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History & Heritage     An Introduction to County Kerry


The Kingdom of Kerry is one of the most significant tourist destinations in Ireland. It boasts magnificent mountain ranges, beautiful lakes, blue flag beaches and breathtaking coastal scenery. North Kerry encompasses an area from Tarbert to Tralee, an area renowned for golf with the world famous Ballybunion golf course, Kerry’s capital, Tralee hosting the international Rose of Tralee Festival and Listowel, known as the literary capital of Kerry with its acclaimed annual Writers Week.


North Kerry is distinguished by its rugged coastline and miles of golden sandy Blue Flag beaches. Its landscape is richly patterned with ancient monuments which include ring forts, ogham stones, standing stones, stone crosses and holy wells, along with the ruins of early Churches, and ecclesiastical sites to include Abbeys, Cathedral and Monasteries, with numerous Castles, a Tower House and Great Houses, and  many more historic monuments. All of these sites are part of our rich heritage with most town lands containing many monuments.


The history of the founding of the ancient Kingdom of Kerry dates back to the year 800ad when Queen Maeve of Connaught sent her son Ciar to this area to claim his inheritance. It was here that he established the ancient Kingdom of Ciar, which he ruled over in great peace and prosperity, and which over the ensuing centuries was to grow into what is today’s Kingdom of Kerry. The descendants of Ciar, the O Connor Kerry was to rule this area for over one thousand years.

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