It may be wishful thinking. And then it may be right on the button and an ideal, photographic record of the day the Irish Volunteer branch was set up at The Crown Hotel in Castleisland. It may well be. The date of the formation of the volunteers was Sunday, April 5th. 1914
That historic event is being commemorated today at The Crown Hotel from 5pm along with the local involvement in the Easter Rising of 1916 in its proper, calendar anniversary.
Style of Dress
The style of dress in the photograph is very much of the period. There’s a mixture of bowler hats and flat caps in the crowd.
Most compelling of all is the fact that there are nine men on the balcony. An account in Kerry’s Fighting Story is vivid in its reporting:
Amongst those on the platform were: M. P. McElligott, W. H.O’Connor, R.D.C., T. T. O’Connor, Land Leaguer; John Geaney and Jeremiah Kelliher. The meeting was addressed by Diarmuid Crean, Chairman of the County Board, and by James McDonnell, John Collins and J.M. Collins of the Tralee Volunteer Committee.
It also gives an extensive list of those who attended. But, those on the balcony and those who addressed the crowd have been specifically mentioned – and nine is the count.
There is bound to be an original hard copy of this photograph in a frame on a wall somewhere. Very often the information, the date and the name of the photographer – at least – was written on the back of the photograph or on the backing in the frame.
It’s a long-shot but it’s quite possible that an original photograph exists somewhere in the locality. It would be nice to know for sure.