Located on the Iveragh Peninsula, Caherdaniel parish begins in the valley of Glenmore. As you travel from Loher Fort and over the Coomakista Pass, you see Derrynane Harbour, Scariff and Deenish Islands and Kenmare Bay in the distance. The small village of Caherdaniel is located on the old butter road, a short distance from the Derrynane Bay.
In gaelic, the Caherdaniel is known as ‘Cathair Dónall’, which means ‘Dónall’s stone ringfort’. It has a history dating back to 2000 BC.
Derrynane House & National Park
Home to the great ‘Liberator’ and prominent political leader, Daniel O’Connell, Derrynane House is located 2km west of Caherdaniel. The house, which was built in 1702, is open as a museum every day during the summer. The 120 hectares of the surrounding Derrynane National Historic Park is open throughout the year, providing woodland, sheltered gardens and beaches to explore. www.derrynanehouse.ie
Daniel O’Connell succesfully campaigned for the lifting of anti-Catholic laws in Ireland. He was a lawyer, politician, and statesman who encouraged and enabled the people to rally against an old-fashioned system.
Staigue Stone Fort
This fort dates back to 600 AD.
Ancient Poets & Writers
Caherdaniel was home to one of the most notable Poets Of Ireland, a torchbearer for
native culture through béaloideas (word of mouth) and the written word. Pádraig O’Séaghdha (1880-1921), with a pen name “Pádraig na Léine”, was born at Cuan an Caislean, Caherdaniel, Co. Kerry to parents Donal O’Shea post master and Abbey Sullivan. He founded and taught at a school in Caherdaniel, was a National School teacher.
The 6th century medieval Derrynane Abbey built by St Finnan is located on the island of Abbey Island, although it is accessible by foot from the beach of Derrynane thanks to silting. It consists of an abbey and a cemetery, which has many Celtic crosses and a number of graves, including those of Mary O’Connell (wife of Daniel O’Connell) and the 18th century Gaelic poet, Tomás Rua Ó Suilleabháin.
Skellig Islands monastic settlement
Tours of the island and monastic settlement leave from Derrynane Harbour, an old smuggling port used by the O’Connell clan. Skipper John O’Shea offers daily tours, with a 2.5 hour stop on Skellig Michael. Along the way, you’ll see an array of marine life, including dolphins & seals. www.skelligtours.com