Kerry 1916: Histories and Legacies of the Easter Rising – A Centenary Record

Edited by Bridget McAuliffe, Dr Mary McAuliffe, Owen O’Shea 

‘Absorbing … important … significant’ (Professor Joe Lee)

  • How key incidents in Kerry impacted on events in Dublin and beyond
  • Stories of almost 150 Kerry men and women arrested for their involvement
  • New research on the role of women in and from Kerry 

A new book published to coincide with the centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916 comprehensively details the impact of key events in County Kerry and the critical roles played by Kerry men and women in the rebellion and sets that story in its rightful context in the wider revolutionary period. The important social and political developments in the county before and during 1916 and the contribution of the many Kerry natives who played major roles locally, in Dublin and elsewhere are chronicled for the first time.

Historian and Kerry native, Professor Joe Lee, who writes the foreword to the book, says its contents “are not only of intense interest in themselves, but often base important original research on indispensable local knowledge. Editorially augmented by often elusive biographical information on important personalities, they further enhance this significant volume for students not only of Kerry history but of those numerous aspects of the history of Ireland which have been enriched by Kerry’s contribution.”

BOOK COVER

Kerry 1916: Histories and Legacies of the Easter Rising – A Centenary Record, compiled and edited by Kerry writers Bridget McAuliffe, Owen O’Shea and Dr Mary McAuliffe of UCD, presents a definitive account of seminal events in Kerry in 1916 and how they impacted on the Easter Rising in Dublin and the subsequent shaping of Irish history.

Co-editor, historian and UCD academic, Dr Mary McAuliffe said: “The significance of events in Kerry, the role of Kerry in the preparations for the Rising, and the role of many Kerry men and women in those preparations are often overlooked or understated in the broader narrative of the period.

“From an early stage, Kerry was singled out for involvement in the Rising given its republican traditions, its peripherality and the loyalty and organisational strengths of figures like Austin Stack and Paddy Cahill, from Tralee, Killarney’s Michael Spillane and Michael O’Sullivan, An Seabhac from Dingle, future minister Ernest Blythe who lived in Kerry at the time, GAA stars Dick Fitzgerald and Pat ‘Aeroplane’ O’Shea and many others, all of whom were destined to become key contributors to events.

“It is no accident that Patrick Pearse and other leaders like James Connolly and trade union organiser William Partridge were regular visitors to Kerry in the weeks and months prior to the Rising. Kerry was chosen as the destination for the landing of the guns and ammunition aboard the Aud – those guns were to be distributed across the southwest and west by Kerry Volunteers. The failed attempt to land those arms; the arrival of Roger Casement, Robert Monteith and Daniel Bailey at Banna Strand on Good Friday; the arrest of Casement and Austin Stack later that day; and the drowning later that night near Killorglin of three men – Con Keating, Daniel Sheehan and Charles Monahan – who had been tasked with seizing radio transmitters from Caherciveen, all combined to force Eoin MacNeill’s hand in calling off the Volunteer manoeuvres which had been planned for Easter Sunday,” she said.

The book also deals with the activities of dozens of Kerry men and women who were part of the Rising in Dublin and elsewhere. The detailed stories of Volunteers leaders such as Michael Joseph (The) O’Rahilly, Thomas Ashe, Fionán Lynch, as well as the three men who died on Moore St with The O’Rahilly – Michael Mulvihill, Patrick O’Connor and Patrick Shortis – are included. (See full table of contents and essayists list below).

cropped-volunteers-in-brewery-7-inch-tom-fox.jpg

Volunteers gathered in Dingle c.1915

 

The new book features biographical details of almost 150 Kerry men and women – most of whom were arrested for their involvement in the rebellion – drawn from first-hand archival accounts, the Bureau of Military History and the Military Service Pensions Collection, among other sources.

Kerry 1916: Histories and Legacies of the Easter Rising – A Centenary Record also includes contributions from local historians and academics on Roger Casement; the drownings at Ballykissane; Austin Stack; The O’Rahilly; Thomas Ashe; Fionán Lynch; Thomas MacGreevy, as well as on the role played by the Irish Volunteers, Cumann na mBan and the GAA in Kerry.

“New research details the role of women in Kerry in 1916 – figures like Máirín Cregan who smuggled guns to Kerry, Lizanne O’Brien who organised Cumann na mBan, and the sisters of The O’Rahilly – Nell and Anno – who were active in Cumann na mBan in Dublin,” said Dr Mary McAuliffe. “This is the first time the histories of all these Kerry men and women are detailed and presented in such a comprehensive form.”

Featuring extensive newspaper reports, photographs from the period, first-hand testimonies, and with a foreword by Kerry native and eminent historian Professor JJ Lee, Kerry 1916: Histories and Legacies of the Easter Rising – A Centenary Record sets the pivotal role of Kerry and its people in its rightful context of the wider revolutionary period in Ireland and is a book for everyone with an interest in national and local history.

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Kerry 1916: Histories and Legacies of the Easter Rising – A Centenary Record (Irish Historical Publications, pp320, €25 pb, €35 hb) will be published on 22 April with an official launch at the Rose Hotel (formerly Fels Point Hotel), Tralee, Co. Kerry at 8pm. Dr Mary McAuliffe will chair a panel discussion featuring local historians and expert historians and there will be poetry and song from the period. All welcome.

T: @kerry1916book

W: www.kerry1916book.wordpress.com

E: kerry1916book@gmail.com

CONTENTS

A KINGDOM APART by Patrick Mannix

KERRY, GEO-POLITICS AND 1916 by Thomas Earls FitzGerald

BETWEEN REBELLION AND REVOLUTION: THE KERRY GAA, 1914-1918 by Richard McElligott

KERRY AND THE IRISH VOLUNTEERS, 1913-1917 by Mary McAuliffe

KILLARNEY AND THE IRISH VOLUNTEERS by Tom Looney

‘LOYALTY AND COURAGE’: KERRY WOMEN AND CUMANN NA MBAN, 1914-1917 by Mary McAuliffe

AUSTIN STACK: PORTRAIT OF A KERRY SEPARATIST by J. Anthony Gaughan

‘THE SHIP MUST GO AND I MUST GO’: ROGER CASEMENT’S LAST ADVENTURE by T. Ryle Dwyer

EYEWITNESS by Pat ‘Aeroplane’ O’Shea

DROWNINGS AT BALLYKISSANE: A TRAGEDY THAT ALTERED THE COURSE OF THE 1916 RISING by Tom Doyle

‘MOTHER OPERATED ON SUCCESSFULLY TODAY’ by Owen O’Shea

‘IT WAS A GOOD FIGHT’: THE O’RAHILLY AND 1916 by Pádraig Ó Conchubhair

KERRY’S PATRIOT DEAD: MULVIHILL, SHORTIS, O’CONNOR AND THE O’RAHILLY by Gordon Revington

FIONÁN LYNCH: REVOLUTIONARY AND POLITICIAN by Dermot, Tim, Mary Lynch

THOMAS ASHE: A LOST LEADER by Micheál Ó Móráin

THOMAS MACGREEVY: 1916 AT A DISTANCE by Susan Schreibman

RIFLES, RIVALS AND REVOLUTION: KERRY NEWSPAPERS REPORT by Gordon Revington

THE ONLY SHOTS FIRED IN KERRY DURING THE EASTER RISING by Owen O’Shea

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

KERRY MEN AND WOMEN: MOBILISED AND READY FOR REBELLION

IRISH VOLUNTEERS AND CUMANN NA MBAN MEMBERS IN KERRY

 

ENDS