Launch of Kerry Songs of Revolution Tonight

Compilers, Gabriel Fitzmaurice (left) and Pádraig Ó Concubhair, with Cara Trant, Kerry Writers’ Museum manager preparing for this Saturday night’s launch of ‘Their Memory Will Endure – Kerry Songs of Revolution 1916 – 1924’ at the Seanchaí Centre in Listowel at 7:30pm.   ©Photograph: John Reidy
A British Military archival map showing the flash-points of the fateful gun battle between local volunteers and British forces in Castleisland on July 10th 1921. The song and story which sprang from the event are included in the new book being launched in Listowel this evening.

Kerry Writers’ Museum, Listowel will launch a new book and CD commemorating Kerry’s role in the struggle for independence tonight, Saturday, December 15th at 7.30pm.

Entitled ‘Their Memory Will Endure – Kerry Songs of Revolution 1916 to 1924’, the book is a compilation of over 40 songs and poems about events in Kerry during the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War, including Kerry people involved in these events elsewhere.

Tradition of Ballad Writing

An accompanying CD includes a selection of 15 of the songs from the book.

Compiled by Gabriel Fitzmaurice and Pádraig Ó Concubhair, the aim of the project was to explore the tradition of ballad writing in Kerry as intangible ‘folk monuments’ to the deceased, in this Decade of Commemorations.

“We have presented poems and songs of the 1916 Easter Rising where Kerrymen, The O’Rahilly, Patrick Shortis and Michael Mulvihill gave their lives for a cause they passionately believed in,” said Gabriel Fitzmaurice, writing in the foreword to the book.

Songs from Across the County

“From the many songs, poems and ballads of the War of Independence (1919-21) and Civil War (1922-23) we have chosen examples from the whole of the county.

“Basically, as we all know, song is not history. Nonetheless, ‘Historical’ songs demonstrate how history becomes legend. And we need legend.

“Though historically inaccurate, legends are true to the spirit of their people, that indefinable coming together of historical fact, memory, story, song and poetry that make us what we are,” said Gabriel.

Project Exhibition

Kerry Writers’ Museum is currently developing an exhibition for the project featuring a selection of the songs compiled.

“Our aim is to take the exhibition to all parts of the county over the coming years as part of the Decade of Commemorations,” said museum manager, Cara Trant.

The project was funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht under the Regional Museums Exhibition Scheme 2018 and will be launched by Tarbert native, Dr. Declan Downey, Lecturer in Modern European and Japanese History in the School of History & Archives at UCD. All are welcome.

Further Information

For further information on the book and its availability throughout the county and beyond you’re invited to contact:

Cara Trant, Manager, Kerry Writers’ Museum, 24 The Square, Listowel, Co. Kerry. Tel. 068 22212 or Email:

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