Up Kerry! Up the IRA!

Published in Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 2010), Letters, Volume 18

The 1931 Kerry football team en route to America. Fergus Whitty’s father, Patrick, is seated behind the lifebuoy. (Kerry’s Football Story)

The 1931 Kerry football team en route to America. Fergus Whitty’s father, Patrick, is seated behind the lifebuoy. (Kerry’s Football Story)

Sir,—Tom Mahon’s article on the visit of Kerry’s football team to America in 1927 (HI 18.5, Sept./Oct. 2010) was of great interest. I note that the final paragraph suggests that it was only in 1933 that another Kerry tour was proposed when ‘Connie Neenan wrote to Moss Twomey’. However, Kerry’s Football Story (copy in the GAA Museum, Croke Park) details the 1931 Kerry All-Ireland and League double and states:

 

‘In May the Kerry team, minus J. Barrett and J. O’Sullivan, left on tour for the United States. It was a much stronger team than in 1927 and won all the engagements on American soil.’
A photo of the team en route, including my father, Patrick Whitty (behind the ship’s lifebuoy), is included. Incidentally, although he made no mention of Thompson submachine-guns, my father did recall that prohibition was still in force in America at the time. He loved to recount the story of how, before they left Ireland, all members of the team were given medical certificates to show that they needed alcohol for ‘medicinal reasons’.—Yours etc.,

 

FERGUS WHITTY

Kilkenny
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