Clonakilty, County Cork

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Clonakilty is a small town situated in western County Cork, Ireland, along the N71 national secondary road. It is commonly called Clon by the residents, and located on the southern coast of the country, which places it in the vicinity of hilly countryside as well as sandy beaches. The first mention of this town, as Clogh Na Kylte, was in the Plea Roll that listed it among the regions being controlled by William De Barri, in 1378. The credit of setting up this town goes to Richard Boyle, who, in the year 1613, received James I’s charter, wherein its residents were termed ‘sovereign, free-burgesses and commonality of the borough of Cloghnikilty.
Clonakilty houses the National Michael Collins Memorial Statue, which was built to pay respects to one of the greatest and most recognizable military and political leaders of Ireland. He was born in Woodfield, Clonakilty in 1890 and the statue was inaugurated on August 22nd, 2002 by legendary actor Liam Neeson. This town is one of the most environmentally conscious regions of Ireland, and has been honoured with the 1999 Irish Tidy Towns Competition award. It was judged the first official Fair Trade Town of Ireland and also deemed the Europeanm Destination of Excellence by European Commission in 2007. Beaches add substantially to the scenic beauty of this town, which is termed the beach centre of West Cork due to the numerous sandy beaches, coves and harbours that are situated here. The tidal bay, marshes and hinterland of this town invite more than 201 species of birds, making its coast the favoured locale amongst ornithologists.

Clonakilty is a town that is famous throughout Ireland for its rich culture that focuses around traditional as well as contemporary music. Its bars and pubs hold live music nights, and lively concerts can be enjoyed every night throughout the year. The scenic beauty of the town inspired many a musicians, with Noel Redding, Roy Harper and David Mitchell moving here permanently. Several music-centric festivals are hosted here annually; The Clonakilty International Guitar Festival, The Motion Festival, and The Waterfront Festival are a few well known festivals that were held here. Other prominent events that are organized in Clonakilty are West Cork Car Rally, International Car Rally, Festival of West Cork, Clonakilty Agricultural Show, Clonakilty Farmers Market, Charity Plant Sale, Galley Flash Regatta, Ring Regatta, South of Ireland Band Championships and the Country and Bluegrass Weekend.

Just like in any other Irish town, sports enjoy extreme popularity here too, with exclusive clubs being set up for Gaelic athletics, football, martial arts and rugby. Archery, clay pigeon shooting, fishing and angling, golfing, swimming, tennis, cycling, water sports, horse riding and war games enjoy tremendous following among the residents of this town. The West Cork Model Village is a site that has been preserved in this town to give the visitors a taste of how the life in 1940s was. It houses numerous handmade models and figurines that depict various portions of the town in the most charming manner. A few other sites of historical significance in Clonakilty are Timoleague Abbey, Castle Salem, Galley Head Lighthouse, Clonakilty Museum, Coppinger’s Court, Drombeg Stone Circle and Lios-na-Gcon Ringfort.


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