When it was inaugurated in 1969 by the then Taoiseach (Prime Miniser)
Jack Lynch, many of the locals admired his courage when, with a couple
of other dignitaries, he
boarded the cable-car for its inaugural flight. To everybodys relief
(and surprise?) it did not spill them in the ocean. Incidentally, a
few years later Lynch's successor
as Taoiseach, Charles J. Haughey atoned for this omission by
accidentally sailing his own private yacht onto the rocks not far from
here, and had to be rescued by the local
The cable-car is an efficient but not luxurious means of transport.
Locals who regularly use it say it is like "travelling in a big
biscuit-tin" or "crossing in a
cupboard". To the tourist, it offers a unique and fascinating travel
experience and the island, which is about four miles long and one and
a half miles wide is well worth
a visit. The well marked Beara Way walking trail extends onto the
island and makes the exploraton more enjoyable.
Near the spot where the cable-car passengers disembark is a place
known as "Pairc an Air" - the Massacre Field. It is said to be the
place where a large number of the
O'Sullivan Clan and their followers were killed in an ethnic cleansing
operation by Crown Forces under the command of Sir Peter Carew. On the
island are the ruins of St.
Mary's Abbey and in the nearby graveyard is the family vault of
From the furthest tip of the island, Dursey Head, there is a
magnificent view. Off the headland, there are three little islands:
The Bull, The Cow, and The Calf. The
Bull has the largest gamet colony in Ireland and both it and The Cow
have been designated as areas of wild-life protection.