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Sliabh Luachra Journal is ready to be read

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How several IRA men managed to escape from thousands of British troops carrying out a major search of the “wild country’’ just east of Killarney, during the War of Independence, is recalled in the 19th issue of the Sliabh LuachraJournal, just published.

In an article titled, 'The Big Round-Up', Jeremiah O’Leary recalls the manhunt, in early June 1921. It was focussed on the Clydagh valley, Glenflesk, and estimates of numbers of troops involved ranged from 2,000 to 10,000.
As troops converging on Clydagh from Killarney and many barracks in Co Cork formed a ring of steel, the IRA was concerned as many of its members were trapped in the area being swept.
“But’’, O’Leary notes, “all made good their escape because they were familiar with the terrain and had ample warning of where the enemy was.’’
And they also had cover and support from local people. When troops entered houses, they found all the men had gone. On being asked where the men were, the usual response from women was: “They’ve gone to the bog'’.
Leading one British officer to retort: “You must have a hell of a large peat mine around here!’’
In a separate article on the War of Independence, O’Leary says 1921 was the most active year in the north Cork/east Kerry area, with ambushes in places like Tureengarrive, Rathmore and Headford. The journal has three articles to mark the centenary of the war.

TRADITIONAL MUSIC

Winning the senior fiddle competition at Scartaglen Feile Cheoil, in 1968, was the beginning of close ties with the traditional music of Sliabh Luachra for Matt Cranitch.
Now regarded as a foremost authority on the music of the region, especially that of the renowned fiddle master, Padraig O’Keeffe, he is also a leading musician on the national scene.
On the day Matt won the fiddle competition in Scartaglen, Jackie Daly won the senior accordion competition. “Little did we realise at the time that, many years later, we would go on to form a music partnership which, indeed, would bring us back to Scartaglen many times,’’ he recalls in the journal on page 12.
A native of Rathduff, Co Cork, Cranitch went on to win All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil titles and numerous other awards and has performed widely at home and abroad.
He also received a PhD from the University of Limerick for his study of the fiddle-playing of Sliabh Luachra.
The 112-page journal, which is sent to exiles in many parts of the world, is published by the local history society, Cumann Luachra. It contains a wide range of articles covering the life and lore of historic Sliabh Luachra and is on sale in shops throughout the area as well as in Killarney and surrounding towns.

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Weird and wonderful insurance policies

As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note. Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites. Here are some of the […]

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As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note.

Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites.

Here are some of the more interesting and obscure insurance policies put in place over the years.
· David Beckham insured his legs with Lloyds for £100m in 2006

· Dolly Parton has insured her 40dd breasts for £3.8m

· Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards hands are insured for $1.6m

· Michael Flatleys legs were insured for $47 Million. The policy was only in effect when he was touring and forbade him from dancing except on stage.

· James Dean took out a life policy for $100,000 just a week before his tragic death at the age of 25

· The actor Richard Burton purchased a 69.42 carat diamond from Cartier for $1.1 Million in 1969 as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor. It was the world’s most expensive diamond at the time. Once Lloyds had insured the diamond they specified that Taylor should wear it in public for only 30 days a year and even then be protected by security guards. The diamond was sold in 1978 for an estimated $5 Million which would equate to roughly $19 Million today.

· According to novelist and inventor Arthur C Clarke, director Stanley Kubrick wanted to take out insurance with Lloyds to protect himself against losses in the event that extra-terrestrial intelligence was discovered before his movie, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ was released. Lloyds refused to quote for this one.

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Kerry to feature in new TG4 documentary on Wild Atlantic Way

Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry. The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry. In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains […]

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Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry.

The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry.

In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains an insight into the culture, challenges and benefits of living by the Atlantic and to find out if seawater still flows through the veins of its coastal communities.

On her travels, Áine will meet with the people of the coast, both young and old. She will spend time in the company of people who live and work by the sea, learning more about the attraction of these areas, and this life, through their eyes, stories and experiences. She will meet those communities and people who have a strong affinity with the coast and the sea, through new businesses, traditional livelihoods, recreational activities, ecology, birdwatching, eco-tours, swimming, boats (of all kinds) and more.

Áine began her journey at home in Gaoth Dobhair and heads to the wilds of Árainn Mhóir on the second leg of journey.
The third show platforms south Donegal while in week 4, Áine heads to the beautiful Achill Island.

Half way through her journey from Donegal to Kerry, Áine is in Carna in Conamara while in the the sixth programme, Áine continues her journey on the Galway coast, this time in Cois Fharraige

Áine visits Inis Oírr in the seventh programme, the smallest of the three Oileán Árainn, to explore how life has changed for islanders in recent generations through fishing, farming, tourism and sport.

In programme eight, Áine continues her journey, heading for the West Kerry coastline this time around, rowing with a local musician, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, a boatbuilder Eddie Hutch and even All-Ireland champions in Cumann Rámhaíochta an Daingin. She investigates the attraction of sea swimming for local women with local group ‘Snámh for the Soul’ goes foraging and paddleboarding with a woman who lives and breathes the sea and all it has to offer, Susan Feirtéar.

In the penultimate programme, Áine continues on her journey around the Corca Dhuibhne coast, exploring the history of trade in An Daingean with Brenda Uí Shúilleabháin and how the coast inspires artists with the talented Tomáisín Ó Cíobháin. She takes a class with local yoga instructor, Ails Ní Chonchúir and heads out to sea with local guide, Eoghan Ó Slatara, to learn about the islands on the west Kerry coast and she tastes some local seafood but she has to cook it first at the Dingle Cookery School.

Áine ends her journey in Uíbh Ráthach, in South Kerry. She gains a different perspective on the sea while snorkling with Gráinne Ní Ailín from Sea Synergy and surfing with Cian O’Connor, explores the long history of this coastal community from the time of the Milesians with poet and historian, Paddy Bushe, and learns about the Seine boat with a local TikToker, Séaghan Ó Suilleabháin, better known as The Kerry Cowboy, and is there a better way to finish her journey than a first visit to the majestic Sceilg islands?

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