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Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Voices reveal life in Cork and Kerry's great houses

Voices from the Houses: Cork and Kerry has been published by Mercier Press.

The book has been written by Jane O'Keefe of Irish Life and Lore, an oral history company run by the author and her husband Maurice, and holds information gathered for their archive. Over the last three years, the O'Keefes have interviewed the surviving members of many of the Anglo-Irish and old Irish families who lived, and in many cases still live, in these great houses. Their subjects have talked about their family histories and their links to the communities in which they are based, and have related fascinating details of life in these houses, which include Blarney Castle and Bantry House in Cork and the Denny Estates in Kerry. Some of their stories reach right back to the 1600s.

Illustrated with previously unpublished photographs and untold stories, the 288-page book was officially launched in Muckross House, Killarney, last month by Arts and Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan.