Cailleach / Hag of Beara Tour

The Cailleach Beara is one of the oldest living mythological beings associated with Ireland. Called Baoi,  she is one of the original great land Goddesses. She never got old!  It was said “she passed into seven periods of youth, so that every husband used to pass to death from her, of old age, so that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were peoples and races.”  The ultimate Earth Mother, she was the source of fertility and female power.  As a corn goddess, she was a protector of wild nature.

According to legend this rock is the remains of the 'Hag of Beara', staring out to sea awaiting her husband, Manannán mac Lir, God of the Sea, to return to her.
According to legend this rock is the remains of the ‘Hag of Beara’, staring out to sea awaiting her husband, Manannán mac Lir, God of the Sea, to return to her.

Let Beara Baoi Tours take you to Kilcatherine where you can learn more about the Cailleach. We visit her fossilised remains which overlook Ballycrovane bay as she  awaits the return of her husband, sea god Manannan, now sitting as a stone herself in her landscape of stone.

Dunboy and the Glebe

This half day tour with a coastline view to Ballinakilla Lighthouse includes an O’Sullivan Bere castle ruin. Located at the entrance to Berehaven Bay we learn about clan leader Donal Cam and the famous Siege of Dunboy  in 1602 when 143 men defended the castle for 11 days against the might of an Elizabethan army. Nearby and forlorn stands a 19th century gothic mansion, home to generations of the Puxley family of Allihies Copper Mines fame.  It’s a story of wealth, power and exploitation.

The tour includes a visit to the historic Ivy clad Glebe cemetery, with its own story to tell.

Ancient Sites

Derreenataggart Stone Circle
Castletownbere, Beara Peninsula

Lehanmore Ring fort
Beara Peninsula

Wedge tomb
Barnes, Beara Peninsula

Ardgroom Stone Circle,
Beara Peninsula.

Enclosure and Burial ground,
Balydonegan, Beara Peninsula.

Gallaun Standing Stone
Cahermore, Beara Peninsula.

Teernahillane Ring Fort,
Beara Peninsula

Dursey Island Discs

Dursey Island Discs
From August 8th

Launches on Tuesday August 8th, 8pm, at Lehanmore Community Centre

Inspired by BBC Radio 4’s long-running series, Desert Island Discs, Beara Arts Festival presents its own series of podcasts, Dursey Island Discs.

Dursey Island Discs features three Dursey Islanders – Gerald Murphy, Rosarie O’Neill and Martin Sheehan – along with four others who have close associations with the island: Pat O’Neill, Penny Durell, Anne Finch, and Desmond O’Reilly.

All seven are interviewed by local writer Carina McNally and asked to imagine what records, book, luxury item and companion they would wish to have with them if they were ever marooned on Dursey, the only island in Ireland that is connected to the mainland by cable-car.

The interviews are available as podcasts below, and will also be broadcast at Lehanmore Community Centre, the last café on the mainland before the cable-car to Dursey, from August 8th.

Gerald Murphy grew up on Dursey. He now lives in Glenera, and returns to the island daily to farm.


Rosarie O’Neill grew up on Dursey. She now lives in Eyeries, where she runs Formanes House B&B. She returns regularly to the island.


Penny Durell lives in Ballinacarriga, overlooking Dursey Island. She is the author of the island history, Discover Dursey.


Martin Sheehan grew up on Dursey. He now lives in Castletownbere, and returns regularly to the island to farm and fish.


Anne Finch lives in Castletownbere and also has a home on Dursey. She maintains the website


Desmond O’Reilly is a lawyer in London and has a holiday home in Adrigole. His mother, Kathleen Causkey, came from Dursey.


Pat O’Neill lives in Garnish. He has delivered the post to Dursey for the past 38 years.


Dursey Island Discs is presented by Carina McNally, recorded by Cormac O’Connor and produced by Marc O’Sullivan Vallig.