MINARD

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

MINARD, a parish, in the barony of CORKAGUINEY, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER, 5 miles (E. S. E.) from Dingle, on the road to Tralee; containing 1474 inhabitants. It is situated on the northern side of the bay of Dingle: near the shore are the ruins of Minard castle; which was built by one of the Knights of Kerry. It was defended in 1650 by its proprietor, Walter Hussey, against the parliamentary forces under Cols. Le Hunt and Sadler, who, finding that they could not make much impression on the castle by cannonading it from a fortification, said to have been erected for that purpose (and of which the remains still exist), sprung a mine in the vaults beneath, and blew it up.

The parish comprises 4922 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act, of which 2790 acres are arable land, and the remainder consists of coarse mountain pasture, mostly reclaimable: good building stone is found in several places. Sea-weed and sand are in general use for manure; and the bogs being nearly exhausted, turf for fuel is brought from the coast of Iveragh, on the opposite side of Dingle bay. The bay abounds with a variety of fish, but the fishery is here attended with much trouble and danger, the adjacent coast for several miles consisting of precipitous rocky cliffs, and there is but a single narrow creek, in which only one boat can land at a time: many of the fishing boats are obliged to bear for this creek when the wind blows from the south or west; and it has been suggested that a quay or pier could be constructed near Minard Castle for about £200, that would prove of great service as a place of refuge for these boats in hard weather and be a great encouragement to the extension of the fishery, in which at present only a few boats belonging to this district (and those of an inferior description) are engaged.

Some time since the peasantry, under the superintendence of Captain Eagar and the Rev. Dr. Foley, P.P., changed the course of a small river running into the bay, that would always keep a passage clear, and with the aid of a pier would enable boats to approach at any time of the tide: great destruction of property and loss of life have occurred on the bar of Inch, at the inner part of the bay, for want of such a shelter as that proposed. At East Minard is a station of the coast-guard; and adjoining the ruins of the castle is Minard, the seat of Captain Fras. Eagar. The parish is in the diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe: the rectory is partly impropriate in Lord Ventry, but chiefly in the Earl of Cork; and the vicarage forms part of the union of Ballinacourty or Kilflyn. Of the tithes, amounting to £170, one-sixth is payable to Lord Ventry, one-third to the Earl of Cork, and the remainder to the vicar.

In the R. C. divisions it is included in the union or district of Dingle: at Lispole is the chapel, in which a school is held. There are no remains of the old church, but the burial-ground is still used. At Parknafulla are several ancient gravestones inscribed with Ogham characters, and supposed to mark the burial-places of persons who at a remote period were suddenly attacked and slain by a neighbouring clan. On Glin mountain is a pile of large stones, where, according to tradition, the chiefs of former times dispensed justice: this spot -commands an extensive view of the bay and the surrounding mountains. In several places are wells having a ferruginous appearance.

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