Kerry Writers’ Museum, Listowel will host an online history lecture entitled ‘The Days of the Blackthorn: Faction Fighters of Kerry’ by Seán Moraghan on Thursday Dec 10th 7.30 pm.

On town streets or in green fields, at fairs, race meetings and saints’ patron days, rival gangs of Irishmen used to meet to battle and beat each other with cudgels and sticks. The practice was particularly prevalent in the 1800s, and involved tens, hundreds and even thousands of men and women at a time.
Based on his book ‘Days of the Blackthorn’ published earlier this year Seán will use eyewitness descriptions, as well as the oral history of local communities, to provide a visceral sense of this exciting and brutal activity in County Kerry. From the Battle of Ballyeagh near Ballybunion between the Cooleens and the Lawlors that left eighteen dead, to the savage combats of various strongmen, such as Seón Burns or ‘Big Mick’ Foley, the lecture will be a fascinating account of a wild and violent time in Ireland’s history.

“We are delighted to welcome Seán who will be delivering his first lecture for Kerry Writers’ Museum” said Cara Trant, museum manager. “We have received a tremendous response to our online lectures to date and we anticipate a great interest in the topic that Seán will explore.”
Seán Moraghan has been a bookseller, librarian, and folklore researcher. He has also worked as an editor, indexer and proof-reader.  Following a visit to Killarney he moved to County Kerry where he has lived for over thirty years.  Seán previously published Puck Fair: A History, and a new reader’s edition of The Ancient and Present State of the County of Kerry.

Seán’s lecture will be delivered online via Zoom and to receive your free registration link email Lecture details are also available on the Museum’s website, and follow its social media pages for updates.