|— Town —|
|Motto: Vis Unita Fortior (Latin)
"United Strength is Stronger"
|Kerry County Council LEA||Tralee|
|Dáil Éireann Constituency||Kerry North West Limerick|
|Elevation||37 m (121 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference||Q828141|
Tralee (Irish: Trá Lí, meaning "strand of the Lee (river)") is the county town of County Kerry in the south-west of Ireland. The town is on the northern side of the neck of the Dingle Peninsula, and is the largest town in County Kerry. The town's population including suburbs was 23,693 in the 2011 census.
Situated at the confluence of some small rivers and adjacent to marshy ground at the head of Tralee Bay, Tralee is located at the base of a very ancient roadway that heads south over the Slieve Mish Mountains. On this old track is located a large boulder sometimes called Scotia's Grave, reputedly the burial place of an Egyptian Pharaoh's daughter. The Norman town was founded in the 13th century by Anglo-Normans and was a stronghold of the Earls of Desmond. A medieval castle and Dominican order Friary were located in the town. The mediaeval town was burnt in 1580 in retribution for the Desmond Rebellions against Elizabeth I. Tralee was granted to Edward Denny by Elizabeth I in 1587 and recognised by royal charter in 1613. Sir Edward was the first of the Dennys to settle in Tralee and from a recent history of Tralee by Gerald O'Carroll that only in 1627 did the Dennys actually occupy the castle of the earls of Desmond. Sir Edward's son was Arthur Denny, in whose lifetime the town's charter was granted by King James, containing the right to elect two members of parliament. The third settler, another Sir Edward, married Ruth Roper, whose father Thomas Roper was the lease holder of the Herbert estate centred on Castleisland. This Sir Edward was a royalist. He fought for the King in the wars of 1641. He died in 1646, before the triumph of Cromwell over affairs in England and Ireland. He granted "the circuit of the Abbey" to the corporation set up under the charter, in return for the fees of the town clerk. His son Arthur married Ellen Barry, granddaughter of Richard Boyle who during his life held many land titles in West Kerry and who also claimed property in Tralee.
Sir Edward Denny, 4th Baronet was a notable landlord in his day: especially during the time of the Great Famine when instead of increasing his rents as so many landlords did at that time he maintained rents to suit his tenants. He was a notable Plymouth Brother.
The modern layout of Tralee was created in the 19th century. Denny Street, a wide Georgian street was completed in 1826 on the site of the old castle.
Tralee Courthouse was designed by Sir Richard Morrison and built in 1835. It has a monument of two cannons commemorating those Kerrymen who died in the Crimean War (1854–56) and the Indian Rebellion (1857).
The Ashe Memorial Hall sits at one end of Denny Street, dedicated to the memory of Thomas Ashe - an Irish Volunteers officer in the Easter Rising of 1916. The building is built of local sandstone and houses the Kerry County Museum and a reconstruction of early Tralee.
The Dominican church of the Holy Cross was designed by the English Gothic Revival architect Augustus Pugin in the 19th century
Tralee saw much violence during the Irish War of Independence and Irish Civil War in 1919–1923. In November 1920, the Black and Tans besieged Tralee in revenge for the IRA abduction and killing of two Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) men. The Tans closed all the businesses in the town and did not let any food in for a week. In addition they burned several houses and all businesses connected with Irish Republican Army (IRA) activists. In the course of the week, they shot dead three local people. The incident caused major international outcry when reported by the press, who wrote that near famine conditions were prevailing in Tralee by the end of the week.
In August 1922, during the Irish Civil War, Irish Free State troops landed at nearby Fenit and then took Tralee from its Anti-Treaty garrison. Nine pro-Treaty and three anti-Treaty soldiers were killed in fighting in the town before the anti-Treaty forces withdrew. However the republicans continued a guerrilla campaign in the surrounding area. In March 1923 an infamous atrocity was carried out by Free State troops near Tralee when nine anti-treaty IRA prisoners were taken from the prison in Tralee and blown up with a land mine at nearby Ballyseedy.
- Tralee has a town council with twelve members.
Places of interest
Tralee is a tourism destination and has seen some €55 million of tourism investment over the past several years. Tralee is also famous for the Rose of Tralee International Festival which is held annually in August.
The town has developed a range of all weather visitor attractions.
- Kerry County Museum: incorporating the theme park 'Kerry: The Kingdom' and an exhibit which depicts life in medieval Geraldine Tralee.
- Siamsa Tíre: Ireland's National Folk Theatre, offering traditional music and plays in Irish.
- Blennerville Windmill: located about 2 km outside the town, Ireland's largest functioning windmill.
- Tralee Aquadome: A large indoor water leisure facility with a mini-golf course.
- Kerry Camino: A walk modelled on the Camino de Santiago walk of Northern Spain that follows a route Tralee to Dingle and invites participants to walk in the footsteps of Saint Brendan the Navigator.
- Casement's Fort: an ancient Ring Fort where Roger Casement was hiding when arrested.
- Sheela na Gig: now located in the Christian Round Tower at Rattoo, Ballyduff, a few kilometres north of Tralee.
- Monument to Saint Brendan the Navigator at Fenit: with reproductions of ancient Irish structures.
- Caherconree: Iron Age Fort overlooking Tralee Bay
In addition to the above, a very considerable number of archaeological sites around Tralee and throughout the County of Kerry, especially ring-forts, are listed for preservation in the Kerry County Development Plan 2009–15.
- The town has four local newspapers, The Kerryman, Tralee outlook, tralee advertiser and The Kerry's Eye, published in Tralee.
- The town has a commercial radio station, Radio Kerry, which commenced operations in 1990.
Tralee is served by National Primary and Secondary roads as well as local routes. National primary routes:
National secondary routes:
- N69 to Listowel, Foynes and Limerick
- N70 to Killorglin, Ring of Kerry on Iveragh Peninsula, Kenmare
- N86 to Dingle
The local port for Tralee is Fenit, about 10 km west of the town on the north side of the estuary. Catering for ships of up to 17,000 tonnes, the port is a picturesque mixed-use harbour with fishing boats and a thriving marina (136 berths).
In common with all parts of Ireland, most schools at all levels in Tralee are managed and owned by the churches. Tralee Educate Together School is multidenominational, and is neither owned nor managed by any church. At secondary level most schools are explicitly Roman Catholic in ethos, except Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí.
- CBS (Scoil na mBráithre), Clounalour (Roman Catholic)
- Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn, Rath Rónáin (Irish language - Roman Catholic)
- Holy Family, Balloonagh (Roman Catholic)
- Presentation Primary School (Sacred Heart), Castle Street (Roman Catholic)
- St Ita's and St Joseph's, Balloonagh (Special Needs - Roman Catholic)
- St John's, Ashe Street (Church of Ireland)
- St John's, Balloonagh (Roman Catholic)
- St Mary's, Moyderwell (Roman Catholic)
- Tralee Educate Together, Killeen (Non-denominational)
- Brookfield College, Oak Park (Non-denominational)
- Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí, Tobar Mhaigh Dor (Irish language)
- Mercy Secondary School, Mounthawk (Roman Catholic)
- Presentation Secondary School, Castle Street (Roman Catholic)
- St Ita's and St Joseph's, Balloonagh (Special Needs - Roman Catholic)
- St Mary's CBS (The Green) (Roman Catholic)
- Tralee Community College, Clash (Vocational)
- Na Gaeil GAA club is based in the Oakpark area of Tralee.
- John Mitchels GAA club is based in the Boherbee area of Tralee.
- Kerins O'Rahilly's GAA club are based in the Strand Road area of the town.
- Tralee Mitchels is a former GAA club.
- Austin Stacks GAA club is based at the top of the rock and is famous for players like Mikey Sheehy, Ger Power, John O'Keeffe and Kieran Donaghy.
- Tralee Harriers Athletics Club
- Tralee Triathlon Club was formed in 1999.
- Tralee Dynamos is Tralee's most senior soccer club, playing in the Kerry District League.
- Park FC also play in the Kerry District League.
- Tralee Rugby Football Club ground is in Ballyard.
- Tralee Tennis Club is based on the Dan Spring Road.
- Fitzgerald-Jones Handball Club is based at the Sport Complex in Tralee.
- County Badminton Club meet in the Presentation Secondary School Gym.
- Tralee Greyhound Racing has a stadium on Brewery Road.
- Kingdom Swimming Club are based at the Sport Complex in Tralee.
- St. Brendan's Basketball Club play in the national leagues.
- Tralee Bicycle Club was founded in 1992.
- The Chain Gang Cycling Club is a Tralee based cycling club founded in 2008.
- Tralee Golf Club is based in Barrow and the Arnold Palmer designed course is consistently voted one of the top links in the world.
- Tralee Bay Sailing Club based in Fenit.
- Tralee Rowing Club was founded in 2004 and is located near the centre of the town.
- Tralee Bay Swimming Club based in Fenit
There is also a strong basketball tradition in the Tralee area with Tralee Tigers being the most well known although St. Brendan's have a bigger youth selection. Tigers play in the National League and Cup while St. Brendan's play in league 1.
Notable Tralee people include:
- Brendan, monastic saint and navigator
- Joe Barrett, footballer
- Daniel Bohane, footballer
- Leonard Boyle, priest and scholar
- Billy Dennehy, soccer player
- Kieran Donaghy, footballer
- Michael Dwyer, journalist
- Robert D. FitzGerald, surveyor, botanist
- Rea Garvey, singer of Reamonn
- Christie Hennessy, singer/songwriter
- Joan Kennelly, photographer and founder of Kerry's Eye
- Pádraig Kennelly, founder and editor of Kerry's Eye
- Joe Keohane, footballer
- Gareth Mannix, sound engineer/producer
- Maurice Moynihan, Governor of Central Bank
- Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, poet
- Sean O'Callaghan, Provisional IRA member
- Denis O'Donnell, businessman
- Patrick Denis O'Donnell, military/historian (and known locally as Paddy, or P.D.)
- Dan O'Keeffe, footballer
- John O'Keeffe, footballer
- Ger Power, footballer
- Declan Quill, footballer
- Boyle Roche, politician
- Dan Spring, politician, footballer and rugby player
- Dick Spring, politician, footballer and rugby player
- Austin Stack, revolutionary and footballer
- Mikey Sheehy, footballer
- Tracey K, musician
- Tommy Walsh, footballer
- Aisling O'Sullivan, actor
- Richard Johnson, President of Irish High Court
Tralee is twinned with the following places:
- List of abbeys and priories in Ireland (County Kerry)
- List of towns and villages in Ireland
- Market Houses in Ireland
- Tralee Bay
- "Tralee Legal Town Results". Central Statistics Office. 2011.
- Census for post 1821 figures.
- Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
- Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850". The Economic History Review. Volume 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x.
- "Kerry County Council – County Development Plan 2009–2015". Kerry County Council.
- "Tralee station". Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 4 September 2007.
- Lucey, Anne (23 May 2011). "Former editor of 'Kerry's Eye' dies". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- "Tralee Twins with Westlake, Ohio -". Town of Tralee.
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