A Century of Politics in the Kingdom: A County Kerry Compendium


Owen O’Shea and Gordon Revington

September 2018

Vastly entertaining and lively account of the highlights of the controversial, nationally significant and political events in Kerry over the past century.


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Product Description

In the 100 years since the establishment of Dáil Éireann, rarely has politics been so divisive, turbulent, engaging and entertaining than in County Kerry. A Century of Politics draws on new archive material, original research and interviews to reveal some of the most exciting and dramatic episodes from political life in the Kingdom over the past century.

Featuring tales of alleged extra-marital affairs, punch-ups in the Dáil restaurant, election-campaign shenanigans, bitter dynastic rivalries, and the pioneering figures who made their mark on the national stage, it charts the highs and lows of the many household names which have emerged from the cauldron of Kerry politics.

Published to coincide with the centenary of the First Dáil, the book also features for the first time ever comprehensive biographical details of every Kerry Teachta Dála and senator since 1919, as well as all Kerry ministers and ministers of State. An essential reference work of facts and figures, it includes details of every election result in Kerry not only for Dáil Éireann but every local authority election since 1899 and profiles of MPs who represented Kerry in the years before the Dáil was founded.

Table of Contents

  1. ‘Ireland must be governed by Irishmen for Ireland’s benefit’: Kerry’s first Teachtaí Dála
  2. Thorny wires: Murphy and O’Sullivan: the bitterest of political rivals
  3. ‘Castleisland swam in porter … and drunkenness prevailed’: The councillor overthrown for plying voters with drink
  4. Deputy Flynn ‘struck him violently in the mouth’: The Kerry TD who clobbered a colleague in the Dáil dining room
  5. ‘Mr and Mrs Fred’: Kerry’s original political power couple
  6. ‘If there are women candidates, we hope they will be of the right kind’: The fate of Kerry’s women politicians
  7. ‘We must not expect too much of Miss O’Connor’: The Kerry North TD who was too young to vote for herself
  8. ‘The man who sits in the chair is not a proper or suitable man’: The highs and lows of local authority politics in Kerry since 1899
  9. ‘Three weeks’ turmoil, agitation and disturbance’: Kerry’s by-election battles and their national significance
  10. ‘For a paper to be valid it must have recorded on it a first preference’: How a Kerry candidate rewrote the Irish electoral rulebook
  11. ‘Politics in my blood’: Kerry: Where political dynasties reign supreme
  12. ‘Blood streamed down his shirt’: Threats, thefts, splits, assaults other electioneering shenanigans
  13. The Kingdom’s political Diaspora: Kerry’s political reach nationally and overseas
  14. ‘They forget that we exist and that there are such places as Kerry’: A selection of the spoken words of Kerry politicians since 1919


  • Kerry TDs from 1919
  • All of Kerry’s representatives in the Dáil since its establishment in 1919
  • Kerry Senators from 1922: Members of Seanad from Kerry since its establishment in 1922
  • The ‘Real Government’: Senior civil servants and political movers and shakers from Kerry
  • List of general election results in Kerry since 1918

About the Authors

Owen O’Shea is Media, Communications and Customer Relations Officer with Kerry County Council and author of Heirs to the Kingdom: Kerry’s Political Dynasties (2011).

Gordon Revington is a journalist from Tralee, Co Kerry, who writes on Irish political history, rural affairs and sport.

Additional Information


Owen O’Shea, Gordon Revington


Merrion Press

Publication Date

01 September 2018



Paperback ISBN



300 pp