Programme Update

As you are all aware The Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society has had to suspend its planned programme of events due to the Pandemic. However, we are now pleased to announce that we will be hosting a series of webinars for members’ over the coming months. Interested, Society members’, will be emailed a Zoom link in advance of each webinar, which will allow them to participate in the event.

(Note: In order to participate in the webinar, it is necessary to download the Zoom App on your computer.

The Webinars will subsequently be available for viewing, through the Members’ Area of the Society website. So even if you are not available on the night, there will be an opportunity to ‘catch-up’ afterwards.

If members are interested in participating in any of the live webinars, they must register this interest by emailing in advance of the scheduled date. Please register interest early, in the event that they are oversubscribed.

The Webinar series will kick off on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 7.30pm, with a talk by Robert McGuire, which will focus on Castleisland Castle. Robert is a founder of the voluntary group ‘The Castle of the Island Society’. This Society will release a documentary on the history of Castleisland Castle, later in 2020, The Castle, its history and structure has long been a passion of Robert’s and his lecture will focus upon his recent research into creating an accurate interpretation of the physical remains of this Desmond Castle. Detailed plans and elevations of the buildings within the Castle complex will be presented on the night. Additionally, the role of the Manor of the Island will be examined. This is a first not only for the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society, but for Robert himself as it is the first time that he will speak in depth about his recent research and resulting conclusions on the physical layout of the ‘Castle of the Island’.

The second webinar of the series will be broadcast on August 18, 2020 at 7.30pm. This time Bryan MacMahon will speak on ‘The Cantillon’s of North Kerry and their French Connection’.

The speaker Bryan Mac Mahon is a retired teacher, who is a widely published local historian.

The talk will cover the history and folklore associated with the Norman family, who achieved great prominence in North Kerry from the 13th century onwards. It is a story of soldiers and speculators, bards and bankers, saints and scribes. The talk will centre on three prominent individuals, including Ballyheigue-born Richard Cantillon who achieved fame as a millionaire in France in the early-1700s. He made his fortune as a banker and speculator, and wrote a seminal book on economics. He has been called “the greatest economist of all” and The Irish Times has a column named in his honour. Another Cantillon of Kerry descent was a supporter of Napoleon who made a notorious assassination attempt on the Duke of Wellington in 1818. Finally, Thomas de Cantillon Church was a journalist and poet in Kerry in the 1860s who championed the rights of tenants and denounced landlordism.

Then on September 24, Dr Michael Connolly, County Archaeologist will speak on Kerry’s earliest structures, ‘The Portal Tombs at Killocloghane’ (further details at a later date on

It is planned to continue the Webinar series until the end of 2020. Members will be advised of forthcoming webinars in due course and full details of these will be available on