Ceann Trá - Ventry

Ventry (Ceann Trá or Fionn Trá in Irish) is a small relaxed village eight kilometres west of Dingle. It is the first village on the Slea Head drive and is unusual in that it has two centres.The village green of Ceann Trá overlooks the pier and has a post office/shop, a pub, a restaurant, a pottery with café as well as the national school and community hall.

Further down the road you will come to a crossroads with the local Roman Catholic church, a pub and a shop.This part of Ventry is known as Ard a' Bhóthair (which translates as 'the height of the road'). Here a bronze statue commemorates a famous Ventry resident, Kerry footballer Paidí Ó Sé.

The whole Ventry area is linked by the arc of Ventry Harbour and the wonderful, long, sandy blue flag beach known as Ventry Beach. Mellow, quiet and safe Ventry is a great place to enjoy a seaside, rural holiday . . . or to just escape the bustle of Dingle town. On a sunny summer evening locals will be found walking the days cares away and relaxing after the day’s work.

Ventry Church

This 19th century Roman Catholic church is dedicated to St Caitlín (Catherine of Alexandria). The reason for the adoption of this Middle Eastern martyr as patron of a West Kerry parish is unknown. However a colourful legend claims that her body was washed up on Ventry Strand in a wooden box or barrel. The story goes on to claim that for some reason it took seven men to lift the relics from the beach and she was buried in the village graveyard.

Ventry Beach

Ventry Beach is a very popular beach with locals and visitors. A crescent of white sand approx 3km long it backs onto a small dune system, a small lake, wet grasslands and an extensive Common Reed swamp. Car access is just beyond the village of Ventry with a car park, public toilets and a summer lifeguard station. See information board for times.

image of ventry pier

Ventry Harbour and Pier

Ventry Harbour is a suitable anchorage for sailing and fishing boats. The pier is still used by small fishing boats. Marine Eco Tours and trips to the Blaskets are available from the pier during summer months.

World War 2 U-35

On October 4th 1939 a German Submarine, U-35 landed 28 Greek sailors ashore at Ventry.The sailors were the crew of a Greek Steamer “Diamantis” which was torpedoed and sunk by the U-boat. The crew had panicked and jumped into small lifeboats when the U boat fired a warning shot. When the lifeboats overturned in rough seas the German Captain (Kapt Werner Lott) rescued the crew and brought them to safety at Ballinmore Ventry. On board the submarine the men were given food, tea and cigarettes and their clothes were dried.  The story made international headlines. In 2009 a memorial was unveiled in Ventry in the centre of the green.

FAHAN BEEHIVE HUTS

Clocháin - Beehive Huts and Forts, Fán. On the Slea Head Drive between Ventry village and Slea Head on the right hand side are a group of dry-stone buildings known as the Fahan group visible from the road. Built by corbelling it is difficult to date these clochaun/clochán as this style of building method is in evidence in Ireland since the Neolithic Period. They are often referred to as Beehive huts because of their resemblance to beehives.

The hillside at Fahan had so many examples of these stone buildings that one 19th century antiquarian referred to the area as the "City of Fahan".

The Battle of Ventry

Ventry beach and harbour are known as the site of "Cáth Finntrágha" a legendary battle between Fionn Mac Cumhaill and Dáire Donn "The King of the World". Written in the 15th Century, but probably incorporating earlier material, this Irish language prose poem mentions numerous local landmarks. The legend tells of warrior-hero Fionn mac Cumhaill and his fianna as they defend Ireland against a foreign invasion led by the world-king Dáire Donn.The battle is said to have raged for a year and a day, with many side tales of heroics and breathless romance.

How to get to Ventry

Directions: Ventry village is 7km west of Dingle Town on the R559.

From Tralee take the N86 to Dingle making sure to take a left turn at Camp Junction and the R559 west of Dingle.