Sport and Strife: The Civil War and the rise of Kerry’s Greatest Football Team

Killorglin Archive Society Presents the first event in its Decade of Centenaries’ Commemorative Programme 2022:

Sport and Strife: The Civil War and the rise of Kerry’s Greatest Football Team

A lecture by Dr. Richard McElligott CYMS, Killorglin

Saturday 5th February, at 12 noon

Commemorating the role of the GAA in Kerry and the bitter legacy of the Civil War, a Kerry team emerged as a powerful symbol of the how sports can transcend the deep social divisions of war. At the time, the Kerry team comprised of men who represented both sides of the Civil War’s ideological divide. The team’s stunning national success over the next decade is now widely celebrated as an example of healing and unifying power through sports. Dr. McElligott’s lecture features the stories of the incredible gestures by footballers from both the Free State and Republican sides: for example, the Kerry captain, Con Brosnan, a Free State officer during the war, ensured safe passage to games for the republican, anti-Treaty players such as John Joe Sheehy and Joe Barrett.

Following the cessation of the Civil War, Kerry won the All-Ireland with a team of men from both sides of the political divide. Special guests of the Killorglin Archive Society will be members of the Barrett, Brosnan and Sheehy families.

Dr Richard McElligott is a native of Stacks Mountain, Kilflynn. He was awarded his PhD from UCD in 2012 for his thesis on the early history of the GAA in Ireland. His first book, Forging a Kingdom: The GAA in Kerry, 1884-1934 was published in 2013. Since then, Richard has written extensively on the history of the GAA and cultural nationalism, the Irish Revolutionary era, and the connections between all three.

Richard’s current position is Lecturer in Modern and Irish history in the Department of Business and Humanities in Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Entry to the event on Saturday February 5th is €10 and all are welcome.

For further information, email killorglinarchivesociety@gmail.com

In March, Killorglin Archive Society’s 2022 programme features the premiere of Hunger Strike, a play written in 1929 by former Killorglin native Máirín Cregan. The play is based on her own experiences during the Civil War when her husband, one of the founders of Fianna Fáil, Dr. James Ryan, went on hunger strike for 36 days while interned in the Curragh in 1923.

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