By Sean Moriarty
The Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Michael Gleeson, is asking for the public’s help as he tries to piece together the mystery of man who came to live in the Muckross area in the 18th century.
When Muckross Abbey was unoccupied during the mid-18th century, a man known as John Drake made the abandoned building his home. He slept in a bed made from old coffin boards, in the recess of the Abbey’s fireplace, and wind-proofed the nearby window with earth and rubbish.
He never revealed his business, where he came from, or why he chose to live as his did and was met with equal amounts of curiosity and respect by locals.
“He was said to be under 40 years of age, refined in nature and 'scholarly' in appearance. He never discussed his past, his plans or his reasons for adopting this unusual abode,” Mayor Gleeson told the Killarney Advertiser. “He never asked for alms and was never known to eat in any dwelling other than his own. He had enough money to buy some food and indeed was known to give a halfpenny and his prayers to any person who seemed more destitute than himself.”
He lived in the Abbey for 11 years until one day he disappeared without trace.
“One day in late springtime, John was nowhere to be seen. Just as suddenly as he had arrived to the Abbey he had now disappeared. His 'bed' lay unruffled, but nothing else remained. John had gone quietly into the dark night and was never again seen in Muckross or heard of elsewhere,” added Cllr Gleeson. “The mystery of the unusual life of John Drake in Muckross remains just that - a mystery of a quiet and gentle man who arrived unannounced and departed without trace.”
Some years later a young woman arrived to Killarney looking for the man. Very little is known of the woman, she was reputed to be a foreigner and visited the Abbey and seen to be weeping at Darke’s fireside bed.
If any of our readers have information about John Drake or other curious stories send to them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish some of the more quirky stories as well as pass any clues onto Mayor Gleeson.
What to look out for when viewing second hand homes
By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY After spending so long saving for a mortgage and filling in countless application forms, you are now ready to begin your house hunting in earnest. Set yourself a budget and have a look to see what is available in your desired locations within that budget. Viewing appointments can […]
By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY
After spending so long saving for a mortgage and filling in countless application forms, you are now ready to begin your house hunting in earnest.
Set yourself a budget and have a look to see what is available in your desired locations within that budget.
Viewing appointments can be arranged via a telephone call or a simple email to the selling agent. When making the appointment make it clear that the mortgage is in place and you are ‘ready to go’.
This week we will deal with viewing second hand homes and what to look out for on that first property viewing.
When you arrive at a house, you’ll get a general feel outside of how well it’s been maintained. Arrive early and study the exterior of the property before going in, and have a glance at neighbouring properties. This will help you to get your bearings before continuing with the viewing.
If viewing an older house, a musty smell is the first red flag for signs of damp. Also be wary of the smell of fresh paint; was this done to simply freshen the property up or what is it covering up? Is paintwork bubbling or flaking?
Take note of any wall cracking; hairline cracks in walls and ceilings are generally fine, but if you can spot a crack from the other side of the room, then it’s probably big enough to be concerned about.
In older houses, take a good look at windows and roofs. Window frames can slope downward if there are poor ground conditions underneath, and the roof of the house can sag in too.
Is there room to extend? If you are lucky enough that there is have a look for external manhole covers; it gives a good indication of the drainage and pipe layout which may complicate a future extension.
Don’t be afraid to ask the nosy questions; why is the house for sale? How long has it been on the market? How long have the current owners resided there? Has the house been rented out frequently? How many times has it changed hands in the last decade? Have there been any refurbishments? Has it been rewired/replumbed? Who are the neighbours? What is included in the selling price?
It is a good idea to take photos (with the agents consent) or videos as this will help you remember the property after you have returned home.
And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for more time. Spend as much time as you think you need to and don’t hesitate to request a second viewing.
Bus to Belfast to stay on the road
A Kerry TD has today (Monday) welcomed the news that the Bus to Belfast is to stay on the road. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said assurances from the Department of Health that The Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (NI PHS), which has been in effective operation since January 1 this year, will remain in place until […]
A Kerry TD has today (Monday) welcomed the news that the Bus to Belfast is to stay on the road.
Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said assurances from the Department of Health that The Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (NI PHS), which has been in effective operation since January 1 this year, will remain in place until a new a statutory scheme is put in place.
The Kerry deputy avails of this service for his constituents on a regular basis and said many were concerned that the scheme may come to an end due to Brexit.
“What this will mean to so many of my constituents is that they can continue to avail of this scheme for treatments for cataract removals by travelling from Kerry by bus to Belfast so that they can get treated in a timely manner and get back to living their lives in a healthy manner,” Deputy Healy-Rae said.
“I am delighted that the Government has seen the good sense to help continue this scheme and I’m delighted that the pressure of representation that I have brought to this scheme will see it continue.”
The Scheme was first introduced to mitigate the loss of access to care from private providers in Northern Ireland under the EU Cross Border Directive, which ceased to apply as a result of Brexit. However, the Government intends to place the administrative NI PHS on a statutory basis and an extensive examination of options to inform the drafting of a General Scheme is currently underway with confirmation that the administrative scheme will remain until such time that a statutory scheme is in place.
Patients also continue to have access to health services under the EU Cross Border Directive Scheme in all other remaining EU/EEA countries.
What to look out for when viewing second hand homes
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Bus to Belfast to stay on the road
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