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Beara Islands

There are two inhabited islands in Beara. Bere Island and Dursey. Dursey has the distinction of being connected to the mainland by a cable car, the only one in Ireland.


Oileán Baoi (the Yellow Island))

One of 2 inhabited islands of the Beara Peninsula, connected to the mainland by Ireland's only cable car. A popular place for bird watchers, there are also regular sightings of dolphins and basking sharks which come into the Sound and can often be seen breaking the surface. In 1602 there was a terrible massacre of the inhabitants of a castle on the Oileán Beag The Small Island. The English Army at the time tied the people back to back and pushed them off a cliff. There is also a Napoleonic Signal Tower built two hundred years. It was one of several built on coastal headlands, the idea being to send a message back to Dublin should the forces of Napoleon be seen off the coast. Near the tower there are rocks marking out the word EIRE to warn WW2 pilots they were flying over neutral Ireland

Dursey Calf Rock
An aerial view of the western tip of Dursey by resident Beara photographer John Eagle taken in 1994. Visible on the lower right is the remains of the temporary lighthouse built when the Calf lighthouse was destroyed in a violent storm 1881 The above picture shows the Calf Rock with the stump of the old lighthouse after it had been knocked in the storm. In the background you can just make out the Bull Rock (left) and Cow (right) You get a good view of the Calf from Dursey
Cow and Bull Calf
The Cow and Bull rocks seen from Dursey. The has the lighthouse on, although the traditional tower light has been replaced by an ultra modern led light The Calf Rock as seen from Dursey Island. You can get about a mile closer to it and with a good pair of binoculars you can see the ruied tower, houses and steps carved into the rock
cable car first village
Dursey is connected to the mainland by Ireland's only cable car. It carries 6 people and runs back and during the Summer in daylight hours. A different timetable runs for the rest of the year There are 3 villages on Dursey: Ballynacallagh, Kilmichael, and Tilickafinna. The above picture shows first village of Ballynacallagh
Kilmichael Tilickafinna
The middle village of Kilmichael The most westerly village of Tilickafinna
Signal Tower boats
The Napoleonic signal tower with commanding views of the offshore rocks of Bull, Cow, and Skelligs of Kerry. You can see the Iveragh Peninsula clearly to the north and south to the Mizen on clear days Traditional fishing boats aiting to be used. Once boats like these were a common sight all over the Beara Peninsula. During the Winter months their owners would tar the hulls to help protect them

Dursey Cable Car Times


9.30 to 11 am

2.30 to 5 pm

7-8  pm return only



9.30 to 10.30  am

1 to 2.30 pm

7 to 8 pm return only


Fare is €10 return for adult, €5 return for child


Bere Island

Bere Island lies off the south coast of Beara, and has two ferries that connect it to the mainland. Bere Island is steeped in military history. First the British then the Irish have had an army there. The barracks on the island are kept going with the Irish Army, with rifle range nearby. Dotted around the island are martello towers and other remains of defence no longer in use. There is the town of Rerrin with the Lawrence Cove Marina nearby, and plenty of walking available

Bere Island Bere island
all pictures © John Eagle Photography



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