"So there's just no doubt about it, the cow is an extremely important person in this part of North Kerry."
According to the IFI, "Tax on Kerry Cows" from The Radharc Collection "presents an unusual initiative introduced by the parishioners of Asdee and Ballylongford, in the Diocese of Kerry, to raise funds for the renovation of their churches which had fallen into disrepair.
"The inventive scheme called for farmers of each diocese to impose upon themselves an annual levy of £1 per cow, for a period of 5 years. The proceeds of the scheme would allow the repair of both churches which had been damaged by damp and wear and tear."
About The Radharc Collection
Founded in 1959, Radharc is considered one of Ireland’s most important independent documentary production companies. It initially comprised of a small group of Dublin priests lead by Father Peter Dunn and Father Desmond Forristal. The team made over 400 documentaries which were screened on RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, between 1961 and 1996. Their insightful and challenging filmmaking garnered many critical accolades.
The Radharc documentary series had a remarkably broad reach both geographically and thematically. It was shot in more than 60 countries around the world and looked at life from a range of religious, social, and cultural perspectives. The team was not afraid to tackle difficult and often controversial topics and their standing as clergy allowed a level of access that lay filmmakers may not have been able to achieve.
The Radharc output is significant, in both Irish and international terms, as a body of finely-crafted documentary work and an insightful record of Irish cultural, social, and ideological engagement from the 1960s to the 90s.
The Radharc cameras shone a light onto a changing Ireland and recorded values, rural and urban traditions, and indeed topography that no longer exist. Their international output was equally valuable as the team covered five continents in search of globally-significant subject matter.
The Radharc Trust is responsible for The Radharc Collection and deposited it with the IFI in 1998. "Tax on Kerry Cows" is presented with kind permission of The Radharc Trust.
The video below is published with thanks to the Irish Film Institute (IFI), who IrishCentral have partnered up with throughout 2020 to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collection entails. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.
To watch more historic Irish footage, visit the IFI Player, the Irish Film Institute’s virtual viewing room that provides audiences around the globe free, instant access to Irish heritage preserved in the IFI Irish Film Archive. Irish Culture from the last century is reflected through documentaries, animation, adverts, amateur footage, feature films, and much more. You can also download the IFI Player Apps for free on iPhone, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku.
IrishCentral has partnered up with the IFI throughout 2020 to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collections entail. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.