The Late James ‘Jimmy’ Reidy, Castleisland and Chicago, U.S.A.


The late Jimmy Reidy (right) pictured with Aeneas Lane, Rockchapel (left) and Jimmy’s brother, Danny in Listowel for the Féile Lios Tuathail on a Sunday afternoon in October 2008. Photograph: John Reidy 5-10-2008


The death has occurred of James ‘Jimmy’ Reidy, (77) Knocknagore, Castleisland, Co. Kerry and late of Desmond’s Avenue, Castleisland and Chicago, U.S.A.

On November 27th 2019, peacefully after a short illness at University Hospital Kerry.

Sadly missed by his loving brother Danny, nephew Willie, nieces Bríd and Liz, grandnephews, grandnieces, relatives, neighbours and many friends.

May His Gentle Soul Rest In Peace.

Football Boots Handed Down

During one of his frequent trips home from America, our Knocknagore, Tralee Road neighbour, Jimmy Reidy gave me his football boots.

They were a perfect fit and there was no damage done to them from Jimmy’s forays on to the fields of play.

They were of the brown leather variety, high with ankle protections built on rather that built in. God nor man wouldn’t go near you with boots like them on you.

Neighbours and Good Friends

Our families were near neighbours and good friends always. My grandfather was often down at Reidy’s when there was hay to be saved or gardens to be set and Jimmy’s uncle Jamesie Geaney returned the compliments with work, music and high entertainment.

There were celebrations too like the amassing of bonfire material at the second bridge for St. John’s night.

My grandmother and mother and Mrs. Bridie Reidy, Mrs. Leane and Mrs.Twomey were involved in their own industry.

Friendship around Hatching Hens and Eggs

That always seemed to involve hatching hens and eggs and chickens and ducklings and turkeys and knitting patterns and preparing for station masses at Leane’s or Mrs. Reidy’s.

They prayed together for the planet when John F Kennedy and Russian leader, Nikita Khrushchev and Cuba’s Fidel Castro were eyeballing each other at safe distances and my father fixed their well used rosary beads on a tiny bench vice in his workshop.

How Many Pigs in the Bay

As children we wondered how many pigs there were in that bay in Cuba. A quip from Jamesie one night only deepened my curiosity when he said: ‘Steveen’ would like it there.’

Steveen Corkery liked pigs.

He supplemented his little bike repair business and its sporadic income by rearing and selling pigs in town on Tuesdays in the course of his regular and feisty jousts with the late Mossie O’Connell – our local buyer at the time.

Praying and Crying for JFK

The women prayed and openly cried for a week the time Kennedy was shot and chided the men for being more interested in following the news and elaborate funeral ceremony on our new television set – on which the first evening bulletin we saw brought us the historically tragic news on that dark evening in November 1963.

That was the kind of life Jimmy Reidy left to go the ‘The States’ in the 1950s and dipped back into intermittently – with all its changes, subtle and sweeping – before retirement arrived and he moved back here for good in more recent years.

In Recent Years

In those recent years I met him on a regular basis with Danny at various music festivals and sessions as they were keen and knowledgeable followers.

They were as close as brothers could be. Their father Willie died when they were very young and their aforementioned uncle Jamesie came to Knocknagore from Scartaglin to live with his sister Bridie to work the farm.

Melodion Over His Shoulder

There was always a glow of fun and music and laughter and bottles of stout when Jamesie walked up our bohereen on evenings with his melodeon thrown over his shoulder – and without telegram or text the neighbours would, somehow, land on.

God be Good to them all now.

Jimmy Reidy’s Funeral Arrangements

A rosary will be recited at Tangney’s Funeral Home on this Sunday evening at 4pm.

Requiem Mass for Jimmy Reidy, R.I.P. will take place tomorrow  morning, Monday, December 2nd. at 11am in Castleisland Parish Church.

Burial afterwards in Kilbanivane Cemetery, Castleisland. No flowers, please at the request of the late Jimmy.