The death has been announced of Arthur Lenihan, Woodville, Gortatlea.
For a generation of Castleislanders he was ‘The Milkman’ but there was so much more to the late Arthur Lenihan than met the eye.
He had a deep and abiding interest in politics. He couldn’t avoid it as his father the late Charlie Lenihan was a colorful, robust and vocal member of Kerry County Council from 1955 to 1966. Arthur himself held a seat on the council for Fine Gael from 1967 to 1974.
Their house in Woodville and those in it played a heroic part in the escape and ultimate survival of Robert Monteith after the collapse of the 1916 Banna Strand gun running episode.
Monteith outlined his line of escape and the help he got in doing so through Ballymacelligott and his involvement with the McEllistrims and the Lenihans..
In his 1953 published book: ‘Casement’s Last Adventure’ he wrote of meeting Arthur Lenihan’s grandfather. On the arranged arrival at Arthur Lenihan’s farmhouse in Woodville the occupant opened the door and greeted him thus:
“I don’t know you or why you are in your present unfortunate position, but I do know the cause for which you stand. Anything I have in this house is at your disposal.”
“Mr. Lenihan was as good as his word. Next day, noting that I was without a change of underclothing, he cycled to a neighbouring village and purchased the clothing. He also bought a pair of rubber shoes so that I could walk noiselessly, and a shaving outfit. He would have bought ten times as much had I but asked for it.”
Monteith’s account then gets into the series of events which brings him on a torturous, cross country journey across mountain and glen to Glenageenty and his encounter with Sean Thadhg Og Lenihan:
“On the following Saturday, he (Arthur Lenihan) got news that there was danger of his house being searched. Homes all over the place were being raided and searched. He gave me the alternative of remaining with him or moving on to another place. It was a chance either way. I decided to move. That afternoon, his brother called on a friend, an uncle I believe, an old recluse, who lived in a glen the other side of the hills. He was asked if he would give shelter to a man ‘on the run.’ He immediately gave assurance he would be only too glad to give shelter to anyone in trouble with the government. He was known as Sean Thaidhg Og. I learnt that the old man had a wonderful reputation as an enemy of landlords.”
Arthur Lenihan unveiled a commemorative stone to the memory of Robert Monteith, Seán Thadhg Óg Lenihan and historian Jerry Breen at the remains of Seán Tadhg Óg’s house in Glanageenty Wood on Good Friday 2010.
The arrangement for the funeral of the late Arthur Lenihan are not available at the time of going to press but will be printed here as soon as they are. Our condolences to his wife Catherine and family. May God be good to him.
The RIP.IE announcement and arrangements are as follows:
The death has occurred of Arthur LENIHAN, The death has occurred of Arthur LENIHAN, Woodville Gortatlea, Ballymacelligott,
Arthur , beloved husband of Catherine and dearly loved father of Catriona, Maria, Julie, Lily and Bernie. Sadly missed by his loving wife and daughters , brother Dan , sisters Maisie and Kits , all extended family , relatives , neighbours and a large circle of friends R.I.P. Reposing at Tangney’s Funeral Home Castleisand on Wednesday evening from 5pm to 7pm followed by removal to Castleisland Parish Church. Liturgy of the Word on Thursday at 11am . Burial afterwards in Kilbanivane Cemetery Castleisand. May He Rest In Peace . Date Published: Tuesday 31st March 2015 Date of Death: Monday 30th March 2015