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Kinsale, County Cork

kinsale-2-7166607kinsale-2-7166607kinsale-3-3432783kinsale-4-3842247 Kinsale, which sits sumptuously on the harbour of the River Bandon, is a small town in county Cork. The town is positioned 25 km south of Cork city on the coast near the Old Head. The name of the town is derived from an Irish word ‘Cionn tSáile’. This picturesque town houses various sightseeing attractions, historical monuments and medieval churches. After Clonakilty, Kinsale is recognized as Ireland’s second Fair Trade Town.

Kinsale in the early 16th century was the site of a battle in which English forces defeated Irish and Spanish force, led by the prince Hugh Roe O’Donnell and Hugh O’Neill. Later, in the flight of the Earls, a large number of native Irish aristocrats along with Earls of Tyrone and Tir Conaill, abandoned their lands and fled to mainland Europe. With the defeat of James II of England at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, the town was freed after a Norse settlement. Records point the early fortifications of the town in 1677. During this period, Charles Fort was built at the Summer Cove, which stood as a guard to the entrance to Kinsale estuary. This medieval fort was built to protect the town, specifically the harbour from the entry of the French and Spanish in the event of inhabiting Ireland.

This historical walled seaport town is a home to the famous James’ Fort, which is located on the Castle park peninsula at the other side of the summer cove. The Charles Fort and the James Fort were connected across the harbour mouth using an underwater chain. This was done at the times of war to scuttle the enemy ship by ripping the bottom out of incoming vessels. On May 7, 1915, when the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat, some of the bodies and survivors were brought to Kinsale. The subsequent inquest on the bodies recovered in this upheaval was held in the town’s courthouse. To commemorate the efforts of the medieval citizens, a statue has been erected in the harbour.

Today, with several gourmet restaurants and leisure activities such yachting, sea angling and golf, the town is deemed as one of the famous holiday destinations for Irish and foreign tourists. Owing to its enthralling beauty and sites, the place is much frequented by boating fraternity in large numbers during summers. Apart from its known sea side sites, the town is bestowed with several historical monuments, galleries and natural surroundings.

Kinsale is reckoned for its art galleries and a noted school of English. The mesmerizing town boasts a quaint air of antiquity in the narrow intersecting streets, which makes it pleasing for quiet walks. Close to the town centre is a large yachting marina, which attracts numerous sailing enthusiasts. A “Gourmet Festival” is celebrated in the town annually, which honours celebrity chefs and their easting establishments. There is ancient churches such as St. Multose’s church (Church of Ireland) and St. John the Baptist (Roman Catholic) within the walls of the town. The Market House and the French Prison (or Desmond Castle) are some of the prominent historical monuments of Kinsale.

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