The Master’s Exhibition Ready to Roll at No 32

No. 32 Lower Main Street, Castleisland - which will house the Michael O'Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project in conjunstion with National Heritage Week. ©Photograph: John Reidy
No. 32 Lower Main Street, Castleisland – which will house the Michael O’Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project in conjunction with National Heritage Week. ©Photograph: John Reidy

It’s all ready and anyone with even a vague interest in history is being issued, here and now, with an invitation to drop into No. 32 Lower Main Street tomorrow, Saturday, August 22nd anytime from 11am to 5pm and again at the same time on Saturday week, August 29th between the same times.

Dan Kearney’s Documentary Once Were Champions is being broadcast on RTÉ Radio One at 1pm. When was the last time you saw a group of people gathered to listen to a radio broadcast in Castleisland ?

Timothy Murphy will put on his Con Houlihan talk and slide show A Time when our Town was Full of Intriguing Characters at 3pm

The Michael O’Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project Committee is working its way through his complex and vast archive on every aspect of Castleisland’s colourful and varied history.

When was the last time you saw a group of people gathered to listen to a radio broadcast in Castleisland ?

Janet Murphy has been appointed project manager. Ms. Murphy has several publications of a historical nature to her credit. While these deal with the Killarney area – though not exclusively – she is applying her vast experience and knowledge of such collections to the project here in Castleisland.

The committee has also been fortunate too that Tomo Burke has taken such a keen interest in the project. He has bent over backwards in facilitating the collection and housing it to allow it to be examined and exhibited at both of his premises at Lower Main Street.

Janet Murphy lays great praise at the door of Michael O’Donohoe’s sister, Breda Brooks. She held onto the records and passed them onto the committee on the assurance that they would be looked after.

Off the Ground

Eamonn Browne, Librarian, Killarney also provided a home for the collection for a while and was instrumental in getting the project off the ground. Michael Lynch, Kerry County Library Archivist visited the committee recently and offered his advice.

Jimmy Deenihan, TD – as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht went more than the extra mile in securing the funds necessary to ensure a future for the past.

Cllr. Bobby O’Connell, Margaret O’Connor of Crageen Employment, T.J. O’Mahony of Kerry County Council, Colm Lundberg and Sharon Breen of the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht have also been of great help to the committee.

Local People – Free Access

The Heritage Week exhibitions are being mounted to give local people free access and an understanding of what’s going on behind the scenes with regard to The Master’s Legacy – a public relations exercise – if you like.

Those who should be invited will be at a later date. A launch of the website and Facebook pages will be held at the end of the first week in September at the same venue.

While the committee and the project manager are on a single-minded mission to get the O’Donohoe collection published in its entirety, they also see the possibility of branching out into other aspects of local history.

So Many Sign Posts

In any case, The Master’s Legacy is that he put down so many signposts that it would amount to criminal neglect for anyone with an iota of interest in the history of their place not to follow.

The scholars and the researchers will then be able follow a brightly illuminated path through the maze of local history.

The Master wouldn’t have it any other way.