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Events from three-day Civil War conference to be live-streamed




Over 20 local, national and international academics, historians and experts will gather this weekend to discuss and debate the Civil War in Kerry as part of a three-day conference which marks the centenary of the conflict.

Free State Army soldiers in Listowel in August 1922. Photo: National Library of Ireland

Brigadier General Fionán Lynch with Michael Collins in Tralee in August 1922.

Kerry native Dr Héléne O'Keeffe one of the speakers at the Kerry Civil War Conference this weekend.

John Joe Rice Officer Commanding Kerry No. 2 Brigade IRA and Humphrey Murphy Officer Commanding Kerry No. 1 Brigade.

Conference organisers Dr Mary McAuliffe Owen O'Shea and Bridget McAuliffe.

Professor Diarmaid Ferriter who will be delivering the opening address at the Kerry Civil War Conference tomorrow evening (Thursday).

Dr David McCullagh who will chair the final roundtable debate at the Kerry Civil War Conference.

Kerry native Dr Richard McElligott is one of the speakers at the Kerry Civil War Conference.

Republican prisoners in Tralee Jail in 1922.

Stephen Fuller (right) campaigning in the 1938 General Election.

The ‘History, Memory and Legacy’ Conference will be held at the Siamsa Tíre Theatre from February 23 to 25 and is supported by Kerry County Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht Sport and Media through the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023. It is organised and presented by Bridget McAuliffe, Dr Mary McAuliffe and Owen O'Shea.

Opening tomorrow evening (Thursday) with a keynote address from Professor Diarmaid Ferriter of UCD, the conference will hear from a wide array of experts on how and why Kerry came to be synonymous with the worst brutality and bitternesses of the Civil War a century ago. Other keynote speeches will be delivered by Dr Leeann Lane of Dublin City University and Dr Bill Kissane of the London School of Economics.

The conference programme includes a centenary concert including songs, music, poetry and drama from the Civil War period as well as a visual media exhibition drawing on first-hand accounts from the period. There is still ticket availability for the conference lectures and roundtable discussions, as well as the concert on Saturday (February 25), but some events, including a screening of the docudrama ‘Ballyseedy’ are sold out.


To meet demand and interest in the conference from around Ireland and around the world, all of the conference lectures, keynote addresses and roundtable discussions will be live-streamed on the Kerry Civil War Conference website. Other events will not be available via live streaming.

“As we navigate this challenging phase of commemoration, communities have had to acknowledge many sensitive and often still painful and personal events, particularly during the process of the establishment of the new, independent State in the midst of Civil War," Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, said.

"It is important that these events are examined within their proper local, national, and international contexts, and grounded in the principles of historical accuracy, academic integrity, and archival discovery.

“This multi-disciplinary conference, supported by my Department and Kerry County Council under the Community Strand, is a key event in this year’s Decade of Centenaries Programme. The conference proceedings will leave an important legacy as a significant resource for anyone with an interest in learning more about this period,” she said.

One of the conference organisers, Dr Mary McAuliffe added that “the objective of the conference is to set what occurred in Kerry in wider national and international contexts through the presentation of new research, archival testimonies and the accounts of combatants, as well as civilians, so that, a century later, the Irish Civil War can be considered and understood afresh".

“The level of interest in all of the events is very high and is indicative of a strong desire to engage with and discuss this traumatic period in our collective history,” Dr McAuliffe said.

Papers will be presented by a wide range of Kerry historians including Dr Richard McElligott, Dr Helene O’Keeffe, Dr Dáithí Ó Corráin, Helen O’Carroll, Owen O’Shea and Kieran McNulty. A roundtable discussion on the legacy of the Civil War in Kerry and beyond will be chaired by Dr David McCullagh and will feature an array of experienced historians and authors.

Tickets for all events are available through the Siamsa Tíre Box Office on 066 7123055.

For more information on the programme of events, see

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Killarney twinned with Italian town

By Sean Moriarty It has taken 10 years but the Italian town of Casperia is now an official twin town with Killarney. The idea to twin the picturesque town near […]




By Sean Moriarty

It has taken 10 years but the Italian town of Casperia is now an official twin town with Killarney.

The idea to twin the picturesque town near Rome was first mooted by the old Killarney Town Council.

However, when town councils were discontinued in 2014 the task was handed over to Killarney Town Twining Association and was supported by the elected Killarney Municipal District members of Kerry County Council.

A delegation from the association and the council visited Casperia in 2019 to sign the Italian side of the twining agreement.

The pandemic further delayed the process but on Thursday last Killarney Mayor Niall Kelleher and Casperia Mayor Marco Cusso met to formally sign the charter in Killarney.

“This was honouring a commitment made by the former town council to establish a twinning under European guidelines back in 2014,” said association chairman Sean Counihan.

“Unfortunately the town councils were abolished and Killarney Town Twinning Association pursued the matter.

“We are delighted that the municipal authority saw fit to move the beautiful town of Casperia near Rome from association status to full twinning with Killarney.

“We deeply appreciate the members’ positivity in honouring the former Town Council’s decision.”

The signing between the two mayors took place over the St Patrick’s Festival weekend when Killarney Town Twining Association also welcomed groups from other towns like Pleindfeld in Germany and Concord, North Carolina, USA.


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Music and fun at Fossa Rambling House

By Sean Moriarty The Fossa Two Mile branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann held its first Rambling House night of music and dance on Saturday night. Their return to the stage […]




By Sean Moriarty

The Fossa Two Mile branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann held its first Rambling House night of music and dance on Saturday night.

Their return to the stage was timed to coincide with the St Patrick’s weekend celebration and also marked the first big event at the Castlerosse Park Resort since it re-opened on Thursday night following its winter break.

As well as a feat of Irish music, dance and poetry, Fossa-based Ukrainians gave performances in their native language too.

“What a great night we had at our CCÉ Rambling House last Saturday night,” Chairman Tim Kissane said.

“There are so many people to thank that we apologise in advance if we miss anybody out. Firstly, to the management and staff Castlerosse Park Resort for hosting our event and the wonderful service they provided.

“To our very talented stalwart musicians Mike Jack, Noreen and Maura who entertained us all so well from start to finish.

“To all our guest performers, from The Racing Pigeons to the Biddy Group and all the singers, musicians and storytellers in between go raibh mile maith agaibh. Special mention to our Ukrainian singers who performed two songs in their native language for us on the night. Thank you to all our members and supporters and to Fear an Tí, Mick Myers agus Bean an Tí, Theresa Kissane who kept the night flowing. Our fireplace display was kindly lent to us by the Beaufort Pioneers and adorned with ‘things of old’ from Brendan O’Sullivan.”


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