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Kerry Museum acquires ‘buried treasure’ map

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THE Kerry Museum has purchased at auction a map drawn by Sir Roger Casement showing where he reputedly buried gold and silver coins and other items near Banna Strand before he was arrested on Good Friday in 1916.

A successful bid of £7,000 sterling – supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht – secured the map and an accompanying note when it was auctioned by Chorley’s of Cheltenham earlier this week. The items will now be put on display at the Kerry Museum and will form an integral part of its ‘Casement in Kerry’ exhibition which is being opened by President Michael D Higgins on April 21.

The sketch map and note were drawn up by Casement while he was in custody at Scotland Yard. The ‘Plan of Rath’ suggests that £50 “in gold and silver” along with a lamp and pair of binoculars were buried “under some fern bracken and bramble” in a fairy fort close to Currahane Moat near Ardfert.

“The map drawn by Casement solves a 100–year-old mystery,” said Helen O’Carroll, curator of the Kerry Museum. “Casement hid £50 in gold and silver coins, as well as binoculars and a lamp. He drew the map while he was in custody and gave it to his interrogators so that they would send someone to find the money, which he badly needed at that stage. The map has never been seen since,” she said.

“After a few days he was told that police had been sent back to the fort to search for the money but that it hadn't been found. After his execution his solicitor, Gavan Duffy, brought it up again with Scotland Yard and in February 1917 a police search party made another effort and a report was sent back to say that they had found nothing,” said Helen.

“The map and its accompanying note are a significant addition to the general museum collection, not just for this year or the forthcoming ‘Casement in Kerry’ exhibition but long into the future. The fact they haven't seen the light of day for 100 years will generate great excitement when they are put on display here for the first time. I believe that we have acquired two outstanding documents that will add substantially to our knowledge of the period and will be an enhancement of the accumulated cultural heritage of Ireland. From an educational perspective these documents have a multiplicity of uses and will be used in our education programmes long after 2016 has passed,” she said.

“Before the auction I spoke to colleagues in the National Museum and the National Library who encouraged me to make a bid for them. We all felt that the documents should be in a public collection in Ireland and that they would be most appropriate here in Kerry where both their national and local significance would be fully realised. I am grateful to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for their financial support in helping to acquire these items,” Helen added.

The significance of the map is that it comes with a note written by Frank Hall at the time in 1916. Hall was in MI5G (later MI5) and he was one of Casement's interrogators. He regarded Casement not just as a traitor and an Irish rebel because of his connection with Germany, but, as an Ulster Protestant from a similar background, he despised him as a class traitor. His note proves that not only did the British secret service know where the money was, but that it had been given to the RIC men who had arrested him, and the binoculars went to the head of Scotland Yard, Basil Thomson.

They had found it but had consistently lied about it to Casement and to Gavan Duffy. As such, the document provides an insight into the British security establishment's attitude to Casement and how keen they were to appropriate his property as trophies. Aside from the famous diaries, a number of other items that Casement owned were kept as trophies of war by various members of the establishment including the King.

From a Kerry point of view, it has great significance because, as no one knew what had happened to the money, it was assumed for the last 100 years that it had been stolen by local people. That assumption fed into the general perception that Casement had been abandoned and betrayed in Kerry. The map and accompanying note prove otherwise.
 


 
Above image courtesy of Chorley’s Auctioneers.

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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Soccer coach licensed to one of the highest levels in Ireland

By Sean Moriarty A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week. Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.The UEFA B Licence is a […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week.

Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.
The UEFA B Licence is a coaching licence mandated by UEFA, the official governing body of European football. The licence is one level below the UEFA A Licence and allows holders to be head coaches of amateur clubs, youths up to age 16, and assistant coaches for professional clubs.

Ramona started her training in November 2019 and continued, when restrictions allowed, on several block weekends taking place in FAI Headquarters Dublin, Foto Island in Cork, and final assessments in NUIG in Galway.

“Ramona played a significant role in the course group, supporting the younger coaches and challenging those more experienced, ensuring that the group was dynamic, engaging, interactive and a real positive learning environment,” said the FAI’s Head of Coach Education FAI Niall O’Regan.

“Ramona has been a significant role model for not only female coaches but also males coaches in the Kerry region and has done phenomenal work in her previous club Killarney Celtic and more recently with Mastergeeha. It is so important to have such role models and the motivation Ramona has shown is infectious and many coaches will continue in the same vein.”

For Ramona, this week’s award was the culmination of months of hard work, seminars and study.

“It was really tough at the time, final assessments had been submitted, everything had then switched to Zoom and we were so eager to get it finished. Luckily enough I got to finish off a lot of the course content online and then had individual assessments with my tutor Richie Holland current Cork City Men’s Assistant Manager,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “Then when we returned to outdoor sports in July we got our practical assessments finished with Galway Utd in NUIG.”

ASSESSMENT

The final assessment took place at Mastergeeha FC pitch – the first time ever that a UEFA coaching assessment took place in Kerry.

“I was coaching in Mastergeeha FC in Killarney pre covid and based on logistics and other coaches’ locations in Munster on my UEFA B I was delighted to coordinate a UEFA B assessment with the FAI to be held in the Mastergeeha with the help of the committee,” she added.

“Tom O’Connor FAI Coach Educator and former Interim Republic of Ireland’s Head Coach was really impressed with the setup, the standard of really good footballers and the fantastic committee that ran it so smoothly.”

It was the first time UEFA B assessments were ever held in Kerry and the facilities, committee and the Mastergeeha U16 Boys team were outstanding that day.

She received mentoring and support from some of the biggest names in Irish soccer.

“I was delighted and honoured to receive my UEFA B Diploma Licence,” she said. “Throughout the diploma I’ve had some great tutors, mentors and some great guest speakers from Robbie Keane, Vera Pauw, Stephen Rice and Ruud Dokter FAI High Performance.

“There was a great core group of us on the course from Irish Senior International Players like Katie McCabe, Megan Campbell, Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahy and I’ve made some amazing friendships with all the ladies on the course. From the start it was a group of huge experience, drive and determination was something we all had in common and it’s great to see us all complete it together.”

LOCAL HELP

She could not have done it without the help of her home club.

“On a personal note, I just want to thank Mastergeeha FC for all their help and support, with special mention to all the management committee, teams and coaches. Must give a mention to Allan Moynihan, Brendan Buckley, Paul Lenihan and Ulick O’Sullivan also. I’m really looking forward to getting back to Academy training in the next two weeks,” she added.

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