Laune Rangers – 1917
Co. Senior Football Championship
Fourteen teams took part in the Co. Senior Football Championship, Portmagee, Valentia, Cahersiveen, Glenflesk, Kilcummin, Castlegregory, Aunascaul, Listowel, Ballydonoghue, Ballymac, Tralee Mitchels, Farranfore, Keel and Churchill. Laune Rangers did not take part, probably because of the disappointment of the previous year.
Tralee Mitchels, captained by Jack McGaley, defeated Farranfore in the Co. Final, which was not played until the following year. Eamonn O Sullivan, son of JP O Sullivan, played on the Farranfore team.
Alderman James Nolan, Cill Coinningh, was Uachtarán CLG.
The Annual Convention of the Munster Council was held in Tipperary on 24th March. The following officers were re-elected: Jeremiah O Brien (An Clár), Secretary – Pat McGrath (Tiobrad Árainn) and Treasurer – Ailbe Quillinan (Luimneach). Kerry did not affiliate and did not take part in the championships.
The Annual Convention of the Kerry Co. Board was held in the Railway Hotel, Tralee, on Sun. 17th March. Laune Rangers were not represented. The following officers were elected: Chairman – Austin Stack (who was in prison in Belfast), Vice-Chairman – PJ O Connell, Joint-Secretaries – Denis J. Baily (Ballymac) and W.J. Foley, Joint-Treasurers – John Moran and Con Clifford, Delegates to the Munster Council – Denis Lawlor (Causeway) and Nicholas Stack (Tralee). Kerry again refused to take part in the All-Ireland Senior or Junior Football Championships.
Paddy Kennelly presided at a special meeting of Laune Rangers’ Football Club on Tues. 20th Feb. Danny Clifford proposed and Jimmy O Leary seconded, ‘That we, the members of the Laune Rangers’ Football Club, desire to express our heartfelt sympathy with our respected captain, Mr. D. Hayes, in the loss he has sustained by the death of his father,’ and, ‘That we wish to extend our sincere regret to one of our fellow members, Mr. P O Sullivan, in his bereavement at the death of his mother.’ Copies of the resolutions, which were passed amid many expressions of regret, were ordered to be sent to Messrs. Hayes and O Sullivan respectively, and to the Press.
Paddy Kennelly represented Laune Rangers at the Co. Board meeting on Sat. 28th April. A letter was read from Killorglin stating that, as they had not been beaten in the Co. Championship of the previous year, they should not be asked to pay application fees in the present year. The Chairman, PJ O Connell, said that every other club in the same position had to affiliate and they would not deviate from that rule.
Extreme regret was felt throughout the district at the sudden and premature demise of Ned Sheehan, which took place, at the age of 36 years, on Sun. 19th August. That he who had so well and often championed the Laune Rangers and led them to victory, that he who seemed the very personification of life, energy, manliness and vigour, had passed away, seemed indeed difficult to believe. Always most courteous as a business man, most interesting as a conversationalist, most enthusiastic as a Gael, most sincere as a friend and charitable as a Christian, he was taken without apparent warning. One of the largest seen in years was the funeral on Tuesday. The Laune Rangers took charge of his mortal remains and, all wearing blue bands as well as the usual black on their arms, marched in processional order. All the surrounding parishes were strongly represented and every house in Killorglin sent representatives. Rev. J. Nolan P.P., Rev. Tom Jones C.C. and Rev. M. O Donoghue C.C. officiated at the graveside.
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A collection in aid of funds for the Relief Committee in Killorglin was taken up at the Church-gate on Sun. 8th April. That committee used funds for the relief of those in country districts. Unfortunately, the response from the country districts was anything but generous. It had long been noticed that it had been only the people from the town who had generously responded to any appeal which had entailed money. That was again shown clearly on that Sunday when assistance, being solicited from the farmers and country districts, was so poorly responded to. However, the relief of distress was still vigorously carried on by the committee.
The news of the general amnesty for the Sinn Fein prisoners was received with feelings of extreme delight. At first, when the news was first heard on Fri. 22nd June, there were many doubters. However, when it became part of the daily news on Saturday, the pleasure was extreme and sincere and very little else was spoken of in the town during that day nor, indeed, late into the night and, in the midst of the pleasure at the release of those to be congratulated, there came the thought of those who had passed to the Great Beyond to where no amnesty could to them be extended and surely the thought was bitter and the resulting prayers many and fervent.
On Sat. 23rd June, his many Killorglin friends attended at the railway station to offer their congratulations on his release to Fionán Lynch, one of the amnestied prisoners who had been on his way home. The Fife and Drum Band discoursed a selection of national airs and the members bore several Sinn Féin flags.
A most pleasant day was spent at Caragh Lake on the occasion of the Regatta on Wed. 5th September. The committee was most fortunate in their selection of the date for it was ideal and attracted a considerable crowd. The programme presented was attractive and the events had their usual number of competitors. Close finishes and the resulting deep interest were the order of the day. Many of the boats sported the Union Jack, whilst the Republican Tricolour was also displayed by some competitors. Something new that was surely!
At the market on Tues. 11th Sept. in Killorglin, which was unusually small due to the fine weather, eggs were sold at 120 for £1, butter at 1s 8d per lb. and potatoes at 7d per stone.
The labourers in Killorglin threatened strike action in October, seeking an increase in weekly wages of 30s from the present 16s. It was pointed out that labour in Killorglin was not such as would warrant the payment of figures which obtained in other centres nor was the district so prosperous. Eventually, an agreement of £1 per week resulted, even though the men were not quite satisfied with that as a final settlement.
The prospects were bright for the Gaelic League in Kerry for the winter of 1917. North Kerry had two Irish travelling teachers, as against none the previous year, Iveragh also had two as against one the previous year. Mícheál Ó Beaglaoi had been a múinteoir taistil in the Killorglin district but, unfortunately, had left and if Milltown, Castlemaine and Keel did not join and bear part of the expense of employing a man, there was very little prospect of replacing him.