RIC Barracks Site and Lyreacrompane Farm
Following the very successful unveiling of the renovated lime kiln in Lyreacrompane the Local Heritage Group has now erected an impressive information sign at another heritage location in the area. This sign tells the story of the RIC Barracks that operated from 1881 to 1920. It also outlines the history of ‘Lyreacrompane Farm’ and house which dated back to the first half of the 1700s. The house had to be demolished in 1990 but records show that the farm was leased to a Darby Carthy in 1741 by Thomas Fitzmaurice, the Earl of Kerry. In the early 1800s the tenant was Dillane. The Dillane family were evicted around 1860 and, incredibly, Edmund Dillane, whose father had been evicted fifty years earlier succeeded in buying the farm back in 1910.
The story of the Police Barracks began in 1881 with the start of the ‘Land War’. Resistance to evictions and ‘land grabbing’ led to the area being designated as ‘disturbed’ and requiring a police presence. Part of the house on the Lyreacrompane Farm was adopted as a barracks and for the following thirty-nine years it housed a compliment of four constables and a sergeant.
Lyreacrompane Heritage Group member, Kay O’Leary, estimates that over the four decades, approximately one hundred members of the police force operated out of the Barracks. “None of the constables were from Kerry as no member of the RIC could serve in his own county. Drawing from old news paper reports and from other resources we know the names of about half of them”, Kay explained. The Lyreacrompane RIC barracks may have been the furthest from a village or a town. There were no major incidents associated with the Barracks beyond the prevention of poaching on the local rivers and land and the odd drunk and disorderly charge. The constables abandoned the Barracks overnight in 1920 with the War of Independence underway.
This new Heritage sign is situated about two hundred yards on the Castleisland side of the Lime Kiln on the main road through Lyreacrompane. Interestingly, this stretch of road is marked on the pre-famine OSI map as ‘The Light House Road’. The Lyreacrompane Heritage.
Group thanks Christy and Mary O’Donoghue for so readily agreeing to the placing of the sign on their property. Mary, nee Dillane, is a direct descendent of Edmund Dillane. The Group also thanked the Community Fund of Kerry County Council for its financial assistance in making this story from our past accessible in a public place in our community. Thanks is also extended to all those who helped including Sean Enright, John Dowling, Mike McKenna, Monty Nolan and Philip at Easy Design, Causeway.
At back. Christy and Mary O'Donoghue, Padraig O'Donoghue, Kevin Prunty, Sandara O'Donoghue, and Daniel O'Donoghue. Front Owen and Daniel Prunty.