Discovering County Kerry: History, Nature, Farming & GAA

by | 13 Apr, 2023 | County History

Discovering County Kerry: History, Nature, Farming & GAA

County Kerry, located in the south-western part of Ireland, is known for its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and strong cultural traditions. This enchanting county is home to a variety of natural wonders, from rugged coastlines to rolling hills, as well as a thriving farming community that has sustained the region for centuries. But perhaps most famous of all is Kerry’s love for Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), a sport that is deeply ingrained in the heart and soul of the county. In this article, we will explore the history, nature, farming, and GAA culture of County Kerry.

The Enchanting History of County Kerry

County Kerry has a long and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. The area was once home to the Corcu Duibne tribe, who ruled over the region until the arrival of the Celts in the 4th century BC. Later, the Vikings and Normans also left their mark on Kerry’s history, building castles and fortifications that can still be seen today.

One of the most famous events in Kerry’s history is the 1916 Easter Rising, a rebellion against British rule that ultimately led to Ireland’s independence. Kerry played a significant role in the Rising, with many of its residents joining the fight for freedom. Today, visitors can explore sites such as Banna Strand, where Roger Casement was captured, and Ballyseedy Wood, where nine prisoners were executed by the British Army.

The Wonders of Kerry’s Natural World

From the rugged coastline of the Dingle Peninsula to the stunning lakes and mountains of Killarney National Park, County Kerry is a nature lover’s paradise. The Wild Atlantic Way, a 2,500 km coastal route that runs along Ireland’s west coast, passes through Kerry and offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Kerry is also home to a variety of wildlife, including red deer, otters, seals, and birds such as the white-tailed eagle and the peregrine falcon. Visitors can take a guided tour of the Skellig Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to a 6th-century monastic settlement and a thriving population of seabirds.

Farming in County Kerry: A Way of Life

Farming has been an integral part of life in Kerry for centuries, with many families passing down their knowledge and traditions from generation to generation. The region is known for its dairy farming, with Kerrygold butter and cheese exported all over the world.

Visitors can experience the agricultural way of life by taking a farm tour, which typically includes a visit to a working farm where they can see cows being milked, sheep being sheared, and perhaps even try their hand at butter churning. The Kerry Bog Pony, a rare breed of horse that is native to the region, is also a popular attraction for visitors.

The Passion for GAA in Kerry’s Heart and Soul

Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is a central part of Kerry’s cultural identity, with the county boasting an impressive record of success in both football and hurling. The local GAA club is often the heart of the community, bringing people together for matches, training sessions, and social events.

Kerry’s love for GAA is perhaps best exemplified by the annual All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, which sees the county’s team compete against other counties from all over Ireland. Kerry has won the championship a record 37 times, making it one of the most successful teams in GAA history.

Discovering County Kerry: History, Nature, Farming & GAA

County Kerry is a truly special place, where history, nature, farming, and GAA culture come together to create a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, hiking through stunning landscapes, learning about traditional farming methods, or cheering on Kerry’s GAA team, there’s something for everyone in this enchanting corner of Ireland. So why not discover County Kerry for yourself and experience the magic of this wonderful county?

County Kerry most common surnames:

O’Sullivan, O’Connor, Shea, Murphy, McCarthy, Moriarty, Fitzgerald, O’Connell, Donoghue, Griffin.

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