Bolus Head & Saint Finian’s Bay

Bolus Head & Saint Finian’s Bay

Bolus Head & Saint Finian’s Bay

“Tír na nÓg” and a Fianna Burial Ground

Saint Finan’s Bay is named after Saint Finian who founded the Monastery at Skellig Michael, today it is home to the new Skellig Chocolate factory.

In ancient times it is said it had close links with Tír na nÓg (land of youth) which in ancient Celtic mythology was the area around Ballinskelligs bay where Oisín and Niamh left Ireland for Eternal Youth, riding that great white horse across the water. Some say the Fianna along with Oisín is buried at Bolus Head as you descend towards Saint Finian’s Bay,  a row of Standing stones a couple of feet high marks the spot overlooking huge Cliffs leading down into the Atlantic Ocean. Old buildings can also be found here where our ancestors would have built stone wall dwellings usually a circle and would have used wood and earth along dead vegetation to make a shelter.

The story of Oisín goes something like this :

Fionn mac Cumhaill and the Fianna used to travel the four corners of Ireland, seldom stayed in the same place for very long. One day Fionn the Fianna and his son Oisín were hunting a Stag by the Lake in Killarney when a beautiful girl named Niamh who had searched the area to see Oisín, who was a noted as a warrior, poet and was very handsome. She had heard about him and when they met he could not resist her Goddess type looks and so went to join her in Tír na nÓg. Sad to let him go Fionn could see he had made up his mind and may come back one day, Fionn never saw Oisín again.

The next time he would return it would be in 300 years, he missed the Fianna and his family yet he knew the powers of Tír na nÓg but had to see his family, he missed all his friends and the life in the Fianna. Oisín had hoped to meet his Father but soon realised they were all gone only legendary stories of long ago to be found, feeling very lonely he headed back towards Tír na nÓg where he met some locals struggling with a big rock and with his great strength tried to help without getting off the horse but slipped and fell, he turned into a 300 year old man in a short time. He had been told leaving Tír na nÓg you can go and see but must not get off your horse or you will die.

The spot where Oisín fell is called “Bealach Oisín” or Oisín Pass and today is known as Ballaghisheen on many Maps of Ireland.

51°56’56.39″N      9°56’3.92″W

It is said they an old woman knew all the great stories of Oisín, Fionn & the rest of the Fianna, hunting stories, the battles they fought and rumours of where their secret Burial Ground was. In return for the white horse, Oisín was buried with his family 300 years after the time they had once ruled Ireland.

51°47’37.20″N      10°20’34.63″W

Tir Na Nog

Tir Na Nog

The Fianna were great Irish Warriors defended Ireland from many invaders, Fionn was one of the greatest but they say none could have matched that of the Fianna’s Greatest Irish Warrior known as Cu Chulainn

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History of Killarney Castlelough Castle

History of Killarney Castlelough Castle

History of Killarney Castlelough Castle Killarney

McCarthy Mór Castle Killarney

History of Killarney Castlelough Castle from the windows of The Lake Hotel can be seen the ruins of a Medieval Castle built on a rocky promontory within the grounds.  It is situated on the eastern shore of Lough Lein or the Lower Lake and gives its name to that portion known as the Bay of Castlelough.

In early times this district was known as Eóghanacht Lough Lein. The families who ruled here were descended from Eóghan Mór ( Eoghan, Eoin or Owen )son of Aillil Olumm.

Other branches of the same race ruled various parts of Cork, Limerick and Tipperary. Their decedent’s of today are known by the family names of McCarthy, O’Sullivan, O’Mahony, O’Keeffe, O’Donovan and O’Donoghue.

The Anglo-Norman Invasion

During the year 1152 Turlough O’Connor acting as High King, divided Munster between Dónal O’Brien and Diarmuid McCarthy, both to defer to him.

Diarmuid was king of Desmond, or South Munster, which extended from Lismore, Co. Waterford to Mount Brandon, Co. Kerry.  On arrival of Henry 11 of England at Waterford in 1172, both these Kings swore allegiance to the King from overseas.  They repented of this act and endeavoured to make atonement.

In the wake of Henry 11 were many land-hungry nobles who were given parchment grants of the land, but it was many years before the invaders occupied South Kerry.  In 1214 a war broke out between two McCarthy kinsmen and Kerry became studded with Anglo-Norman Castles.  The Carews erected that of Ardrully near Kilgarvan, the Fitzgeralds, those of Dunloe and Killorglin, Fitzmaurice at Molahiffe, and the Roches erected a Castle at Oirbealach.  As the Tuath of Oirbealach extended along the shores of the Lein, it may be that the Castle on the Lake was first set up by the Roches.

In 1261 and 1262, the McCarthy led an army into Kerry from West Cork and killed Gerald Roche.  Cormac McCarthy was himself slain and a cairn on Mangerton marks the spot where he fell.  But henceforth the McCarthys ruled South Kerry from their three Castles, that of Castlelough (on the Lake), Pallas and Ballycarbery near Cahirciveen.

The Chief of the McCarthy was known as McCarthy Mór.  He was entitled to rents and services from O’Sullivan Bere, O’Donoghue Mór, and O’Sullivan Mor and O’Donoghue from Glenflesk and many lesser McCarthy in Cork and Kerry.

The Annals of Innisfallen record the death of Dónal Óg McCarthy, King of the Irish of Desmond in 1390 at this Castle of Lough Lein and also that of his son Tadgh in 1428 at his Castle of Ballycarbery.  They say of the latter that of all the wine drinkers of his time, he was the greatest.

The Annals of the four masters relate that in 1517 the sons of another McCarthy chief known as Cormac Lyrah were expelled from the Castle on the Lake.

In 1565, Queen Elizabeth created Donal McCarthy Mór, Earl of Glencar. In 1569 he repudiated the Earldom and joined graces with the Catholic Confederacy of Desmond.

When the Confederacy broke down in 1571 Dónal submitted and obtained a pardon. In 1580, Gerald, the Earl of Desmond, went into rebellion and was slain in 1583.

Another troop of strangers entered Kerry on the Authority of parchment grants which granted them ownership of lands held by the late Earl, on condition that they planted them with good reliable English tenants. Hence they were called undertakers, and amongst them were the Brownes (later to become Earls of Kenmare) and the Herberts. In about 1588 the Earl of Glencar mortgaged Castlelough to a Kinsman. Florence was summoned to London and for a period lodged in the Tower. Lady Ellen was detained in Cork, and Florence entered into a bond that she would remain there.

More History of Killarney

However, on a night in February 1580, she and a maid stole through one of the gates of Cork, just before closing time, and vanished into the country beyond. Sir Warham St. Ledger, the Queens President of Munster, urged that Florence’s bond is forfeited and that the Queen take over Castlelough. Very little fortification was needed to make it impregnable. It stood in a great Lough, wherein vast quantities of pearls were found.

In 1605, Lady Ellen obtained a portion of her father’s lands with reminders to her sons. At the time brother, Dónal McCarthy got a grant of Castlelough. He was a doughty warrior with a passion for securing as trophies the plumed helmet of Elizabeth’s troops. He is known in local tradition as Dan The Feathers. He made such sport of them that the women were employed in his stronghold in the making of beds. He died quietly, but not before the English chivalry had dubbed him “The Robin of Munster”. The Castle must have been transferred at some later date and it is known that Florence, youngest son of Lady Ellen was residing there in 1642.

This Florence McCarthy, together with all the other McCarthys, hanged himself in 1642 under the banner of the Confederation of Kilkenny. The ensuing war lasted until 1635 when the last stand was made at Ross Castle, and Cromwellian Troops battered Castlelough. Terms of capitulation were agreed to and the Cromwellian Wars in Ireland finished on the shores of Lough Lein.

When Charles 11 of England was restored, the Lands of Pallas, Muckross, Cahernane and Castlelough were restored to Dame Sarah McCarthy, otherwise McDonnell, and a sister of the Marquis of Antrim. Her son granted Castlelough to his cousin Denis McCarthy. The Castle remained with his family until the reign of George 11 when it was sold to Colonel William Crosbie.

The subsequent history of Castlelough is by way of ordinary purchase and sale. A mansion was erected within view of the ruined Castle and was purchased by the Lalor family of Killarney. In 1846, the death is recorded at the residence, Castlelough House, of Mrs Martin Lalor on her 90th birthday. Her grandson, John Shine Lalor, was a poet and intimate friend of Daniel O’Connell and was arrested during the insurrection of 1848.

The mansion must have been subsequently enlarged as The Lake Hotel and in 1852 belonged to a certain Thomas Cotter. The hotel changed ownership from Cotter to Coffey, and then to Morrough, Bernard and Courtney.

In 1897, it was purchased by Mr Hillard of Killarney, in whose hands it remained until 1940 when it was purchased by Mr. & Mrs Martin Huggard of Waterville and became one of their famous family hotels. In recent years the hotel has undergone major improvements while retaining its old world style and charm. In 2012 the Huggard family celebrated 100 years of Irish Hospitality serving visitors from the four corners of the World.

History of Killarney, Castlelough

History of Killarney, Castlelough Castle on the grounds of the Lake Hotel

Castlelough Castle in Killarney from the roof of the Lake Hotel, Muckross Abbey is a short walk away of run 1.5 km by the Lakes of Killarney. There are walking /running/cycling trails all over the National park accessible from the Lake Hotel.

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Take a walk on a Kerry Beach

Take a walk on a Kerry Beach

Kerry Beaches

Did you know Kerry has the longest Coastline in Ireland, we also have some of the finest beaches in Ireland and some maybe even in the World?

In County Kerry, we have 12 Blue Flag Beaches

  • Derrynane
  • Ventry
  • Ballinskelligs
  • White Strand
  • Kells
  • Inch
  • Ballybunion North
  • Ballybunion South
  • Fenit
  • Ballyheigue
  • Magherabeg
  • Banna
Abbey Beach at Derrynane

Abbey Beach at Derrynane

Blue Flag Beaches in Ireland

Blue Flag Beaches in Ireland

Kerry Beaches

Kerry Beaches

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Killarney Restaurant wins Award

Killarney Restaurant wins Award

Killarney Restaurant wins Award.

Under the guidance of Head Chef Noel Enright, the Lakeside Bistro & Castlelough Restaurant have gone from strength to strength. Customer feedback has risen to a new level both from new customers and returning customers.

AA Rosette Award 2017 – 2018

Friendly Irish run restaurant

Friendly Irish run restaurant

Lake Side Restaurant Killarney

Lake Side Restaurant Killarney

Friendly Irish Restaurant Killarney

Friendly Irish Restaurant Killarney

Killarney Restaurants

Killarney Restaurants

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Cycling in Kerry

Cycling in Kerry

Cycling in Kerry

There are so many very scenic parts of Kerry to bike around, we like the looped cycles the best but some are so scenic it is worth coming back the same way to your Car or your base. Here are some we recommend from Killarney:

  1. Muckross Abbey,     Collen Bawn Rock,     Bricin Bridge,    Dinis Cottage,    Torc Waterfall,    Muckross House. ( 16 Km )
  2. Fossa Way,    Kate Kearney’s Cottage,    The Gap of Dunloe,    Moll’s Gap,    Ladies View,    Torc Waterfall,    Killarney. ( 50 Km )
  3. Cycle around Slea Head in Dingle probably the most scenic cycle in Europe
  4. Valentia Island unbelievable scenery and quiet, nice places to eat on the Island and over the Bridge at Portmagee.

    Kerry where else !

    Kerry

Cycling in Killarney

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Boat Trips on the Lakes of Killarney

Boat Trips on the Lakes of Killarney

Boat Trips in Killarney

Why not try one of the many boat trips in Killarney on the famous Lakes of Killarney, open boats are available from the Old Boathouse near Muckross House. Boat trips are also available from Ross Castle around the Lakes and also to Innisfallen Island where there is an old Monastic settlement.

Ducks killarney

Ducks Killarney

Boating in Killarney

Boating in Killarney

Ross Castle is where you can have a local guided open Boat or a covered over Lake Bus to bring you around the Lakes. You will pass Innisfallen Island, Library Point, Governors Rock and the Old Copper Mines. You will also be able to see Innisfallen Abbey and watch out for White Tailed Sea Eagles, seen regularly over the lakes. There are beautiful views of the Woodlands, Islands and Mountains with an abundance of wildlife. In Autumn the mountain shore area of Tomies Wood, O’Sullivan’s Cascade, the Royal Oak & the Burnt Island are the best place to see Eagles and maybe a Falcon.

Sailing Times
11.00 hours, 12.30 hours, 14.30 hours, 16.00 hours, 17.15 Hrs

Subject to change and pending weather conditions and seasonality

Private Charters
Private charters are our speciality! Whether you are planning a casual get-together, conferences, school tours, team building trips or special interest groups

Old Weir Bridge Killarney

Old Weir Bridge Killarney

Boating in Killarney

Boating in Killarney

Lake Hotel Guests depart for a Tour of the Lakes of Killarney.

Recommended spots to tour from the Lake Hotel are :

Osprey Rock, Muckross Abbey & Friars Island
Innisfallen Island
Ross Castle
The Burnt Island (Eagle spotting)
O’Sullivan’s Cascade
Dinis Cottage
Muckross House
Meeting of the Waters
The Eagles Nest
Upper Lake
Lord Brandon’s Cottage

Boat trips in Killarney

Boat trips in Killarney

Boat tours Killarney

Boat tours Killarney

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Golf in Killarney

Golf in Killarney

Golf in Killarney or Golf in the Kingdom ?

Killarney is in the heart of Kerry and Kerry in known as the “Kingdom of Kerry” and Killarney the jewel in the Crown. So there you go a round of Golf in Killarney should be known as Golf in the Kingdom.

 

Golf in Killarney

Golf in Killarney

Killarney’s two signature Golf Courses are both at Mahoney’s Point and both have hosted many big Golf tournaments including Irish Opens for both men and women

 

Killarney Golf Club web site

 

Killarney Golf

Killarney Golf

 

 

 

Golf in Killarney

Golf in Killarney

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Jaunting Car tours in the National Park

Jaunting Car tours in the National Park

Jaunting Car tours in the Killarney National Park.

Killarney is famous for its traditional Jaunting cars and it is a must on a visit to the Town, You can pick one up in the Town Center, at Ross Castle (seasonal) at the first gate into the Muckross Estate, the gate to Muckross Abbey and at Muckross House. It is a great way to visit the National Park and you will have great memories from your visit to Ireland.

Jaunting car tours

Jaunting car tours

Jaunting Car & Waterbus Tours
Billy & Mark Tangney
Tel: 064 66 33960, Mobile: 087 2571492
Email: billy@killarneylaketours.ie

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Castles in Kerry Ireland

Castles in Kerry Ireland

Castles in Kerry Ireland

Castles in the Southwest of Ireland

Kerry has some beautiful Castles in Kerry one of our favourites is Ross Castle, it was rebuilt in recent times and now offer visitors guided tours of the Castle. It was attacked by General Ludlow one of Cromwell’s Generals but surrendered to the English forces in 1652. Today at Ross Castle you can avail of Boat trips on the Lakes of Killarney, visit Innisfallen Island by boat and old monastic settlement founded by Saint Finian the leper, home of the book called the “Annals of Innisfallen” housed in Cambridge University in England. Many think High King of Ireland Brian Boru who fought the Vikings out of Ireland was educated here by the Monks.

Castlelough Castle or otherwise knows as the McCarthy Mor Castle Castlelough is situated on the grounds of the Lake Hotel. It was here a local Legend known as “Dan of the Feathers” or Donal MacCarthy mor ruled his Castles in Munster. Blarney Castle, Ballymalis and Ballycarbery Castle in Cahersiveen. The Queen of England dubbed him the “Robin Hood of Munster”. Despite being known as the greatest wine drinker and womanizer of his time he had a religious streak and funded the building of Muckross Abbey in 1448 AD.

Ballycarberry Castle near Cahersiveen was also attacked by Cromwell’s forces and blown up from the inside out to stop it from being rebuilt. Today is a striking feature in the landscape over the bridge by the old RIC Barracks.

There are many more Castles dotted around the County so when you are here you will be able to come to see for yourself.

Ross Castle Killarney

Ross Castle Killarney

Ross Castle Killarney one of the finest examples of Castles in Ireland, it is open to the public for tours daily in season and is free to roam around any time of the Year.

Ross Castle Killarney

Ross Castle Killarney

When we look at all the Castles in Kerry Ross Castle stands out with its Lakeside setting Innisfallen Abbey on Innisfallen Island can be seen from the Castle.

Irish Castle Cahersiveen

Irish Castle Cahersiveen was meant to be built in India

The Castle above was meant to be built in India by the English, they got the plans mixed up and there is an Irish style Castle now standing in India

Ring of Kerry Castle

Ballycarbery Castle Cahersiveen County Kerry

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Muckross Abbey Killarney

Muckross Abbey Killarney

Muckross Abbey Killarney

A great way to get to Muckross Abbey Killarney is by the trail/pathway which starts at Flesk Bridge on the Muckross Road and continues past the entrance to the Lake Hotel and continues into the National Park. It is a fantastic walk you can cycle or take a Traditional Jaunting Car.

Muckross Abbey Killarney is one of the major ecclesiastical sites found in the Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Republic of Ireland. It was founded in 1448 as a Franciscan friary for the Observantine Franciscans by Donal McCarthy Mor.

It has had a violent history and has been damaged and reconstructed many times. The friars were often persecuted and subjected to raids by marauding groups. Today the abbey is largely roofless although, apart from this, is generally quite well preserved. Its most striking feature is a central courtyard, which contains a large yew tree and is surrounded by a vaulted cloister. Some say that the Yew tree is the oldest living thing in Ireland at over 500 years?
Ground plan of Muckross AbbeyIn the 17th and 18th centuries, it became the burial place for prominent County Kerry poets O’Donoghue, O’Rathaille and O’Suilleabhain.

Muckross Abbey Killarney

Muckross Abbey Killarney

Muckross Abbey is open all year and is Free to the public

Muckross Abbey

Muckross Abbey Killarney

Muckross Abbey has situated 1.5 Km from the Lake Hotel & the Devil’s Punchbowl Bar

Muckross Abbey Cloisters

Muckross Abbey Cloisters

The Cloisters at Muckross Abbey, it’s very interesting to stroll around inside and outside the Abbey.

Cycling is an ideal way to get to Muckross Abbey Killarney heading from the Town pass the Lake Hotel using the Cycle path and not the main road and another 1.5 km you will see it on the left.

Killarney Abbey

Killarney Abbey

Not too far from Muckross Abbey Killarney, you have the Lake Hotel an ideal place to have lunch overlooking the McCarthy mor Castle the very Castle Donal McCarthy lived in the time of the building of Muckross Abbey.

McCarthy Mor Castle

Lake Hotel Killarney

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