Kerry is a county that is located in the southwestern corner of Ireland, and is famed for its majestic scenery, wonderful mountain ranges, dramatic coastlines, stunning beaches, charming towns and villages and cascading lakes and rivers.
However, there may well be some facts about this wonderful county that you are not totally aware of – so read on to find out more!
1. Kerry is the 5th largest county in Ireland and takes up an 11% portion of Ireland’s landmass. The county has the longest coastline of any Irish County!
2. The three highest mountain peaks are all located in the county, with Carrantouhill at nearly 3,500 feet the only mountain that extends over 1,000 metres.
3. Valentia Island, off the coast of South Kerry, was the site of the very first transatlantic cable station in 1866. It was to become the primary centre of communicating through Europe to the USA.
4. Valentia Island is also home to the oldest pre-dinosaur footprints that were found in the Northern Hemisphere. It is estimated that the footprints were created some 350 million years ago.
5. Famous Antarctic explorer Tom Crean, who was part of the early 20th century expeditions hailed from Annascaul, near Inch, on the road to Dingle.
6. Cahirciveen in South Kerry is home to one of the only chuches in the Catholic Church world that is not dedicated to a member of the clergy. It is called the O’Connell Memorial Church and is dedicated to the memory of Daniel O’Connell from nearby Derrynane, who fought so much for Catholic Emancipation.
7. The Island of An Tiaracht, the most westerly of the Blasket Islands, is one of the most westerly points in Europe apart from the North Atlantic islet of Rockall.
8. Kerry’s coastal waters are renowned as being a paradise for divers. The warm waters off the Kerry coastline have many different biological forms, ranging from seals and dolphins to sea mammals that migrate such as sharks and turtles. One of the most famous attractions in Dingle is Fungi – a dolphin that lives in Dingle Bay and can be viewed by a boat trip!
9. The village of Blennerville outside Tralee was a port of major importance in the 19th century – as hundeds of thousands of Irish emigrated to the new world of the United States. The Jeannie Johnston Ship made a total of 16 journeys from Ireland to North America in 7 years, and carried over 2,500 passengers on each journey emigrating from Ireland.
10. County Kerry is known as the spiritual home of Gaelic Football due to its success in the Gaelic Football world. Gaelic Football is one of Ireland’s two national games (Hurling being the other). Kerry has won an unmatched 35 All Ireland Football Championships, and has cemented its position since 1997 as one of the leading counties in Gaelic Football, winning 5 titles in 12 seasons after a fallow period from 1986-1997.
So there you have it – a guide to 10 facts that you may not have known about Kerry, which is known as the Kingdom County. If you are planning a visit to Kerry in 2009, check out our County Kerry Hotels page.
Have you any interesting facts about County Kerry that you feel that we may have omitted? Have you been to the Kingdom County before? What did you think of it? Please let us know – we value your comments!