Dúchas Members Trip to the Beara Peninsula
Twenty-five members of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage had a very interesting weekend trip to the Beara Peninsula on Sept 30/Oct 1 2017. The trip started with a visit to Thornhill Cilleenach, a large children’s graveyard, unusual in that it had one inscribed grave marker. Moving closer to Castletownbere, we visited the humble cottage in which William Martin Murphy was born, the politician and businessman who is now infamously remembered for the 1913 Lockout of the Dublin trade unionists, led by James Larkin. While having lunch in MacCarthy’s bar we gained an insight into the incredible story of Dr Aidan MacCarthy and the Japanese sword. Dunboy Castle, the seat of Donal Cam O’Sullivan Bere, and Puxley Mansion followed, then on to Dzogchen Beara, Dursey Sound and Allihies Mountain Mine.
On Sunday morning, a guided town walk of Castletownbere was followed by a visit to Dereenattagart stone circle, then on to the ruins of the old rectory where Canon James Goodman compiled his vast musical collection while a curate in the 1860s, a visit to the imposing Ballycrovane Ogham stone, the tallest known Ogham stone, Kilcatherine Church with its medieval cross and curious stone head, and not forgetting the Hag of Beara on our travels before stopping at the peaceful Kilmackillogue Harbour for a welcome meal in Harringtons. Our journey home was through the beautiful Healy Pass, with views down over Glenlough Lake as the sun was setting.
Our thanks to Fachtna O’Donovan, of Castletownbere, our guide for the weekend, who gave us a truly wonderful history of this beautiful and historic peninsula and to William Casey for his informative and sensitive talk on the cilleen. Also thanks to Rachael Cronin for organising a superb weekend and to our intrepid bus driver, Teddy Lowney, for braving the many narrow and windy roads of the remoter parts of the peninsula.
View photographs of the day courtesy of Anthony Brennan & William Casey GALLERY