of Moyvane, put the seat and guards in position and placed a sack of hay neatly flattened, as a cushion on top. We were not long doing the three miles to Listowel - there was no speed limit in those days.

The purpose of my father's visit was to see Kerry playing against whom I don't know - I doubt if I ever knew. The only thing I had in mind was to see this wonder-man called Con Brosnan, whom I had heard; so much about. Even though I lived in the parish I had never seen him except in my mind's eye and I saw him then in the same bracket as Cuchulainn, Fionn McCumhail and all the great warriors of the past. I remember the black ass stepping gracefully down by Danaher's Lodge onto Nolan's at the poundland marks which I was not then aware of. I remember slowing up at Nolan's to take the turn towards the fountain of Ballygologue - where the mode of transport was parked, but before we turned my father drew my attention to two men who were chatting near the sportsfield gate. He said 'Do you know the roan nearer to us". I said no. Then he said 'That's Con Brosnan', My heart sank. He was only like any other man, I thought he would be up over the houses. Still I was happy to learn ordinary men can do great things. I always link this experience with Pudsy Ryan when the cow was sick and his father sent for the vet. Pudsy asked what is a vet. His father said a cow doctor. Pudsy waited anxiously to see the cow doctor but said sadly later, it was no cow that came it was a man.

Speaking of men there were many in the parish whose wit was a wonder. Men who could simplify wonder with their wit; men who could evade wonder who could avoid complications with the swiftness and brevity of a neutralising reply.

Such a man was Jack Manaher. I knew Jack well. He used to visit Larkins in Carrueragh. His mother actually went from Carrueragh to the , village. He was a shoemaker by trade but was no stranger to farm work. One day Jack was cutting rushes in the bog beside our house. He left the bog and went to Larkins where he reported to Jack Larkin that he had broken the scythe tree. Jack Larkin said why didn't you go in to Keane'S you'd get a good scythe there? Jack replied: 'The truth is the best to be told. I have Keane's broken tool!

It was years later when I worked at Larkins - we were cutting corn. Jack and his brother Mick were there. Jack came on the following day - Mick did not, That evening Jack Larkin was reviewing the day's work. He said: "Jack, the four of us did more today than the five Of us did yesterday". Jack replied: "isn't it a pity I didn't stay at home, the three of ye would have finished it.

I have said Jack was a shoemaker - he was also a daily communicant. One day a woman called and asked Jack if he'd repair a shoe while she waited. Jack said he would and having performed the task handed her her shoe. She was a shrewd woman and said thanks Jack, you weren't a minute. Jack perceived her designs and met her shrewedness with silence. She was forced to speak again and said "You won't charge me anything for that little biff. 'I'm afraid " says Jack "that wouldn't pay". "Go on you rogue" says she "an you fasting every morning". "Isn't that enough" says Jack "not to be fasting all day!"

On another occasion Jack was at-the door of the old church with his little box for the purpose of taking up the collection. Some poor woman came to the door. The church seemed to be full. She turned to Jack and said; "Any room here Jack". Jack replied: "no main but won't you be grand in the kitchen". This was during mission times and the story came to the ears of one of the missioners, who said he should make an acquaintance with Jack. He walked up the Glin Road where Jack lived. On seeing Jack he approached him and said: "Excuse me. Jack is this the road to Glin?" Jack said "How did you know my name?" "I guessed it" said the missioner".

Well, if you did" says Jack " you can guess the road to Glin". I could be telling stories all day about Jack. Like the day A teacher sent one of his pupils on a message. He went into Jacks and said: "The master sent me down for a file"- which, of course, when spoken sounded like 'while', Jack said: "Sit down there as long as you like". On another occasion there was a woman coming down the street in a half trot. She was wondering if he would be in time for Mass, She asked Jack: "Is the bell gone?" Jack said. "It can't be gone far. I heard it ringing five minutes ago!"

To conclude about Jack, here is one story which has a moral for everybody. One day Jack was up the street and on returning home his mother asked: Any news up the street?". Like a true Kerryman Jack said "What news would I hear?". His mother said: "Did you hear any news?Then Jack asked: "Did you hear anything about Jack Mulvihill?". Like son,like mother, she said: "what would I hear?". Then came Jack's philosophical reply: "He is either dead or gone to America - they are all talking good of him!"

From Glin Road I will go right across the parish to Carrueragh- the Bog Lane and the Drurys. They were known far and wide. Locally they not always known as the Drurys of the Bog Lane. They were always The Drurys of the Bog Lane - they were one of thirty five families evicted from the Kilmeaney area when 'The Defender of Small Nations' was confiscating the lands for the Domain, the Estate or the Great House, whichever you choose to call it Paud was probably the best known of the Drurys - he had wit - no doubt he was better known as a rhymer or poet. Sorry to say most of his songs are lost. He wrote a lot of patriotic songs, and in all revealed he had no love for the Crown. I remember one line of a song he wrote:

"If John Bull had the five and the Knave he wouldn't knock a trick out of Sinn Fein".

Easy to see he played 'forty one' - though he claimed he couldn't count that far. I remember one night, Paud was at our house. Someone said: "Would you be a great scholar if you got schooling?" Paud said: "I went to school for a day and a half. I'd be a wonderful scholar if I finished the second day!" Asked how the day and a half came in, he said: "I stole away at play-hour, down to Flavin's cock-of-hay where their sheep dog had five pups. That's how I learned to count as far as five". There is a story told about Paud being in Listowel and rubbing shoulders with a man - Mr. Hill, who lived there at the time. Mr. Hill became indignant at the idea of one he regarded as lowly touching his person in any way and told so to Paud. Paud gave a quick glance at him and said: "Between Hill and Hell there is only one letter, and if Hill was in Hell wouldn't Ireland be better!"

On another occasion Paud was working for a farmer. On going to bed an enamel jug was left on the table with milk for Paud's supper, - but they over-looked putting out the cat. Like all cats he was very obliging to himself. He jumped onto the table pushing his head down the jug as he drank. Having completed his mission he jumped off the table but being unable to extract himself from the jug, he had no choice but to bring it with him. His manoeuvers on the floor-frightened the farmer who was nervous. On hearing Paud coming in he called on him to investigate and later when quietness was restored, he called on Paud for an explanation, Paud's answer was:"

"He wasn't in prison,
He wasn't in Jail.
There was nothing out
But his arse and tail,
You were an awful man,
To stay lying on your flat,
And wouldn't come down,
To release the cat.

The Bog Lane-was noted for its characters and when put to the test they said what was needed to be said and didn't put a tooth in it as my last and next story illustrates.

There was once a woman from the Bog Lane. She worked with a family who classed themselves as the gentry. It was grand for the gentry to tolerate her when doing their work but to socialise with such a person the Ladies of the House thought beneath them. At this time there was a brand of flour known, as "The Bulldog". This was in pre-plastic days and the flour bags were useful when washed to make underwear for the ladies, of course, the servant was in a position to be aware of this fact. One day the said servant girl was in Listowel. She met one ,of the. Ladies of the Manor with whom she thought to have a friendly chat. Lo and behold, she was completely, ignored. The. Lady whipped past her, ignoring her completely. Ignored but not defeated - the servant girl rushed after her - caught her by the shoulder whipped her around and in front of all shouted at her: "As good as you are and,as bad as- I am, I'm as good as you are, as bad as I'm and I haven't the 'Bulldog' brand on my arse like you have!"

There was another man who lived in the Bog Lane - William Madigan - known always as Billy. Billy was not known as well as the Drurys. He was never regarded as a poet. I have heard of only one rhyme he ever made. Billy . lived alone. He used frequent our house a lot - my mother used occasionally bake a loaf of bread for him. One night she gave him a loaf which he put into a message bag. He then threw the bag over his shoulder and tied it with a string to his belt. When he opened the door to go home my father put the familiar question: "What is the night like?. Billy looked up at the sky and said:

"There's a moon on my back,
There's a moon in the sky.
And the moon on my back,
Will be in my belly bye-and-bye.

Billy was also a step-dancer and usually finished his dance by saying: "I'm as loose as ashes but not so scattersome". He was by nature good-natured and light-hearted but he still could look at life with seriousness and speak in a manner that was unique and poetic. My great friend, Jim Walsh of Gael Bridge, once met him in Moyvane. He did not then know him but was so impressed that he asked me who was this man of intellect with the artistic turn of phrase. It is sad so much of his beautiful sayings are lost. I'll quote an extract from a letter which he wrote to my sister Joan in Australia, having stated he had no money or no desire to have it. He wrote: "I'd rather be picking flowers in the fields of the fairies than counting coins in this false world and when I stand on the threshold of Eternity I will look back and bid a loud ha-ha to this land of bubbles. "This is only a fraction of what I could write about the Wit and Wonder and the beauty I have known. The real beauty was the bond of brotherhood that existed between them, they made jokes and enjoyed being caught out. James Leahy of Carrueragh, once told me a story which he enjoyed and enjoyed telling. My grandfather, Daniel Keane, used cross the short-cut to Knockanure for a few pints. His journey took him between two quarries which was as eerie a haunt as you could find for a ghost to appear. He placed a white sheet on a support for the purpose of frightening Daniel on his way home. Next day the sheet was missing and there was no word from Daniel. It went for a week and no word. Eventually Daniel called to Leahy's. James Casually said: "Daniel I left a white sheet in the quarry and it has disappeared". Daniel replied with an air of satisfaction: "'Tis below down on Biddy McMahon and better engaged than to be around a shovel in the quarry".

It must truly be a Land of Bubbles for they have all passed on - "May the perpetual light of Heaven shine for ever upon them".

 

 

 

c1830 Lewis

KNOCKANURE, a parish, in the barony of IRAGHTICONNOR, county of KERRY, and province, of MUNSTER, 4 miles (E. by N.) from Listowel, on the river Feale; containing 1246 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the confines of the county of Limerick, comprises 5995 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act; about one-half consists of good arable land, and the remainder of coarse mountain pasture and bog. The only seat is Riversdale, the recently purchased property of D. Mahony, Esq., on which he intends to make considerable improvements. It is in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe; the rectory, which in 1607 was granted by Jas. I. to Sir James Fullerton, is now impropriate in Anthony Stoughton, Esq.; the vicarage forms part of the union of Aghavillin, also called the union of Listowel. Of the tithes, amounting to £78. 9. 3., two-thirds are payable to the impropriator, and the remainder to the vicar. In the R. C. divisions it is part of the union or district of Newtownsandes; the chapel at Knockanure is a small thatched building, to which a school is attached: in this and in a private school about 80 children are educated. The ruins of the old church still exist in the burial-ground.


HISTORY OF THE HILLS AND VALLEYS THAT SURROUND KNOCKANURE CHURCH YARD

By John Murphy.

The churchyard on Knockanure hill encircled by a large field affords a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. Rich in natural beauty history and local lore. Here is a roofless church where people prayed over 400 years ago. Down by the side of the hill is friars field in Barretts land where some Dominican monks found shelter after the Cromwellian and wars and lived there up to around 1804.Just a few fields away is the memorial to the three men who died at Gortaglanna. Pat Dalton, Paddy Wash and Lyons from Duagh the white cross marking where Mick Galvin was killed in the Kilmorna ambush of 1921 can be seen a short distance away. The broad wooded valley of the feale. The wood is the only thing that is left of the beautiful o Mahony Estate. The great house went up on smoke. Its resident at the time Sir Arthur Vicars was shot dead. The river Feale flows in a graceful curve before it seems to loose itself forever in the woods of Ballinruddery the home of the knight of Kerry. The castle still stands proudly in all its ruined glory. One old manuscript relates that the river got its name from Princess Fial. Out of modesty she went into deep water to avoid a gaze of a man and was drowned. Her husband a prince decided to name the river in her memory. On the hill of Duagh can be seen in the middle of which in a grove surrounded by a ditch. This is a Killeen. A burial place or unbaptised infants. Gorge Fitzmaurice the playwright lived near Duagh village. His plays portray the life style of the north Kerry rural scene a hundred years ago. In the hill beyond Duagh the river Smerla has its source. It flows down to meet the river Feale near Listowel. In 8 miles of its fertile valley, some 40 young men answered the call to the priesthood mostly in the 1920s to the 1950s period. In their youth the fished the Smerla. They became fishers of soul all over the world. On their farm in Ballyduhig on Smearla hill lived a leader of the Wexford insurgents of 1798. His wife was Jane Foulks. She eloped with McKenna. One of their daughters married William Leahy of Benanaspug. Jane Foulks is believed to be buried in Kilsinan cemetery. Looking east, a ring of hills enclose the valley of the Infant River Gale the village of Athea is hidden from view by Knocbawn . The Limerick border is just two miles from Knockanure Churchyard. Names such as Mullanes, Histons, Sheahons and many others from Athea Townlands are engraved on Headstones within the Cemetery. Pages of History could be filled of the exploits of Con Colbert who died in 1916 Paddy Dalton who was killed at Gortaglanna. The Ahern brothers of Direen who beat all comers at the Olympic games nearly one hundred years ago. Professor Danaher an authority on antiquity, Fr Tim Leahy whose book beyond tomorrow gives a colourful account of his youth in Athea and his many adventures as a priest in China. According to historical records the hills of Glenagraga, Knocknaclogga, Knockfinisk, Rooska must have been devastated during the Desmond rebellion of 1580 won account states that in a wood near Clounlehard three hundred men women and children were killed. Looking towards the north we have a good view of all that was left of the O Connor heritage at the time of Cromwell from been the chief of all north Kerry the were reduced to the lands of Ballylongford Tarbert, Moyvane and Knockanure. The remaining O Connor land was confiscated and given to Trinity College. John O Connor was hanged in Tralee. Teig O Connor was hanged in Killarney along with Fr Moriarty, The Sands were appointed land agents for Trinity College. Outlined near the bright waters of the Shannon the battered castle of the O Connors can be seen. When it surrendered in 1580 its garrison of about sixty were hanged. In the Abby of Lislaughtin nearby three aged monks were murdered. Under of a different nature accrued here in 1830 when the colleen bawn was taken in a boat trip to her death on the waters of the Shannon. On a clear day the ruins can be seen on Scattery Island. The tallest skyscrapers in Ireland pierce the sky on the Clare coast, the chimneys of Moneypoint also the lesser ones of Tarbert. Ballylongford can claim one of the men of 1916 the O Rahilly. In a low-lying part of Moyvane where floods once almost submerged his home lived Eddy Carmody he was shot by the tans in Ballylongford in 1921, his nephew is a bishop in the U.S.A. Another Moyvane bishop Collins in Brazil. One of those green fields brings back memories of the many great football matches played there, for Moyvane was the homeland of all Ireland players Con Brosnan son Jim, John Flavin, Tom Mahony and the O Sullivans.
There where the Anomaly flows to meet the Gale half mile from Moyvane village was born the father of Tom Moore Ireland best known poet of the last century. Having attended local hedge schools, he settled down in Dublin. One of Tom Moores poems "by the feales wave" was said to be composed at Kilmorna on a visit to Pierce O Mahony. Relates the tale of romantic love, when the young Earl of Desmond having lost his way entered the home of a man called McCormack he fell in love with his daughter. When they married, they were forced to immigrate to France. Love came and brought sorrow with ruin in its train But so deep that tomorrow Id face it again All the Moores are said to be related. The white Boys were active in the district during the early 1800 a suspected Whiteboy was arrested at Keylod he was hanged at Knockanure village. The up turned shafts of a car was the Scaffold. Blake lived where Lyons Funeral Home now stands. In fact, he gave his name to the cross. He was singled out to be shot. He was usually seen through the window at nightfall reading in the parlour. It was decided to shoot him while he read. Lucky for him an informer told him of the plot. He dressed a dummy. Placed it in the parlour. Hid himself in a bush outside the window and waited for the whiteboy. It is claimed that Blake shot the man who attempted to shoot the dummy in the parlour. Blake is buried here in Knockanure, no trace of the tomb now remains. A relative of his, the most famous Kerryman of all time Field Marshall Lord Horatio Kitchener was born at Gunsboro grew up at Crotta meat Lixnaw was a remarkable man. One of the great generals of his time. He died at sea after his ship was torpeoed in 1916.On crossing the fort Lisafarran the veiw westwards open up.This fort planted with and oak in days gone by. Other forts in the area Lisnabro,Lisapuca,Lisheendonal and Lisroe.Many more forts have disappeared over the years the large fertile that surround the church yard was the Glebe or church lands.Just a mile a way spreading far and wide is the of moinveanlaig.The story goes like this a trop of solders were lured into the bog by a piper hidden in a deep hole.The solders were attacked and most of them were killed the crying of the wounded and the dying who were left to die for days gave the name to the bog ‘The bog of the crying' in Irish ‘moinveanlaig'.It was though that this bog that Con Dee ran for his life.He had allready jumped several ditches ran across half a dozen fields.picked up a bullet wound in the leg ran in the front door of a house in the bog lane and ran out the back asked for a cup of water but did not wait.When he reached Coilbee he was rescued by Donal Bil Sullivan.A month later Jack Sheahan of Coilbee ran into the bog when he saw a lorry of solders,several shots were fired at him but missed.Finally at Five hundred yards he was shot.Today a cross marked the spot Knockanore hill shut off the view of the mouth of the river Shannon.Close by in asdee lived the ancestors of the famous American ‘Outlaw'Jesse James.Jesse finally meeting a violent death shot by one of his own.THE POET SAYS:


Breathe there a man with soul so dead.
Who never to himself hath said
This is my own my native land
The pleasure of standing on a hill such as this
The pleasure of projecting associations that surround us
The events tho sad there of the past.


John Murphy


Knockanure Branch of the Land League

A meeting of the Branch was held on Sunday 1885. Mr T. W. Leahy in the chair. Other officers were Mr Patrick Kennelly, Mr J. T. Nolan honouree secretary, Mr. James o Connor, Mr. Hugh Goulding, Mr. John Carroll. Mr. M. o Connor, Mr. Dan F. Leahy, Mr. W. T. Leahy, Mr. James o Sullivan, Mr. Dunne.Honouree secretary of Athea Branch also Present.Reports of previous meetings were also read. A large number handed in their subscriptions and received cards for membership. Subsequently a large contingent headed by the Athea fife and drum band marched into the village. A large crowd had assembled outside the League room and were addressed by Mr. D. T. Leahy Mr. J O Sullivan and Mr P Dunne who spoke forcibly on the necessity of the organising the friendly feeling between Farmers and labourers vote of thanks to the Athea Contingent brought the Proceedings to a close. The Release of Knockanure Land League Prisoners in 1885 who arrived in Listowel by train from Tralee was greeted with deafening cheers. Mr. James o Sullivhan of Kilmorna presented of behalf of the noble young ladies of the parish a bouquet of flowers to Daniel Leahy and his colleagues who were just realised from prison. A crowd headed by the Listowel Brass Band marched through to Mr. Stacks new house. A meeting chaired by John Fitzpatrick of St. Michaels Collage was held. Others attending were J. Condon, solicitor Newcastlewest. J. Moran, solicitor, Listowel.
J. Stack M.P for North Kerry addressed the Meeting. A vote of thanks having been passed the people dispersed. The released prisoners were entertained to dinner at the residence of Mr. John Stack.


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THE “ LEGEND” OF THE DANAHER’S ARRIVAL IN WEST LIMERICK

 

In the middle of the 17th century, two brothers named Maurice and Phil

Danaher came to the parish of Rathronan, nowadays called Athea. Tradition

tells us that they came from north Tipperary “gan brog gan stocai”, fleeing

from Brodel’s persecution-a Cromwellian Officer who was rounding up hundreds

of young people to be dispatched to the West Indies as “indentured labour”

i.e. as slaves. In their flight they delayed at Rathronan where they

ultimately got a tenancy of two holdings from the Earl of Devon. Maurice

Danaher was allowed to settle at Mothar Glas at the eastern side of

Glenagower. Philip Danaher settled at Cnocatrasna-Choile. The land here had

been broken-in and was one of the two places in the parish, which was

designated as “gniomh” or “plough land”.

 

 

After Maurice Danaher’s death the tenancy of the farm at Mothar Glas passed

on to his son Daniel. Among the latter’s family was a son named Daniel. He

went to Spain where he was studying at Salamanca. He spent some years in

Spain in the Spanish army. It is not known when Daniel went to Spain, but he

returned to Ireland in 1731. He brought with him from Spain several books

and a wife. Soon after coming to Ireland he settled in Castlemahon in the

town land of Lios an Uisce. He got a tenancy of a farm from the Landlord

Viscount Southwell when he found that Danaher could teach a hedge-school

quickly started up and soon the Landlord’s sons gained entry to University.

Daniel Danaher was followed in Lios an Uisce by his son Patrick who carried

on a hedge-school there as did Patrick’s son John and one of this John

Danaher’s sons named Daniel who did not occupy the Tenancy of the farm.