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

By Owen O’Shea and Gordon Revington

Scandals, punch-ups, election-campaign shenanigans, bitter inter-dynastic contests and the stories of the ground-breaking politicians from Kerry who made their mark on the national stage and beyond, feature in a new book from Kerry authors Owen O’Shea and Gordon Revington.

Since the establishment of Dáil Éireann 100 years ago, Kerry’s political history has taken many lively, colourful and compelling turns – largely thanks to its wide roster of fascinating politicians, from Austin Stack to Kathleen O’Connor and John Marcus O’Sullivan to Dick Spring.

Drawing on original research, newly published material from the political parties’ archives and candid interviews, A Century of Politics in the Kingdom is published to coincide with the centenary of the First Dáil. Owen O’Shea and Gordon Revington mine a unique political environment. They contend with the dramatic and entertaining episodes, and with equal depth they outline the controversies and seminal debates as well as the vociferous character of Kerry’s TDs, senators and political hopefuls over the past century.

From the first sitting of Dáil Éireann, when Piaras Béaslaí TD read its Democratic Programme, to Dan Kiely’s Supreme Court challenge on how votes are counted in Ireland, and the role of several Kerry ministers in sensitive Anglo-Irish negotiations, Kerry politicians have been at the heart of matters nationally, both symbolic and significant. Even if they have had to shout a little louder than many of their counterparts to have their priorities heard, Kerry politicians have indelibly influenced the course of Irish politics and left a lasting legacy in their home county.

Remarkable tales, like the councillor who was unseated for plying voters with drink, the north Kerry woman who became a politician in Pakistan, the aristocrat who was invited to Buckingham Palace as a child and went on to become the first woman elected to Kerry County Council, the Kerry senator who received an apology from the BBC, the story of all of Kerry’s female politicians, the councillor who took his own council to court, the night the gardaí were called to a meeting of a Fianna Fáil cumann in north Kerry, and the Dáil by-election candidate deselected because he wasn’t popular enough, all feature.

Featuring the first ever definitive record of every Kerry Oireachtas member since 1919, A Century of Politics in the Kingdom captures the excitement and tension, the rivalries and resentments, the seminal debates and discussions, and the good old-fashioned fun and games that have characterised the political cauldron in the county over the last century.

Foreword by Mícheál Lehane, Political Correspondent with RTÉ

A century of politics in the kingdom

Critical praise for 'A Century of Politics in the Kingdom':

‘A work of superb scholarship and research, revealed with a refreshing authenticity.’
(Michael O’Regan, Irish Times)

‘… a complex, colourful and always captivating political world … revealed with a refreshing authenticity.’
(Mícheál Lehane, RTÉ)

Reviews and media for 'A Century of Politics in the Kingdom':

Authors Owen and Gordon with RTE's Sean O'Rourke
Authors Owen and Gordon with RTE's Sean O'Rourke