The Birth Place Of Daniel O’Connell

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Caherdaniel, now here is a name of a village to conjure with, where Daniel O’Connell . the great liberator was born. Where the view from the road on top, looking down onto the bay below is a sight to be seen, so spectacular no words can do it justice.

“Sure as be God if you have ever seen such a beautiful place in the whole world, this must be it”

I don’t know who said that, I think it might be me, never mind it doesn’t make any difference; Caherdaniel is one of the great little spots in County Kerry to make a stop off.

Caherdaniel is a small village on the attractive (a must to see) Derrynane Bay. The name is derived from “Caher” a fort near the roadside. As mentioned earlier the village is the birthplace of Daniel O’Connell, the great Liberator, O'Connell succesfully campaigned for the lifting of anti-Catholic laws that were empoverishing the country. Because of this tourists from all over the world visit the village of Caherdaniel.

Although the community is spread out over the surrounding area, the hub of the village remains compact to the west of the main crossroads.

Copper mines were worked here over 4,000 years ago, and an old butter road runs from the village which is now part of the Kerry Way walking trail. The area is rich in archaeological remains.

Some 2 miles east of Caherdaniel are the remains of Saint Crohane`s Hermitage, a curious little structure hewn from solid rock.

The jewel in the crown of this part of the Iveragh Peninsula is Derrynane Bay. St Fionan founded a monastery there but there is no trace of a monastery now.

Derrynane harbour became a thriving centre for trading with Spain and France. There are stories of attempts of the customs men battling with the traders and smugglers run by the O’Connell’s and other dealers along the Kenmare River and along the coast to Portmagee

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Wide sandy beaches stretch from the harbour for miles and the view from the road above is breath taking, an absolutely spiritual place to be at sunset.

Legend has it that “Bull Rock”, the nearest of the two rocks at the mouth of the estuary, is the entrance to the Kingdom of Donn, God Of The Dead. When the sun shines through a hole in the middle of the rock it becomes the golden gate to the next world.

Derrynane House is just 1.5 miles away, the home of Daniel O’Connell and is now a national monument with a collection of his personal possessions.

Caherdaniel is a stop-off on The Kerry Way you will have no bother finding some great b&b`s and plenty of “The Craic.”

Not far from Caherdaniel is Staigue Fort the finest example of a cashel, or stone fort, anywhere in Ireland. Set in a hill within a valley it is in the perfect defence location. The fort has survived some 2500 years and is still in perfect condition.

If you care for a bite to eat, a cooling pint, some Irish music and a bed for the night, you won’t go far wrong at The Derrynane Hotel. Give it a try; you will be glad you did.

Do you know who you are? Does your great, great grandfather come from Caherdaniel or nearby?

A young friend of mine Rob, who had left for America to find work, came over to visit his 90-year old grandfather who lived in a very secluded part of Caherdaniel. After his first night, his grandfather prepared a traditional Irish breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon and black pudding.

Rob noticed a filmy substance on his plate and he asked his grandfather: "Are these plates clean?" His grandfather replied: "Those plates are as clean as cold water can get them, so go on now and finish your meal."

Later in the day, while eating the sandwich his grandfather had made for lunch, Rob noticed tiny specks around the edge of his plate, and what looked like dried egg yolks. So he asked again: "Are you sure these plates are clean?"

Without looking up from his sandwich, the grandfather says: "I told you before, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them - stop being so fussy -you're back in Ireland now, not back in America!"

That afternoon, Rob was on his way out to the pub in a nearby village. As he was leaving, his grandfather's dog started to growl and would not let him pass. "Granddad," Rob called, "your dog won't let me out."

Without diverting his attention from the newspaper he was reading, his grandfather shouted: "COLDWATER, get out of the way!"

If you would like to add any extra info on Caherdaniel and the surrounding area please email us at the link below.

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