Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Penal Times in Listowel, The park after the storm

Penal times in Listowel

The early 18th century was a tough time in Ireland. It was the era of the Penal Laws when determined efforts were made to stamp out Catholicism.  Irish people practiced their religion covertly and priests were hunted down and exiled. People were afraid to attend religious ceremonies and some were forced to swear depositions informing on priests and schoolmasters who broke the law.

At a meeting of the Kerry justices of the peace in Tralee in June 1741, summonses were issued to several people to appear. They al expressed reluctance to give evidence against their priests but in the end they made their depositions One man, Richard Connell deposed that there were many “Popish schoolmasters still in the county.” Connell also deposed that there were many active priests still residing in the county.

Patrick Trant deposed that “one Teig Connell” went to France for foreign education, as did Stephen and Bartholomew Rice.

Warrants were issued for the arrest  of these lads’ parents.

Among the priests who were hunted and killed during this period were many members of religious orders. These orders sent priests all over the country to minister to Catholics and to preach to them.  In June 1711 a man named Burke appeared in Listowel in “The Wood of Drommin”. He was barefoot, bare headed and had a staff in his hand. He preached to a gathering of about 200 souls urging them to forsake vice and lead a Godly life. When he had finished his discourse “he scourged himself until the blood ran down his back”. The local magistrate sent to have him arrested but Burke escaped capture and was later heard of preaching to two or three thousand at Rathkenny in Co. Limerick.

My source for all this information is Fr. Anthony Gaughan’s Listowel and Its Vicinity.


Some photos I took recently in the Town Park

Bare Wintry trees

Fallen branches gathered for collection

The Council sawed up the fallen trees

 The river in flood

Debris washed downstream.


Michael Flahive's picture of Bromore in Winter.


This old photo comes from a great collection on Wistorial. It is of crossroads' dancing on the platform at Laharn in Co. Cork.   Happy days when young and old loved to dance so much that they came even in the rain.


Doreen Buckley took these pictures of Sean Slemon of Moyvane at a civic reception for him in Kerry County Buildings recently

The Mayor of Kerry with Seán, World Irish Dancing Champion and his parents in County Buildings 2014.

Councillor Pat Leahy of Moyvane very proud of fellow Moyvane man and his World Championship trophy

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