A little bit misty out there!

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Where: Saint Vincent's Church, Gortmore, Ballyferriter Village, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: Unknown

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
Appropriately on Halloween a misty scene, this time in west Kerry, to remind us that summer is well and truly gone and winter is coming with darkness and cold. When this image was taken Halloween was a time for reverence and remberance while the young people celebrated with the fruits of the harvest. A far cry then from the decorated houses, witches costumes and "Trick or Treat" demands at the door. Perhaps somebody in Library Towers is just getting old and cranky?

Based on research in particular from Bernard Healy and BeachcomberAustralia it seems likely that we can refine the 5-decade catalogue range to perhaps a decade of so around 1910. Specifically, the guys suggest that the white Celtic cross (by the church portico) is inscribed with a date in 1904. Meaning (unless the inscription post-dated the cross itself) we are almost certainly after then. And that, perhaps, the telegraph poles suggest a date after 1907 (before which Ballyferriter Post Office wasn't connected to the telegraph)....


Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914. Likely after 1904 (grave cross). Perhaps after 1907 (telegraph poles).

NLI Ref: L_CAB_09325

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 3182
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland ballyferriter dinglepeninsula cokerry halloween church street droppings dung stonewalls mountains baileanfheirtéaraigh anbhuailtín buailtín windows countykerry stvincentscatholicchurch cross celticcross presbytery patrickoregan nationalschool westkerrymuseum tighantsaorsaigh

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  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 31/Oct/2017 09:17:36

    SpOoKy! - the house on the left has vanished and the white house has acquired extra windows. Streetview - www.google.com.au/maps/@52.1667501,-10.4053686,3a,75y,214...

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 31/Oct/2017 09:50:23

    St Vincent's Catholic Church is c. 1865, and "Freestanding cut-stone Celtic Cross style grave marker, c. 1900, to north-west of site." via - www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=record&... So after 1900?

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 31/Oct/2017 09:55:09

    The triple lancet chancel windows now have recent stained glass - via [https://www.flickr.com/photos/placesaroundireland/] www.flickr.com/photos/placesaroundireland/36542127566/ Flickr is sometimes amazing!

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 31/Oct/2017 10:05:54

    Interesting history of Halloween - it seems we can blame the Celts! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween#History

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    Bernard Healy

    • 31/Oct/2017 12:33:40

    This is a scene I'm familiar with - I used to be based in the adjacent parish of Dingle. A distant cousin of mine was curate in Ballyferriter in the 1880s and was very involved in Land League activities in the area. I've asked a friend in Ballyferriter to have a look at the Celtic Cross for me to see if we can narrow down the date. (Not sure if/when he'll get back to me!) The church is dedicated to St Vincent de Paul because of the work of priests from the Vincentian Order who began a Mission in West Kerry in 1840s to counteract the activity of the Anglican Rev. Geyer who was even sucessful in converting Fr Denis Layne Brasbie (Curate in Ballyferriter) to Anglicanism. The work of the Vincentians was largely sucessful in reversing what was then known as 'souperism'. The house (now vanished) built on to the church was the presbytery where the clergy and their staff lived, In 1901 that was Fr John O'Leary PP, his curate Fr Patrick O'Regan, their cook/domestic Mary Ashe and general domestic Patrick Connor. To the best of my knowledge, the presbytery survived into the 1980s or 1990s and was known as having quite poor living conditions. It was replaced by a free-standing presbytery the driveway of which can be seen by rotating the Streetview.

  • profile

    Bernard Healy

    • 31/Oct/2017 12:57:13

    Got it! The grave is of the above-mentioned Fr Patrick O'Regan, and I found this picture of the gravestone. That says 1904, right? So the stone wouldn't have been erected before 1905. So our date range is narrowed to 1905-1914.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 31/Oct/2017 13:17:48

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy] Looks like 20th June 1904.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 31/Oct/2017 13:34:22

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/] That’s what it looks like to me.

  • profile

    Bernard Healy

    • 31/Oct/2017 14:28:40

    BTW, I've also marked the old (1875) Ballyferriter National School on the picture. It now houses the West Kerry Museum.

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    RETRO STU

    • 31/Oct/2017 15:04:16

    A lot of horse dung on the road and that surprises me. In a marginal soil quality area you'd expect every scrap of dung to be eagerly gathered up and used as fertilizer.

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    guliolopez

    • 31/Oct/2017 15:06:30

    The only thing I remember about Ballyferriter (and this church) is that Peig Sayer's first son (Muiris) was baptised here in the 1890s. (Here they are back on the Blaskets for the 1911 census. Margaret Guiheen = Peig Sayers). While perhaps not traditionally Halloween-ish, the Peig connection might trigger shivers among Flickroonies "of a certain age" :)

  • profile

    Bernard Healy

    • 31/Oct/2017 15:18:18

    The house nearest the schoolhouse (on the right of the picture) is, so far as I can tell, what is now Tigh an tSaorsaigh public house. The pub website gives some of the history: Tigh an tSaorsaigh is located in the heart of the picturesque village of Ballyferriter in the Gaeltacht, County Kerry. It is a traditional Irish pub that has been standing since circa 1870, so it is about as authentic an Irish pub as you can get! At the beginning it was a Sibín, nestled into beautiful landscapes beside the sea and the lovely Béal Bán beach, and was owned by Mr. Kennedy. Willy Long then bought it from Mr. Kennedy, and got a licence from the State. However, Willy was a school teacher and could not put his name on the licence, so he put his brother's name, John Long, on the pub. Willy often exported salted mackerel to the U.S.A from Béal Bán beach, which is just a stone throw away from the pub. Following this, Willie's daughter, Neil married a man by the name of Gerald Sears. They then ran the pub until they unfortunately passed away. While they were running the pub, the local's never called it John Long’s, they called it "Tigh an t-Saorsaigh", which is what the pub is known as today. The B&B behind the bar was only built ten years ago and has gorgeous views from the bedrooms overlooking Béal Bán and Smerwick harbour. Willy Long's household in the 1911 Census.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 31/Oct/2017 20:29:49

    A schoolteacher named Willy Long, who couldn't put his name on the pub! Stop that giggling at the back of the class!

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    Bernard Healy

    • 31/Oct/2017 21:25:12

    Not sure if this reasoning is solid or not, but the poles in the village suggest that when the photo was taken Ballyferriter Post Office was connected to the telegraph network. This pdf is, I think, from the 1907 Guy’s City & County Almanac & Directory. If I’m reading it correctly, in 1907 Ballyferriter Post Office didn’t yet have a telegraph connection, so we’re Post-1907. Anyone have any better dates or knowledge about the spread of the telegraph network into rural Ireland?

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/Nov/2017 10:02:57

    Thanks [https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy] and [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] - I've updated the date range, map and text to account for your hard work/research! Go raibh maith agaibh..