Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Emerald Isle: Part 1, Dingle and Environs

Main Street and John Street in Dingle
We had not seen this level of prosperity before

We spent a week on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry this summer. How much it has changed since our last visit 28 years ago (and our first visit 42 years ago)! What was once a sleepy fishing village is now a vibrant, energetic, colorful tourist spot. Huge tour busses wind down stingy narrow roads, hardly more than lanes meant for hay wagons. New homes and even whole new neighborhoods have popped up, buildings are freshly plastered and painted attractive colors, and businesses are thriving.

corner of Spa Road and Main and John Streets

My family names pop up on businesses all over town--Garvey, O'Sullivan, Murphy, Ashe, Shea, Sheehan, Brosnahan, Griffin, Kennedy, O'Connor, Baker, and so on. Not surprising, because nearly half of my ancestry comes from this area. Other loosely related names on signboards are Long, Moriarty, Walsh, Cronin, Curran, and even Walker.

 two more pictures of downtown Dingle

traffic jam on the Dingle Peninsula!

lighthouse at the entrance of Dingle Harbor

 you can still find timeworn tradition in Dingle

this centuries old bridge has a name which I now forget; one of my favorite things in the Dingle area

my third cousins; left to right, A, me, T, E; their brother J died suddenly two weeks before our arrival

 Gallarus Oratory hasn't changed in 1100 years

famine cottage a few miles west of Dingle, once owned by some Cavanaughs; my great-great grandmother was Catherine Cavanaugh from this area, but I don't know where her home was

we were accompanied by our long-time friends, B & C; we hiked up to this overlook near Dunquin 

C and B did a 75-mile bicycle ride around part of the Dingle Peninsula, including Connor Pass

we hiked up this headland (Bulls Head) above my ancestors' domicile of Kinard East; it became a tough trail, as it petered out into a mountainside of gorse, a pretty plant that deceives you with its buttery flowers--its true purpose is to afflict and torment man--and woman--with wicked inch-long sharp pokey stickers that embed themselves into clothes, shoes and socks

Bulls Head has amazing views!

Gorse, gorse and more gorse

Minard Castle east of Dingle; my 3rd great-grandmother (Nellie Wren) was born on the mountain above the castle; you used to be able to go into the castle at the peril of your life, but no more

Kilmalkedar Church, one of my favorite places anywhere, so ancient, so exquisitely built

detail of Kilmalkedar Church

Kilmalkedar Cemetery

Coming soon: Part 2, Scenery of the Dingle Peninsula

1 comment:

  1. I love these photos! My dad's mom's side of the family have Ferrells, and Irish is one of my highest DNA matches. Thanks for sharing!