I can remember being perched on my father’s lap. I could have been no more than 5 years of age at the time, hearing tales of Ireland , Kerry, Camp/Annascaul, places I could barely pronounce, as sometimes he would speak to me in Irish, I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about,but I always remember him saying we will be going home soon to where we belong. We are Irish and hail from a great County. He was true to his word. He emigrated to America when he was 18 years and actually attended the 1947 All Ireland football final at the polo grounds in New York, Kerry beaten by Cavan on that day.
I was born in the United states on the 12th of March 1956 in Chicago, to Jack and Margaret Doyle my father born in Annascaul County Kerry, and my Mother born in Quilty in the county Clare. Little did I know or envisage the interesting life I would live. We landed in Ireland in June 1963. I was 7 years of age at the time. The eldest of 7. It was so strange having come from a big city to land in Shannon airport being greeted by people I had never met from both sides of the families then travel the long journey to our new home at Camp in County Kerry, where I was to spend a large part of my life growing up on our farm and even to this day I still consider Camp as home. I met my wife Joan, an Annascaul woman who comes from a great family and have a fantastic son Kevin, born in Tralee in 1986.
In my sporting life, I have been fortunate to have played with Kerry at all levels of Gaelic football from school to minor, to under 21 to senior level, and had the honor and distinction to Captain that great County in 1986 to a 3 in a row All Ireland winning titles and of course play with many great local club men from Camp and Annascaul. Throughout those years I have been fortunate to have made many friends in business and GAA circles throughout Ireland and abroad.
I consider myself very fortunate to have been raised in a rural Ireland area known as Camp, a part of West Kerry, a great GAA stronghold, on a farm where the old ways were still very much apart of everyday life. I saved hay, cut turf, spend many a day in the bog, milked cows by hand, and learned the many traditional ways of life and living at that time. Were those times hard or difficult? I say no more than today. We had a far simpler, fulfilling life. Respect was a huge part of everyday life, you respected your elders, my Grandmothers Kate Hennessy and Annie Downs saw to that.
Most families in those days were self-sufficient in the necessities of life. We produced our own milk, made our own butter, baked bread, grew potatoes and vegetables. You name it. Most families survived on traditional Irish food made at home by our mothers, what great cooks they were and still are to this day. Food was wholesome, simple, and nourishing, similar to what we strive to produce each day at Kinsale Bay food company.
Keep it simple.