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From the garden to the kitchen

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Whether it's dinners, salads or drinks – herbs can add flavour and colour to almost any meal.

Even if you are not a top chef, some well-chosen herbs and edible flowers can make any meal special. Nasturtiums are great in salads, both the flowers and leaves are peppery to the taste.

The seed pods can be used like capers and are delicious fried in butter with fish.

Pansies and violas are often candied but can be added to sweet and savoury dishes. Calendula, known as poor man's saffron, has long been used to add a yellow colour to food. As an addition to a salad, it is tasty and colourful.

Herbs are so versatile, with mint topping my list! Chop it up and add to natural yoghurt, some garlic, cayenne pepper and cumin and you have a delicious mint dip.

Add to couscous to give it a fresh lift. Of course, with lime, it is the basis of a mojito! Mint comes in many forms, spearmint and peppermint are the old favourites but try chocolate mint, apple mint, strawberry and pineapple mint for subtle flavours. Bear in mind that mint can take over the garden, and perhaps grow it in a pot. Divide regularly to keep young tasty growth abundant. For me, the next most used herb would be parsley.

I never seem to have enough. I prefer the flat-leaved parsley as it does not have such a rough texture, and a better flavour, in my opinion.

Used in combination with coriander use it in salsas, Moroccan cooking and Mexican dishes. Coriander and parsley in scrambled eggs are delicious! Parsley likes damp shady conditions and is in danger of going to seed in this warm weather. Coriander, likewise, likes shade, but goes to seed easily, and is best sown at regular intervals.

A real taste of summer is tarragon- I always forget about it until it finally shows itself quite a while after the winter. It is used in pickling, often with fennel or dill, and is delicious in salad dressings. Tarragon and chicken are a match sublime! Tarragon likes deep rich, moist soil, and needs to be protected from slugs when it first appears.

It also detests waterlogged soil. Tarragon, along with chervil and dill are well-known 'French ‘fines herbs', which are often used together in light egg and fish dishes. Lovage is another favourite- it is not that popular here but is used extensively in France and Holland. It tastes like a combination of parsley and celery and is a great addition to soups and Italian sauces.

Lovage grows into a large plant, about five feet tall, so give it space! Both it and fennel, are extremely hardy and are useful as shelter-giving plants.

One herb which everyone associates with summer is basil… Who doesn't love the smell of it? Caprese salad is surely a summer treat.
Many people ask me why they can't grow basil, but it is a difficult plant to keep going. If the weather was always as it has been these past few weeks we would be fine! Basil does not like rain, humidity or temperature fluctuations. When growing from seed it is prone to damping off, as well as mildew and rotting.

Unfortunately, unless you have a warm dry conservatory or glasshouse, growing basil is not really an option… though we can hope this weather lasts all summer…

Rosemary, sage and marjoram are easy herbs to grow, and a must if you enjoy Italian cuisine.

To ensure sweetness of flavour, keep cutting your herbs, even if you are not using them. Often, once the plant gets woody, it tends towards bitterness. Basal cuttings can be taken in late summer from woody plants for rooting, they are generally very successful. Herbs such as parsley, chives and fennel can easily be split in early autumn or late spring.

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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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