News & Events
|Cathy and John Harrington are retiring from
Jack Patrick's Restaurant today. The restaurant has been in
business for 50 years. Previously run by John's sister
Margaret Nolan and his mum Julia. Cathy and John have been
running it for the last 33 years. Cathy and John say
'We would like to thank our customers for their support and we
shall miss you all. '
Castletownbere has the best deep water berth
in Ireland, handling large container ships and fishing boats. In 2012
it was officially opened and now the Irish Government in recognising
how import it is has approved a new super dock extension with
The sink lift for bringing vessels out of the
sea for inspection and service
The pier itself with trawlers and the tug
Ocean Challenger in the centre
You can watch a video of Dinish Island deep
water pier if you wish
The first event of the year organised by the
Beara Historical Society will be held in Twomey's Lounge,
Castletownbere on Thurs 23rd Feb at 8pm.
There will be a screening of a documentary "The Seaflower Disaster of
Christmas 1968" which recounts the circumstances of the tragic event
of almost fifty years ago.
On the 22nd of December 1968 the Castletownbere fishing vessel
"Seaflower" was lost in a raging storm off the coast of Ardgroom with
the loss of all five crew on board, Michael Crowley, Bernie Lynch,
John Michael Sheehan, Noel Sheehan and Niall Crilly. The heroic
attempts of the crew of another boat, the "Ard Beara", to round Dursey
Head to try to rescue the marooned men will also be recalled on the
Happy New Year from Discover Beara
A meeting was held in the Beara Coast Hotel October 11th to
discuss ways of reducing congestion in Castletownbere. With two narrow
sections of the main street something needs to be done. The first
section which runs between the church and Harringtons a one way system
could be arranged with traffic using the road behind Harringtons and
their warehouse. The other part of the narrow street poses the biggest
problem, where it runs between the Garda Station and Wisemans.
Suggestions have been made to make a bridge from the pier across the
inlet to link up with the road to the hotel, another to run along the
backs of the houses on the north side of the inlet and a road going
north of the town taking traffic clear of Castletownbere altogether.
There is not an easy solution, and a lot of thought and planning will
need to be done on this.
To celebrate Culture Night 2016, Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's
Retreat is proud to host the launch of Beara singer/songwriter Gerry
Bruton's latest CD. Featuring his original songs, Gerry
(firstname.lastname@example.org) will be joined by Beara musicians Eileen
O'Driscoll on the fiddle, Michael O'Driscoll on the banjo, and Mary
Maddison on the bodhrán.
Gerry's songs chronicle his life's experiences of love, impending
fatherhood, rural decline, political and business corruption and
even a fisherman’s fishing trip, themes and issues most people can
relate to. He recorded the album with Clonakilty-born guitarist and
producer Bill Shanley in Cauldron Studios (Dublin).
Time: 8:00 P.M.
Place: Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat, Eyeries, Beara, Co.
Sue Booth-Forbes, Director
Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat
August 15th is special in Allihies for the
horse racing, click on the above pic to watch a
video of it
Mike Tim O'Sullivan making silage for Paddy
Sheehan in August near Garnish with Dursey Island in the
Watch the video
Watch a white knuckle ride through the Bull
If you would like to do this boat trip then
please the Tours page
Ardgroom village basking in the summer
sunshine, caught on camera by Eagle Eye drone
In 1805 the British built signal towers on the
headlands of Ireland. These were designed to be easily seen by the
next tower in line of sight up or down the coast. The point being that
a signal could be sent to Dublin in the event of Napolean attacking
the coast with his fleet of ships. The towers did not last very long
as it was soon discovered how useless they were in the event of sea
fog which obscured them.
You might like to watch a short
video on Blackball
There is a
website dedicated to signal towers which might be of interested
Pictures taken by John Eagle
The picture here shows the tower at Blackball
head which stands on the north shore of Bantry Bay, and can be seen
from the road from Castletownbere to Allihies
video of Anam Cara Artist's and Writer's Retreat
The picture at the top of the page was takern by John
Eagle in 1994 from a Bolkow helicopter flown by Capt. Mick
Conneely. Taken using colour slide film it has faded
somewhat over the years and so he decided to re-shoot it
Flew a bit higher this time, taking picture from Eagle Eye
drone shooting in RAW with 12 mega pixel camera.
Prints are available from his
While he was at it he also shot a video.
The cable car to Dursey Island
Here's an aerial view of the Garra Fado garden centre near
Eyeries, a great place to explore
2016 Summer Time operating hours for the Dursey Island
Saturday 21st May to Monday 23rd May – Normal Hours (Mon
to Sat: 09:30-11:30, 14:30-17:00, and 19:00-20:00. Sun:
09:30-10:30, 13:00-14:30, and 19:00-20:00)
Tuesday 24th May and Wednesday 25th May – CLOSED FOR
Thursday 26th May to Friday 3rd June – Normal Hours
Saturday 4th June to Sunday 12th - 09:30am to 20:00pm
Monday 13th June to Friday 17th June – CLOSED FOR
Saturday 18th June to will be announced - 09:30am to
20:00pm every day
As there is limited capacity on the cable cars passengers
are advised to arrive at the cable car as early as
possible to avoid disappointment.
Please visit www.durseyisland.ie for further information.
Castletownbere Area Office
|The Oscars came to Beara May 20th in Lehanmore
|Niall receiving his Best Actor Oscar
History and Tradition: The
Michael Dwyer Festival
This will be the 18th year of our festival in Allihies, Beara, Co. Cork. We can promise an exciting programme of
traditional music sessions and more intimate performances this year
and the following are events that appeal to the historian as well as
the music lover.
Music from the County Bounds
Presentation by Jackie Daly and Matt Cranitch
This interactive presentation is on the history of the music of Sliabh
Luachra and will take place at
on Saturday June 11th at 5.30 pm.
In this illustrated presentation, Jackie and Matt talk about their
formative musical influences with particular reference to the Sliabh
Luachra tradition. They also weave in a music workshop, however anyone
interested in simply sitting and listening to the narrative will
equally benefit. The tunes they teach are from Sliabh Luachra, known
particularly for its rich repertoire of slides and polkas. The
workshop is not instrument-specific, and so participants who play any
of the traditional melody instruments are welcome to attend.
Jackie Daly and Matt Cranitch will then adjourn to
Kevin O'Neill's Bar for a
Saturday evening session.
The Dwyers in Concert
brothers John and Richard will give a performance together in
Allihies Mine Museum
on Saturday 11th at 8.30 pm. As well as playing, they will also
discuss the history behind and the origins of their music, being
into a family of exceptional musical talent in Ardgroom, Beara, in the
Michael was a gifted performer on both the
fiddle and tin whistle, being a national champion in both
and a prolific composer of more than a hundred tunes. Both John and
Richard are acclaimed composers of traditional Irish music, Richard
receiving the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Award in 2004 for Composer of the Year,
his brothers John and Finbar Dwyer joint winners of the same award in
2010. As well as performance
there will be discussion on much of Michael’s music
as well as their own. Richard's
tunes are part of the traditional repertoire in Ireland, America
and the UK;
his most well known reels are The Fox on the Town and
The concert will
be introduced by fellow musician and cousin of the Dwyers, Mary
Donegan. Richard will be
accompanied by Mary Conway (a presenter with Kerry radio) and national
treasure Sean Garvey (a former award winner of Amhránaí na
Bliana/Singer of the Year). John will be accompanied by Siobhán
his retirement John travels the country, performing in sessions and
concerts often with younger musicians who revere his music, including
Lia Byrne, Siobhán Peoples and Edel Fox. John's reputation has now
extended to music academia with Lia Byrne currently preparing a thesis
about his compositions through Maynooth University. His most famous tune is
perhaps the reel known simply as John Dwyer's.
Another highlight of this years festival is the launch of Amala's CD,
Allihies Mine Museum on Friday
June 10th, followed by their gig at
Jimmy's Bar at 9 pm.
Kerry based Amala consists
of Reidun Schlesinger
(mainly harps, also flute, concertina) and Paul de Grae (guitars).
They play music from several centuries in original arrangements. Amala
have co-presented "From Chieftain's Court to Polka Sets: 500 Years of
Harping in Kerry", a lecture/recital in the "Handed Down" series in
Scartaglin Heritage Centre in Kerry, and presented an expanded version
as part of Na Píobairí Uilleann's "Notes and Narratives" series in
their Dublin headquarters. The core of their
collection is traditional Irish and music from the Irish harp
repertoire. They also play various continental, Renaissance and early
classical pieces, as well as their own jazz.
In 1989 Paul published
"Traditional Irish Guitar", the first such tutor book.
Irish traditional/Sean Nós
Cathair Saidhbhín Co. Kerry, Sean gas been
singer-in-residence for the Gaeltacht area of South Kerry, Gaeltacht
Uibh Rathaigh, and he continues to perform, teach music and lecture.
He studied Irish language and Irish Folklore and obtained a Masters in
ethnomusicology at the
World Music Centre. Seán has
developed 'The Story of our Music," a lecture/performance course on
the history of Irish music. It is a history of traditional music from
pre-recorded times to the present, including instrumentation, European
influences, regional styles and more including such diverse topics
as ‘Women in song and ballad.’
Seán Garvey has
been previously awarded the most prestigious traditional music award,
the TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year, and has been acknowledged by
his peers as much as by his audiences, as being one of our finest
exponents of traditional singing.
He has performed in The Masters of Tradition Festival, Bantry
House and is recognised as having made outstanding contribution to
Irish music at home and abroad.
Seán is a fine guitar accompanist to his
own voice, as well as a player of flute and tenor banjo.
He will present at our festival
and will give a singing workshop with Tim Dennehy (another renowned
singer of tradition) at Allihies
Halla, 10 am Saturday 11th June.
|A sudden increase in warmer weather sucked
cold air in off the Wild Atlantic creating dramatic fog scenes
on the Beara Peninsula May 11th. Above left fog cascades over
the Miskish Mountains, and on the right a fish farm boat crew
work away as fog sweeps up the Kenmare Bay. Pictures taken by
he Beara Vintage and Classic Club will hold a tractor and vintage
run in aid of the Castletownbere Daycare Centre on Sunday, May 15th,
meeting at the Wild Atlantic Bar, Adrigole at 1pm. All ages of
tractors, classic and vintage cars and bikes are welcome. Starting at
the bar, the tractor route will take in the Healy Pass before
returning to Adrigole. The car and bike route will leave the bar to
head to Glengarriff, via the tunnel road to Kenmare before returning
via Lauragh and the Healy Pass. Refreshments will be available after
A huge gorse fire raged all night around Garranes Bhuddist Retreat
Centre near Allihies April 21st, many were woken to find flames at
their outside their homes which must have been truly terryfing. Eagle
Eye flew over the scene and
shot this video
April 18-19th welcomed another film crew, this time Oscar winning
director of the short film Stutterer, Ben Cleary was in the village to
make a test commercial called The Suit. John Eagle's drone Eagle Eye
flew over the set/
At the screening
of Atlantic in Castletownbere this evening are, left to right:
Director Risteard Domhaill, Pat Murphy, Patrick Murphy CEO IS & SW
Fisheries, (in front of him are his daughters Roisin and Clara) John
Dee O'Sullivan, and Noel Harrington
How about a spot of camping on the Beara Peninsula
This is the Hungry Hill Lodge and Camp Site in Adrigole, with close
proximity to the sea
Picture taken by Eagle Eye
If you would like to have your property photographed by Eagle Eye
then please Contact Us
This is an aerial view of Dunboy Castle from
Eagle Eye. Paddy O'Sullivan who leads walks on the Beara Peninsula
Star shape defences were built circa 1650 during the Cromwellian era
by a contingent of English soldiers'.
John Eagle flew his drone 'Eagle Eye' round the entrance to Berehaven,
showing the Piper Rocks
Ardnakinna lighthouse as well as the two sides, the mainland and
Bere Island. It is here that ships leaving Berehaven
enter Bantry Bay before the Atlantic Ocean. The video is on his
The video is called
The Harbour's Mouth
Pictures from the air show the shape of the castle at Dunboy.
The pictures taken by Eagle Eye the drone belonging to Beara
photographer John Eagle clearly show the layout of the castle. Recent
clearing work by Michael Ed O'Sullivan and Paddy O'Sullivan to clear
brambles and weeds from the walls now give a much better perspective
of how the castle was shaped. The castle was defended to the last man
by the O'Sullivan Beare clan in the early 1600s
Art workshop happening on Beara end of May start of June. For
Discover Beara now has its very own video library where you can see
views of the peninsula, places to see and places to stay
Discover Beara videos
Click on above picture to watch video of Ballydonegan
Coulagh Bay Cottages at Cahirkeem (the two buildings on the right) are
available for rent from Theresa Murphy. See the
self catering section for Eyeries on this
Allihies Holiday Homes, sited close to the sea and beach. See the
self catering in Allihies for more
information on these lovely houses
January 10th 2016 Beara woke up to much colder temperatures and a
dusting of snow on the Caha Mountains, which form the backbone of the
The snow seen here is on the north side of Glenbeg Lake
Sharon Shannon comes to Allihies Hall on
Sat 6th Feb 2016 and proceeds from the
night go to Cahermore National School. Great Xmas Pressie for friends
and family and anyone who deserves a treat!
This is a follow-up to remind all those interested in entering Hungry
Hill Writing's poetry competition, that the deadline for entries is
February 6th 2016.
Here are the details again:
Hungry Hill Writing invites entries for our annual poetry competition:
Poets meet politics 2016
This year we are awarding two first prizes of €500
One for a poem about any political subject
One which focuses on the 1916 Irish Easter Rising
This year’s judge is Afric McGlinchey
Please feel free to forward to anyone who you think may be interested
in entering, and we look forward to seeing your work.
More information can be found on the competition section of our
Geoff Ward's new book Spirals is now available in the
Workshops at Anam Cara for 2016 have been announced, see
Super high speed broadband is coming to the Beara peninsula. Allihies
is the first parish to get it. The people living in the rest of Beara
will have to wait awhile, and put up with what Eir can supply us with
Introducing the new Head Chef at The Olde Bakery, Eoin Davis.
Eoin has a wealth of culinary experience, including being head chef at
the 4 star Zetland House Hotel in Galway, The Blue Haven Hotel,
Kinsale & more recently as private chef to actor Jeremy Irons in
Kilcoe Castle, Ballydehob. Eoin prides himself on giving guests a
great dining experience and has a passion for local & regional
products. And where better than Castletownbere & West Cork to exploit
Sunday November 15th there is a sale of small art at the Lighthouse
Bar in Allihies. Each piece is in a brown an unmarked brown envelope
so the buyer does not know what he or she is buying, it's a surprise.
Each piece costs €25. The collected money is going to raise money for
the Michael O'Dwyer tin whistle festival held in June each year. The
sale starts at 4.30, so come along and be in with a chance to buy an
exclusive piece of art work by a well known artist
The 2016 Discover Beara Calendar
Now available to
on the last Thursday of the month
Thursday 24 September, 8pm
White Room, The Square, Castletownbere
Read your own poems, read favourite poems,
listen, discuss, chat…
A plaque in tribute to Dr. Aidan MacCarthy has been erected on the
front of the house in which he was born MacCarthy's Bar in
Castletownbere. This was done by the Beara Historical Society August
22nd 2015. It was followed by a screening of a new film on his life 'A
Local house wins Home of the Year on RTE
|Teach Maoildia, Ita Molloy and Andrew Harvey's
beautiful eco-friendly home in Castletownbere that won RTÉ
One's Home of the Year last night! Here's another peek at
their beautiful home, which was designed by Ita's son,
architect Donn Ponnighaus
|South side with slopes of Maulin beyond
||Reflected in the pond
|The upstairs open plan lounge with magnificent views
||Staircase from dining area to the lounge
|The house uses passive heating giving the
interior a warm and cosy feeling
|more pictures of Teach Maoildia and other
buildings can be seen at
Kilcatherine Church on the Beara Peninsula, thought to have
been built by the monks who created the monastic settlement on
Skellig Michael. The church is no longer used, but open masses
are held once or twice a year, the most recent being on Easter
morning at dawn which was a traditional event in years gone by
Eyeries long awaited playground is nearing completition. It is hoped to have it ready by the end of May with an offical opening during the Family Festival in the middle of July. Picture below taken by drone showing the enclosed ball game area
John Eagle sent his drone up to take a look around above Ardgroom village April 30th and Eyeries below which has just had new road surface put down, and new footpaths
|Eyeries road is being re-surfaced and drawing quite a lot of attention in the process. Upper left shows the finished section passing Mary O'Shea's pub, whereas the others show work in progress outside the Health Centre. The villagers won't know themselves by the time it is finished
The Castletownbere Development Association hosted their Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 15th April and with this we saw the election of the new Chairman, Darren Lynch and the new committee.
They would like to thank everyone that was able to attend and share in the ideas for the coming year.
As a voluntary team of members of the local community, they work every year to host the annual Regatta, Easter, Halloween, Christmas market and Christmas lights.
We would like to say a very special thank-you to everyone that signed up as volunteers on the evening, this will now fully enable us to provide Castletownbere with a very fun packed summer season for 2015, the busiest year to date.
www.facebook.com/CTBFestivalInfo or email
Info@Castletownbere.ie or chat to any of our new committee.
If you would like to get involved and help as a volunteer, please contact the C.D.A through Facebook at
www.Castletownbere.ie is in the process of being updated. Please send in your news articles and photos to help us keep it current.
Also don't forget to follow us on Twitter; CastletownCDA
A scene from 'Arsenic and Old Lace' performed by the Peninsula Players at the Beacon April 17 and 18th
The Wild Atlantic Way stretches from Fanad in the far north of Co. Donegal to Kinsale south of Cork city. The entire Beara coastline is on the route and some photographs of it can now be seen on
The Wild Atlantic Way page
Love from Cork - Postcards of the City and County
is a beautifully produced book by The Collins Press. For anyone interested in old postcards showing scenes of a bygone era this is a must have book. Look at the old cars, the 'coloured' postcards John Hinde made famous, scenes of Cork city and all over County Cork
|A postcard of the original Fastnet lighthouse
||A postcard view from Bere Island showing naval ships in Berehaven
The fascinating book is filled with postcard scenes like those above, with details of when they were posted. Like the one above right was posted in 1914 at Waterfall near Bantry
Love from Cork - Postcards of the City and County by Perry O'Donovan
€9.99 + shipping can be purchased here online from
Beara's number 1 bus driver, the happy always smiling Thomas Hartnett taking people on a
tour, stopping at
Kilmackillogue with Knockatee getting some lovely sunshine March 21st
|Trad. dancing in the square
||Overall winners Darkness into Light
||The Great Pyramid passing the Great and Co
|St. Patrick's Day Parade 2015 in Castletownbere
Garnish looking lovely at the start of St. Patrick's Day. There are two fine B&Bs to stay at here,
Harbour View and Windy Point
round the Beara Peninsula? Discover Beara have teamed up with the No: 1 bus company on Beara
Tommy Hartnett to give groups of people a lovely day out on the peninsula
Also available are walking tours, see where artist John Eagle gets his inspiration from or go with him on a
Events for 2015
Michael O'Dwyer Tin Whistle Festival in Allihies June 5,6 and 7th
The Eyeries Family Festival will run July 17th to 19th this year
31st July-7th August
The Festival of the Sea
A week long celebration of the heritage of the fishing cummunity of Castletownbere, it is a real showcase of the towns people and what is available here.
starting on the friday evening with the informus sheaf tossing, air rugby, wheel barrow racing and lots of other fun new games every year. This leads into a three day market and childrens entertainment on the main square followed each evening by live bands and a late night D.J.
Monday marks the main regatta day with lots of fun water sports and games organised by the Castletownbere Rowing club and Castletownbere Development associasion.
This leads into a fun packed week around the area for all ages with the finally 'Take Me Out' on the friday evening
Wild Atlantic Words Poetry Festival
5th & 6th September
Hungry Hill Writing
Hosted in various venues in Castletownbere(TBA)
Creative Writing workshops, poetry readings, childrens workshops and the Hungry Hill Writing's international summer compertitions and awards.
The festivals Patron is Bernard O'Donoghue.
Further details available at
www.hungerhillwriting.com or email
email@example.com or call Jennifer Russell (027 76996)or John Post (027 70841)
Saturday 12th of September
http://corksports.ie/index.cfm/page/2015anpostrebeltour This is organised by The Cork Sports Partnership. It has 2 routes both are to go through Castletwnbere
Saturday 12th of September
http://corksports.ie/index.cfm/page/2015anpostrebeltour This is organised by The Cork Sports Partnership. It has 2 routes both are to go through castletwnbere.
A fun packed afternoon for the kids in The Beacon followed by the haunted garden for those who dare......
More info to follow, www.facebook/CTBfestivalinfo
Christmas Market and Town Christmas light switch on Sunday 6th december. please stay tuned to the facebook for more information.
Gosh we really do have lots to do, writing it all out is so exciting, here's to a fun year, I hope this helps and is not too much, I can also forward on posters and programs as they are produced throughout the year.
chat soon and many Thanks
March 2nd saw temperatures plunge here in Beara
The Caha Mountain range, above, got a coating of snow. This view shows Glenbeg on the right over to the back of Barrakilla
There will be a car boot sale at the Lake House Hall March 29th
May 2 and 3rd Mick Flannery will be at Lehanmore 8pm
The dance workshop in the Beacon had to be cancelled for February 28th, postpostoned to March 7th
March 1st 10pm TG4 there is a programme about Finbarr Dwyer the well known accordian player who passed away a year ago
A page dedicated to Beara artists has started on the website. If you live on Beara or paint scenes of Beara please contact us
The page is called
Discover Beara Artists
Dzogchen Beara is looking for a catering manager to join the team at the Bhuddist Retreat. Anyone interested should visit their website
|The Great & Co has moved up the street in Castletownbere. The owner, Sarah Lowney, needed bigger premises due to the number of people now having their work on sale there. So she has moved the shop just a short way up Main Street to what used to be the library right next door to the Credit Union. Lots of space now, and with a really nice coffee machine, the shop is getting a lot of interest and we are all looking forward to the official opening on March 2nd
Great news came our way this month in that we are having our hotel restored. What was once Cametrigane and also Ford Rí is now to be called The Beara Coast Hotel. The hotel has been purchased by Mark Golden and Mark Johnston two hoteliers from Youghal who have made a great success of The Old Imperial Hotel there. We look forward to welcoming these two to the Beara Peninsula
Beara resident Matt Padwick's novel 'Running Contra Diction' was successfully launched at the Sarah Walker Gallery Feb 5th. This is Matt's first novel and it is hoped he will write more, such is the interest in the book. Running Contra Diction is the story of Ed’s fight for meaning in life, a globetrotting adrenalin junkie enjoying all the freedoms and adventure he ever wanted. And Ed is not happy.
Signed copies are on sale at the online book shop
The Beara Historical Society welcomes home Castletownbere-born broadcaster John Greene for its next talk, "A career in broadcasting and the emergence of Independent radio in Cork".
Twomey’s Lounge, Monday 16th February 8.30pm.
A trawler heading out of Castletownbere with snow capped Hungry Hill behind
February 1st was a really nice sunny day, and snow to boot. The above picture is of the Caha Mountains behind Ardgroom village
Book launch this week at the Sarah Walker Gallery in Castletownbere on Thursday 5th at 8pm. 'Running Contradiction' by Matt Padwick
Jennifer Russell play 'Naming Baby' at Sarah Walker Gallery Friday to Sunday at 8pm
A fine job has been made of the footbridges in Glanmore. They were falling into a disrepair and have recently been restored