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Ballinascarty - Henry Ford Country

As you drive along the N71 from Clonakilty to Bandon, you will pass through the village of Ballinascarty - although to describe it as a village is an exaggeration. It might be more accurate to say that Balliinascarty is "an inhabited cross-roads".
However, it may be small but you cannot help seeing its proud and unusual monument. On the roadside a platform has been constructed and tastefully faced with stone. On this platform stands a stainless steel replica of a FORD MODEL T. This is Ballinascarty's way of proclaiming its pride in its most famous son, HENRY FORD, who was born near the village and whose family emigrated to the U.S.A.


If you are driving past on a fine summer afternoon, you may glimpse a newly-wed couple being photographed here, because "the Model T photograph" is becoming part of the local Wedding Album in the way that "the Trevi Fountain" photograph has become part of the Roman Wedding Album. Many people would smile and say "Why not? Think of the influence the automobile has had on the love-life of the young - young Americans in particular" The monument is not the only honour that Ballinascarty has bestowed on Henry Ford. There is also a sportsfield dedicated to his memory.


The most highly organized and widespread sporting organization in rural Ireland is undoubtedly the Gaelic Athletic Association (G.A.A), which promotes Hurling and Gaelic Football. Every town and village now has its own G.A.A. grounds.
These are usually named after an Irish Patriot (e.g. Casement Park) or after somebody who helped the G.A.A. become the nationwide organization that it now is (e.g. Croke Park). Ballinascarty uniquely did not follow this tradition but named its Hurling/Football grounds after its most successful son, the man who revolutionized modern transport. Deservedly so because here he is still described as "the man who put wheels under the Yanks".

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