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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#OTD in 1967 – A local parish priest voiced his extreme opposition to the appearance of Jayne Mansfield at the Mount Brandon Hotel in Tralee, and the concert was duly cancelled. Two months later, she was killed in a car accident.

Jayne Mansfield landed in Ireland after her screen career had been on the slide for some time when she signed up for a one-night stand in the Mount Brandon Hotel. She was to be paid the princely sum of £1,000 for 35 minutes of cabaret. The booking immediately divided the council, with Councillor Michael O’Regan […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Sir Roger Casement arrived in Tralee Bay, Co Kerry on board a German U-boat.

From 1915 Kerry was central to plans for the Rising. In autumn of that year Austin Stack, the leader of the Volunteers in Kerry and a member of the IRB was informed by Pádraig Pearse of the plans for the Rising. Arrangements were being made for an arms shipment from Germany to arrive in Tralee […]

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#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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