Gap of Dunloe, near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland
Photo above – This is one of ponies that takes passengers through the Gap of Dunloe on a trap or cart in an area called Black Valley, near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland. Photo taken Christmas day, Dec. 25, 2018 near an old stone barn. Photo by Jannet L. Walsh. Learn more about Shamrock Cottage at their website.
Jannet L. Walsh
March 15, 2023
The world wants to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. The patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, was born in Britain, or maybe another location, but not Ireland, and is reputed to have driven all the snakes out of Ireland. He’s also famous for using a shamrock to convert the Irish to Christianity. The parts that are fact or legend might never be known. I do know for fact my family has deep Irish roots.
In 1980, likely July or August, I was about to be a sophomore at Litchfield High School, Litchfield, Minnesota, on the swimming team, and played the French Horn and Cornet. I posed for a photograph in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, standing near Aghadoe Heights Hotel with a view of Innisfallen Island in Lough Leane, part of the Lakes of Killarney. My brother Paul M. Walsh, a college student at St. Cloud State University, snapped the photograph while I was wearing sporty Irish hat, very similar to one I own today. It’s likely the hat came from the nearby Mucros Weavers in Killarney. I know my brother and I both got Aran sweaters at Blarney Woolen Mills during our trip to Ireland.
Photos from my first trip with family have recently been recovered, and I’ve received a photograph I was not first able to determine the exact location around the Lake of Killarney, first thinking the location was at the Europe Hotel where my family stayed. I even reached out to numerous local Irish folks including McCarthy’s Killarney Carriage Rides for help to determine that exact location. In 2014, I had made a video with Martin McCarthy around Killarney National Park, Irish Jaunting Tour, certainly a jaunting driver could help me locate a scenic location in Killarney!
The photo was taken a life time ago, and I’ve since visited Ireland a total of five times, and found my family’s origins in County Kerry. Where I was standing in 1980 near the Aghadoe Heights Hotel, I’d learn in 2018, I was approximately three miles from were my family lived in Dromkerry Townland, with a view of the Gap of Dunloe.
My late father visited Killarney in 1953, the first known member of our family to return to Ireland, but didn’t have the change to see where our family lived in the 1800s. Read his story, and view vintage Kodachromes.
In 2018, I stayed at Crosstown Cottage, with the Horgan family near Killarney. They would join me in my adventure to connect with Ireland, and the Irish people in ways I could only dream about. The family joined me when I discovered my family’s origins in remote County Kerry.
Irish travel – If you are interested in travel to Ireland, here’s my travel page.
Irish Genealogy – Searching for your Irish roots? Here’s my top 10 tips blog!
Irish Canadian Genealogy – Did your Irish ancestors stop in Canada before migrating to the United States or beyond? Read blog on resources for searching for Irish Canadian ancestors.
IrishCentral Stories – See my stories published at IrishCentral on Irish travel, culture, and genealogy.
Wishing you a happy St. Patrick’s Day 2023!
About Video – This is a guided tour by jaunting car, a traditional horse drawn carriage, by Martin McCarthy of Killarney, Ireland. McCarthy is called a jarvey, a jaunting car driver. He gives visitors guided tours in the Killarney National Park, area lakes, Muckross House and more, sharing history and folklore in the traditional Irish taxi. The jaunting car is pulled by Jessie, a gelding Gypsy Vanner Horse. McCarthy also operates a bed and breakfast at his home called Shepherds Lodge. The commute to work is easy as he keeps his horses at his home and drives his jaunting car to Killarney’s jaunting car center where tourists can take a ride or can also be picked up at their hotels. Family photographs are included of my Irish family, originating from Killarney. Video shot Jan. 29 to Feb. 8, 2014 Killarney, Ireland Dublin, Ireland. Learn more about McCarthy’s Killarney Carriage Rides at Facebook.
Jannet L. Walsh of Murdock, Minnesota is a photographer, writer, and educator. She is the author of the forthcoming creative nonfiction quest narrative “Higgledy-Piggledy Stones: Family Stories from Ireland and Minnesota,” scheduled for publication in 2023 by Shanti Arts Publishing. Walsh is recipient of a Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Growth Grant funded by the McKnight Foundation, 2022-2024. You can follow Walsh on Facebook and Twitter, and on her other social media channels, with the hashtag #IrishFamilyHistoryDetective.
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St. Patrick’s Day 2023
Jannet L. Walsh March 15, 2023 Murdock, Minnesota The world wants to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. The patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, was born in Britain, not Ireland, and is reputed to have driven all the snakes out of Ireland. He’s also famous for using a shamrock to convert the Irish to…
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