Holiday Home in County Kerry, Ireland
ABBEY VIEW, BALLINSKELLIGS

        

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Kerry History

Despite its position at the westernmost tip of Europe, Ballinskelligs, and Kerry in general, can claim many brushes with history across the centuries, starting with the Milesians who landed in Ireland before the time of Christ.  Some centuries later, the Kerry coastline was invaded by marauding Vikings who left a trail of destruction behind them.  The Abbey in Ballinskelligs is believed to have suffered at their hands over a thousand years ago. The Abbey and the Skellig Rock as well as a number of other notable sites such as the Gallerus Oratory and the Leacanabuile Fort give further witness to impressive early civilisation

More recently, Kerry has still had its fair share of the spotlight. For instance, Queen Victoria toured Kerry in 1861 (one of her only excursions outside Britain, depite her vast Empire).  Five years later, Sir Robert Peel came to Valentia in 1866 to mark the completion of the laying of the first transatlantic commmunication cable. George Bernard Shaw visited the Skellig Rock in 1910.  Charles Lindbergh flew over Valentia and Ballinskelligs in 1927 on his historic flight in The Spirit of St Louis. The great Charlie Chaplin and family holidayed in Waterville regularly during the 1960s, while over in Dingle in 1969, Ryan's Daughter was filmed.  In recent years, Tom Cruise and his ex-wife Nicole Kidman were in Kerry to film Far and Away, and Brad Pitt and others have visited for holidays.

Kerry's most famous son was the politician Daniel O'Connell who was born just outside Cahirciveen and who maintained a fine estate in Derrynane. His time was mainly divided between Kerry, Dublin and the Palace of Westminster in London where he worked tirelessly for Irish interests.

Further around the coast from Ballinskelligs is Cobh (formerly Queenstown) in County Cork. The last passengers to board the Titanic in April 1912 joined it there. Ironically, it was also to this port that survivors from the Lusitania were brought just three short years later.

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