North Kerry

Ballylongford | Irish : Beal Atha Longfoirt : Town of the Long Ford

Northwards from this town lies the Gothic ruins of Lislaughton Franciscian Friary, built in 1478 by John O’Connor Kerry. The walls of the friary are still intact, and a number of attractive windows and well-preserved sedilia make viewing worthwhile. A fine processional cross from the friary, known as the Ballylongford Cross, is now in the National Museum in Dublin.

Carrigafoyle Castle: to the west of Ballylongford was the main seat of the O’Connors built by O’Connor Kerry, from where he profitably raided ships in the Shannon Estuary. The castle stands over 60 feet high, but only three of its walls are standing as a result of the destructive assault launched by the Cromwellian forces in 1649. It is now being restored. The church opposite the castle dates from the same period.

The O’Rahilly: one of the heroic nationalist figures in the 1916 uprising was a native of Ballylongford, the public house which his family owned was built in 1806 and is still operating as a public house in very much the same as it originally was. Worthwhile visiting to see all the memorabilia. He died outside the General Post Office in Dublin from wounds received in battle.
Brendan Kennelly, the distinguished present day writer, poet and lecturer, was born here also. A Brendan Kenneally weekend is held here the 2nd week in August.

A Regatta is held on 3rd Sunday in July.

An Oyster Festival is held the weekend before the Listowel Races having their own oyster beds nearby. Ballylongford also boast their own Races. (see list of Festivals and Events.)

Leave a Reply