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Kerry Library invites public to get involved in Ireland Reads tomorrow (Thursday)

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Ireland Reads is a new campaign to get the whole country reading this month in the lead up to a national day of reading tomorrow (Thursday). Kerry Library has teamed up with libraries nationwide and some local authors for the campaign, which is part of the Government’s 'Keep Well' initiative and aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for well-being and enjoyment.

The campaign is asking everyone to ‘squeeze in a read’ on Ireland Reads Day, and a dedicated website www.irelandreads.ie has been set up where people can pledge to read on the day.

The website also offers book recommendations suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available. There are more than 800 recommendations from librarians all around the country.

A website user can simply enter their favourite type of book and how long they would like to read each day and in return get a suitable book suggestion and with an estimate of how long it will take to read – a 'Couch to 5k' for books!

Here's just some of what is planned at Kerry Library www.kerrylibrary.ie:

· Book clubs go online: Kerry Library is delighted to be able to facilitate online book club meetings and your book club can get involved from the comfort of home by simply downloading an e-book or e-audio book from Borrow Box and starting to read! Contact onlinequeries@kerrylibrary.ie if you need help.

· ‘Squeeze in a Read’: To celebrate the Ireland Reads campaign library staff have pledged to read extracts from their favourite books.

· Get to know a local author: Up and coming author Emma Larkin has recently published two wonderful books for children - Izzy’s Adventure series. The theme of the books is to encourage girls to play sport while also having a fun magical element. Catch up with Emma on the library Facebook page as she chats about her love of books, writing and libraries.

· Éire ag léamh : Join library staff tomorrow for children’s storytime as Gaeilge – ag léamh as Cosc ar Chrogaill! le Heather Pindar.

· Pledge to read a paper: Not in the mood for a book or just don’t have time at the moment? No problem! Why not take some time out to read a newspaper or magazine instead. The Kerry library website provides free member access to thousands of the world's most popular newspapers and magazines. If you need help just go to the library Facebook page for a step by step tutorial to help get you started.

A number of well-known campaign ambassadors from the worlds of writing, science, sport, health and broadcasting are on board to help promote the campaign and you can find out what reading means to them and why they support the campaign at www.irelandreads.ie.

Patrick O’Connor Scarteen, Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council is urging the people of Kerry to join the initiative and is asking that during this month to "please pledge to take some reading time for yourself or to share with family and look up the Kerry Library website to see the wide range of resources that are available free of charge".
"Libraries may be closed at present but their excellent online services are still available," he said.

Kerry County Librarian, Tommy O’Connor, in support of the campaign says that ‘it doesn’t matter whether you’re an avid reader, a reluctant reader, a lapsed reader or a new reader but to use Ireland Reads Day to use some of the available library online sources.

"Right now, many of the activities we used to take for granted are not available to us, but you can always enjoy a good book, newspaper or magazine," he said.

Kerry Library provides e-books, e-audio, e-newspapers, e-magazines, e-learning courses, e-languages and e-comics on its website www.kerrylibrary.ie.

Find out about all that is happening for Ireland Reads, get book recommendations and take the pledge to read at www.irelandreads.ie.

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Jim awarded for life-long service to the community

By Michelle Crean Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community. Jim […]

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By Michelle Crean

Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community.

Jim received the O’Shea Award for 2022 at a meeting of Directors of Listry Community Council held on September 21.

Jim has been involved in Athletics from a very early age both as a competitor and administrator.

He was very much involved with Community Games in Milltown/Listry as organiser and coach. He was also involved with the Farranfore Maine Valley Athletic Club since its foundation.

Over the years Jim has competed in athletic events, mainly high jump and long jump, both in Ireland and abroad.

Recently he travelled to Derby in the UK in the British Masters Championship and won Gold in the 100 metres and Long Jump and finished second in the High Jump.

Jim, who is a very modest man, was actively involved with Listry Community Council as a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels and for his commitment to keeping our community litter free by organising a number of litter picking days each year.

Always interested in fitness, Jim often came along to the Listry Seniors Social day and led the group in gentle exercises.

“Jim is a very worthy recipient of the O’Shea Award 2022 and we thank him for a lifetime of service to others,” Tony Darmody, Chairman, said.

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New book recounts stories from the Irish Civil War

The killing of 17-year-old Bertie Murphy in Killarney in September 1922 Historian and author, Owen O’Shea recounts one of the most shocking murders of the Civil War which occurred in […]

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The killing of 17-year-old Bertie Murphy in Killarney in September 1922

Historian and author, Owen O’Shea recounts one of the most shocking murders of the Civil War which occurred in Killarney a century ago this week.

There were many tragic episodes and incidents during the Civil War in Kerry. One of the dreadful features of the conflict was the young age at which many on both sides of the conflict were killed in 1922 and 1923.

In Killarney in August 1922, for example, two young Free State army medics were shot dead by a sniper as they stepped off a boat onto the shore of Inisfallen Island. 18-year-old Cecil Fitzgerald and 20-year-old John O’Meara, both from Galway, had joined the army just a few months previously and were enjoying a boat trip on the lake during a day’s leave when they were killed.

The following month, one of the most shocking deaths to occur in Killarney in this period was the murder of a 17-year-old boy from Castleisland.

Bertie Murphy, a member of Fianna Éireann, the youth wing of the IRA, was just 17-years-old when he was taken into custody by Free State soldiers while walking near his home in September 1922. His mother saw him being taken in away in a truck to the Great Southern Hotel where the army had established its headquarters in the town.

The improvised barracks had a number of prison cells in the basement where anti-Treaty IRA members were detained. The prison would become renowned as a place where beatings and torture took place: a young man whose brother was an IRA captain was taken there and ‘mercilessly beaten to get him to reveal information’. He was then ‘thrown down a coal chute and left as dead’.

On Wednesday, September 27, a Free State army convoy was ambushed by the IRA at Brennan’s Glen on the Tralee road and two officers, Daniel Hannon and John Martin, were killed. Bertie Murphy had been in one of the army vehicles – he was being used by the army as a hostage in an attempt to prevent attacks by anti-Treaty forces. It was common for Free State convoys to carry a prisoner as a deterrent to IRA ambushes and attacks.

When the convoy returned to the hotel, they were met by Colonel David Neligan, one of the most ruthless members of the Kerry Command of the Free State army. Neligan had been a member of Michael Collins’ ‘Squad’ during the War of Independence and was an experienced and battle-hardened soldier.

Neligan demanded to know why the soldiers had not taken any prisoners during the ambush at Brennan’s Glen, in which two of his officers had died. The soldiers, in a frenzy following the ambush, threw Bertie Murphy down the steps of the hotel. In the presence of other soldiers, Neligan began to beat up Murphy at the bottom of the steps and then shot the prisoner. In her book, ‘Tragedies of Kerry’, Dorothy Macardle says that Murphy lived ‘until the priest came’, but died shortly after.

Another prisoner was in custody in the hotel at the time. Con O’Leary from Glenflesk was brought down from his cell to identify the dead man. But so extensive were Murphy’s facial injuries that O’Leary was unable to identify his fellow prisoner.

Newspaper reports wrongly reported that Murphy had been wounded during the engagement at Brennan’s Glen and had ‘succumbed to his injuries’ on returning to Killarney.

At Murphy’s inquest which was held a fortnight later, General Paddy O’Daly, the head of the Kerry Command, sympathised with Murphy’s family but insisted that Murphy had died in the ambush at Brennan’s Glen. He said his soldiers had done ‘everything humanly possible for the man’.

He reminded those present that deaths like Murphy’s were the fault of reckless IRA leaders who refused to accept the authority of the people. ‘It is the women and children’, he said, ‘that are suffering, and for all the suffering that is being endured those leaders are to blame’.

It would not be the last time that O’Daly and senior army officers in Kerry would cover up the actions of their soldiers in the county. Nor, sadly, would it be the last time that young men, on both sides of the divide, joined the long list of victims of the Civil War in the county.

Owen O’Shea’s new book, ‘No Middle Path: The Civil War in Kerry’ will be published by Merrion Press in mid-October and can be pre-ordered now on Amazon and at www.owenoshea.ie.

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