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 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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.