The sleepy village of Moyvane has quite an interesting past, from it’s present day Sporting Triumphs all the way back to its troubled times in dealing with the old Landlords during the Land wars of the late 1800’s.

While the parish was part of the ancient “Barony of Iraghticonnor”, it seldom featured in the history books in conjunction with the stories of the Barony, hence very little writing exists about the village’s pastlife from long ago.

The name of “Moyvane”, which in Irish is “Maigh Mheain” meaning “the Middle Plain”, was adopted by the village in 1939 when a plebiscite was held by “Father O’Sullivan”, who was the Parish Priest at the time.

It is the name of a townland situated about 2 miles South-West of the actual village itself and this area truly resembles a flat plain/prairie-like landscape that extended for miles around.    To this day, the official “Moyvane House” is located in the heart of this area.

Prior to 1939, the village had been called “NewtownSandes” and is even still referred to, by natives, as “Newtown” – which is especially true of the older generation.    And it should be noted that the present-day Moyvane Creamery still bears the name: “Newtownsandes Co-op” and is also one of the very few remaining Independent Co-operative Creameries left in Kerry.

The origin of the name “NewtownSandes” itself is tempered with pain as it was the village located on the lands of “George Sandes” when he was alive in the early 1880’s.    He was a notoriously cruel Landlord (and agent of another) at that time and still tenaciously held on to his estates towards the end of the Land War when most of his peers had already given up theirs.

Around 1886, after a forceful eviction of some of his tenants, the name of the village was changed to “NewtownDillon” after “John Dillon”.    However, this didn’t stick and the name remained unchanged until 1916 when another name-change was attempted: this time to “NewtownClarke” after the 1916 Easter Rising leader “Thomas Clarke”.

However, the parishoners didn’t hold on to this name either and the sullied name of “NewtownSandes” remained till 1939.

It may be interesting to note that up until a few years ago, the official name which appeared on the ordinance survey maps – especially those of the 1980’s – was that of the original “NewtownSandes”.

There are many anecdotes that tell of visitors in search of “Moyvane”.  They took endless road-turnoffs and even traversed the village itself many times.  Signposts to “NewtownSandes” had indeed led them to the village of “Moyvane”!

Articles about Moyvane’s History