John and Kathleen celebrate 50 years
Last Tuesday the 50th wedding anniversary of John and Kathleen Lynch of Farranreigh, Valentia, occurred.
The occasion was celebrated in fine style with family and friends on the previous Saturday, at the home in Reenglass of their daughter, Mary, and her husband, Donie Coffey. Delicious refreshments galore were the order of the day.
To add to that auspicious occasion of April 1969, the walls were adorned with wedding photographs aplenty, leading to an enjoyable, nostalgic recall of that far-off day, and also to a recall of dear friends and relatives no longer with us.
The marriage took place in the church of the Immaculate Conception, Knightstown, and the officiating priest was the Late Fr John Beasley, with the bestman being Mick Lynch and the bridesmaid being Sr Anne Casey. The reception took place in the Bay View Hotel, Waterville, with the wedding party and guests crossing by motor-boat ferry to mainland Renard Point on the journey.
It is interesting to mark that wedding with a recall of what went on in Valentia, Ireland and the wider world a half century ago in that year of 1969.
For instance, the motor-boat ferry and cattle boat were still in operation in 1969 as the Valentia Bridge was not completed until 1971.
Valentia secondary-school students crossed with bicycles by ferry from Knightstown to Renard Point to attend school in the Christian Brothers , Convent and Technical schools of Cahersiveen. They have since been replaced by Coláiste Na Sceilge. Building materials were also transported across to Valentia by the motor-boat ferry, which involved a lot of handling and manual labour.
The Royal Hotel was owned by Norman Ross. Boston's Bar was owned by Thady O'Driscoll, and the Ring Lyne Bar in Chapeltown was operated by Mike and Tessie O'Sullivan. Johnnie and Bennie Reidy ran a grocery shop in Knightstown, and so too did Tony and Bernie Walsh.
Maria O'Sullivan owned a shop and ran a Post Office in Chapeltown. Patrick and Mollie Lynch operated a shop and butcher outlet there. Jerh and Ellie Lynch had a shop and shoemaking business, and Martin and Bridge Falvey owned a shop also in Chapeltown
The creamery existed in Chapeltown. Valentia had three national schools, situated in Corobeg, Ballyhearney and Knightstown. They have been replaced by one school built in Ballyhearney in 1978.
The GAA grounds of O'Connor Park in Chapeltown existed without a stand, dressing rooms or floodlights. St Marys of Cahersiveen were South Kerry senior football champions.