Kerry Versus the World

The battle of Ventry

Cath Finntrágha
The battle of Ventry

You probably aren’t aware, but one of the greatest battles in history took place not far from Dingle...

The details of that battle aren’t so clear, given the 2000 years or so between then and now. What we do know, with little historical accuracy, is that Dáire Donn, “King of the world”, sent his army from Europe to invade Ireland. The Country then being of even more global significance than it is now, since it was home to the mythical hero Fionn mac Cumhaill and his Fianna warriors. The exploits of whom made the World King Jealous.

This vast force, which was headed by every powerful king from France to India, sought a fair strand suitable for battle and also a place where the army could be having a bit of craic when they weren't fighting. Where else would you head only Finntrágha, Co. Kerry.

Certain elements of this Celtic folk tale were clearly written by a lonely monk drunk on Uisce Beatha, but ultimately Fionn and the Fianna were having a spot of trouble holding off the armies of the World King. The tide was turned when the Tuatha Dé Danann, those mythical deities who inhabited Newgrange, lent their support to the Kerrymen. Perhaps it was after the battle that the god Ogma, patron of ogham stones, stuck around to teach the locals his unique script..

But little is clear through the haze of time and Whiskey.




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