New Memoir of Milltown from local Historian

Gwin for the Blue - by Pat McKenna will be launched by Owen O'Shea on this Friday night at the Muintir Na Tíre Hall.
Gwin for the Blue – by Pat McKenna will be launched by Owen O’Shea on this Friday night at the Muintir Na Tíre Hall at 8pm.

It promises to be a night of memories and nostalgia in Milltown on Friday, 14th July when a memoir of life in the mid-Kerry village is published and launched by a local retired teacher and historian.

‘Gwin for the Blue’ by Pat McKenna from Milltown recounts the happenings and characters of his native place in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s and is a lively and entertaining read.

Recounting stories and anecdotes from the first twenty years of his life, the memoir charts an Ireland barely recognisable to the young people of today and tells of life in a rural village from the War years to the Swinging Sixties.

Ups and Downs of Life

The self-published book is described as a tribute to local people who survived the ups and downs of life “in spite of dungeon, fire and sword.”

Pat’s stories include references to local landmarks like the Godfrey Estate and the formidable last member of that landed gentry family, Miss Phyllis, as well as recollections of the railway line through Milltown, schools sports days, and the dominant position of the Catholic Church at the time.

Pat McKenna was born in Milltown in 1943 and was educated locally. Having graduated from University College Dublin, he became a secondary school teacher and taught in Dublin, Tralee and Africa before retiring to his native village.

Milltown from 1943 to 1963

“This memoir deals with my memories of Milltown from 1943 to 1963. It has stories from my childhood and tells of what life was like in the locality in those years. In the 1950s there were huge changes locally with the opening of the Liebherr factory as a major new employer, the closure of many branch railway lines, and the replacement of the street fair by the cattle mart,” said Pat.

“I hope it will bring back memories for people and I hope everyone will enjoy it. At the launch in the Muintir na Tíre Hall on 14th, we will share memories over a cup of tea, hopefully, and I would encourage all my neighbours and friends and anyone with an interest in local history to come along.”

Muintir na Tíre Hall

The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs taken by Tralee photographer, Michael Diggin and includes images of Milltown landmarks like Killagha Abbey, the White Church, the local Mass Rock, the Bridewell, and Spout Lane, which was the 12th century road between north and South Kerry. There are also historical images of life in the community including events like the Corpus Christi Procession and local social occasions.

‘Gwin for the Blue’ by Pat McKenna will be launched at the Muintir na Tíre Hall, The Square, Milltown on Friday, July 14th at 8pm by local author, Owen O’Shea, and all are welcome. Enquiries to Pat McKenna on 087 27 33 449 or 066 97 67 367.

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