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It may be worthwhile to cache this listing as the mobile phone coverage just happens to be almost non-existent at GZ .
Dursey Island, lies at the southwestern tip of the Beara Peninsula in the west of County Cork in Ireland. It resembles a huge sea monster when viewed from a distance and Its Irish name, "Inis Baoi or Baoi Bhéarra or Oileán Baoi refers to the Hag of Beara, a female figure of great power in Celtic lore or Yellow Island. Traders of old navigated by Dursey as they hugged the coastline, avoiding the open sea.
Vikings called it "Thjorsey," (hence shortened to ‘Dursey’) which means Bull Island, a name still commemorated in the Bull Rock which stands adjacent, bearing a vital lighthouse. Legend has it that the Vikings held captured slaves on the island before shipping them to far-off lands to be sold. Monks built a monastery here in medieval times and you can see its ruins today. The Great O'Sullivan Beare was born on Dursey in 1560. The Beara Breifne Way follows the path he took in the winter of 1602 on a 14day forced march from Dursey to Leitrim, a distance of 500km and of the 900 only 48 arrived.
Throughout the island's history there are many tales of shipwrecks, sieges, tragedy, massacres and courage. .
You can see a signal tower on the hill which erected during the Napoleonic Wars was part of a chain of warning beacons around the south coast.
The island is is 6.5 km long and 1.5 km wide and is divided into three townlands, each with its own tiny village - Kilmichael, then Ballynacallagh and finally Tilickafinna with the open Atlantic beyond. In the 1840s there were over 300 people living on the island. In 2012, in the winter months there are just five, although in summer, former islanders and their relatives come back to visit family homes.
The island is separated from the mainland by a narrow stretch of water called Dursey Sound which has a very strong tidal race, with a reef of rocks in the centre of the channel which is submerged at high tides and upto the upto the 1950s, the only way of getting to and from Dursey was by boat. It was not unusual for the island to be cut off for several weeks at a time due to frequent Gale force winds. In 1969, however, a cable car was provided to enable the islanders to remain on their much-loved homeland. It is Ireland's only cable car and the only cable car which goes over sea water in Europe spanning the Sound and is now one of its main attractions. Dursey has no shops, pubs or restaurants so come prepared if Hiking.
In 2012, the cable car was no longer allowed to take animals (cows, sheep) across for health and Safety Reasons.
During WW2 on Friday July 23rd 1943, a German Junkers JU88 weather reconnaissance plane from Bordeaux crashed due to fog with the loss of 4 lives on Ballinacarriga Hill near where you can still see the WW2 Lookout Hut on the skyline to the South East. One of the two BMW engines rolled down the Hill, scatterd farm animals and set fire to a hayshed. Extensive research on this is at http://www.hoelti.de/auschner/index_e.htm .
The Last Light Ceremony took place all over the Republic of Ireland on Millennium Eve, December 31, 1999 and the last sunset of the Millennium was televised to homes from here to Ireland, Great Britain and Europe (Sky TV) and the Sun-Dial has been erected here to commemorate this occasion. In the weeks leading up to Millennium Eve, a special Millennium Candle was delivered to every household in the Republic with an accompanying scroll. At sunset, householders lit their candles to symbolically mark the last light of the second millennium. The first candle was lit on the east coast at Áras an Uachtaráin by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese. The last candle was lit in County Cork on the west coast at 16:40, the last sunset of the millennium in Ireland. The names of those present in each home were written on the accompanying scroll. .
The houses you are overlooking were the Light House Keepers Cottages, notice its own pier, boat shed and the fine stonework. This was built for the manning of the lighthouse on the Calf Rock which was destroyed in a storm in 1881. A new lighthouse was build on the Bull Rock which is still in operation but is now unmanned .
Keep an eye out for Minke whale, Porpoises and Dolphins in the Sound and also for both Sean the Sheep and Percy the Peacock and mention if seen in your log.. When you find it please replace the cap very carefully as it could become too tight for the next person.
If you have time & weather is good, we would recommend Ireland most popular looped walk, the well sign posted 4km Garnish Loop, which take 1Hr30Mins approx. see http://www.discoverireland.ie/Activities-Adventure/garinish-loop/80865, it has spectacular views and is suitable for all ages.
If you go to Dursey, there are an exceptionally large amount of historical landmarks to see on Dursey Island, Site 1 is the landing place for the cable car from the mainland. Site 2 is the location of the old monastery and graveyard. The monastery was said to have been built in the 16th century by a Spanish bishop by the name of Bonaventure. The graveyard was the burial ground for island residents for many years, but no new burials have taken place there in quite some time. Site 3 is the location of the Dursey Schoolhouse. Site 4 is the location of the Dursey Island Signal Tower. Built in the early 19th Century as a means of communicating quickly up and down the south and west coasts of Ireland, they were to serve as a lookout system for any potential invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte, then relay this information back to major garrisons in larger towns and cities like Cork. The south-west coast was thought to be particularly vulnerable, especially following the failed invasion attempt in Bantry Bay, just a few miles away, in 1796. Site 5, situated just a hundred metres northwest of the signal tower, is the location of the giant "Eire 32" sign, which served as a unique aviation identifier for Dursey Island for pilots in World War 2. It is written in large white stones. Site 6, The Needle's Eye. Sitting atop some of the most spectacular cliff tops on the whole island, this rock on the north side of the road, leans against the cliff, forming a passage just wide enough to admit a slim adult. The belief was that if a newly married woman passed through the gap three times in a east-west direction, she would never die in childbirth. This tradition was practiced as late as the 1930's. Site 7, temporary Lighthouse at Site 7 was built on Dursey Head following the destruction of the lighthouse on the Calf Rock in the early 1880's. It was in use until the new lighthouse was built on the Bull Rock, which saw first use on January 1st 1889 and is still in use today. The ruins of the Calf Rock and temporary lighthouses are still clearly visible today as is the existing lighthouse on the Bull Rock. Vor allem für unsere deutschen Besucher, halten Sie Ausschau nach Percy (der Pfau) Wer hält Hof und lassen Sie uns wissen in ihrem log, wenn sie ihn gesehen oder getroffen ........ .
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