Cork and Kerry’s rebel past will form the base of a new historical tour taking place this October.
The three-day Rebel South Tour will focus on the iconic sites of revolution during the War of Independence and Civil War in both Cork and Kerry. The tour will be based at The Brehon in Killarney but will feature daily excursions to areas of massive historical significance including Cork City, Beal na Bláth and Ballyseedy. Evening lectures and discussions will take place in the hotel.
The tour is led by historians Tommy Martin and Dr. William Sheehan. Tommy Martin is a Castleisland native and a graduate of University College Cork, with a Masters Degree in Local History and is also the author of The Kingdom in the Empire – a portrait of Kerry during World War One. Dr. William Sheehan is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Higher Education Academy and is the author of numerous historical books including British Voices from the Irish War of Independence and A Hard Local War: The British Army and the Guerrilla War in Cork, 1919 -1921.
The first historical tour of its kind and the first in a series to be presented by The Gleneagle Group, The Rebel South Tour will provide a unique opportunity to explore and learn about Cork and Kerry’s involvement in both The War of Independence and The Civil War. From strategic ambushes to deadly reprisals, from the weapons used to the evolving tactics employed by all sides, this tour offers an interactive insight into a period in Irish history which still resonates today.
The Rebel South Tour commences at The Brehon, Killarney on Tuesday, October 6. Tickets costs €55 per person per day and include the guided tour, bus transfers to the various sites, dinner at The Brehon and an evening lecture. Special accommodation rates are also available at both The Brehon and Gleneagle hotels.
For further information or to book visit www.thebrehon.com or phone 064 66 71 543.
Tommy Martin is from Castleisland, Co. Kerry, and works as a Business/Financial Consultant and Trainer. Tommy is also a graduate of University College Cork, with a Masters Degree in local history. Author of “The Kingdom in the Empire – a portrait of Kerry during World War One”, Tommy is a regular lecturer to historical societies, on Irish and international subjects, and most recently delivered a lecture to the Daniel O’Connell Summer School. In addition to being a keen historian, Tommy is also a playwright, with three of his plays having been staged in his native Kerry.
Dr. William Sheehan
Dr. William Sheehan is the author of British Voices from the Irish War of Independence (2005), Fighting for Dublin (2007) and Hearts and Mines: the British 5th Division in Ireland (2009), A Hard Local War: The British Army and the Guerrilla War in Cork, 1919 -1921 (2011) and The Western Front: Irish Voices from the Great War (2011). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Higher Education Academy.
Day 1: The first day of the tour features two walks, one through Cork City and one through the Clydagh Valley.
Cork City: The morning begins with a walking tour of Cork, exploring the urban war fought in the city, and will take people to the sites of the Barracks Street Ambush, the Dillons Cross Ambush, and even to the sites of individual killings like that of Constable Fred Sterland near the Rob Roy pub, among others.
Clydagh Valley: The Clydagh Valley was the scene of the last major operation by the British army during the War of Independence. It was a large scale search operation to identify and destroy IRA strongholds and arms dumps in the region. Our walk takes tour participants through this operation, explaining the thinking behind it, the tactics employed and the outcome.
The first evening lecture will be by Dr. William Sheehan, and will detail the evolution of British army tactics during the War of Independence, and their impact on British army operations over the twentieth century.
Day 2: The second day is the day of ambushes; the tour will explore Kilmichael, Crossbarry and Beal na Bláth. There will be a walkthrough of each ambush site, exploring how each ambush was set, how it was fought and what the immediate and long term impact was of each of these encounters.
The second evening lecture will be by Dr. William Sheehan, and detail the evolution of IRA ambush during the War of Independence, and discuss how the IRA become a model for other groups such as the Irgun who fought the British army later in the twentieth century.
Day Three focuses on the War in Kerry, beginning with a walking tour of Tralee exploring the impact of both the War of Independence on Civil War on Kerry’s capital. The afternoon will be a visit to Ballyseedy and the site of one of the most terrible incidents in Ireland during the period, the reprisal killing of several civilians by the then National Army. The talk at Ballyseedy explores how the incident happened and what’s its impact has been on Kerry and local politics since then.
The final lecture will be by both Mr. Martin and Dr. Sheehan and will detail the weapons of the campaign. They will explore in depth the capabilities of the Lee-Enfield rifle and the Lewis gun.