News from 1934: Castleisland Never Lost its Tradition for Music !

The Paddy Breen Band during the early Dance Hall era. Courtesy of Gina McElligott. That’s Paddy on the right with from left: Jackie Drew, Paddy ‘More Power’ O’Connor, Tommy Watson, Steve Condon, Tralee and Jack O’Leary, Tralee.  Photo Courtesy of Gina McElligott. Is there anyone out there who may be able to fill in the missing names ?
Paddy ‘Gadge’ Breen (front right) with his Island Swing Band taken in 1941 in front of the photographer, T.W. Wren’s Main Street public house. Included are, front from left: Monny McGillicuddy, and Paddy ‘Fla’ Curtin, Back from left: Dermot ‘Dobs’ Breen, ???? ??? Sonny O’Mahony and Sylvie Hogan. Can anyone fill in the missing name of the band member on the piano accordion and man on the right who is partly cut out of the photograph and while you’re at it what about the two women leaning out the upstairs windows. Photo Courtesy of Paddy Dowling. 

Castleisland’s tradition for music and enterprise didn’t go unnoticed by the town’s notes writer for the Kerry Champion Newspaper in 1934.

In the Saturday, August 11-1934 edition of the paper, which was founded in 1928 and ran for 30 years until 1958, the notes writer, signed as L.B., described the initiative of the band members in glowing terms.

The scribe had great hopes for the band’s future as it had bookings in Killorglin and ‘The Mall’ – and that’s The Mall as in Knocknagoshel as was made clear in another similar insertion in a subsequent week’s notes.

Here it is as it appeared in ‘The Champion’ all those years ago.

Dance Band

Castleisland Never Lost its Tradition for Music!

One remembers wistfully the scintillant triumphs of Miss O’Connell’s ‘Kerry Diamonds’ and with pride the recent superb achievement of Miss Joan Hanifin.

Now, a long felt want in Castleisland – the organisation of a Dance Orchestra – is met by the enterprise of Mr. Patrick Breen, whose band will, I believe, give their opening programme at Killorglin and ‘The Mall’ in the near future.

The members comprise:- J.  Barry (drums); H. Fitzgerald (piano); P. Breen and M. McGillicuddy (accordians).

This accomplished little group should achieve a great success. L.B.

I presume the H.Fitzgerald (piano) as mentioned above should have read ‘piano accordion’ as you couldn’t imagine a band lugging a piano around from hall to hall in that era. 

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