The reach of a single village: Moyvane, Co. Kerry


Since my op-ed, “An Irish journey, shared by all,” ran in the New York Daily News on St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve been touched to hear how much it has resonated with so many people from so many backgrounds.

My latest piece — published today by the Irish Times on its “Generation Emigration” blog — focuses on departure through the experiences of a single village in Co Kerry, Ireland: Moyvane:

“Time and again, places like Moyvane have seen their “children” and their descendants leave their imprints wherever they have gone. Some followed religious paths. Others laid roads, fought fires, and opened pubs. They went into medicine, law, business, and government. They shared the gifts of the instruments they played, the words they wrote, and the stories they told.”

From Australia to Brazil, England, Wales, the Gambia, across the United States, and elsewhere still… well, this community of roughly 400 people continues to have quite a global reach!  Of course, there’s an echo here shared by other villages, towns, and cities throughout Ireland and around the world:

“The significance of emigration… is that one country’s loss often means another’s gain. The reach of a single village can be disproportionate to its size.”

If you or your family hails from Moyvane (also known historically as Newtownsandes), neighboring Knockanure, or the surrounding area in North Kerry, please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail.  I’d love to hear your stories as well.

1 Comment

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One response to “The reach of a single village: Moyvane, Co. Kerry

  1. Robert W Fister

    My Walsh family came from Moyvane about 1849 to the USA, they came to Kentucky. My G G Grandfather John Walsh born about 1806 and his son my G Grandfather Patrick Walsh came to Paris and also Carlisle Kentucky and two of Patricks sons moved to Mt Sterling Ky and started in the mens clothing busines , they became very succesful. I have searched for many years to Find any info on John R Walsh history and family info in Moyvane Kerry. I also have Mary Stack born in Kilbaha I believe about 1832 also coming to Ky and being wed to Patrick Walsh. Mary’s mother was Ellen Shanahan who was married to James Stack who must have died as she later married a Mr George Gregory. After their union were born a Richard Gregory and two girls. They also came to Kentucky about 1849. Always looking for information interesting items about this fantastic part of the world.
    Robert Patrick Walsh Fister

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