Ballingarry, Co. Limerick, Ireland

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1. Ballingarry Accommodation

Spend an easy day strolling through the rural village of Ballingarry. There are ruins of an early Norman castle in the middle of the village. While it is situated on private property and access is poor, it is worth a stroll as the condition is excellent considering its age.

The spire of the Roman Catholic Church can be seen for miles around and the church itself is similar to a small cathedral with palatial décor. The village is overlooked by Knockfernia, a 286m high hill sacred to Donn Firinne, Celtic god to the Otherworld, or Death. The hill has many strange legends and stories. Also known as the 'hill of truth,' a great expanse of territory embracing six counties, many mountain ranges and the Shannon estuary can be seen from the summit on a clear day. There is a rough track for
walkers, which leads to the top.

As the famine took effect in the 1840's, local who were evicted from their own houses fled to Knockfernia, which at the time was commonage. They built simple mud huts and fed on the roots of wild vegetation. As the starvation intensified, all the inhabitants died.

Today, the simple mud huts remain, partially restored, as a stark reminder of their suffering. Weather permitting; this trek is the ideal way to work up an appetite for dinner!!

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