Kerry author and journalist, Breda Joy will present A Feast of Kerry Stories from the wild and witty side of the Kingdom at two venues in Chicago this weekend on Friday, May 6th, and Sunday, May 8th.
The first stop is at the Irish American Heritage Center at 4626 N Knox Avenue on Friday, May 6th, at 7pm. Admission free.
Then to Chief O’Neill’s Pub, 3471 N Elston Ave, Chicago on Sunday, May 8th, at 4pm. Admission free.
Joy will read from her book, ‘Hidden Kerry, The Keys to the Kingdom’ – Mercier Press 2014 – as well as reading some of her own poems. She will also sign copies of the book.
A varied cast of characters with colorful stories encountered on the Kingdom’s less-travelled paths will step out of the pages of the book.
The journey begins at Tarbert on the River Shannon and finishes close to the Cork border under the Paps Mountains. Stories of Lord Kenmare’s doomed mansion, which hosted royal visitors until it burned down, the Moving Bog that swept an entire family to their deaths as they slept, and Big Bertha, who entered the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘oldest cow in the world’, all come to life between the book covers.
There is also a reference to the characters, life and times of the now sadly closed, Sheila Prendiville’s Bar & Grocery at No. 22 on Castleisland’s Main Street. The principal actor in the scheme of things in Sheila’s was David Prendiville also know as Dauber.
In my appraisal of life in and around that wonderful, old public house for The Kerryman a few years ago, I recalled one night when a young man confided in Dauber some years years earlier. He told him he was going out with a woman a ‘good bit older’ than him and wondered what Dauber thought of it.
“Aisy Pati” said Dauber “’tisn’t for racing you want her,” came the reply from the impromptu agony aunt.
In Breda Joy’s sweep for gems of that nature, Dauber’s off-the-cuff piece of advice didn’t escape her.
Dramas in the book include a daring plot hatched in Dingle to rescue Marie Antoinette, the tale of the German U-Boat that landed Greek sailors on the West Kerry coast, and the gun-running friar beheaded by Cromwellian soldiers on a lonely island.
Breda Joy has written for Kerry’s Eye and The Kerryman for more than 30 years in her native Kerry. She has written three books as well as publishing poetry in literary journals.