Fr. William Ferris was a curate in Millstreet Parish from 1934-1935, whose lifelong mission was to restore Ireland’s linguistic and cultural purity and to counteract what he saw as the Anglicisation of Irish society. As he said of recording oral history and folklore which was in danger of going to the grave: “Each time the east wind blows, it takes an old seanachaí with it”.
Last week, the Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne will officially launched “History of the Parishes of BallymacElligott, Ballyseedy, O’Brennan and Nohoval” by Fr. Ferris which had been banned by his predecessor Dr Michael O’Brien, Bishop of Kerry 85 years ago, having taken exception to a claim by Fr. Ferris that St. Brendan was born in BallymacElligott and not in Fenit, as was accepted diocesan tradition.
In 1937 he published the book “Sráid an ṁuilinn, A History of its people by its people for its people” (under the pseudonym of Timothy Broker, to avoid the book being blocked), which recorded local history and more from the Millstreet Parish, which had been gathered at local station masses. See details of that book here.
See: Sráid an ṁuilinn – A History of its people, by its people, for its people (millstreet.ie)
Fr. William Ferris was appointed to Millstreet Parish on 10th September 1934 & left on 28th October 1935 (with thanks to the Parish Office for this information)
The Book that almost never was (Kerryman)
Bishop Browne to Launch Book Banned by Predecessor in 1933 (Maine Valley Post)
The book can be purchased for €15 on the Fr Ferris’s Parish Histories website.