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Great Island is situated on the south coast of Ireland within Cork’s extensive natural harbour. This anchorage is located at the midpoint of the island’s southern shore. It offers a remote anchorage in beautiful natural surroundings that is just a mile east of Cobh’s town centre jetty.

Great Island is situated on the south coast of Ireland within Cork’s extensive natural harbour. This anchorage is located at the midpoint of the island’s southern shore. It offers a remote anchorage in beautiful natural surroundings that is just a mile east of Cobh’s town centre jetty.

Being on the south side of the island the anchorage offers good protection from all northerly quadrant winds. As part of the lower harbour it will never be subject to any big seaway from other quadrants but in these conditions, Cork Harbour offers a choice of more suitable locations within a short distance. Safe access is assured in all reasonable conditions by Cork Harbour, one of the most easily approached, well-marked and safest natural harbours in the world.
Please note

Although the Lower Harbour is very well marked for night navigation, owing to Cobh’s lights and the vast amount of markers, first-time visitors should prefer a day entry as it may prove challenging at night.

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Keyfacts for Cuskinny
HM  +353 21 4273125      info@portofcork.ie      Ch.12, 14, 16

About Cuskinny

The name Great Island is a shortening of the Irish name Oileán Móran Barraigh meaning "Great island of the Barrys". The latter referred to the powerful Barry family who occupied and settled the area during Norman times. Prior to their arrival, the island was called Oilean Ard na Neimheadh meaning the "High, as in status, island of Neimheadh" in deference to Neimheadh a legendary leader who invaded Ireland in ancient times.

Set in the centre of the island, and despite its proximity to Great Island’s main town of Cobh, the beautiful Cuskinny Bay and its immediate inshore area have been left almost entirely unaltered by human history. There are no known archaeological sites in this area of the island, but recent historical references indicate that mills did operate here when Cuskinny Marsh was named the ‘’Mill Pond”. However, no indications of any mills are visible today nor are they shown on any of the ordinance survey maps. The single historical mention attached to the area was an 1898 discovery of a cache of ancient Roman coins. But these were not thought to be from the Roman Empire period and probably came from a later time; most likely the 18th or 19th century when it was fashionable to bring roman coins back from Italy. If there is a single hallmark for this location it is the visible absence of human activity both past and present.

It is this very hallmark that is set to continue for future generations as the 12 hectares of land located along the lower reaches of the Ballyleary Stream and fronting the bay, have been turned into a privately owned nature reserve called the ‘Cuskinny Nature Reserve’. With the small exception of a small commercial forestry section, the entire area is given over to nature’s course and managed by Birdwatch Ireland (BWI). The reserve contains a mixture of lake, swamp, grassland and woodland habitats and is designated a Natural Heritage Area.

‘Cuskinny Nature Reserve’ is a cherished local amenity and used by local schools for educational purposes. Visiting boatmen should take care to only view the wildlife from the road that borders the reserve’s west and southern sides so as not to disturb the natural habitat in the relatively narrow reserve area. The bay, beach and disused quay are outside the reserve boundaries and are not subject to landing restrictions with respect to nature conservation.

Just a mile from Cobh town centre, this surprising natural hideaway is largely used as a ‘lunch stop’ location by Cork sailors. It also presents an ideal anchoring location for visiting boats to slip away from the hustle and bustle of Cobh's jetty’s for a peaceful night at anchor. Although most boating visitors will stay aboard to enjoy a quiet and convenient anchorage, a landing party, especially those who have an interest in bird watching will be well rewarded ashore.

Other options in this area

Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Cobh - 0.7 miles WSW
Cork City Marina - 4.8 miles WNW
Glenbrook - 1.5 miles W
Cork Harbour Marina - 1.5 miles WSW
Spike Island - 0.8 miles SW
Coastal anti-clockwise:
East Ferry Marina - 1.3 miles ENE
Northeast of Great Island - 1.7 miles NE
Aghada - 1.3 miles ESE
White Bay - 1.8 miles S
Ballycotton - 6.2 miles E

Navigational pictures

These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Cuskinny.

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