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Historical podcast of Killarney launched

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By Sean Moriarty

A whole new understanding of what Killarney was like in the early 20th Century will be revealed in a brand new podcast.

TOURIST OFFICE: This is where Jer 'Gaze' O'Connell worked at the turn of the last century. Photo: Switzer Archive

PODCAST: British Army recruiter Jer 'Gaze' O'Connell is mentioned in the new Killarney podcast. Photo: Switzer Archive

COLLEGE ST: 'Down the Cobbled Lanes' takes its name from the way the streets of Killarney looked in the early 20th Century. Photo: Switzer Archive

Put together by the Muckross House Research Library the historical project is spearheaded by Dr Patricia O’Hare, staff at Muckross Library, and broadcaster J.J. O’Shea.

It takes listeners on a journey down memory lane and explores life in Killarney in the early 20th Century.
Over the course of several months in 1985 an oral history project was undertaken by two members of the Trustees of Muckross House, Tadgh O’Sullivan of Kerry Mineral Waters and Paddy MacMonagle of Killarney Printing Works, who endeavoured to record their early memories of life in Killarney town.

The recordings took place in the kitchen of Paddy’s house on Countess Road, with the assistance of Ned Myers, Manager of Muckross House.

“As might be expected of home-made recordings of that time, the sound is not always of a very high quality. However, the recordings do provide us with valuable glimpses of life in Killarney in the early 20th Century. Extracts from the recordings will be uploaded as a series of podcasts, entitled ‘Down the Cobbled Lanes’ over the coming months,” Dr Patricia O’Hare said.

In the first podcast listeners learn of the former whereabouts of the British Army recruiting office in the town and of the efforts made by local boys to fly the tricolour over Main Street in the period leading up to the War of Independence.

Local historian Damian Switzer was one of the first to listen to the podcast. He says that the recordings mention several shops on Henn St (now Plunkett St) in the early 1990s.

Over one of these shops were rooms that were offered for rent and one of them was rented by the British Army and used by army recruiter Jer 'Gaze' O'Connell.

“He was nicknamed 'Gaze' because he worked for Gazes [tour operators in College Street, Henry Gaze & Sons Tourist Office] and he was a tour guide. He played the bugle and his bother Timothy rowed boats for Hazes on the Gap trips. Jer was a World War One veteran and the British Army recruiting officer for World War One is mentioned in the piece.”

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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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