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The name of Ballydavid can cause some confusion, because it is also called Baile na nGall or Ballynagall, which means in English the town land of the foreigner. It is likely that the foreigners referred to were the Vikings, for Smerwick Harbour was a Viking settlement from which butter was shipped to Limerick. The name Smerwick comes from two Norse words, smoer and wik, meaning butter and harbour.
Ballydavid (Baile na nGall) is a quiet fishing village on the shores of Smerwick Harbour with views of Mount Brandon to the east and the Three Sisters and Dún an Óir to the west.
Visitors to the The Dingle Peninsulawho fail to spend time in and around Ballydavid, are, sadly, missing out on one of its most beautiful spots and an area of uncommercialised local culture.
The village retains much of its traditional character and is within easy reach of Gallarus Oratory (and its new Visitor Centre) and Cill Mhaelcéadair, two of the best-known archaeological sites in the area.
Radió na Gaeltachta, the Irish language station is situated just outside the village on Bothar na Léinsí. Dingle Activities Information Centre is also located here.
The parish of Baile na nGall (Ballydavid) is one of Ireland’s unspoiled gems, even throughout the busy summer months, this area remains peaceful. Incorporating the town lands of Ballydavid, Feothneach and Muirioch.
The Baile na nGall area offers an uncompromising glimpse into the wondrous beauty of the Dingle Peninsula with its sheltered coves, rolling hills, sandy beaches and stunning cliffs.
There’s never a dull moment in Baile na nGall, sea angling, fishing, walking and cycling are all easily accessible activities which can be enjoyed locally. This is the place to be at sunset and to walk along the coast beyond the village.
The two sea-side pubs offer amazing food, traditional music along with their own unique brand of West Kerry ‘craic’, allowing you to sip a pint of Guinness on the beach as the ocean waves lap at your feet outside Tigh TPs or Begley’s Pub.
Camping is another popular exploit in this area. One of Ireland’s tallest peaks, Mount Brandon, is also located in Baile Breac providing mountain walkers with an exciting ascension to a summit which will afford you a vantage point like no other over the Dingle Peninsula, stretching up to the cliffs and coastline of West Clare where the Cliffs of Moher are located.
The mountain is named after Patron Saint of Kerry, St. Brendan the Navigator, who is said to have sailed the Atlantic Ocean in a hide-covered ship, the first man to reach America.
According to the 9th century "Voyage of St Brendan the Navigator" Saint Brandon set sail westward from this point in the 6th Century, and travelled into the Atlantic Ocean towards America.
The account of the voyage of Brendan, the Navigatio, attained enormous fame in medieval Europe and is one of the classic adventure stories of all time, with rich elements of magic and fantasy.
The world famous church established by St. Brendan, Gallarus Oratory is also located in this area, built between the 7th and 8th. According to local legend, if a person climbs out of the oratory via the window, their soul will be cleansed. ( My sister Maggie did and the Oratory has dot its work cut out now)
Indeed, the entire West Kerry region is a hotbed of prehistoric, Stone Age, Bronze Age and early Christian archaeological sites. The Dingle Peninsula alone has over 1000 archaeological sites!
Ballydavid On U-Tube
David, a fisherman I know from Ballydavid, came home from an exhausting day at sea, he threw himself down on the couch in front of the television, and told his wife, "Get me a Guinness before it starts." Bernie, the wife, sighed and got him a Guinness. Fifteen minutes later, he says, "Get me another before it starts." She looks cross, but fetches another Guinness and slams it down next to him. He finishes that one and a few minutes later says, "Quick, get me another, it's going to start any minute." Bernie was furious. She yelled at him "Is that all you're going to do tonight? Drink beer and sit in front of that TV? You're nothing but a diabolical, desperate, mangled midden, and furthermore ..."David sighed and said, "It's started ..."
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