Dingle Town

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As one of the prime destinations in Ireland, Perched on the edge of the Atlantic at Ireland's south west coast in the County of Kerry is the charming town of Dingle Town or An Daingean as the locals like to call it.

The town of Dingle looks out over Dingle Bay to the Blasket Islands, with the Dingle Mountains at its back a sheltered harbour with large fishing boats and a Marina inviting you to the sea. Everything you need is in and around Dingle Town.

The peninsula's charming little 'capital' is quaint without even trying. Dingle is one of Ireland's largest Gaeltacht towns; many pubs double as shops, so you can enjoy Guinness and a singalong among screws and nails, wellies, shoes and rain coats.

In Irish it is called “Daingean Ui Chuis” which means The Fortress of the Hussy’s, a Flemish family who came to the area in the 13th century.

Dingle is the peninsula’s main tourist centre, in full ebb and flow during the summer months, but there is still plenty to discover and although everyone must see Dingle it never seems overcrowded or touristy.

The town is extremely well kept, keeping its traditional old feel about it.  You must take a visit to Foxy John’s and Dick Mack’s bars and you will know exactly what I mean.

The harbour is of particular appeal with its bright fishing vessels and colourful shop and bar fronts looking onto to it, as they have done for 100`s of years. The Marina is situated next to the harbour. The 2.6m channel is easily navigated and well buoyed and the berths are located in minimum depth of 5m.

The marina welcomes visitors and has all modern amenities, showers, water, fuel etc. with golf, horse riding, cycling and escorted tours available locally. The marina is home to a modern diving, sailing and traditional Curragh rowing centre, offering courses to visitors, young and old.

From ground level on the harbours edge it is just a 10 minute walk from Strand Street, which meets The Mall, from these two roads rises in a steep gradient Green Street, John Street and Main Street. You will find the best craft shops, pubs, and restaurants in Ireland.

There are incredible eating-places tucked away all over the town, satisfying every taste and desire.  I always look forward to my favourite dish; the seafood platter from Dingle is the best in the world.

After a few days touring the 80 restaurants, cafes and pubs and sampling the extraordinary array of sublime Irish produce, you will understand why it took the crown of being named the Foodie Town of Ireland 2014.

And for pudding, just up the road is the best ice cream in the whole of Ireland, that’s a fact. Murphy’s Ice Cream on Main Street. They use the milk of Kerry cattle and serves coffees as well as ice creams and desserts. They make a range of usual and unusual flavours, including brown bread and sea salt. When you visit Dingle you won’t but help notice all the people that have a Murphy’s ice cream in their hands.

The population of Dingle Town is approximately 1300 and it serves a large growing population from all over the  Dingle Peninsula and thousands more in the summer months.

Dingle is also known as a favourite hideaway of celebrities such as Julia Roberts. Some pubs and restaurants feature photographs of celebrity visitors from down through the years, such as Sean Connery, Dolly Parton, Keanu Reeves and Bob Mitchum.

You will find plenty to do in Dingle Town, The Oceanworld, trips to see Fungie, The Blasket Centre, the Craft shops “Oh” and the Pubs.  Accommodation is no problem whether it be an hotel or a B&B, the B&B`s are excellent.

A rather unusual sight is next to Saint Mary’s Church in Green Street, a beautiful church fully restored to its original grandeur.  In the garden of this church is the Trinity tree a carving representing the Holy Trinity- a three trunk tree with biblical characters carved into it.

Trinity Tree is made from a dead sycamore. On the eve of Trinity Sunday June 2000 Lizana Correno was commissioned by local parish priest, Canon Padraig O Fiannachta, to work on the tree.

The tree depicts the three persons in the Trinity and the main teachings of the Church.

well worth a visit- and don’t forget the camera.   

There is also a brewery and distillery in the Town, one of only five in Ireland. On the site of a 19th-century creamery, this terrific craft brewery launched in 2011 on 20 July – not coincidently Tom Crean's birthday (its single brew, a crisp, hoppy lager, is named after the local Antarctic explorer).

Admission includes a self-guided or guided brewery tour as well as a pint. If you're not doing the tour you can't stop in for a drink here, but you'll find it in bottled and draught form at numerous pubs throughout the peninsula and beyond.

Another regular visitor to Dingle's Gulf Stream-warmed waters is Fungi, the dolphin, the town's unofficial mascot. Popular tourist attractions include the beaches, Mount Brandon and Ballydavid and Ballyferriter villages.

Dingle is first and foremost a market town and a fishing port and as an historic fishing port it is well endowed with pubs. Even by Irish standards, Dingle has an unusually high concentration of pubs, 52 the last time I did a pub crawl around the town, if there is any more I can’t remember.

That’s one pub for every forty Dingle residents. Certain venues, such as names like J Currans, John Benny’s and Dick Mack’s, still kitted out as a haberdashery.

That’s one pub for every forty Dingle residents. Certain venues, such as names like J Currans, John Benny’s and Dick Mack’s, still kitted out as a haberdashery. When you go to Dingle you really have to have a pint of the black stuff in Dick Macks Green street just opposite and down from the church

The brilliant Foxy John’s used to be hardware and cycle shop as well as a pub and the stuff he sold is still piled high on shelves – a pint of Crean’s and a puncture repair kit please, barman!

John Benny Moriarty’s (known locally simply as John Benny’s) often feature traditional Irish music. Every one of the pubs has its own character, music, food and plenty of Craic.

Then there is An Droichead Beag “The Small Bridge” sitting beside a bridge leading to the road over the Conor Pass, this pub is known for its “mighty” sessions of Irish traditional music scheduled every night of the year, usually commencing at 9:30 or 10 p.m.

One of my favourite places now is Kennedy’s bar. It has just been re-opened after being shut for nearly three decades. Locals say it looks the same as it ever did. There are candles everywhere and in one room an Aga burning, but the best room in the house is the snug under the stairs. It has a small hatch through which women would order their wine out of sight from the men. “Ni olánn na mná fion, ach imionn sé lena linn” apparently.

Then there is James Flahive on the quay. This used to be a tailor shop and still displays the trappings of an old tailors as well as photos of celebrities who have frequented the premises. There is no music or food here just a cosy bar.

Lord Bakers on Main Street is reputed to be the oldest pub in Dingle. Tom Baker, who came from Gallaras, purchased these well-located premises, and in a short space of time he transformed it into a hive of activity, trading in wine and spirits, tea, flour, wool and general farm supplies, as well as catering for wedding receptions.

A very popular businessman and excellent and colourful orator, Tom Baker was elected to Kerry Country Council. He later became a successful auctioneer, and was appointed as Director of the Tralee-Dingle Railway. Held in very high esteem in Dingle and in the surrounding parishes, he was, in effect, the local ombudsman and was affectionately referred to as "Lord Baker".

He was recognised as a poet writing in his native Irish language and was often published in Patrick Pearse’s journal “An Claiomh Solais”. Tom Baker died in 1934 and is buried at Kilmalkedar.

‘…Writer Chris Moss [TimeOut Travel] describes Dingle town as one of “Ireland’s greatest gastronomical centres” with its 36 places to eat and 50 pubs. While on a working holiday in the peninsula this summer, Moss enjoyed “the best seafood soup in Ireland and the best pint” in Dingle’s oldest licensed premises, Lord Baker’s on Main Street…’
Majella O’Sullivan – Irish Independent – 21 September 2011

668x70: I’m, your Nan

Then there is McCarthy’s pub in Goat Street, a great place to have a meal and a great B&B, O’Flaherty’s Strand Street. An old vintage pub near the pier and holds great sessions of trad music.

The Dingle pub, another great pub. They always stock Berry Bulmers which is a great PLUS!!! Not only that but this is where the craic really starts, they have amazing staff and will always have a laugh with you and it has great Irish music. Over the summer they have someone playing every night so it is great to have a few pints and listen to great music.

O'Sullivan's Courthouse Pub. You will be overwhelmed with the music they have every night. Musicians are different each night, although a few of them show up in most of the different groups. There is anything from one accordion and one guitar one evening to another evening with one guitar, two fiddles, a whistle, an accordion, Irish pipes, and a singer.

I could name one after another, these are just a small selection of my favourite hang outs. There is a bar and restaurant to suit every personality, yours could be hidden away off a side street or near the end of the road, Have an explore, you will find it.

There are many festivals and events held throughout the year in the Town, such as regattas, running, cycling and music. Every year some time in December For three nights musicians of global renown perform in the 200 year old church of Saint James on Main Street. It is known as “Other Voices”. Please click on my “what’s On” page for this year’s dates and list of performers.

Over the three days there is music everywhere and all of it is free and you really should go next December if you can. There is music in the church where tins of Roses are passed around and magic happens. There is music everywhere, in nearly every pub in the town, music on bar counter-tops, music in snugs on street corners and on boats.

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