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Dunkerron

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Overview





Dunkerron Harbour is a sheltered anchorage situated on the north side of the Kenmare River about three miles southwestward of the town of Kenmare. It is a very good anchorage in a scenic setting with the choice of an old pier or a jetty to land upon or lay alongside overnight.

Dunkerron Harbour is a sheltered anchorage situated on the north side of the Kenmare River about three miles southwestward of the town of Kenmare. It is a very good anchorage in a scenic setting with the choice of an old pier or a jetty to land upon or lay alongside overnight.

Situated in the north end of the Kenmare River and sheltered behind two groups of islands the harbour offers good protection and complete protection to shallower vessels that can work their way into the harbours shallower arms. Access requires straightforward navigation to pass between the surrounding islands and outlying rocks but it may be approached at any stage of the tide.



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Keyfacts for Dunkerron
Facilities
Water available via tapShop with basic provisions availableShore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaBus service available in the area


Nature
Anchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterA secure location

Considerations
Note: could be two hours or more from the main waterways

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3.2 metres (10.5 feet).

Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
September 6th 2021

Summary

A completely protected location with safe access.

Facilities
Water available via tapShop with basic provisions availableShore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaBus service available in the area


Nature
Anchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterA secure location

Considerations
Note: could be two hours or more from the main waterways



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 51.891' N, 009° 39.131' W

This is where the deepest water anchorage may be found, southwestward of Reen Point and about 150 metres west-northwestward of Fox Islands.

What is the initial fix?

The following Dunkerron Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
51° 51.371' N, 009° 39.275' W
This is located to the south of the approach path between the islands of Illaungowla and Dunkerron Island West that permits access to the harbour area.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Mizen Head to Loop Head Route location.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Dunkerron for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Ormond's Harbour - 4.4 nautical miles SW
  2. Glengarriff Harbour - 8.4 nautical miles SSE
  3. Kilmakilloge Harbour - 9.1 nautical miles SW
  4. Sneem Harbour - 9.6 nautical miles WSW
  5. Ardgroom Harbour - 10.7 nautical miles SW
  6. Adrigole - 11.1 nautical miles SSW
  7. Bantry Harbour - 13 nautical miles SSE
  8. Ballycrovane Harbour - 14.5 nautical miles SW
  9. Lonehort Harbour - 14.7 nautical miles SSW
  10. Mill Cove - 14.9 nautical miles SSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Ormond's Harbour - 4.4 miles SW
  2. Glengarriff Harbour - 8.4 miles SSE
  3. Kilmakilloge Harbour - 9.1 miles SW
  4. Sneem Harbour - 9.6 miles WSW
  5. Ardgroom Harbour - 10.7 miles SW
  6. Adrigole - 11.1 miles SSW
  7. Bantry Harbour - 13 miles SSE
  8. Ballycrovane Harbour - 14.5 miles SW
  9. Lonehort Harbour - 14.7 miles SSW
  10. Mill Cove - 14.9 miles SSW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
Templenoe stone pier in the western end of Dunkerron
Image: Michael Harpur


Dunkerron Harbour lies on the north side of the main navigational channel of the Kenmare River, between Dunkerron Islands, to the southeast, and the Cappenacush and Greenane Islands, to the west. The protected inlet is to the largest part in a natural setting with the only man-made structures being the small pretty Templenoe stone pier, dry at low water, in its western end, and the Dromquinna Manor Hotel in the east end. The inlet provides a well-sheltered anchoring area with ample depths with excellent mud holding as well as the possibility of coming alongside the hotel's jetty.

Local boat on a mooring in the west end of Dunkerron Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur



Depths are sufficient for vessels of 3.2 draught to lie afloat about 300 metres south of Reen Point. Shallow-draft vessels will find better protection further west with depths reducing to about 1.4 metres west of Dromquinna Manor Hotel's jetty. As the bottom is soft a vessel carrying any draught could progress into marginal waters on the tide and partially sink into the mud at low water.

Dromquinna Manor Hotel jetty and pier in the east end of the inlet
Image: Michael Harpur



The hotel jetty has 1.8 metres on its west side and vessels may lay alongside by arrangement with the hotel. The bottom of the inlet is of soft mud so vessels that can take the ground may also dry in safety.


How to get in?
Dunkerron tucked in behind the Cappenacush and Greenane Islands
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Approaches are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Mizen Head to Loop Head Route location. The channel to the upper part of the Kenmare River narrows 1½ miles before the Dunkerron Initial Fix is approached by Brennel Island on the south shore and Carrignaronebeg Rock, which are made known by lateral marks.

The 3-metre high Brennel Island is the highest part of a reef that extends a ⅓ of a mile from the south shore. Its outer eastern rock, Bat Rock with 0.8 metres of water over it uncovering at half-tide, is situated 230 metres to the north of the island and is marked by a buoy to the north.

Bat Rock – Starboard Buoy Fl G5s position: 51° 50.914'N, 009° 40.929'W

Carrignaronebeg rock lies in the middle of the Kenmare River opposite. It dries to 2.6 metres but covers at high water and is marked by the Carrignaronebeg buoy.

Carrignaronebeg - Port Buoy Fl R5s position: 51° 51.102'N, 009° 41.368'W

The pass between Bat Rock and the Carrignaronebeg Rocks is 500 metres wide and has 11 to 17 metres of water.

A small detached pinnacle rock called Bowlings Rock has 0.8 metres of water LAT and lies ¾ of a mile to the east of Carrignaronebeg.


The entrance to Dunkerron
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the initial fix, the harbour is entered between the small Illaungowla islet and Dunkerron Island West ½ to the east. Leave the drying Cod Rock South, drying to 3 metres, and Cod Rock North, drying to 2.4 metres, to port, or west. Keep a reef extending 100 metres off the Fox Islands, terminating with The Boar rock, to starboard or east.


Best depths are to be found to the northwest of Fox Islands and between it and
Reen Point

Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Anchor according to draft and conditions. Last surveyed in 1854 and 1900, the harbour seems to have more water than charted. Depths in excess of 3.2 metres LAT can be found southwestward of Reen Point, about 150 metres west-northwestward of Fox Island. 1.8 metres is available about midway between Reen Point and the Fox Islands.


The east end of Dunkerron
Image: Michael Harpur


About 1.4 metres will be found to the west of the pier, which is locally called the White Quay. In all cases, the harbour’s deep cloying black mud offers excellent holding.
Please note

This can get all over the foredeck when departing so it is advisable to have a bucket of water and brush to hand when weighing anchor.



Boats moored off the Dromquinna Manor Hotel pier
Image: Michael Harpur



A narrow dredged channel leads from the deep water into the jetty that follows the projection of the east side of the pier. It is best to approach on a half tide, but as the bottom is so soft, miscalculations of the channel or tide will cause little upset. East of the jetty the depths are very shallow at low tide.


Dromquinna Manor Hotel jetty
Image: Michael Harpur


It is also possible to land at Templenoe Pier which dries on the north shore. The pier is in excellent condition and it offers the possibility of coming alongside and drying out for those that can take to the bottom.

Templenoe pier at high water
Image: Michael Harpur



Why visit here?
Dunkerron receives its name from the Irish Dún Ciarán, meaning 'Ciarán's fort'. The name refers to the 13th-century tower house Dunkerron Castle located on the north shore.


Dunkerron Castle
Image: Mike Searle via CC BY SA 2.0


The ancient Dún name however suggests that this was a fortified location long before the introduction of castles into Ireland. The first four-storey tower house was built in the 13th century on a limestone outcrop as a Norman, Carew, stronghold. Several later structures of the castle, including an enclosed court, date to the late 16th century. This was the time when Owen O'Sullivan became 'Chief of the Name' and acceded to the title of 'O'Sullivan Mór' – 'big' or 'great 'O'Sullivan'. An inscribed plaque, dated 1596, recorded the castle's association with the O'Sullivan Mór and MacCarthy Reagh dynasties.


Dunkerron Castle
Image: Mike Searle via CC BY SA 2.0


The main O'Sullivan Mór familial seat moved to nearby Cappanacush Castle during the 17th century, during which time both castles were defended by the O'Sullivan Mór clan. The O'Sullivan's would retain control until the mid-17th century Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. Then the castles and lands were confiscated from John O'Sullivan, Owen O'Sullivan's would have been his grandfather, under the 1652 Act for the Settlement of Ireland where it was assigned to Cromwellian supporter William Petty. Later O'Sullivan attempts to have the lands returned were not successful.


Templenoe Pier is popular with swimmers
Image: Michael Harpur


Today the O’Sullivan clan was very prominent in Kerry and to this day the O’Sullivan name is very common in Kerry. Their castle is not so easy to find and walking boots are recommended. It is best found by locating the Dunkerron Holiday Homes and the castle ruin will be found behind. The hike is well worth it as, although in a poor shape and only a single complete wall still stands, it remains a striking feature that carries through time a feeling of strength and dominance.


Tranquil Dunkerron Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


Templenoe Pier takes its name from the civil parish in which it and the castle are situated. There are many places in Ireland called Templenoe, or Templenua, as the name simply means 'new church. The name is used to distinguish an area from some older church in the neighbourhood just as Kilnoe or Kilnue, 'new church' is also a common townland name. Its Irish name is 'Assroe' or 'Eas Rua' that translates to 'red waterfall'. This refers to the water in the stream flowing in alongside being very rusty as it flows down from red sandstone hills above.


Boats anchored in the east end of the harbour near the head of the white Quay
Image: Michael Harpur


The pretty stone pier looks out over a pretty 'bay of islands' with the three groups of large and well-wooded islands calling out to be explored. All the islands are largely unmanaged and overgrown almost to the point of being impenetrable and when the water is away are surrounded by extensive glutinous mudflats that are almost impossible to escape from. The Greenanes are much more attractive to picnic upon, as they have some clear spaces. The two large and well-wooded islands to the south also call out to be explored. The wooded Dunkerron Island West is grazed by horses that are mainly found around the east-facing bay and Dunkerron Island East is grazed by goats.


The Boathouse Bistro at the root of the White Quay
Image: Michael Harpur


Those who are looking for easier access and dining may turn to 'The Boathouse Bistro' hosted by the Dromquinna Manor above the jetty and overlooking the east end of the harbour. Dromquinna Manor, dating from the 1890s, is a mid-Victorian house built by Sir John Columb who was the local landlord of the time. It is set on 40 acres of parkland, planted in the 1800s, and in recent times it was converted into a hotel.


Dunkerron offers a peaceful alternative to Kenmare wher a boat can remain afloat
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating point of view, Dunkerron Harbour not alone offers a wonderful safe, scenic and peaceful anchorage but also the perfect base for boats visiting the lovely town of Kenmare. Kenmare is just 3 miles away and as its quay dries and is more than busy, Dunkerron makes for the perfect base to stay afloat and make runs the final few miles by tender or road. The harbour is not without its own comforts as good meals can be had in' The Boathouse Bistro', and moorings or an alongside berth are available by arrangement in advance. It is also possible to leave a boat here for some time as transport connections are excellent and as shelter and holding is very good here.


What facilities are available?
Water on the pier, but no power. The extensive hotel has all the facilities you would expect including showers. The touring caravan park has good provisioning capabilities. Templenoe, 1.5 km westward, has a post office and pub. Kenmare for everything else.


With thanks to:
Peter Craven





View at anchorage from The Boathouse Bistro
Image: eOceanic thanks PETER CRAVEN


The Boathouse Bistro
Image: eOceanic thanks PETER CRAVEN

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