Gougane Barra, Ballingeary, Macroom, County Cork, Ireland
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Ballingeary , is a Gaeltacht village(native Irish speaking area) approximately 15 miles west of Macroom town .It is on the main road between Macroom and Bantry .The nearest village is Inchigeela , 6 miles on the Macroom side.
Ballingeary has one of Ireland's oldest and original Irish Colleges , Collaiste na Muhan.where students have visited and stayed for the last odd 100 years to learn the native language. The students are a common sight on the main street, in July and August.
The people here are relaxed and friendly , and if you wish to converse as Gaeilge then you will be gladly accomidated.There are two pubs in the village, Shortens , a typical small village pub, with a nice cozy atmosphere and a few hundred yards west the village is Ard Na Laoi bar, .Drop in for a friendly chat with owners Sheila and Paddy Lynch, and feel at ease with the locals. Nobody will bother you here if you just want to relax with a quiet drink. On weekends the pub is busier with a fairly young, lively clientele, having a few drinks before heading for the bright lights of villainy or Kenmare.
There is live music most Sunday nights in Shortens Bar, but ring ahead to be certain, contact :026-47072 for further information.
There is a beautiful Catholic church in the village , newly renovated, which is nice place to perhaps light a candle and spend a few moments in quiet contemplation.
Other local attractions are Siopa Paddy Quill,. Quills Woolens are very popular clothing retailer in The Cork / Kerry area, including Kenmare, Killarney, Sneem and Cork City. They sell quality garments , including woolens, rain gear , hats coats e.t.c.Paddy Quill the original owner has sadly recently passed away. He was also an All Ireland champion fiddle player and a real gentleman.
Ballingeary boasts one of the finest G.A.A pitches in Cork if not Ireland, this fine facility was recently upgraded and is a great place to watch a football match , when the occasion arises.
Other things to do in Ballingeary include visiting the local Dolmen in Keimcoroboula, ask locally for directions. If history is your thing check out ballingeary inchigeela history, cumann staire for more detailed information. also check out www.leevalley.com
One of the most beautiful , local areas to visit is the church and lake at nearby Gouganne Barra.Here it is rumoured that Saint Finbarre lived before following the River Lee eastwards and allegedly founding Cork City.There is a also a wonderful National Forest Park near Gouganne Barra.with faboulous walks and scenery to be taken in.If you enjoy trout fishing then a permit can be had in the local Gouganne Barra hotel, and you can cast your flies on the lake between March and October.
Gougane Barra hotel is a lovely old world style hotel, that offers quality food, with a friendly, laid back atmosphere , at a good price.Contact Neill or Katie Lucey at 026-47223, foor bookings and reservations or visit
A new attraction in the Ballingeary area is a ship /boat launched by local man Jerry o Sullivan .This will be carrying up to 50 passengers on sightseeing trips on local Loch Allua , the few miles of lake that connect Ballingeary to nearby Inchigeela.Well worth a visit on a fine sunny Sunday, and a great way to pass a few hours,Details will be made available shortly, and I may write a review on this subject in the near future.
Finally don't forget when in the Ballingeary area to visit the nearby sleepy village of Inchigeela , just 6 miles on the Macroom side of Ballingeary.This is a typical Irish village , and has a lovely, unspoilt ,old world style atmosphere.Be sure to visit Creedon's Hotel and chat to owner , historian and uncrowned ,Lord Mayor of Inchigeela Joe Creedon 026-49012.He will expertly advise you on local history, customs and how to make your stay in the area all the more enjoyable.Trust me you will not be sorry!
Fondest memory: the people, the scenery and the peace and tranquility