Owenycree River

Owneycree River, situated in County Kerry, is a stream that runs through my home
townland, ‘Leamyglissane’ within a 500 metre distance of my house.
I wake in the morning to open the curtains to view the river and bridge from my own front
bedroom window.
This river possesses years of endless stories however until enquiring from my Grandad,
‘Sean Jackie’ about the history of this river, it never really drew my attention.
I never depicted it as a historical feature and I most certainly didn’t expect to hear any
enlightening stories about this beautiful river, so please sit back, relax and enjoy this
captivating and memorable short story about Gneeveguilla’ s own ‘Owneycree’…
It was a typical day in Leamyglissane, ‘work, work’ and ‘more work’ on my Grandad’s farm.
The local delegates, my Grandad amongst them, had decided to drain a part of the
Owneycree River, to refresh, cleanse and to preserve its natural characteristics and to
ensure no harmful effects would come upon it, in the future.
My Grandad recalls it to be a warm summer’s day, the brilliance and radiance of the hot sun
was reflecting on the river water, making it even more dazzling and ravishing…
However, there were years of bacteria that needed to be eliminated and today was the day
that they had planned their mission. Soon they all marched, from my Grandad’s home, the
headquarters of this operation, through Grandad’s favourite field fondly known as ‘The Ray’
down to the riverside. …
My Grandad had always respected the river, in fact, he spent many of his younger days
exploring and playing near the river.
One hot summer’s day he and his brother,’ Paudie Jackie’ decided to explore the river
further, and using a horse reign my Grandad tied his brother’s waist to prevent him from
drowning and in he went!
There was Paudie swimming in the currents with my Grandad tugging at the reins, ready to
pull him out if he got into difficulty. Paudie Jackie offered to give him a turn but Grandad
sensibly declined and with all the fun he forgot to return the reins to the farm. Their father,
my Great Grandfather was not amused when the following day with no reigns in sight; the
milk could not be carried to the creamery on their beloved horse and cart !!
Going back to the drainage operation Grandad recalls ‘Tony Connor’ driving the track
machine, the main tool used in the cleaning of the river.
When they commenced the operation Tony took one sweep at the river, using the machine,
and to everyone’s surprise, a beautiful, ‘freshwater trout’ landed from the machine into the
My Grandad remembers the fish being approximately one metre long. The fish was soon
followed by a second fish, this time smaller, but still comprising of similar features to the
previous fish.
Grandad remembers how satisfied they all were after completing their mission but he also
recalls flinging the two trout’s into his bag to have a ‘fine feast’ for himself at home..
To this day, Grandad’s favourite meal is still ‘fresh fish’…
To summarise I enjoyed my Grandad’s stories of the history of our local river and the lovely
memories that he has now passed on to me.
I think it is important to celebrate and explore the beauty and magnificence of all lakes and
I know there are endless reasons why we should take good care of our rivers, put an end
once and foremost to pollution and to rebuild this beautiful world, for our future generations.
Owenycree, Owenycree, where the three townlands meet
Leam, Schranaville, and Maughantoorig
On the banks I will roam, not far from my home
And gaze on the beauty around me’
An old local verse devised from the tune of ‘Loughrea Loughrea’ by Brendan Shine