Old picture was the key to history of Muckross Estate gamekeeper

An old black and white picture of a two-storey house with an inscription in pencil in the margin was the first clue that pointed Mike Nugent of Sonoma, California, in the direction of Killarney and the rediscovery of his ancestors’ links with the Muckross Estate dating back 120 years or so.

The Arthur Young House is located a short walk from Muckross House at the start of the Dinis Peninsula. Previously a family residence for the manager of Killarney National Park, it has been used for several decades as hostel accommodation for environmental volunteers.

In the early 1900s, it was the home of a Scotsman, John Chisholm, and his Irish-born wife, Bridget (nee Carroll).

“The picture was in a box of photos I went through after the death of my mother,” Mike Nugent said. “In pencil in the margin is written, ‘Chisholm Home – Killarney’. This was the first piece in the puzzle that I began with.”

Sunflowers from Loreto with love

Sunflowers sent from Scoil Bhríde Loreto National School to Saint Columbanus Hospital for Easter beamed their brightness to the residents with a luminous yellow message of love.

The sunflowers, grown by the pupils of Third and Fourth Class, were delivered to the hospital on Easter Saturday by teacher Pádraig O’Sullivan with a slew of handwritten Easter wishes.  The seasonal overture was part of an ongoing letters project initiated between the pupils and the residents last winter out of a desire of the youngsters to play their part in lessening the sense of isolation created among the older men and women by the lack of visitors due to Covid restrictions.

“It came out of a classroom discussion back in October about who Covid had affected the most,” Pádraig said. “The pupils decided to send a card or a letter to the residents. The first week in November, we started sending the letters. We sent in Christmas cards. Other classes sent pottery and art.”