Welcome to Cromane

A Fishermans Haven
Original Coastguard Station Jack's by Night The Boat House as it stands in 2012

Coastguard Station History

The Coastguard Station built in 1866 dominates the Cromane landscape and it is the only building alongside the pebble beach.

The Coastguard Service was started in 1822 and by 1837 there were fifteen stations in Kerry. They were situated in the three districts: 5 in Tralee, 4 in Valentia and 6 in Dingle. The Cromane Coastguard station was built to replace the closed Dunquin Station at the western tip of the Dingle Peninsula. Work on the station was begun in 1866 and completed in 1868.

The station had six houses. They were the living quarters for the chief boatman, his 5 men and their families. Each terraced house had a sitting room, kitchen and scullery plus bedrooms upstairs. The watchtower and watchhouse have 2 rooms. The boathouse is close to the beach and detached from the main buildings. It was normal for the station to have only windows at the front of the station facing out to sea. The entrance and out-buildings were at the rear and the front doors were added at a later date.

At the south end of the building is the day room and lookout tower.  Next to the tower stood a forty-foot copper flag staff for the British flag to be raised everyday. The coastguard sailors wore blue denim overalls, pillbox caps and were called the 'Blue Men'.

North of the Station near the beach is the boathouse where the twin whaler cutter used by the Coastguard was stored. 

The stations were built by local laborers with plans approved by the British Admiralty and prepared by the Office of Public Works. Some of the stations had connecting doors between the upstairs bedrooms. These doors were kept locked and keys kept by the Station Officer. In the event of an assault on the station these doors were opened and the coastguards could operate from room to room. A chimney was provided for a fire to dry waterlogged equipment.

The Coastguard Service controlled smuggling, plundering, and assisted ships in distress. In Cromane the main coastguard duty was to enforce the fishing laws in Castlemaine Harbour.

In 1922 the State decommisioned  the Coastguard Stations. A British warship anchored outside the Cromane harbour and a tender was dispatched to remove the dismantled copper flagstaff, firearms and records from the tower. The building was then turned over to the State and put under the control of the Office of Public Works.

Local schoolteacher John Sugrue bought the building and it became the inn, "Jack Sugrues".  Jack's Bar has been a favourite watering hole since opening 8 December 1961. John died in 2002 and Jack's was taken over by his nephew Cieran O’Callaghan and he remodeled the buildings, bar and lounge.

In June 2006 Brian and Grainne Keary bought the bar and Brian kept the name Jack's. In 2008 the rear of the building was demolished and transformed into a modern coastal restaurant. The Award Winning restaurant  today combines a modern kitchen, fine dining and the history of the Coastguard Station.