"Dún Bleisce - mar a bhí agus mar atá"

A photographic record of Doon Parish, as it was and as it is,

Volume 1

This publication has been compiled by Dún Bleisce Historical and Literary Society and is the culmination of a number of years work. It is a pictorial reflection of the lives of people from the parish and surrounding areas with some photos dating back over a 100 years. There are in excess of 1,500 photos extending to almost 300 pages, a rich tapestry of social history, reflecting change over the decades, and also importantly life as it is today, connecting the past with the present.

The publication was launched in Doon during the year, by country and western singer Jimmy Buckley, a native of Doon, who is of national and international renown.

The launch night was a huge success with Jimmy entertaining the packed community hall. Since then the book has been widely sought after, and the feedback has been so complimentary, insightful and appreciative, that has made it all worthwhile, from the society's perspective.

President Barrack Obama with Ann Anderson, Irish Ambassador to the USA. Ann was Irish ambassador to the European Union based in Brussels (2001-2005), France and Monaco based in Paris (2005-2009), United Nations based in New York (2009-2013), United States based in Washington (2013-2017). Ann is granddaughter of Robert Anderson born in Coolbane, Doon.

As a flavour of such feedback, this photograph of Ann Anderson and her connection with Doon, has received a lot of attention, hitherto unknown by many people, outside of her family circle.

Another such example is this photograph of Tony Woods, a native of Doon.

Tony Woods. a native of Doon and Chancellor of the Diocese of Lodwar, Turkana, Kenya, accepting a cheque from Donal Anderson for sponsorship of a student. Dún Bleisce Historical and Literary Society provided the funding.

Tony has spend over 50 years working as a lay missionary in Kenya and is now Chancellor of the Diocese of Lodwar in the northern part of the country. Again it was apparent this was not widely known outside of the circles of his family and friends. The historical society has been supporting the work of Tony since 2014, through their Kenya Education Fund, which is providing ongoing financial support towards the education of a young Kenyan student.

On receipt of his copy from Ireland, Tony has since emailed the society from Kenya, an excerpt which follows:

My very sincere thanks to you for sending me the wonderful book of photos that have rekindled so many wonderful memories for me.

My grateful thanks to all you Editorial Staff for putting it all together....I do so much appreciate your efforts .

Donal, the book arrived here on 13th April 2018…….my 74th birthday.

When it arrived, I can tell you I did very little work that day as I went from page to page and all I could think of that day was:

“the happy times we once enjoyed, how sweet their memory still"

Beginning with Eileen Moloney’s wonderful sketches , I was transported back to the 50’s  and from then on……

Some names I had forgotten but not the faces…………………….as I looked at neighbours, friends and family of that great and lovely parish of Doon. My cup of joy really overflowed.

And every day I glance through it….and my visitors also pick up this book and browse through it …and are amazed that you the Editorial Committee could prepare such a wonderful work of photos.

I often think of Fr.Patrick Moloney of Croughmarka, the first Irish Missionary Priest in China, who died there in 1882. …..and of his cousin, Sr.Mary Ryan, who went to China to help him but arrived to find that he had recently died. Can you imagine the anguish she felt then?

I was delighted to see a page of  “In Memoriam” cards  mostly of the Fox family of Main Street with whom I spent many happy hours. ( I have met all except Mrs. Mary Fox(1944) and Brother Doohan (1992)..............The aerial photos of the village are a delight.

Again my sincere thanks to you all.



An excerpt from another letter received by the society reads as follows:

They say a picture paints a thousand words— how true this is of “Dún Bleisce mar a bhí agus mar atá”

It is a book that takes one back in time and place— up the airy mountains down the rushy glen'

Turning the leaves one visits — Doon, Toom & Carnahalla: Cliggin, Muine & The Goat House: Glengar, Lisowen & Lacka:

Reenavana, Gortavalla, Commonaline, & Crockomarka and all the places in between.

It is not laid out in any particular order which adds to its novelty as one turns the pages.

Births, baptisms, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, sporting events, village life, country life and funerals are all included.

It is a book for future generations when they will be searching for their ancestors and wondering where they came from. It is all there in pictures - named and dated for the most part.

This book is addictive - not just a once off perusal. I also notice that this is volume 1 so hopefully Volume 2 will follow in the not too distant future. Many thanks to the Dún Bleisce Historical and Literary Society for taking on such a huge task and putting together all those photographs in such a meaningful and interesting way.

This book has and will give many hours of pleasure to Doon people at home and abroad.


It has undoubtedly been the best year ever for Doon GAA Club since its foundation, reaching the county final, and with four players from the club, being members of the All Ireland hurling panel, namely Richie English, Darragh O'Donovan, Pat Ryan and Barry Murphy. There is a strong tradition of GAA within the parish and the book includes many team photographs at all levels through the years. Again there has been great feedback on this aspect of the publication. The following photo was taken during the "Gathering" Weekend in September 2013.

L:R Willie Moore, Jim O'Donnell (1973 All Ireland winning team members) with members of the Limerick Munster Minor Champions 2013, Darragh O'Donovan, Richie English, Stephen Ryan, Dean Coleman and Pat Ryan, pictured with Paddy and Marian English.

Paddy again had the proud honour of holding the Liam McCarthy cup aloft in Doon in 2018, with his son Richie being a member of the victorious Limerick All Ireland team.

The publication is a limited edition and is priced at €25 and now available at Centra, Richardsons Butchers and the pharmacy in Doon. If you are not visiting Doon, the society can be contacted via email at doonparishjournal@hotmail.com or by telephone on 086 8421747.

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