Castlegregory (Caislean an Ghriare), a quiet village,located at the foot of a sandy peninsula called the The Maharees a number small islands, named the Seven Hoggs, or the Maharee Islands. A small fishing harbour is located at Fahamore on Scraggane BayScraggane Bay, about 5 km outside the village at the tip of the Maharees peninsula. separating Brandon Bay to the west from Tralee Bay on the east. Named after a castle built by Gregory Hoare in the 16th century.
The village is surrounded by the mountains of the Dingle peninsula and
overlooked directly by Beenoskee and Stradbally Mountains. To the west
is Brandon Mountain. Castlegregory is also the name of the parish which
includes most of the north east area of the Dingle Peninsula. The
village is renowned as a tourist destination as it is near to
spectacular beaches located on the Maharees peninsula. Castlegregory Golf and Fishing club,
a nine hole links golf course is also located nearby, to the west of
the village on the shores of Lough Gill, a freshwater lake.
The Origin of Castlegregory is said to be that In the 16th century Gregory Hoare built a castle where the village is now situated. Tragedy surrounded this family beginning with the wedding of Gregory's son, Hugh, to Ellen Moore whose father was an old enemy of Gregory Hoare.
On the day of the wedding(1566), Gregory fell dead on the threshold of his Castle when he was trying to stop the wedding party from entering his castle.
The castle was passed onto Hugh and in 1580 Lord Grey Queen Elizabeth's deputy, stopped at the castle among Hugh's guests were Sir Walter Raleigh, Captain Denny, Edmund Spenser and Walter Hussey of Dingle.
Ellen had objected to the arrival of her country's enemies and in a rage she emptied all the wine and beer onto the cellar floor. When Hugh found out what she had done he became so enraged he stabbed her to death.
The next morning when Lord Grey was bringing Hugh to be charged of killing his wife Hugh Hoare collapsed and died on the very same threshold that his father had fallen on the day of the wedding.
Castlegregory Arch: An arched doorway from the castle of Gregory Hoare can still be seen in the village at Tailor's Row. The Old Railway: From 1891-1939 a narrow gauge branch railway from Tralee to Dingle with a branch line to Castlegregory was open.
Do you know who you are? Does your great, great grandfather come from Castlegregory or nearby?
This line was very popular because of the beautiful scenery. However
the light railway from Tralee to Dingle was dangerous and it was
demonstrated by two events, the "pig special disaster" in which the
train plunged off the Camp bridge in 1893, and some years later when the
train was blown off the tracks by a gust of wind at Driscoll cottage.
Harry Clarke Window: In the Catholic church in Castlegregory is a stained glass window designed by Ireland's finest artist in stained glass painting.
The town of Castlegregory once rivalled Tralee as a busy local centre, is a quiet village enlivened only by the occasional souped-up car, driven by young men desperately searching for kicks among the hedgerows.
However, things change when you drive up the sandstrewn road along the Rough Point peninsula, the broad spit of land between tralee Bay and Brandon Bay. Up here, it’s a playground. Not content with being a prime surfing and windsurfing location, the peninsula sees strange new sports like wavesailing and kitesurfing.
Scuba Divers can glimpse pilot whales, orcas, sunfish and dolphins. In the pub, the many-accented babble tells of a community of people who came for a day and couldn’t face leaving the playground.
Beyond Rough Point are the seven Maharees Islands. The largest of the
‘hogs’, as the islands are known locally, is Illauntannig. The remains
of a 6th-century monastic settlement there include a stone cross, a
church and beehive huts.
Two small adjoining islands can be reached on foot from Illauntannig at low tide, but make sure you know exactly what the tide is doing. The islands are privately owned, but trips (taking about 10 minutes) can be arranged through Castle House, or through Harbour House in conjunction with a scuba diving trip. There is great underwater visibility, making this one of Ireland`s best diving areas.
My father and I were having a pint in The Green Room one evening with an old friend of my father’s called Joe who lives in Castlegregory. After a few pints Joe starts laughing to himself, “What are you laughing about?” I asked. Joe said last year in November, he called his son in New York and said, "Son, I 'm sorry, but I have to tell you that after 45 years of misery, your mother and I are busting up. "
"Da, what are you talking about?" the son yelled in disbelief.
"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the father says. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her."
Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. "No way they're leaving each other!" she shouts, "I'll take care of this."
She called Castlegregory immediately and screamed at her father, "You are not splitting up. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there for Christmas. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs up.
Joe hung up his phone and turned to his wife. "Well then," he
says, "they're coming home for Christmas and paying their own way!"
Sunset Over Castlegregory