To be launched on 7th September 2012, at 8.30pm in the Community Centre.
Guest of Honour: Mr. Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
This comprehensive account of the Christian heritage of Ballyheigue parish, Co. Kerry, is composed of history, memories and reflection, and it honours the significant role of religion in daily life in other times.
Topics covered include the Pattern Day, holy wells and sacred places, biographies of parish priests, graveyard records, members of the religious diaspora, parish registers, the art and architecture of St. Mary’s Church, Church of Ireland records and educational records.
Lavishly illustrated throughout, with historical research by Bryan MacMahon, author of The Story of Ballyheigue (1994), the book also celebrates the vibrant life of the faith community of St. Mary’s Parish today.
Some Facts from the book Ballyheigue – Our Christian Heritage.
• A sailor who had fought at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 is buried in the Old Graveyard
• The original Coastguard Station was in the village
• Two US academics wrote about the traditions of the holy wells in the area
• Letters written from Ballyheigue in the1880s are now in Tennessee State Archives in Nashville
• A parish priest challenged two newspapers – one in Tralee and one in New York – over their support for Parnell
• What happened when the altar boys raided the priest’s orchard?
• A stone slab with the Crosbie crest from the Old Graveyard is now in a Scottish garden
• What does it mean to “pay a round” at a holy well?
• Which house in Ballyheigue was known as “the yellow submarine”?
• Where exactly was the first National School in the parish?
• Who was the wealthy benefactor in the United States who paid for the church tower and spire?
• What are the favourite duties of altar servers today?
• What group of people donated the sanctuary windows in 1925?
• What school had a visit from the Minister of Education in 2008?
• A priest born in Ballyheigue was known in west Kerry as “the Protestant priest”
• The legendary isle of Hy-Brasil has been seen in the bay
• Which school has the motto “Foghlaim agus Fás”?
• What does it mean if you see a trout in the well at Glendahalin?
• “Who do you think you are?” – how to research your ancestors in Church records
• Who played the main roles in the plays “The Message of Fatima” and “The Message of Lourdes”?
• What group won an award for their original play “Remote Control”?
• Cé a scríobh an dán “Naofacht i Nasarat”?
• What was the custom of the Nine First Fridays?
• How did people prepare for the Stations in the house?
• The oldest church of north Kerry is in Glendahalin
• A former parish priest made legal history, and the case has been in recent news reports
• The famous Earley family of church artists made the stained glass windows
• A holy water font from the early 1700s is still in use in the church
• Fr. Owen McCarthy was P.P. for 35 years and did heroic work on behalf of the people
• There were excellent relations between the Church of Ireland community and the Catholic community
• What happened after the man of the house declared: “We’ll open a stroke in God’s name”?
• There were once two schools in Ballyheigue village, where now there are none
• The bulley stone at Keel was reputed to heal all kinds of ailments
• How did the senior altar boys embarrass new members?
• Who ran the Christmas bazaar and what were the prizes?
• What was the custom of “going round with the biddy” and when did it happen?
• The Pattern Day of 1871 had some showers, good business for the publicans, and music by the Ballybunion piper
• What is the link between Ballyheigue and Salamanca, Spain?
• What was the hobby-horse and when did it make an appearance?
• The old Parish Hall was located where the statue of Roger Casement is now
• The oldest gravestone in the old graveyard is that of John Healihy, 1718
• Which Minister opened the new Community Centre in 1980?
• Ballyheigue was severely affected by the famine
• Three Ballyheigue men born in different centuries feature in the Dictionary of Irish Biography
• Local people signed a petition on behalf of the Pope in 1871 when he was known as “The Prisoner of the Vatican”
• Large sums of money were sent from the parish to support All Hallows’ College and the Catholic University in Dublin
• What was the tradition of ‘wearing the clothes’ after a death?
• Who were the top dancers in Doyle’s ballroom on Pattern night in the 1960s?