Local History

Jack Doyle (31 August 1913 in Cobh, Ireland – 13 December 1978 in Paddington, London), known as “The Gorgeous Gael” was a boxer, a Hollywood actor and an accomplished tenor. He was born Joseph Doyle and known to his friends as Joe but changed it to Jack when starting his professional career.

Early years

He was born into a working-class family in Cobh, Co. Cork in 1913. At 6 feet 5 inches, Doyle was always good with his fists and in 1929 he joined the Irish Guards regiment of the British Army based in Wales. There he quickly excelled at boxing and was famed for his strong hooks that won him the British Army Championship. A sensational record of 28 straight victories, 27 by knockout, brought him to the attention of promoter Dan Sullivan. He turned pro and notched up 10 victories on the trot all inside 2 rounds, making him the hottest thing in the sport. In July 1933, at the age of 19 he missed out on the British Heavyweight title to the holder, Welshman, Jack Peterson. Witnesses claim that he had done most of his warming up in a pub not far from the bout. Within the opening seconds he knew he was in trouble and decided to take the easy way out. He was disqualified for repeatedly punching low. Shortly after, his singing voice was discovered by Dr. Vincent O’Brien, voice coach to Count John McCormack and soon his soft tenor voice and handsome looks were selling out the London Palladium and the Royal in Dublin. Jack was subsequebtly signed up by Decca. In 1934 Doyle travelled to the United States and several records were produced including the popular “South of the Border” a duet recorded with his then wife Movita. But his love for alcohol coupled with his generous nature soon started to take its toll on his health.

Lawrence is thought to have been born in Spain, at Huesca, a town in the Aragon region near the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains. As a youth he was sent to Zaragoza to complete his humanistic and theological studies. It was here he first encountered the future Pope Sixtus II, who was of Greek origin. The future Pope was one of the most famous and highly esteemed teachers in Zaragoza, one of the empire’s most renowned centres of learning. Eventually, both left Spain for Rome. When Sixtus became the Pope in 257, he ordained Lawrence as a deacon, and though Lawrence was still young, appointed him first among the seven deacons who served in the patriarchal church; Lawrence is therefore called “archdeacon of Rome”. This was a position of great trust that included the care of the treasury and riches of the church and the distribution of alms among the poor.St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, notes that Roman authorities had established a norm according to which all Christians who had been denounced must be executed and their goods confiscated by the Imperial treasury. At the beginning of the month of August 258, the emperor Valerian issued an edict commanding that all bishops, priests, and deacons should immediately be put to death. Sixtus was captured on August 6, 258, at the cemetery of St. Callixtus while celebrating the liturgy and executed forthwith.After the death of Sixtus, the prefect of Rome demanded that Lawrence turn over the riches of the Church. St. Ambrose is the earliest source for the tale that Lawrence asked for three days to gather together the wealth. Lawrence worked swiftly to distribute as much Church property to the poor as possible, so as to prevent its being seized by the prefect. On the third day, at the head of a small delegation, he presented himself to the prefect, and when ordered to give up the treasures of the Church, he presented the poor, the crippled, the blind and the suffering, and said these were the true treasures of the Church. One account records him declaring to the prefect, “The Church is truly rich, far richer than your emperor.” This act of defiance led directly to Lawrence’s martyrdom and can be compared to the parallel Roman tale of the jewels of Cornelia. On 10 of August, Lawrence, the last of the seven deacons, also suffered a martyr’s death. The 10th of August is also the first day of Puck Fair. This is an example of a Pagan festival converting to that of a religious festival. This was a common practice in the Iron Age/Early Medieval world, as Christianity was starting to take hold. Here in Ireland, everything Pagan including Healing Wells, Ogham Stones and festivals were converted. For example, Healing Wells became Holy Wells, some Ogham Stones had signs of the Cross inscribed into them and festivals with Pagan roots became associated with Saints. However, there is no real connection between St. Lawrence and Puck Fair, although St. Lawrence is the Saint, Killorglin is named after

Castle Conway is a former castle and stately home that was situated in the town of Killorglin,Co.Kerry Ireland. Today only the ruins of one wall remain.

Originally called Killorglin Castle, a defensive structure was first built on the site next to the `River Laune by Maurice FitzGerald 2nd Lord of Offaly. Following the Desmond Rebellions, the castle was seized by The Crown and subsequently granted to Captain Jenkin Conway in 1587 as part of the Munster Plantation. The Conway family were Welsh in origin and through the wife of Jenkin Conway, Mary Herbert, descendants of Henry 1 and Aoife MacMurroughthrough her ancestor Sir Richard Herbert of Coldbrook. This grant was confirmed in 1592. Due to the poor state of the building, the son of Captain Jenkin Conway, also Jenkin, rebuilt the castle in 1613 and named it Castle Conway. The castle passed in marriage to Robert Blennerhassett a Cromwellian officer in the Irish Confederate Wars. During the wars, the castle had been damaged and it was in ruins by 1682.

Between 1700 and 1710, a new stately home was built by the Blennerhasset family on the site of the ruined castle, including elements of the Medieval structure. By this stage, the family estate surrounding the castle was approximately 7,000 acres, and the Blennerhassetts were able to build a large new house, recorded as having tall chimneys, an important library and demesne terraced gardens leading down to the River Laune. The old chapel was repaired and incorporated into the new building. Castle Conway was inherited by Harman Blennerhasset in 1792, but was sold to his relation, Thomas Mullins, 1rst Baron Ventry in 1795. The castle had been largely demolished by 1842, with much of its stone being used in the construction of other Killorglin buildings. The stone ruins of one of the Medieval walls are all that remain of the castle

“Thomas Bernardine”, Barry was born in Killorglin Co.Kerry. He was the son of a Royal Irish Constabulary policeman. Four years later, Thomas Barry Senior resigned and opened a business in his hometown of Rosscarbery County Cork. Barry was educated for a period at Mungret College Co.Limerick from 25 August 1911 to 12 September 1912. The reason for his short stay is indicated by a reference from the school register of the Apostolic School, Mungret College ‘Went–Home (ran away) without knowledge of superiors no vocation.

In June, in my seventeenth year, I had decided to see what this Great War was like. I cannot plead I went on the advice of John Redmond or any other politician, that if we fought for the British we would secure Home Rule for Ireland, nor can I say I understood what Home Rule meant. I was not influenced by the lurid appeal to fight to save Belgium or small nations. I knew nothing about nations, large or small. I went to the war for no other reason than that I wanted to see what war was like, to get a gun, to see new countries and to feel a grown man. Above all I went because I knew no Irish history and had no national consciousness

Barry enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery on 30 June 1915 and was sent to the military depot at Athlone for basic training. After six months he was posted to the Mesopotamian front (modern Iraq) on 21 January 1916. He fought from January 1916 in Mesopotamia (then part of the Ottoman Empire). On 1 March he was raised to the rank of corporal. In April while his brigade was attempting to break the Turkish Siege of Kut where the British after heavy losses were forced to surrender, Barry first heard of the Easter Rising. Presumably, in reaction to the British response to the Rising, Barry dropped his rank in protest on 26 May and reverted to his original rank of gunner, which rank he held until the end of the war.

The headstone on the grave of the first person to be buried in the new graveyard in Ardmoniel , Killorglin on June 26th 1987. Bryan was a well known personality in Killorglin. An older generation remember him driving his vintage “Tayto” van around Killorglin .

Mick Murphy ‘ The Iron Man’, from Srugrena Cahersiveen. He won the Ras Tailteann Cycle Race in 1958. He also excelled at Grass Track Cycle Racing. He was interviewed by Killorglin Archive on several occasions and was a close friend of Michael ‘Butty’,Sugrue who was Killorglin’s famous strong man back in the 1960’s

Kate O’Sullivan was born on October 7th, 1896 and was one of Irelands oldest women when she died aged 105. She put her long life down to potatoes a bowl of porridge every morning and a little brandy every night with hot water and sugar. Her life spanned three centuries. She lived through the Easter RIsing in 1916, two world wars and the creation of the Free State. Ref: F183


Kerry Mag Creegan Article

Walter Glynn doolin was born in Dublin circa 1850, the son of William Doolin and his wife Anne Eliza, née Glynn. He received his architectural training from his father and in the office of JOHN JOSEPH.O’CALLAGHAN  and subsequently went to London where he worked first in the Architects’ Department of the School Board and then as an assistant in the office of WILLIAM BURGES. (3) He had returned to Dublin by the beginning of 1872, when he was living in his father’s house at 204 Great Brunswick Street.(4) In the Post Office Dublin Directory for 1875, Walter G. Doolin’s address is given as ‘204 Brunswick Street, great, and Waterford’, and Waterford continues to be mentioned as one of his addresses in Thom’s Directory until as late as 1893.

Ballykissane Pier – Killorglin

Located on Ballykissane Pier is a monument to commemorate the loss of life of three Volunteers. In 1916 their car plunged into the sea while they were on the way to Cahirciveen in order to set up radio communications with Sir Roger Casement and the German arms ship the Aud. This is their story. On Monday the 30th of October 1916, six months after the sinking of the Aud, a skeleton was washed onto a bank of the River Laune. Therefor the authorities were not supprised to learn that the man they had been actively seeking for so much time had finally come to the surface after drifting hidden under the summer river brine. Despite the skeleton being fully clothed, the police were still unable to identify the man, as the highly decomposed corpse had no head, only one arm and had both feet missing. Overall the remains were in pretty bad shape. The trunk wore good quality gentleman’s clothing. When the clothing was searched, two gold half-sovereings and a soaked wad of old bank notes – more then the average amount of cash. The remains were later identified as those of Charlie Monaghan. The story of these first casualties in the 1916 Rising is intriguing for a number of reasons, not least the great ‘what if’ factor of wondering what might have happened had their mission not ended so tragically arising from a Hardyesque case of wrong directions. On Good Friday 21st April 1916, five men set off from Dublin by train to Killarney, Charlie Monaghan, Donal Sheehan, Con Keating, Dennis Daly and Colm O’Lochlainn. According to the memoirs of Gerry Plunkett, they were to travel by car to Cahirciveen in order to seize control of the wireless station on Valentia Island. From there, the plan was that they would signal to the British Navy that a German naval attack was imminent on the Scottish coast. The purpose of this would be to distract the British naval presence from the Kerry coast , thus facilitating the landing of 2000 German rifles and 10 machine guns at Banna Strand from the U-boat ‘The Aud’. On board the Aud were a small group of Irish Republican’s led by Sir Roger Casement. They were then to liase with Austin Stack in Tralee, so as to ensure that the weaponry was distributed throughout the country to coincide with the Easter Rising in Dublin on Easter Sunday. The men travelling to Kerry from Dublin had each been selected for their particular expertise, Keating originally from Cahirciveen was a radio expert and had been a radio officer on a number of ships. Monaghan was a mechanic and a wireless installation expert, Sheehan had worked at the War Office and knew the Admiralty codes.On arrival at Killarney the group transferred into two motor vehicles. Sam Windrim who had driven from Limerick City drove the first car, a Maxwell. He collected Denis Daly and Colm O’Lochlainn. Tommy McInerney also from Limerick City drove the second car, a Briscoe Cyclops. His passengers were Con Keating, Charlie Monahan and Donal Sheehan. Since Denis Daly knew the route, McInerney was to follow his tail-lights. However, as is often the case in life, plans began to unravel when a breakdown and a curious RIC officer held up the lead car. Somehow the second vehicle lost sight of the first car just outside Killorglin.

McInerney asked a young girl for directions to Cahirciveen. She told them to take the first turn on the right. Not knowing the road, Thomas mistook the turn which led to the quay. In the darkness he only realised his mistake when the two front wheels of the car went over the unprotected edge into the River Laune which is deep and wide at this point. It is said that in the moonlight, the reflection of the water resembled a continuance of the road. In the ensuing panic the car became unbalanced and fell into the river with its four passengers still on board. Totally disoriented Thomas McInerney started to swim heading in the wrong direction, only for the intervention of local man Thady O’Sullivan, who guided him back to the shore. At this stage it was clear that the three other occupants of the car had somehow become trapped in the vehicle and had sadly in all likelihood quickly drowned. Other local people such as Patrick Begley and his son Michael, an Irish teacher based in Limerick, had made strenuous efforts to rescue the but this proved impossible. Cold and disheartened, the one survivor and the rescuers gathered in the O’Sullivan’s kitchen. McInerney was advised to go to the RIC barracks and report the incident. Whilst away, McInerneys wet overcoat was picked up, and a revolver was discovered in it. Patrick Begley soon realised that there was more to the nights events than at first thought. At that moment the RIC arrived at the cottage, Begley hid the revolver by sitting on it under a cushion.The RIC had arrested a man in Tralee and were alert to the possibility of some Fenian related activity in the area. McInerney stuck to his story that he had been driving tourists around Kerry and that he did not know the occupants of the car personally. On a wet Holy Saturday morning the bodies of Con Keating and and Donal Sheehan were located by fishermen. No trace of Charlie Monaghan was found until October, some six months later, when his body was discovered on an island in the River. That same morning McInerney tried to retrieve his revolver from Patrick Begley, but Begley said that if the RIC returned it would be better if he was not carrying a weapon. As predicted, they did indeed return and arrested Thomas McInerney. He was transferred after the Rising was suppressed to to the prison camp in North Wales, Frongoch, which was to be the destination of the bulk of those Republicans captured after the Rising. McInerney on release from Frongoch rejoined the IRA and was later killed in County Tipperary.What we will never know is what would have happened if the unit had succeeded in their mission. Would they have managed to divert the British navy? If they had succeeded in this, then landing the weaponry at Banna would have had a greater chance of success. However to be fair, the arrest of Austin Stack in Tralee would have made distribution well nigh impossible, since he was the key link between the Aud and the local Irish Republican Brotherhood organisation. Nevertheless it is an interesting and little told tale, which is moving for the fact that it illustrates the way in which human error often plays a significant part in determining historical events.

Harman Blennerhassett (8 October 1764 – 2 February 1831) was an Anglo-Irish lawyer and politician. He was born in Hampshire, England, to Conway Blennerhassett and his wife, Elizabeth Lacy. He was the great-grandson of Captain Robert Blennerhassett. At the age of two, he returned to the family’s home in Killorglin which was at the time the  7,000-acre estate known as Castle Conway. As an adolescent, he was sent to Westminster School in London, and later attended Middle Temple of London’s famous Inns of Court. In 1790, he was graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a Bachelor of Laws, and started his practice at the Irish bar. Blennerhassett visited Paris in 1790; inherited the family estate in 1792; joined the secret Society of United Irishmen in 1793, which initially dedicated itself to reform, but later turned militantly radical; and in 1794 married Margaret Agnew, daughter of his sister Catherine and Major Robert Agnew, a career officer in the British army.Chiefly to escape involvement in the United Irishmen’s planned rebellion against British rule, but also to conceal his incestuous marriage, Blennerhassett emigrated to the United States in 1796. There, on the western Virginia frontier, he bought the upper half of an Ohio River island lying 1 1/2 miles downstream from what is now Parkersburg, West Virginia. It became the site of a European-style estate whose centerpiece was an enormous mansion surrounded by extravagantly landscaped lawns and gardens. For a brief period, the Blennerhassetts’ home became famous as the largest, most beautiful private residence in the American West.

John Joseph “Jack” Doyle (October 25, 1869 – December 31, 1958) was an Irish-American first baseman in Major League Baseball whose career spanned 17 seasons, mainly in the National League. He was born in Killorglin and emigrated to the U.S. when he was a child, his family settling in Holyoke Massachusetts

Playing career
After attending Fordham University, he embarked on a baseball career that would last 70 years. He made his first appearance at the major league level by signing and playing two years for the Columbus Solons of the American Association. Doyle would play for ten clubs from 1889-1905, batting .299 in 1,564 games with 516 stolen bases. He began as a catcher-outfilder and became a first baseman in 1894. His best years were in 1894, when he batted .367 for the New York Giants, and in 1897, when he hit .354 with 62 stolen bases for the Baltimore Orioles. He is credited with being the first pinch-hitter in pro ball, with Cleveland at Brooklyn on June 7, 1892. For the 1894 season, he took over the everyday duties at first base and became team captain. Manager John Montgomery Ward not only made the decision to replace his former teammate and friend Roger Connor, but released him as well. Connor was a very popular player, and this decision drew the ire and scrutiny from the fans and media alike. Ward defended his decision, and claimed the move came down to the fact that he liked Doyle’s playing style, describing him as a hustler. Replacing Connor at first base was worth the risk as Jack batted .367 that season, and he totaled 100 runs batted in, and stole 42 bases. Below;Jack Doyle seen here (5th from left) playing for Cleveland.

‘Dirty Jack’

Because of his aggressive playing style, Doyle was known as “Dirty Jack,” often feuding with umpires, fans, opposing players, and even, at times, his own teammates. On one occasion, in Cincinnati on July 4, 1900, while in the 3rd inning of the second game of a doubleheader, Doyle slugged umpire Bob Emslie after being called out on a steal attempt. Fans jumped from the stands as the two got into it, and players finally separated the two fighters. Two policeman chased the fans back into the stands and then arrested and fined Doyle. On July 1, 1910, when he was being harassed by a Polo Grounds fan, he jumped into the stands and hit him once with his left hand, re-injuring it after having broken it several weeks earlier. He carried on a lengthy feud with John McGraw that started when they were teammates at Baltimore. McGraw, of course, had to have the last word. In 1902, McGraw was appointed manager of the Giants, and his first act was to release Doyle, even though he was batting .301 and fielding .991 at the time. Even with these seemingly out-of-control traits, Doyle was deemed a natural leader and was selected as team captain in New York, Brooklyn and Chicago, and served as an interim manager for the Giants in 1895 and Washington Senators in 1898.
Minor league success
In 1905, after playing one game with the New York Highlanders Doyle became manager of Toledo of the Western Association. One year later, in 1906, he was named the manager of the Des Moines Champions, so named because they won the league championship the previous year, and they won it again under Doyle’s helm. Following his championship season at Des Moines, he managed Milwaukee in 1907