Dear Kerry

‘Dear Kerry’ series: Letters to a Kingdom

Jun 21, 2023 16:42 By Admin
‘Dear Kerry’ series: Letters to a Kingdom
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Students of the Digital Journalism, Podcasting and Radio Broadcasting course in Kerry College recently produced a series of audio short features titled ‘Dear Kerry.’ It is a series of recorded letters and was inspired by the Irish singer-songwriter Charlie McGettigan’s song Feet of a Dancer.

The song details the singer’s hopes for his loved ones, and much like the songs, the Dear Kerry letters encapsulate the writer’s hopes for the future; of the county, its culture, and the generations to come.

“Being from Dingle a magical place to be from I hope that in 100 years that this magical place will mean as much to those that will be there as to those that are gone” says Thomas O’Callaghan, a Kerry Musician.


For some people, Kerry’s attractive landscape is the source of allurement. One contributor, Mary Lavery Carrig, a poet, playwright, and former schoolteacher, dedicated her letter to Kerry’s natural beauty.

Mary marvelled at the sights and sounds of the flora and fauna around her, as dolphins skim the surface of the River Shannon and vegetation squelches under her feet in the Cummeragh Bog. “The diverse and wild landscape of my native county is, ever and always, a feast of a dream” says Mary.

Ian O’ Connell, a presenter on Radio Kerry, explains that he was paralyzed from the shoulders down and denotes the love of support from people in Kerry who raised money to help him.


“When it comes to community, Kerry is known for its fantastic communities up and down the island of Ireland, it is something we are very proud of and something we all hope to see staying as strong as ever for years to come, whether that be making a cup of coffee for your elderly neighbour or else gathering.”

Sean Lyons, Chairperson for the Tralee International Resource Center, Board member of the North East West Kerry Development services and former international lecturer and mentor, devotes his letter to the Kerry coastline.


“The sea offers me peace, fresh air, mental and physical health. The sea is a living, moving, organic being. Our ancestors made sacrifices to it, sailors and those who make a living from it give it respect and care” he says. Sean outlines his aspirations for the future of Kerry’s shorelines, recounting the many favours it has to offer.

“My hope is that this coastline will survive to nourish, inform, and heal for many more generations. Tens of thousands of years of history and hope line our shores. Erosion, pollution, and mismanagement are the enemy. The sea, and all it holds, is our constant friend.”

For other people, it is the Kerry welcome and sense of community that dominates their devotion to the county.


"Kerry is somewhere that I feel accepted. And I hope we can all work together to make everybody who lives here feel included in the community" says Alanna Diggin, Radio DJ, and childcare worker.

Lorcan Ó'Cinneide, manager of the Blasket Center, says “I hope we are big enough, and self-confident enough, to share our ‘Kerryness” with the new Kerry people of different faiths, different skin colours, different nationalities.

“To make a new version of Kerryness they can be comfortable in, good for us all.”


Natalia Krasnenkova, a Ukrainian mother of two, fled the war in Ukraine last year and is living in Killarney. In her letter, she refers to Kerry as “the most attractive girl in Ireland.”

She shares the lessons she has learned in her time here in Kerry and highlights the patience, empathy, and humanity she has experienced so far.

“Do you know which word I uttered the most in the last year? It is the words ‘Thank you;’ I greatly appreciate everything you do for me, Kerry.

“And I hope that soon I will be able to return at least a part of your hospitality to you. I invite you to Ukraine after our victory.

“Be sure, in every city or town you will meet many friends. We will be able to accept you as sincerely as you accept us now.

“Thanks again Kerry. Make sure to visit Ukraine someday. Дякую, Кері. Будемо раді бачити тебе в Україні.”

Jacinta Eustace, a native of Kerry explores her ancestry and her connection to Kerry in her letter. s them, forging a connection between herself, her past and her home county. She looks with hope towards a future for Kerry that may seem very different than it is today, but which still carries the essence of what it means to live in the county she loves.

“The future of Kerry DNA may tell a different story. Today and the future’s results of Kerry’s diversity of people will reveal an enhanced people, enriching the culture, the history of the times ahead, and creating a new DNA profile.”

Many people call attention to Kerry’s strong cultural, linguistic, and sporting background. Gaeilgeoir and poet, Bernadette Ní Ríada, hopes that all schools in Kerry become Irish speaking schools.

She says “Now might be a good time to make that dream a reality. The current Minister for Education is a Kerry woman. It is not impossible. It just needs leadership and vision.”

Radio Kerry’s Sport Presenter Tim Moynihan speaks about the tradition of sport in Kerry and his hope that the children of tomorrow will carry on this great tradition.

“The hope is that young boys and girls will always be proud to take to the field of play in our county jersey. The secret of Kerry is its beauty, its tradition, and above all, its people!”

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