#OTD in 1916 – The merchant ship SS Libau left the German port of Lübeck disguised as the Norwegian ship of similar appearance, the SS Aud, for Ireland that were to be collected by Roger Casement with arms for the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

Masquerading as the SS Aud, an existing Norwegian vessel of similar appearance, the Libau set sail from the Baltic port of Lübeck on 9 April 1916, under the Command of Karl Spindler, bound for the south-west coast of Ireland. Under Spindler was a crew of 22 men, all of whom were volunteers. The Libau/Aud, laden […]

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Ballyseede Castle, Co Kerry

The stunning Ballyseede Castle is steeped in a long and bloody history, built back in the 16th Century. Just three miles outside of Tralee. Covering some 30 acres and approached from the road via a sweeping drive, the Castle is now a majestic four-star hotel and favourite wedding venue, however, its current status is far […]

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Queen Scotia

Scota appears in the Irish chronicle Book of Leinster (containing a redaction of the Lebor Gabála Érenn). According to Irish Folklore and Mythology, the battle of Sliabh Mish was fought in this glen above the town of Tralee, where the Celtic Milesians defeated the Tuatha Dé Danann but Scotia, the Queen of the Milesians died […]

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#OTD in 2016 – Kerry County Museum paid €10,600 for a Treasure Island-style map drawn by Sir Roger Casement to show where he had buried gold and other valuables after landing at Banna Strand on Good Friday 1916.

The map, and accompanying notes, kept by an agent in Britain’s MI5, went under the hammer at Chorley’s Auctioneers in Cheltenham, England on Tuesday with a top pre-sale estimate of £2,000 (€2,500). But, after what auctioneer Simon Chorley described as ‘frenzied bidding’, the hammer fell at £7,000 to an unnamed telephone bidder. Kerry County Museum’s […]

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Irish Civil War | What Really Happened at Ballyseedy?

You can still find bullet-marked walls in Ballymullen Barracks, Tralee. There, young Kerrymen faced squads after “interrogation” carried out by officers beating them with a hammer. Worse than these “authorised killings” were the atrocities carried out “unofficially”. Of these, one-act will always stand out in infamy the blowing up of nine prisoners at Ballyseedy Cross […]

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#OTD in 1923 – Nine Republican prisoners are taken from Ballymullen Barracks in Tralee to Ballyseedy Cross, ostensibly to clear a mined road.

Kerry had seen more violence in the guerrilla phase of the Civil war than almost anywhere else in Ireland. By March 1923, sixty-eight Free State soldiers had already been killed in Kerry and 157 wounded. Eighty-five would die there by the end of the war. The day after Five Free State soldiers were killed by […]

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#OTD in 1879 – Birth of Anti-Treaty Nationalist and Politician, Austin Stack, in Tralee, Co Kerry.

Under the influence of his father, Austin Stack joined the local Young Ireland Society and the local branch of the Irish National Foresters, and was a keen student of Irish history. Appalled at the Cinderella status of Gaelic football and hurling, he co-founded the John Mitchel club in Tralee and became its secretary. The remarkable […]

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#OTD in 1944 – Charlie Kerins was hanged in Mountjoy Gaol by the English hangman Albert Pierrepoint.

‘All I ask is that the ideals and principles for which I am about to die for will be kept alive until the Irish Republic is finally enthroned’. –Charlie Kerins When the serial killer of Rillington Place, John Christie, complained that his nose itched after his arms had been bound, Albert Pierrepoint assured him: “It […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Roger Casement, Irish patriot, is hanged by the English in Pentonville Prison, London.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. “Self government is our right, a thing born to us at birth. A thing no more to be doled out to us by another people than the right to life itself; than the right to feel the sun or smell the flowers or to love our kind.” […]

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The All-Ireland Football match behind barbed wire, Frongoch Internment Camp, June 1916

It is over a century after a unique All-Ireland football final between Kerry and Louth was played among the men interned in the wake of the 1916 Rising in Frongoch in north Wales. Over 1,800 Irishmen were rounded up and detained without trial under the Defence of the Realm Act at the prisoner of war […]

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