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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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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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