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Baile na nGall / Ballydavid

Welcome to Baile na nGall / Ballydavid

Ballydavid . ©Tim Smith www.timsmithvisuals.com

 

Ballydavid (Baile na nGall)

The Gaeltacht region of Ballydavid, Feohanagh and Murreagh, is one of the most beautiful and culturally intact areas on the Dingle Peninsula (Leithinis Corca Dhuibhne). The villages and townlands are west of Dingle (Daingean Uí Chúis) and lie between the lapping waters of Smerwick Harbour on the northern shores of the peninsula, and the slopes of the majestic Mount Brandon (Cnoc Bhréanainn). Every summer, the area hosts hundreds of young students through Coláistí Chorca Dhuibhne who come to learn  Irish and experience the traditions here.

Ballydavid, Baile na nGall (the town of foreigners), is a quiet fishing village on the shores of Smerwick Harbour with fantastic views of Mount Brandon to the east and views of  Dún an Óir (Fort of Gold)  and the Three Sisters to the west.

Radió na Gaeltachta is the National Irish Language Radio Station, is located just outside the village on Bóthar na Léinsí.

Further along, this lesser known area of the Slea Head Drive are the parishes and villages  Muiríoch, Carraig (the Rock) and Feohanagh, (Feothanach- the old Irish word for Windy Place). Their characters are influenced by their dramatic surroundings from the open vastness of Smerwick Harbour and the Atlantic Ocean, to the sheer coastline cliffs of Ceann Bhaile Dháith and Mount Brandon. 

In Carraig, Teach Siamsa is a training centre for the famous Siamsa Tíre whose goal is to preserve traditional dance, music and singing culture.

The area is easy to explore by foot or by bicycle because the roads are quaint and quiet. There are amazing walks along the beaches, headlands and along the coastal roads. The Dingle Way meanders through these wonderful villages and Cosán na Naomh (the Saints Way) is another exceptional local walk. For those who enjoy more challenging treks, Mount Brandon (Ireland’s second highest mountain) is a life changing experience with great views from the summit where you can see the Atlantic Ocean and Blasket Islands to the west, North Kerry and County Clare to the north, the spine of the Slieve Mish Mountains to the east and the McGillycuddy Reeks, Iveragh Peninsula and Skellig Rocks to the south. Throughout the year there are pilgrimage walks to the summit.

Two of the best known archaeological sites on the Dingle Peninsula - Gallarus Oratory and Cill Mhaolcéadair, are here.

Gallarus Oratory is the best preserved early Christian Church in Ireland. The church, which was built between the 6th and 9th century is believed to have been built out of local stones using no mortar to hold it together, although small traces of mortar do suggest that it was originally plastered inside and out. Nonetheless it is an excellent example of architecture and well worth a visit.

Cill Mhaolcéadair is associated with St. Brendan and is believed to have been founded by the local saint St. Maolcéadait. The 12th century Hiberno-Romanesque Church is the focal point of this site but do look out for the Alphabet Stone, a holed Ogham Stone, a Sun Dial, a large Stone Cross, two Bullaun Stones, two Holy Wells, St. Brendan’s Oratory and numerous cross slabs.

Brandon Creek, (Cuas an Bhodaigh), is the place from which St. Brendan the Navigator is supposed to have set sail on his legendary voyage in 535A.D. This wild beautiful creek is worth a visit, to spend a little time of reflection, with the backdrop of the sound of crystal waters rushing to meet the sea.

During the summer, traditional music sessions are commonplace in the various pubs in the area. Local restaurants in the area are located right on the sea front and are critically acclaimed. The quality of the seafood served in the restaurants and pubs are second to none with the fish landed at the local piers.

 

Baile na nGall / Ballydavid
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