Notes of Joe Wilkie - Killarney memories- page 2
County Kerry

Wilkie Notes....

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My dad's memories of the street the Green Lane

(now the Bridewell Lane)
Neighbors of Patrick Wilkie 1910-1920

Green Lane

(Had three rows of houses)

Front Lane

Jimmy Wrixson - home
Horgan home Christy HORGAN family had a candy store in front window sold hard candy, bulls eyes,peppermints and licorice
MCKENNA- worked in a sawmill
FLYNNS, Sonny & Lily
STANTON was a jarvey driver

DONOHUE-Tim was 6 ft tall, member of the English Guard also became a chauffer for the Lord Kenmare after he returned from the War. The wives of Donohue and Stanton (next door to each other) were sisters.

COOPER-Sonny and Pauline. Sonny's father Jack was a jarvey driver The Cooper family was the first to get lights and power.

MC CARTHY, Sonny, his father was a shoemaker. This family was the first to get a phonograph.

Jer OCONNELL was a recruiting sargent during WW I & veteran of the Boer War.

Middle Lane

SULLIVAN-John was a postman had a son Timmy and 2 daughters

MATHIS-Mary she was a seamtress

CRONIN-Denis. Denis worked for the Dole Office. He and his brother Pat lived there with their mother. Pat worked in the sawmill

STACK, Morris he was a postman, nicknamed Mossey, worked for over 45 years at Post Office and had a brother Johnny STACK

SHEA, Mort brother of Jer Shea

Back Lane

Edmund FORHANE Sr AND Ellen FOLEY (note Ellens parents were Thomas FOLEY and Mary DOYLE and Edmunds parents were Cornelius FORHANE and Hannah FALVEY). Edmund was a jarvey driver and the grandparents of Alice Foran (Forhane). Alice Foran became wife of PatrickWilkie. (During this time there were variations in spelling of the Forhane name)

SUGRUE, Margaret a neighbor of the Wilkies, a very nice lady quiet, lived alone

WILKIE, Peter was a Irish Munster Fusilier in the Boer War and World War I. Mary Ferris Wilkie worked for a cooperative store in Killarney during WWI. Had 7 children- Margaret, Chris, Hannah, Bridie, Patrick, Peter and Mariah.

HORGAN-Ellie , Katie and Paddy sisters and a brother who lived next door to one another. Ellie lived alone (used crutches) Katie and Paddy Horgan brother and sister lived together. Paddy was a great accordian player. During the day he would come outside and play jigs and at night he played waltzes. Pop went to sleep many nights to the music of Paddy HORGAN.

More Information -Green Lane

Patrick Wilkie, remembers that his home was small. His brothers shared beds which consisted of mattresses on a floor. His sisters worked at the Great Southern Hotels and had room and board there. The kitchen had a large fireplace with large kettle pots hanging up. Here the meals were prepared, breads baked and tea kettles stayed warm for the day. There was a small garden in back of the dwelling with turnips, potatoes, and beans. Chickens and pigs were raised and the eggs sold. Washing was done by hand and hung out on the bushes. Water was drawn from a well nearby. Dad remembers each child had a pair of shoes that were worn only for going to school and to Church. Christmas was a big event. Very large candles were placed in the window. The boys gathered holly out near Colemans Castle and decorated their house and gave remainder of the holly to neighbors and to Killarney storekeepers. Their own stockings were hung on the fireplace and fresh fruit was found in them the next morning. A tin whistle or a mouth organ were the toys of the time. Christmas Mass at the Cathedral was always attended by all. After Christmas the children would march around town playing their tin whistles and mouth organs. Dad remembers a particular route they took on the march where they would have to pass a cemetary and it was agreed upon by the children before hand, to walk very naturally by it. They approached it very cautiously, still playing and when they would get near the entrance, everyone would run like hell. Pop still laughs about that story today.

In these early days gas light was being put in at the Green Lane, Jack Cooper was the first to have light (front lane, last house) They were also the family that owned their own horse and cart. The kids names were Pauline and Sonny COOPER

In the middle Lane there lived a Denis CRONIN. One of nana'a aunts (Hartnett) married young Denis. A sister Margaret CRONIN came to over to US but returned again to Killarney.

There was a HOGAN family on the Green Ln. The father, old Jim HORGAN fought in the Crimean War. He had a daughter Katie, Ella and a son Paddy,. Paddy was a great accordian player. In the evening he would entertain the neighbors.

Then there was Dan O, Dan MCCARTHYa waiter at the at the Victoria Hotel. He had a daughter named Maggie MCCARTHY who went to Worcester MA and a son Mickey MCCARTHY sho remained in Killarney.

The DONOGHUE family had children Francis, Bridie and Eily

jarvey driver

The FORHANES lived on the back Lane where pop lived, ggrandfather Ned (Edmound) was a jarvey driver They were grandparents of nana and passed away during the big flu epidemic about 1918.(click thumbnail to see larger image)

Bob BRIEN moved into that dwelling after the Forhanes death. Bob previously lived at Ducketts Ln but lost his wife and 2 children in the 1918 flu epidemic. He remarried a Ryan widow (maiden name-Sullivan) who had children and one of the daughters name was Shelia RYAN.

During the epidemic, people were sent to the "fever hospital" up near Sunny Hill. Pop remembers going up there and looking over a wall and seeing all the caskets lined up. Every day there were multiple funerals. Doctor MCSWEENEY was the physician that treated many of the flu patients at that time.

Most of the homes along the Green Lane were owned by the Kenmore Estates. Each year Lady Kenmore would pay a visit to the residents to oversee the housing. All the residents came out of their homes and bowed to the Lady Landlord.

In a letter I had from Tim MCCARTHY author of Killarney Top Of Towns, he mentioned the passing in 1999 of Tim OSHEA, his friend who collected rent for the Lord of Kenmare in the early days at Green Lane. Tim OSHEA & Connie STAUNTON were classmates with him at the Presentation Monastery.

Note: All of the homes on Green Lane are now privately owned.

On New Street

there was a family of DOYLES. Hannah DOYLE attended the Loretto Convent, immigrated to NYC and worked for the Social Security office there. (1940's) Hannah had a brother Vincent DOYLE who made several trips to the states but never stayed. He worked for the dole office in Killarney. Another brother immigrated and was a priest in Virginia. Two other brothers, John & (?name) had a business of side cars and horses in Killarney.

The DONOGHUE'S were a real respected family and had a hotel, Park Place on High St. Mr Donoghue became a doctor in later years, shared a building for his practice with old Dr McSweeney (had separate entrances) and was remembered as the doctor who would go out to visit a patient any time of day or night. They also had a son and daughter who became doctors, one had a practice in Dublin, another son Michael was a communications officer on a steamship line and son Paddy became a priest. Mrs. Donoghue was about pops age. In the early days the Donoghues raised horses and cattle at Home Farm near Aghadoe. Later they bought the Park Place Hotel. Nana and pop always stayed there on their trips home.

The CORKERY'S on New St made carriages. On one side of their store was HILLARDS store and on the other side Boss COFFEY pub. In later years, a son Charlie COKERY ran a pub. Charlie's nickname was Chism.

Pop always like to tell this story about a friend named Tommy MULCAHY. Pop left Killarney before him and when they bid farewell, Tommy said to pop "Paddy Joe, the next time I see you I'll whistle the song , 'Under the Shade of the Old Apple Tree' ". Several years later in NYC, someone came into the room and said to pop "there is somone here to see you and he is out in the hall whistling a song" Pop knew right away who it be.

The town had lamplighters and town criers. The gas lamplighter was Dan CALAHANE (High St) and Tommy MCKENNA (Tom married Bridget Sullivan-Ball Alley Ln) and the town crier was named SPELLMAN (Ducketts Ln). Dan was the brother in law of Nel Murphy mentioned earlier. Dan CALAHANE was one of pops best friends. He became a postman and worked at PO, Yorkville Branch in NYC. Dan passed away on a ship on his return trip home from Killarney, 29 Aug 1955. (R.I.P). Mr Spellman, the crier would go around the town ringing a large bell. He started at Market Cross, then up High Street, down New St, Main St, Henn St, College Street etc. People all came out of their homes anxiously awaiting news of the war in Europe.

Nana's best friends were sisters Kathie OMALLEY, Delia OMALLEY and her very best friend Agnes OMALLEY. The OMalleys in the early 1900's lived in Killarney at the Glebe Market Lane. The family had 3 houses on that lane and operated a Cooper Shop making barrels. Agnes immigrated to USA and married Freddie JOHNSON and moved to Worcester Mass. Mom and dad stood up for them as best man and woman at their marriage at St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC. Jimmy FRENCH (College St- father originally from Milltown) who came over on the SS Celtic with dad, married Dehlia OMalley of Killarney . They too resided in Worcester MA. Jimmy in Ireland was a chauffer and when he went to Massachussetts he opened his own garage and was a mechanic. His children's name were James, Patrick, Kathleen & Marion FRENCH. The two oldest children, Patrick and Kathleen were born in Ireland. Patrick was 3 years old when he came to Worcester MA.

Another fellow from Killarney who came over on same boat, Tom HICKEY became a policeman . They all kept in touch with each other for many years.

Margaret Wilkie

Tom MULCAHY (Chapel Ln) who came to New York city early in the 1900's, married dad's sister Margaret Wilkie (seen right. click thumbnail to see larger image). Tom's dad in Killarney was Frank MULCAHY, a jarvey driver. After immigrating Tom was in the Calvary during World War I, then became a caretaker of horses at different estates in NY, noteably the Flagler estate in Millbrook NY. Madge Wilkie worked as a maid for the same estate. Tom is buried at a National Cemetary in Long Island NY d circa 1936. Madge Wilkie lived to be 94 d 1988.

In this same MULCAHY family there were brothers Paddy, Christy and Neilus. Neilus lived in New York City but ended up in Canada living with relatives already there. The eldest girl was Molly MULCAHY, and sisters Delia and also twins girls, one twin named Rita. One of the twin girls, pop not sure which one, was married to a New York City fireman named JOYCE. Tom's brother Christy went to North Carolina to work at a horse farm

In Killarney there was another MULCAHY's that collected skins from dead animals, took them to tanning shops and had country whips, horse whips, bridals and swaggards made out of the hides and he in turn sold them for a profit. Another Mulcahy had a boot shop in Killarney. Willie MULCAHY, a paper boy would go into all the pubs to sell local newspapers, the Killarney Echo and out of town newspapers that came in by rail from Tralee. He would always sound out out the headlines of the day. Willie did some prize fighting too. He even fought professionally in England and will always be remembered as pop's best friend as a kid.

Pop remebers the MANNIX family of Ducketts Ln. They moved to Tralee in the early 1900's. They had a boot shop in Tralee and pop and his mother would always stop over and visit with the family on their way to Castlegregory. The boys names were Jim & John MANNIX.

There were 2 RIC men that left Ireland on the Celtic to America, 17 Mar 1921 O'DWYER AND O'CONNELL. One of them, pop forgets which one, became manager of a Reeves store in NYC.

Presentation Convent class 1899

Pop remembers well the nuns at the Presentation Convent. One of his favorites was SISTER JOSEPHINE (O'CONNOR). Pop said she was a nun from Dingle. She would always give pop a bowl of soup, some bread outsde the convent kitchen window. Pop and nana never forgot them and always visted the Convent on their return trips. On their first trip back in the 50's, she took nana and pop into the convent chapel and said "look Paddy Joe, we have steam heat now". They even took pictures of the nuns in their first ever home movies. Came out pretty good for amateur photographers. I have saved a few letters and Christmas cards that the nuns wrote to them. (This photo shows a Presentation School Class c 1899. Click thumbnail to see larger image) This is one of their letters I transcribed as it has a date in it someone may need.

Christmas 1959

Dear Pat & Alice,

Rev. Mother (Kevin) asked me to send you this note with her greetings for Christmas and New Year.

She is upset & busy, still she could not forget our friends.

Her aunt Sr. Philomena was buried on Nov 21st which accounts for the upset. Of course you knew Sr. Philomena R.I.P, a lovely nun. I hope you both and family are well also all the Wilkie families.

Renewed greetings & all good wishes from Rev Mother & Community.
Sr Stanislaus

Dad can't remember the name but one of the nuns had a brother that was a priest at St Stephen's of Hungary Church on East 83rd St In NYC. He went to Aunt Madge funeral in 1988.

He believes it was a CLIFFORD, not certain of this.

MISS CURRAN was the piano player at the silent picture show in the early 1900's in Killarney. The movies were shown Thurs (the main feature day) &. Sat. in the upstairs room at the town hall at the Market Cross. The Curran family lived right across the street from the Market Cross. They ran a flour and meal store. The kids all ate fruit at the movies and Pop said he will never forget the sounds of the kids chomping on the apples and the pears. The town hall also had boxing events and Pop did a few rounds there when he was a little older. It was common in those days to have prize fights. A Brit named Zapper GRANT set up the fights. He was a heavywight boxer with the British Army. He paid the fighters a couple of schillings and pocketed most of the money. The fighters were given nicknames like Tombstone, Strongman and Dirty Pat. A big fight was held one time in a field near Beaufort and at a hall in Killorgan.


It was common thing in those days to have a nickname as many of the residents of the town had the same names. I'll give you a few examples pop remembers. There was:

PEEP OUT- the guy that was always looking out the window

TRENCH COAT- the people who worked in England always came home wearing a trench coat

Ladder LEARY-a very tall person

RACEY- The guy who always went to the races

These are just a few examples but there were many more like Ditto, Lily Of Killarney, Harmonica, Stone Weight, John Boy, Major, Mossey And Under The Clock.

There was "Toast DOYLE". He was one of those gents who blew a bugle up in the mountains so the tourists could hear the echos.

Pop remembers "Paddy of the Sticks" (pop said everyone pronouced his name Pat-scheen), he had a little business selling blackthorn walking sticks on the top of Ross Road.


Grandfather Jeff (Edmound FORHANE-in this photo, click thumbnail to see larger image) As a child he lived at Pawn Office Ln and when he married lived at Tuohills Ln and Sunny Hill Ln. He was a jarvey driver . Many of the town men earned a living this way. Pop said many jarvey drivers worked for certain hotels. They wore those stove pipe hats and hotels were recognized by the different colored hats the drivers wore. Edmond had a brother Patrick FORHANE a stone mason by trade. He immigrated to New York and had 2 sons Jeff and Michael FORHANE

In my small pictures album are photos of Joan HARTNETT cousin of mom with her husband KEEGAN in 1937. They ran at one time the Innisfallen Hotel.

A slaughter house was near High St. There was a store on Market Lane that sold the best black pudding. Another favorite were the chester cakes, similar to bread pudding, the BLAND family and a place called ANNIES on Henn St sold the chester cakes.

He remembers the blacksmith, the toy stores and all the pubs by name, there was Spillanes, Donohues, Bobby Eagers, Sheas and McCullicuddys

Bobby EAGER from High St, his dad at one time was a policeman in London. The Eagers immigrated to US and worked for the Telephone Co in NYC. Bobby returned home after his retirement. In his retirement years in Killarney he and his sister had a business next to one another. Bobby had a pub next door to his sisters grocery store.

Bobby gave pop a set of old postcards with old views of Killarney. I will get them scanned in the near future. I also have some real old postcards of Killarney that sister Pat gave me.

Katie FLYNN of the Market Lane married a Lionel CROSLEY and in NYC her husband worked for the 5th Ave Busline. Dad remembers she had 2 children and one son name was Corneilus

Michael QUILL from outside of Killarney but a Kerryman was the head of the local union in NYC and helped Killarney immigrants in securing jobs. Frankie CONNOR was his assistant and this same Frankie CONNOR of College St married Nancy CRONIN of High St. In New York Frankie worked for the 5th Ave Coach Co. Nancy had a brother Tommy CRONIN. Frankie and Nancy son became a doctor in New York City.

Jack BUCKLEY of Huggards Ln was a 5th Ave bus driver too.

The FLEMING family (New St) next to the Post Office had a son who became a priest and he passed away in California. He was nicknamed JD. He had a brother Frank FLEMING. There was another priest from Killarney, buried in same cementary in California but pop can't recall his name or the city where they are buried. Believes it was near LA. Charlie DOYLE brother to Hannah DOYLE (New St) told him that info on one of his trips back to Killarney.

Christy HEALY'S father worked full time at St Brendans Seminary.

Jer. MAHONEY nicknamed Jerde lived in a cottage right by the Bishops palace and rang the bell at St Mary's Church.

Connie MAHONEY (St Marys Terrace) passed away in New York at St Lukes Hospital in the 1960's. He had a brother living in New Jersey at the time.

Mrs Moriarity, 1922 Mrs MORIARTY lived in a lodge at the entrance to Muckross Estate. Her son Morris MORIARTY took care of the Muckross graveyard.

(At right, Madge Wilkie (2nd from right) with her friends and Mrs. Moriarity (arm around young boy). The young boy's older brother was Morris Moriarity.)

Jimmy CULNANE was maitrede at the Great Southern Hotel. He had a daughter that married a Mahoney. Mrs Culnane run a gift shop at the Great Southern Hotel. They lived at cottages at Sunny Hill. These cottages were built near 1920. Before that the property was know as Mud Hill.

The British troops made their presence about this period of time. The horse artillery came in by train and the British marching band made its way to the Victoria Hotel.The troops marched into town with all the kids following. The town folks formed their own bands. There was a pipers band, a brass band and the Killarney Ball Alley Band. Soon Irish volunteers began to form. It was the time of the Irish uprising and the British troops were there to keep a check on the volunteers. The army set up camps outside of town. The horses were kept in a big field outside Killarney, going out towards Beaufort. The army pitched tents in open fields. Occassionally a small army of Irish would ambush the English army. Nana remembered an IRA man, Florie DONOGHUE of New St being shot and killed on the railroad tracks by the Army and remembered the British troops almost knocking the door of her house down and ordering her brother out of the house after the IRA ambushed the British out near Beaufort. They did a house to house search looking for the gunmen. She said their guns looked as big as cannons. The Black and Tans arrived in town and were the most feared. They would ride around town in armoured vehicles. This was the first time pop evere saw vehicles of this kind. In those days the freight trains brought in food for the troops who were stationed in Killarney. Many troops stayed at the Queen Victoria Hotel. Pop would go to the station to help unload the palettes of canned goods always remembering to stash a can of two of the bully beef in the bushes, for himself and his neighbors. Pop said the Green Lane residents ate lots of bully beef in those times. Pop saw his first airplane ever, flying over the town after the English troops arrived.

Johanna Ferris

Pop worked for the local farmers named Mr O'SHEA and Mr MUCKROSS. He was paid a schilling and a bag of potatoes for a days work. Pop remembers his maternal grandmother from Castlegregory (seen in photo right). Her name was Johanna FERRIS. She would travel by train to visit and she always came with goodies. She arrived with a bag of Good Champion potatoes and cakes and candy. She was a short woman who smoked a clay pipe. She died at a old age and it is remembered that when they found her dead, her her clay pipe was still warm. Johanna had 3 sons Patrick, Joseph And Cornelius FERRIS. These 3 boys immigrated early 1900's to New York and Conneticut. Hannah WILKIE was sent to Castlegregory to live with grandmother and attended school there.

Cornelius FERRIS worked for the City of Hartford CT. Not known if he ever married.

Patrick FERRIS lived in New York. His daughters were named Bessie & Loretta FERRIS. Loretta married a SUPPLE, a NYC detective.

Joseph FERRIS lived in New York and had a son that became a priest. The priest Joe Jr was at Dunwoodie NY


The East Ave dance hall was down the street from the Great Southern Hotel. They had dances there several times a year and the big dance was the International dance. It was for military officers and they came from all over England and Ireland to attend the big event. The towns people and the children looked forward to this big event. They would line the streets to see the fashions of the people attending the dance. They arrived in horse and carriage. Gowns and finerys were sent from the states back home so that local girls could attend the event too.The band that played was usally the Clark Barry band as dad remembers or maybe a name very similar to that. Waltz music echoed into the streets of Killarney. Pop had a special spot to view the event he called "the duck inn". He and his young friends watched it all from their very own hiding place. Pops mother Mary Ferris Wilkie worked in the resturant part of the dance hall serving food.

Great Southern Hotel, August, 1904 The Great Southern Hotel near by (near the railroad station) employed many local girls. Bridie, Madge and Hannah WILKIE worked there They lived right at the hotel and worked as maids and waitresses. The head person that managed the girls was a Miss RYAN. In back of the hotel was a laundry where many of the townspeople worked too. Many of the waiters and chefs were from other countries, mostly Germans.

The big event in Killarney in those days were the County Fairs. The event was held in front of the Friary Chapel and farmers sold and traded cattle, pigs and sheep. Women would bring baskets of fruit to sell. Dad remembers the ladies were dressed in long dresses and wore shawls. There was great competition for sales between the locals and the country vendors.

Another big event was the Circus. There were the DUFFY Circus and the WILSON & MCCLEAN Circus, run by families related to each other. They were home based near Dublin and in Killarney they set up their tents at Fair Hill near the Courthouse. Pop met the MCCLEANS sons who played in the circus band and he also met entertainers Phyllis WILSON who rode horseback and her sister Annie WILSON who was the trapeze artist.

The kids would have a grand time in the summer months. Swimming in the Killarney Lakes was a favorite pass time. Lambs Island and Innisfallen were great places to swim. The boys would even make a cup of tea in cans they always left there in the bushes and kids always had pockets full of fruit in their pockets from the local orchards. It was a custom of the orchard owners to allow picking and a saying "take only what you can eat". Pop said his mother made alot of apple pies from those donated apples. The kids did swimming at the Sandy Bottom and at the Mills, near Colemans Castle. The Mills supplied the town power.

The sinking of the Lusatania by the Germans, WW I and the civil strife began to take its toll. Immigration to America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, was heightened. Every week hundreds of young people began to make their way to other countries. The train station was the site of departure. All the towns people came up to see them off. Pop said it was to sad. He hates to even talk about it. (Note, Ireland was still under Bristish rule. The Irish had to get British passports to travel and immigrate to other countries. Many Irish went to Canada first and then slipped into United States. In 1924, shortley after Ireland became a free state, the US government offered amnesity to all those Irish who came in illegally).

The trip to Queenstown was by train. Queenstown is now called Cobh. An overnight stay was spent at Doyles Lodging House before departure. Pop left Cobh aboard the SS Celtic on 17 Mar1921 and arrived at Ellis Island 25 Mar 1921. On same ship from Killarney leaving that date was Christie MULCAHY, Jimmy FRENCH, Tom HICKEY and the RIC men, O CONNELL and O DWYER, all mentioned earlier in this writing.

Another generation was about to follow so many others. It was goodbye to parents, relatives, friends and to Ireland. Life as the Irish people once new was about to change in a way that only we their descendents can still write about.

Written with love in memory of my FORHANE, WILKIE, HARTNETT, FERRIS, MAHONEY, SULLIVAN, FOLEY, FALVEY AND DOYLE families of County Kerry Ireland.

Good luck searching


Photos in this Memoir Are:

  1. Presentatation School, Killarney c 1899
  2. Edmond Forhane (Jr.) Jarvey Driver, Photo by T J Hartnett, Droumhall Killarney 14 Feb 1887
  3. Killarney Ball Alley Fife and Drum Band c 1925
  4. Killarney c 1914 WILKIE family, Photo taken by Louis Anthony, Photographer
  5. Paddy Joe Wilkie, Killarney 17 Feb 1921
  6. Killarney Friends c 1915 Alice Forhane,- Keegan and Joan Hartnett
  7. Tom Mulcahy and Margaret Wilkie of Killarney
  8. Johanna Ferris of Castlegregory c 1900
  9. Edmund Forhane(Sr) Jarvey Driver Killarney c 1887
  10. Killarney Rowing Team c 1920

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