THE social history of Kells and surrounds, as well as many other interesting facts, are documented in an impressive publication which was launched on Saturday last.
'Around Kells Bay' is 250-page paperback by Pat Lynch, featuring 300 colour photos, and former Kerry manager Mick O'Dwyer performed the official duties at Caitin's Pub in Gleesk. The book though sold out withing days of being launched.
Pat left Kells for Kildare some 50 years ago but has painstakingly researched the area in minute detail. Pat's siblings remain in the area, his brother Michael owns Seaview B&B on the strand, his sisters are Bridie O'Sullivan (Liss, Cahersiveen). Mary Murphy (Lauragh PO) and Noreen Foran who now resides in Killarney.
Resident in Clane, Pat was principal in the local national school for 35 years before his retirement over a decade ago and says he had always planned to detail the history of Kells.
"It's for the tenant farmers who struggled in the face of poverty and want, of landlords and oppression, of scarcity and hard manual labour as people tried to eke out a basic living," he told The Kerryman ahead of last Saturday's launch.
'Around Kells Bay' reveals how in the townlands of Kells and Roads alone, 35 houses lay in ruins but the walls still stand, a tribute to the skill of craftsmen. The townlands of Cappamore, Gortaforia, Gleesk, Mountfoley, Coomshanna and Reycastle are also reviewed.
"This is the story of men, women and children who cut and saved turf on the mountainside, saved the hay manually, sowed and picked potatoes and fished the seas," Pat added.