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Sky’s the limit when it comes to enjoying beaches of the Wild Atlantic Way

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PLANNING a staycation or even just a daytrip this summer? Bear in mind that your dream destination could be closer than you imagined. As an island nation, we boast an abundance of wonderful beaches but those on the western seaboard are particularly magical. TripAdvisor recently looked at which Irish beaches made the most impact on visitors and the results were overwhelmingly in favour of those found along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Nine out of 10 of the favoured Irish beaches on the hugely popular website are to be found here - and these treasures are but a small sample of the sensational Wild Atlantic Way beaches that connect with visitors time and time again.

Inch Beach, Co Kerry
Don’t be fooled by the name: there’s nothing tiny about this stunning place on the Dingle Peninsula. It enjoyed worldwide prominence in Ryan’s Daughter, yet even the great David Lean couldn’t do justice to a place of such elemental beauty and framed by Dingle Bay and Kerry’s soaring mountains.
What they said on TripAdvisor: “Spectacular, windswept, stunning… ideal for blowing the cobwebs away!” “Anyone who is not blown away by Inch is not awake.”

Banna Strand, Co Kerry
A gorgeous sweep of sand and only a short drive from Tralee, it remains marvellously unspoiled and the perfect place for a bracing walk at any time of the year. It’s got historical associations too thanks to its connection with the Easter Rising. Roger Casement attempted to land arms here - but failed.
What they said on TripAdvisor: “My favourite place in Kerry”; “This is a must while travelling in the Dingle Peninsula”; “Stunning, open place - several kilometres of great walking.”
Coumeenoole, Co Kerry
One of the sumptuous, widescreen locations for Ryan’s Daughter, this beach truly feels like the edge of Ireland. It’s located on Dingle Peninsula’s Slea Head, the most westerly part of the country, and a place celebrated for its great drives. What they said on TripAdvisor: “It has stunning sea views and the waves are magnificent”; “The views of the sea and the Blasket Islands are breathtaking”; “Stunning location - the perfect place to be.”

Derrynane, Co Kerry
It’s one of the best loved of the Kingdom’s beaches, and yet even on the hottest of summer days you can feel as though you have part of this beautiful, rugged place to yourself. No visit is complete without a stop-off at Derrynane House and National Park - Daniel O’Connell’s ancestral home and its splendid grounds.
What they said on TripAdvisor: “A great place for a walk on the beach in stunning surroundings”; “It is a little off the beaten track, but... all the good places are!”

Dog's Bay, Co Galway
A pristine, secluded beach in the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht, getting here couldn’t be easier: it’s a five-minute drive from the picturesque fishing village of Roundstone. Stroll over the sand dunes and you can feel as though you have the beach all to yourself and when the tide is out there’s a great expanse of sand.
What they said on TripAdvisor: “A very beautiful, special place that could be California, such is the whiteness of the sand”; “It’s simply one of the best places in the world, no question.”

Inchydoney, Co Cork
Everyone who visits this acclaimed Blue Flag beach close to Clonakilty in West Cork mentions the same thing: it’s simply perfect for walking - walking with friends, by yourself or with the dog. When the tide is out its possible to walk for miles here and the superbly located Inchydoney Lodge & Spa can help you rewind even more.
What they said on TripAdvisor: “One of the most stunning beaches is the world”; “I would love to get married here”; “A walk here is good for the soul.”

Barleycove, Co Cork
One of the jewels of West Cork, and beloved by generations, it’s the perfect place to walk off a fantastic meal in one of Schull’s great seafood restaurants. Its sand dunes are famous locally and its water is gloriously clean - it’s one of five Cork beaches to enjoy Blue Flag status.
What they said on TripAdvisor: “The most stunning cove especially when viewed from above. The sand is golden and the water turquoise on a sunny day”; “Barleycove Beach was not our destination but we were so enamoured we spent hours exploring.”

Narin-Portnoo Strand, Co Donegal
Something of a hidden gem in a county of magnificent beaches, this evocative stretch of sand offers some unforgettable vistas - including that of the island of Roaninish a few kilometres out to sea. If a stroll here isn't enough, there’s an 18-hole golf course and an abundance of great walking and cycling routes near the coastal villages of Portnoo and Rossbeg.
What they said on TripAdvisor: “I love, love. love this place - it’s where I go to completely unwind… it’s heaven on earth”; “One of the most stunning locations I have been to anywhere in the world.”

Strandhill, Co Sligo
The Wild Atlantic Way is a surfer’s mecca and Yeats County has an abundance of great places to catch a wave. Strandhill’s powerful waves are internationally famous, but you don’t have to own a surfboard to fall in love with this beautiful place. Its pretty beach, promenade and seaweed baths make it somewhere to return to time and again.
What they said on TripAdvisor: “Beautiful, fresh, clean and a good place to get lost in your own thoughts”; “Fantastic views of Benbulbin and Knocknarea (mountains)”; “It never fails to disappoint… stunning views”.

The wild and crashing Atlantic Ocean and miles of golden sand are a key part of what captures people’s imagination about the Wild Atlantic Way as shown by the comments in the TripAdvisor reviews. Make a plan to discover some of these fantastic beaches, each with their own wonderful, unique features and character and enjoy that feeling of having found your own special place far away from everything.
 


 
Above: Inch Beach.

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Pat Delaney Memorial Cup Golf Classic

St Pats East Kerry are running their annual Pat Delaney Memorial Cup golf classic at the Ross Golf Club on Saturday July 6. The format is a 3 person scramble […]

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St Pats East Kerry are running their annual Pat Delaney Memorial Cup golf classic at the Ross Golf Club on Saturday July 6. The format is a 3 person scramble over ten holes and the entry fee is €120 per team. The entry fee will include a goody bag for each player and a cup of Tea/Coffee and scone when the round is completed. Tee times are available from 8am.

Killarney Credit Union is the main sponsor of the event, in recognition of Pat having been a highly respected and effective Chairman of the Credit Union. Pat was a Chairman and Vice President of St Pats East Kerry and he started the annual golf classic over ten years ago as a fundraiser for the Club. Known for his excellent organisation skills and a master salesman who enjoyed persuading the golfers of the Killarney area to take part in the event. He acted as master of ceremonies on the day, meeting and greeting every team prior to their games and to ensure that everyone had an enjoyable day.

On the morning of the golf classic, back in June 2018, Pat sadly passed away. His contribution to hurling and to St Pats demanded that his legacy be commemorated. Pat had also made a major contribution to the Killarney Credit Union at a time of major change in their business, leading the two organisation, St Pats and Killarney Credit Union to combine and rebrand the annual golf classic in Pat’s name.

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Civil War, a song and New York city

  A series of random encounters has resulted in one of biggest atrocities of the Civil War being immortalised in a song. On March 8, 1923, a group of Republican […]

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A series of random encounters has resulted in one of biggest atrocities of the Civil War being immortalised in a song.

On March 8, 1923, a group of Republican prisoners were taken from their temporary prison cells at the Great Southern Hotel and marched to a location near Countess Road.

Less than 24 hours after the more-documented Ballyseedy Massacre near Tralee, the five men named – Stephen Buckley, Tim Murphy, Daniel Donoghue, Jeremiah O’Donoghue and Tadgh Coffey –were killed by Free State troops with explosives and gunfire.

Fast forward over 100 years when local musician and song writer Donal Power was approached by Tadgh Buckley of Killarney Music School.
“He asked me if I would write a song about an incident with particular emphasis on a person who was his long-dead cousin. I told him I’d try and hoped he would be satisfied with the result,” explained Donal.
“He then gave me a copy of Tim Horgan’s book ‘The Stones Still Speak’, containing the story of Stephen Buckley murdered at the Countess Bridge which also contained a letter written by Stephen the night before his death in 1923, which didn’t come to light until six years later. Like many others I was aware of the massacre at Ballyseedy Cross but not the Countess Road, Killarney. So this was the project and the challenge!
“I spent a number of weeks writing a song about the incident. There is a lot of content in the story and I wanted to be true to the content of Stephen’s letter. I completed the song and sang it for him and others at a session where it appeared to make a positive impression. It’s an acoustic ballad which I accompany with guitar.”
But the story does not end there. A New York-based family, direct descendants of the murdered Stephen Buckley made contact with Power.
A man named Thomas Buckley from New York made contact with the local songwriter after hearing the song on Soundcloud.
Thomas explained: “My father Stephen Buckley was born in New York City in 1924. His father Michael Buckley,  named his first son, my dad, after his brother Stephen who was killed at the Countess Bridge in 1923. My older brother is also Stephen Buckley born in New York in

1954.”
Three members of the New York-based Buckley family, Thomas, Stephen and younger brother Timothy, were on a family holiday to Killarney earlier this month.

Power met them and was able to take the brothers to the site of the ambush were he learned that they are also related to Tadhg Buckley, the man who originally asked for the song to be written.

“We don’t know the exact relationship but it is very direct. The three brothers think Tadhg now lives where the murdered Stephen Buckley once lived,” added Power.

The song can be downloaded via: https://soundcloud.com/donal-power-170379558/the-countess-road-massacre.

SONG LYRICS
KILLARNEY, NINETEEN-TWENTY-THREE
A CIVIL WAR ATROCITY
A MASSACRE, A SHAMEFUL EPISODE
FOUR SOLDIERS OF THE I.R.A.
BY FREE-STATE FORCES BLOWN AWAY
EXECUTED ON THE BRIDGE ON THE COUNTESS ROAD

A SOLE SURVIVOR ON THE RUN,
TADHG COFFEY WAS THE ONLY ONE
WHO MANAGED TO ESCAPE AND TELL THE NEWS
OF THE LANDMINE, THE BOOBY-TRAP
THE BULLETS FIRED, THE COVER-UP
THAT KILLED TIM MURPHY, STEPHEN BUCKLEY AND THE DONOGHUES

THE DAY BEFORE THE MASSACRE
WHILE STEPHEN WAS HELD PRISONER
HE HAD A PREMONITION HE WOULD DIE
HE GAVE A LETTER TO THE GUARD
TRUSTING HE WOULD NOT DISCARD
THE MESSAGE TO HIS MOTHER AND THE WORDS THAT SAID GOODBYE

THE GUARD DENIED THE LAST REQUEST
AND KEPT THE LETTER HE SUPPRESSED
WHEN EMIGRATING TO THE USA
HE KEPT THE SECRET SIX LONG YEARS
TILL HANNAH BUCKLEY, THROUGH HER TEARS
COULD READ WHAT STEPHEN WROTE BEFORE THEY TOOK HIS LIFE AWAY

“I’D LIKE TO LIVE A LONGER LIFE
BUT I AM RECONCILED TO DIE
MAY GOD PROTECT MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS
REJOICE AND DO NOT MOURN MY LOSS
FOR I AM CERTAIN THAT THE CAUSE
OF TRUTH AND RIGHT, OF PEARSE AND TONE WILL TRIUMPH IN THE END”

“I DIE A TRUE REPUBLICAN
REMEMBER ME TO GALLANT MEN,
TO MY BROTHERS AND MY SISTERS, WHEN I’M DEAD
AND MOTHER, BRAVE IT CHEERFULLY
PRAY THE ROSARY FOR ME
AND PRAY FOR THOSE WHO SENT ME TO MY DEATH“, THE LETTER SAID

AND ON THAT SPOT A MONUMENT
COMMEMORATES THE SAD EVENT
WHERE LONG AGO THE BLOOD OF HEROES FLOWED
THOSE MEN WHO PAID THE FINAL PRICE
WHO MADE THE GREATEST SACRIFICE
EXECUTED ON THE BRIDGE ON THE COUNTESS ROAD

The song can be downloaded via: https://soundcloud.com/donal-power-170379558/the-countess-road-massacre.

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