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Chef looks to the past for culinary inspiration

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The luxurious four-star Cahernane House Hotel is fast becoming known as a food lover’s heaven.

Mary Fitzgerald and Hilary Collins from Abbeyfeale County Limerick with Mike and Melissa Culloty Killarney at the Cahernane Hotel Killarney Tasting Menu evening. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Aileen O'Brien Tomas Ondrejcak Lisa Brady and Emer Corridan (General Manager) at the Cahernane Hotel Killarney Tasting Menu evening. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Danny and Sasha Cremin Limerick with Kevin and Mary Galvin Lixnaw at the Cahernane Hotel Killarney Tasting Menu evening. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Kevin and Mary Galvin Lixnaw at the Cahernane Hotel Killarney Tasting Menu evening. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Emer Corridan (General Manager) pictured with stylist Marietta Doran at the Cahernane Hotel’s Tasting Menu event. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Mike and Melissa Culloty Killarney at the Cahernane Hotel Tasting Menu event. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Darren Looney pictured with the seven course tasting menu at the Cahernane Hotel. Photo: Don MacMonagle

With new chef Cormac Vesey at the helm, the cooking is as skilful as it is tantalising, offering patrons an elegant yet uncomplicated dining experience.

The main hotel restaurant, now called ‘Herbert’s’, is taking a new direction; the menu retains all of the best of the sea and the land and offers gourmet cuisine but without any fussy embellishments.

Cormac’s focus on food provenance and seasonal ingredients lies at the heart of everything he does and is the cornerstone of his cooking.

Recently the hotel hosted an eight-course tasting menu ‘A Taste of Cahernane’ in Herbert’s Restaurant.

The fabulous dining experience saw guests enjoying a spectacular menu which was inspired by an old 1960s menu which Cormac found in the old store kitchen. This then inspired the team to look to the past for future culinary inspiration.

The evening provided the kitchen team with the opportunity to showcase the new culinary offering and gave diners the chance to experience the dishes in an elegant and relaxed setting. Each of the courses were beautifully presented and executed and ultimately each dish was a celebration of the best locally produced seasonal produce.

The original 1960s menu inspired such new dishes as organic salmon with nori and pickled cucumber, asparagus cream soup with a delicate and perfectly formed quail’s egg, lobster au gratin with Kells Bay Dilisk Cheddar and charred leak. The meat dish was just a joy to behold, noisettes of lamb were served with a tarragon jus and delicious Pommes Dauphine. The tropical fruit parfait with roast pineapple and coconut sorbet provided a refreshing taste revival before diners enjoyed a chocolate marquise with burnt apple gel and calvados ice cream. This was reminiscent of old fashioned ‘fizzy apples’ and was the focus of lots of chat around the restaurant.

The complete culinary experience finished with homemade Petit Fours, served with teas and coffee. Cormac then went out to the dining room to chat to the guests about the meal and the produce which was used.

He said that "great dishes start with great flavours".

"It’s my job to make the ingredients sing; it’s not my job to over complicate the best that Mother Nature has already provided. I don’t subscribe into the idea that there has to be all of these extra flourishes such as gels and foams to make a dish impressive, great dishes don’t need that. I like to start from the beginning, and to look and see what’s in season. What’s growing now is going to be the very, very best thing on your plate. It’s incredible how something as simple as a spring cabbage or a carrot can become something extraordinary with careful and thoughtful cooking. Ingredients don’t need to be pimped up and made into something they aren’t, they just need to be complemented and matched carefully and thoughtfully.”

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Pat Delaney Memorial Cup Golf Classic

St Pats East Kerry are running their annual Pat Delaney Memorial Cup golf classic at the Ross Golf Club on Saturday July 6. The format is a 3 person scramble […]

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St Pats East Kerry are running their annual Pat Delaney Memorial Cup golf classic at the Ross Golf Club on Saturday July 6. The format is a 3 person scramble over ten holes and the entry fee is €120 per team. The entry fee will include a goody bag for each player and a cup of Tea/Coffee and scone when the round is completed. Tee times are available from 8am.

Killarney Credit Union is the main sponsor of the event, in recognition of Pat having been a highly respected and effective Chairman of the Credit Union. Pat was a Chairman and Vice President of St Pats East Kerry and he started the annual golf classic over ten years ago as a fundraiser for the Club. Known for his excellent organisation skills and a master salesman who enjoyed persuading the golfers of the Killarney area to take part in the event. He acted as master of ceremonies on the day, meeting and greeting every team prior to their games and to ensure that everyone had an enjoyable day.

On the morning of the golf classic, back in June 2018, Pat sadly passed away. His contribution to hurling and to St Pats demanded that his legacy be commemorated. Pat had also made a major contribution to the Killarney Credit Union at a time of major change in their business, leading the two organisation, St Pats and Killarney Credit Union to combine and rebrand the annual golf classic in Pat’s name.

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Civil War, a song and New York city

  A series of random encounters has resulted in one of biggest atrocities of the Civil War being immortalised in a song. On March 8, 1923, a group of Republican […]

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A series of random encounters has resulted in one of biggest atrocities of the Civil War being immortalised in a song.

On March 8, 1923, a group of Republican prisoners were taken from their temporary prison cells at the Great Southern Hotel and marched to a location near Countess Road.

Less than 24 hours after the more-documented Ballyseedy Massacre near Tralee, the five men named – Stephen Buckley, Tim Murphy, Daniel Donoghue, Jeremiah O’Donoghue and Tadgh Coffey –were killed by Free State troops with explosives and gunfire.

Fast forward over 100 years when local musician and song writer Donal Power was approached by Tadgh Buckley of Killarney Music School.
“He asked me if I would write a song about an incident with particular emphasis on a person who was his long-dead cousin. I told him I’d try and hoped he would be satisfied with the result,” explained Donal.
“He then gave me a copy of Tim Horgan’s book ‘The Stones Still Speak’, containing the story of Stephen Buckley murdered at the Countess Bridge which also contained a letter written by Stephen the night before his death in 1923, which didn’t come to light until six years later. Like many others I was aware of the massacre at Ballyseedy Cross but not the Countess Road, Killarney. So this was the project and the challenge!
“I spent a number of weeks writing a song about the incident. There is a lot of content in the story and I wanted to be true to the content of Stephen’s letter. I completed the song and sang it for him and others at a session where it appeared to make a positive impression. It’s an acoustic ballad which I accompany with guitar.”
But the story does not end there. A New York-based family, direct descendants of the murdered Stephen Buckley made contact with Power.
A man named Thomas Buckley from New York made contact with the local songwriter after hearing the song on Soundcloud.
Thomas explained: “My father Stephen Buckley was born in New York City in 1924. His father Michael Buckley,  named his first son, my dad, after his brother Stephen who was killed at the Countess Bridge in 1923. My older brother is also Stephen Buckley born in New York in

1954.”
Three members of the New York-based Buckley family, Thomas, Stephen and younger brother Timothy, were on a family holiday to Killarney earlier this month.

Power met them and was able to take the brothers to the site of the ambush were he learned that they are also related to Tadhg Buckley, the man who originally asked for the song to be written.

“We don’t know the exact relationship but it is very direct. The three brothers think Tadhg now lives where the murdered Stephen Buckley once lived,” added Power.

The song can be downloaded via: https://soundcloud.com/donal-power-170379558/the-countess-road-massacre.

SONG LYRICS
KILLARNEY, NINETEEN-TWENTY-THREE
A CIVIL WAR ATROCITY
A MASSACRE, A SHAMEFUL EPISODE
FOUR SOLDIERS OF THE I.R.A.
BY FREE-STATE FORCES BLOWN AWAY
EXECUTED ON THE BRIDGE ON THE COUNTESS ROAD

A SOLE SURVIVOR ON THE RUN,
TADHG COFFEY WAS THE ONLY ONE
WHO MANAGED TO ESCAPE AND TELL THE NEWS
OF THE LANDMINE, THE BOOBY-TRAP
THE BULLETS FIRED, THE COVER-UP
THAT KILLED TIM MURPHY, STEPHEN BUCKLEY AND THE DONOGHUES

THE DAY BEFORE THE MASSACRE
WHILE STEPHEN WAS HELD PRISONER
HE HAD A PREMONITION HE WOULD DIE
HE GAVE A LETTER TO THE GUARD
TRUSTING HE WOULD NOT DISCARD
THE MESSAGE TO HIS MOTHER AND THE WORDS THAT SAID GOODBYE

THE GUARD DENIED THE LAST REQUEST
AND KEPT THE LETTER HE SUPPRESSED
WHEN EMIGRATING TO THE USA
HE KEPT THE SECRET SIX LONG YEARS
TILL HANNAH BUCKLEY, THROUGH HER TEARS
COULD READ WHAT STEPHEN WROTE BEFORE THEY TOOK HIS LIFE AWAY

“I’D LIKE TO LIVE A LONGER LIFE
BUT I AM RECONCILED TO DIE
MAY GOD PROTECT MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS
REJOICE AND DO NOT MOURN MY LOSS
FOR I AM CERTAIN THAT THE CAUSE
OF TRUTH AND RIGHT, OF PEARSE AND TONE WILL TRIUMPH IN THE END”

“I DIE A TRUE REPUBLICAN
REMEMBER ME TO GALLANT MEN,
TO MY BROTHERS AND MY SISTERS, WHEN I’M DEAD
AND MOTHER, BRAVE IT CHEERFULLY
PRAY THE ROSARY FOR ME
AND PRAY FOR THOSE WHO SENT ME TO MY DEATH“, THE LETTER SAID

AND ON THAT SPOT A MONUMENT
COMMEMORATES THE SAD EVENT
WHERE LONG AGO THE BLOOD OF HEROES FLOWED
THOSE MEN WHO PAID THE FINAL PRICE
WHO MADE THE GREATEST SACRIFICE
EXECUTED ON THE BRIDGE ON THE COUNTESS ROAD

The song can be downloaded via: https://soundcloud.com/donal-power-170379558/the-countess-road-massacre.

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