With its extensive coastline, Ireland offers a wide range of different harbours, both historic and scenic. Below you will find a selection of Irish harbours from around the country.
Ireland’s only true fjord, Killary Harbour is a long narrow inlet that runs between the mountains at Leenane, Galway, for 16km. It is ideal for a variety of water pursuits.
Cloondara, an attractive village 8km west of Longford, represents the Royal Canal’s terminal with the River Shannon. The cut-stone harbour, known as Richmond Harbour, is one of the most imposing on the River Shannon. The old stone mill wth its weir and mill pond is another fine building. Traditional music is played regularly in local hostelries.
Formed by the estuary of the Bandon River, Kinsale Harbour is a natural harbour with a rich history.
In 1601 some of the Spanish Armada landed at Kinsale, but the Spanish were too weak to withstand the subsequent blockade of the harbour by the Anglo-Irish Privy Council.
The Lusitania was torpedoed off the Old Head of Kinsale on 7th May 1915, with the loss of 1,198 lives. Its sinking was a determining factor in the USA’s decision to join forces with the Allies against Nazi Germany.
The most popular harbour for emigrants leaving Ireland in the 19th century was Cobh (pronounced Cove). Steeped in nautical history, Cobh was the harbour for the first transatlantic steamship crossing to the Americas in 1838 as well as the last port of call on the ill-fated maiden voyage of one of the greatest luxury liners of the 20th century, the Titanic.
Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Dun Laoghaire, Dublin
Dun Laoghaire Harbour is situated about 11km southeast of Dublin City Centre, less than a 5-minute walk from the South County Dublin seaport town of Dun Laoghaire.
The HSS Stena Explorer ferry operates three daily return sailings between Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead in Wales, each crossing taking just 99 minutes.
Situated near the estuary of the River Shannon, this fishing harbour has an interesting history dating back to the 1700s. At that time, Donal O’Brien won the rights to the village after a battle with his renegade brother, the Earl of Thomond.
Waterford Harbour is a very ancient harbour, with references to it in The Annals of Clonmacnoise dating back to before the Siege of Troy, ie. 1194 BC. Its ancient name was Loch Dachaech – also know as ‘Cuan na Greine’ – meaning “The Harbour of the Sun.”
Oxford Island Nature Reserve, Lurgan, Armagh
Kinnego Bay is the beautiful setting for the largest marina on Lough Neagh. Skippered boat trips and expert instruction in sailing and powerboating are offered by fully qualified staff. Accommodation on-site includes a 30-bed hostel and a camping and caravan park. Kinnego Marina situated off M1 junction 10, with berths and moorings for 101 boats. The Master McGra passenger Cruiser operates tours on the Lough to Coney Island, Maghery and The Lough Neagh Discovery Centre. Camping and caravan facilities are also available, as well as the nearby Waterside House, a converted farmhouse which provides hostel accommodation for 34 people. A wide variety of leisure activities is possible in the area, with three leisure centres, Cascades in Portadown, Waves in Lurgan and Craigavon Leisure Centre in the Central area.