The Dingle Peninsula (Co. Kerry)

Inch & Annascaul (Co. Kerry / Southwest)

Inch Strand is actually a sandy peninsula extending almost half way across Dingle Bay, popular in summer for paddling, swimming, shore angling, and ball games, but at its atmospheric best out of season, when it is deserted. Dolphins can often be seen playing offshore. It is noted for its wildlife, and has several sites of archaeological interest.  There is also a history of piracy, when wreckers used lanterns to mis-guide ships onto the sands in bad weather and then plunder them.

Inch (Inse), in the foothills of the Slieve Mish Mountain range, has some interesting old buildings.

Redcliff House, originally a Hickson residence, was more recently made famous by Bishop Casey and currently run as a friendly and welcoming Guest House

Dún Clar is a fine Ringfort in the vicinity.

Annascaul / Anascaul (Abhainn an Scáil / Abba na Scáil) is a small fishing and farming village near the mouth of the Owenascaul / Anascaul River at the foot of Beenoskee mountain in the Slieve Mish range.

The origin of the name is disputed; some say it refers to “The River of Scail” (Scail Ni Mhúirnáin is a character in local folklore), others claim it is “The River of Shadows”, while a third claim is for “Ford of the Heroes”:

The South Pole Inn was once owned by Thomas Crean, the Antarctic explorer who participated in Robert Scott‘s failed 1912 expedition and Ernest Shackleton‘s epic voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia. He is commemorated by a statue nearby.

Jerome Connor, (1874 – 1943), aka Patrick Jeremias Connor, Jerome Conner, Jerome Stanley Connor, J Stanley Connor and “St Jerome” Connor, the internationally renowned commemorative sculptor, who moved to New England in 1888, lived in Washington DC from 1910 to 1925 before moving to Dublin, and whose work is best known in the USA, was born locally.

The district has become popular in recent years with artists, craftsfolk and seekers of alternative lifestyles.

Annascaul Lake and surroundings. (Photo by SMc4Pix)

The area is rich in archaeological remains, and is renowned for lovely walks.

Bunnaneer is a sea inlet where the fishermen used to launch their Curraghs from the ummer carved out of solid rock. Recently it has become a popular spot for surfers. In the evenings this is a great place to relax quietly, sitting on a rock and listening to the lapping waves.

Lios Póil / Lispole (Co. Kerry / Southwest)

Lios Póil / Lispole is a scattered community, bounded on the north by mountains and on the south by cliffs and inlets of Dingle Bay. The village grew up around the bridge over the Owenalondrig River in the C19th.

The Old Viaduct of the Tralee & Dingle Light Railway is a monument to C19th engineering ingenuity. (Photo by Kglavin)

Lispole railway station opened in 1891 and finally closed in 1953.

Minard Castle

 

Minard Castle, on a piece of land stretching out into Kilmurry Bay, was originally a C15th stronghold of the Knight of Kerry.  (Photo – www.lehigh.edu)

 

Walter Hussey of Dingle fled here from Castlegregory with a garrison in 1641. Colonels Lehunt and Sadler besieged the castle. The defenders, being short of ammunition, were forced to use pewter bullets. As soon as the besiegers noticed this, they approached the castle by stealth, placed a charge under it, and blew up a great section. A considerable portion of the castle remains.

 

The strand near the castle is a natural storm beach, the boulders being thrown up by the sea at its most violent. A tiny cove has sloping cliffs in close formation, resembling sails in a hard-fought yacht race. Behind the castle there is a slipway used by local fishermen.

 

Not far from that there is a Holy Well dedicated to Saint John; this well is known to have been visited in pre-Christian times and still frequented today, especially on 24th June, the saint’s feast / Pattern day. Beside it is a Wish Tree.

Béal is a small beach overlooked by a spectacular sea stack known as An Searrach (“The Foal”). Part of the parish of Kinard, this beach is much used by sea anglers.

 

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