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Dunboy Bay & Traillaun Harbour

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Overview





Dunboy Bay is located within Bantry Bay, on Ireland’s southwest coast, just off Bearhaven’s western entrance. It provides an anchorage in a secluded area of great beauty, in Co. Cork on the southwest coast of Ireland.

Dunboy Bay is located within Bantry Bay, on Ireland’s southwest coast, just off Bearhaven’s western entrance. It provides an anchorage in a secluded area of great beauty, in Co. Cork on the southwest coast of Ireland.

Situated within the highly protected area of water that lies between Bear Island and the mainland, the anchorage provides shelter from all weather conditions except for very strong easterlies. However, protection may be found from these by moving up into Traillaun Harbour, draft permitting. Daylight access is straightforward as Dunboy Bay is situated off the well-marked western entrance to Bearhaven but the bay itself has some rocks that are easily circumvented. At low water all rocks dry, making navigation very easy.



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Keyfacts for Dunboy Bay & Traillaun Harbour



Last modified
May 10th 2018

Summary

A good location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Hot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this location



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 38.024' N, 009° 55.444' W

The anchorage is to the north of the ruins of the older and less conspicuous O'Sullivan Bere Castle on Dunboy Point.

What is the initial fix?

The following Dunboy Bay initial fix will set up a final approach:
51° 38.010' N, 009° 54.845' W
This position is approximately 600 metres east of Dunboy Point and on the Western Entrance 024° T leading light and beacon on Dinish Island.


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 Dunboy Bay & Traillaun Harbour for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Castletownbere (Castletown Bearhaven) - 0.6 miles NE
  2. Mill Cove - 1.5 miles ENE
  3. Lawrence Cove - 2.3 miles E
  4. Lonehort Harbour - 2.9 miles E
  5. Ballycrovane Harbour - 3 miles NNW
  6. Ardgroom Harbour - 4.6 miles NNE
  7. Garnish Bay - 4.7 miles W
  8. Ballynatra - 4.8 miles SE
  9. Adrigole - 5.1 miles ENE
  10. Dooneen Pier - 5.2 miles ESE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Castletownbere (Castletown Bearhaven) - 0.6 miles NE
  2. Mill Cove - 1.5 miles ENE
  3. Lawrence Cove - 2.3 miles E
  4. Lonehort Harbour - 2.9 miles E
  5. Ballycrovane Harbour - 3 miles NNW
  6. Ardgroom Harbour - 4.6 miles NNE
  7. Garnish Bay - 4.7 miles W
  8. Ballynatra - 4.8 miles SE
  9. Adrigole - 5.1 miles ENE
  10. Dooneen Pier - 5.2 miles ESE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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How to get in?
Dunboy Bay is the southernmost of three inlets that entered to the west of Bere Island, between Dunboy Point and Kealamullagh Point located a ⅓ of a mile to the northeast. It is readily identified by the refurbished Dunboy House, now Dunboy Castle Hotel, overlooking the anchorage from the head of the bay.

Use the directions provided for Castletownbere Click to view haven, also known as Castletown Bearhaven, for approaches to and from Bearhaven.

Initial fix location From the initial fix the distinctive Colt Rock Marker will be seen north of the entrance to Dunboy Bay. Red with a red horse on top, it marks Colt Rock that uncovers on the last quarter ebb.

Colt Rock Perch - (unlighted) position: 51° 38.068’N 009° 55.087’W

Turn to the west off the main channel and pass into the south side of Dunboy Bay which is free of obstruction, keeping Colt Rock Perch, foul all round for 50 metres, to starboard whilst steering towards the shallow creek that leads to Dunboy House Hotel. The best approach is midway between Colt Rock and Dunboy Point where the latter has foul ground running off the shoreline for about 50 metres.

The key rock to identify next is the mid-harbour Dunboy Rock that dries to 1.5 metres and is situated about 200 metres north of Dunboy Point.

Dunboy Rock – reported red buoy position: 51° 38.075’N 009° 55.430’W

Dunboy Rock had a perch that has been replaced by an informal red mooring-like buoy that marks it today. If the buoy is not present a safe transit can be made by using a transit provided by a solitary ash tree situated on the edge of the grass above the seawall before Dunboy House. Keeping the central doorway of Dunboy House in clear view to the left of the ash tree passes clear south of Dunboy Rock.



Likewise keeping Colt Rock north of east keeps a vessel south of Dunboy Rock. At low water, Dunboy Rock is clearly visible often with its marker buoy high and dry upon it.
Please note

At high water the Dunboy Rock marker buoy looks like a mooring buoy and is easily mistaken for a safe berthing position.

.

Haven location Anchor just to the west of the midpoint between Dunboy Rock and the mainland, beneath the ruins of the older and less conspicuous O'Sullivan Castle on Dunboy Point. The area has mud throughout with very good holding. Land on the small beach that is situated under the castle ruins on Dunboy Point.
Please note

The pier beneath Dunboy House is unusable.





It is also possible to move further up into Traillaun Harbour. Vessels proceeding into Traillaun Harbour should note the position of a second rock, about 100 metres directly north of Dunboy Rock, that also dries to 1 metre. It is in line and almost central between Dunboy Rock and a reef that extends westward from Kealamullagh Point that has a permanently dry 1.5 metres high point at its outer end.


Why visit here?
Dunboy and Traillaun Harbours are worth visiting simply for the beauty of the location and the peace and quiet they offer. It is also a touchstone site in the history of the nation.

The haven’s historical roots are immediately evident upon entry in the form of the impressive Dunboy Castle, recently restored and now the Dunboy Castle Hotel. Originally a vast 19th-century house it was built in a mixture of styles by the Puxley family, who made their fortunes from copper mines, but the castle was burned out by the IRA in 1920 and the family departed. However, the roofless shell of the castle was well preserved and the building was completely restored in 2009. The surrounding woods are open to the public with picnic areas and walks.

Close by, lies the older and highly significant remains of Dunboy Castle which was reduced to rubble by the forces of Elizabeth I in 1602, during the Siege of Dunboy, and which was to be a final turning point in the history of the Irish nation. Dunboy Castle was the stronghold of the Gaelic clan leader and 'Chief of Dunboy' O'Sullivan Bere. Originally a tower was constructed to guard and defend the harbour of Berehaven, and its presence enabled O'Sullivan Bere to control the sea fisheries off the Irish coast and collect sizeable taxes from Irish and Continental fishing vessels sheltering in the haven. It had been a centre for the import/export trade to and from the Continent.

O'Sullivan was part of a confederation of Gaelic leaders who, with the support of Spanish aid, rebelled against Elizabeth I of England. He was aided by King Philip III of Spain, who sent an invasion force to Kinsale under the command of Don Juan del Águila. Following the 1601 defeat of the Gaelic Clans at Kinsale, Águila surrendered to the Queen's Lord Deputy, Lord Mountjoy, and the northern chiefs departed. This left the southern part of Ireland still in rebellion and Donal Cam O'Sullivan Bere the last of the Gaelic chieftains still holding out. O'Sullivan resolved to continue the fight and rallied his forces at Dunboy.

On June 1st and 2nd 1602 the English forces under Sir George Carew, Lord President of Munster, landed in Lonehort Harbour preparing to advance the final destruction of O'Sullivan's castle. Carew’s army crossed to the mainland to attack the fort on June 6. Even with its small garrison of 143 men, Dunboy Castle was thought to be impregnable. After a siege of 11 days, following a fierce artillery bombardment, the walls were smashed and after some desperate hand-to-hand fighting amid the rubble, the defenders were finally overcome. The 58 survivors of the siege were executed in the nearby market square. The Siege of Dunboy ultimately led to the breaking of the power of the O'Sullivan Bere family, finally putting an end to a Gaelic way of life.

On 31 December 1602, O'Sullivan Beare, who was not present during the siege, abandoned Beara and began the epic march of survival northwards. He fought a long rear-guard action across Ireland, during which the much larger English force and their Irish allies fought him all the way. The march is one of the most poignant in Irish history and was marked by enormous suffering as the fleeing and starving O'Sullivans sought food from an already decimated Irish countryside in winter, often resulting in hostility. On their arrival at the O'Rourke's castle in Leitrim on 4 January 1603, only 35 of the original 1,000 remained; many had died in battles or from exposure and hunger, and others had settled along the route. In Leitrim, O'Sullivan sought to join with other northern chiefs to fight the English and organised a force to this end. Resistance ended when Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, signed the Treaty of Mellifont. O'Sullivan, like other members of the Gaelic nobility of Ireland who fled, sought exile, making his escape to Spain by ship. He was subsequently murdered returning from Mass.

Today the best place to land and visit the castles is at the small beach beneath O'Sullivan Bere’s castle. The grassy mounds of the lower wall of the castle make for an ideal place to have a picnic.

From a boating point of view, this is a wonderful anchorage to take shelter and immerse oneself in the surrounding history and beautiful scenery. It is a truly beautiful anchorage under the castle and the mature woodland that is rare this far west.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities at this location except for a beach to land a dinghy on that has road access.


Any security concerns?
Never an incident known to have occurred at this location; you will be most likely to be here on your own.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photography with thanks to Burke Corbett.


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Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.















Overviews of the bay area




Dunboy Castle before it was restored


About Dunboy Bay & Traillaun Harbour

Dunboy and Traillaun Harbours are worth visiting simply for the beauty of the location and the peace and quiet they offer. It is also a touchstone site in the history of the nation.

The haven’s historical roots are immediately evident upon entry in the form of the impressive Dunboy Castle, recently restored and now the Dunboy Castle Hotel. Originally a vast 19th-century house it was built in a mixture of styles by the Puxley family, who made their fortunes from copper mines, but the castle was burned out by the IRA in 1920 and the family departed. However, the roofless shell of the castle was well preserved and the building was completely restored in 2009. The surrounding woods are open to the public with picnic areas and walks.

Close by, lies the older and highly significant remains of Dunboy Castle which was reduced to rubble by the forces of Elizabeth I in 1602, during the Siege of Dunboy, and which was to be a final turning point in the history of the Irish nation. Dunboy Castle was the stronghold of the Gaelic clan leader and 'Chief of Dunboy' O'Sullivan Bere. Originally a tower was constructed to guard and defend the harbour of Berehaven, and its presence enabled O'Sullivan Bere to control the sea fisheries off the Irish coast and collect sizeable taxes from Irish and Continental fishing vessels sheltering in the haven. It had been a centre for the import/export trade to and from the Continent.

O'Sullivan was part of a confederation of Gaelic leaders who, with the support of Spanish aid, rebelled against Elizabeth I of England. He was aided by King Philip III of Spain, who sent an invasion force to Kinsale under the command of Don Juan del Águila. Following the 1601 defeat of the Gaelic Clans at Kinsale, Águila surrendered to the Queen's Lord Deputy, Lord Mountjoy, and the northern chiefs departed. This left the southern part of Ireland still in rebellion and Donal Cam O'Sullivan Bere the last of the Gaelic chieftains still holding out. O'Sullivan resolved to continue the fight and rallied his forces at Dunboy.

On June 1st and 2nd 1602 the English forces under Sir George Carew, Lord President of Munster, landed in Lonehort Harbour preparing to advance the final destruction of O'Sullivan's castle. Carew’s army crossed to the mainland to attack the fort on June 6. Even with its small garrison of 143 men, Dunboy Castle was thought to be impregnable. After a siege of 11 days, following a fierce artillery bombardment, the walls were smashed and after some desperate hand-to-hand fighting amid the rubble, the defenders were finally overcome. The 58 survivors of the siege were executed in the nearby market square. The Siege of Dunboy ultimately led to the breaking of the power of the O'Sullivan Bere family, finally putting an end to a Gaelic way of life.

On 31 December 1602, O'Sullivan Beare, who was not present during the siege, abandoned Beara and began the epic march of survival northwards. He fought a long rear-guard action across Ireland, during which the much larger English force and their Irish allies fought him all the way. The march is one of the most poignant in Irish history and was marked by enormous suffering as the fleeing and starving O'Sullivans sought food from an already decimated Irish countryside in winter, often resulting in hostility. On their arrival at the O'Rourke's castle in Leitrim on 4 January 1603, only 35 of the original 1,000 remained; many had died in battles or from exposure and hunger, and others had settled along the route. In Leitrim, O'Sullivan sought to join with other northern chiefs to fight the English and organised a force to this end. Resistance ended when Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, signed the Treaty of Mellifont. O'Sullivan, like other members of the Gaelic nobility of Ireland who fled, sought exile, making his escape to Spain by ship. He was subsequently murdered returning from Mass.

Today the best place to land and visit the castles is at the small beach beneath O'Sullivan Bere’s castle. The grassy mounds of the lower wall of the castle make for an ideal place to have a picnic.

From a boating point of view, this is a wonderful anchorage to take shelter and immerse oneself in the surrounding history and beautiful scenery. It is a truly beautiful anchorage under the castle and the mature woodland that is rare this far west.

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:
Dursey Sound - 5.2 miles WSW
Garnish Bay - 4.7 miles W
Ballycrovane Harbour - 3 miles NNW
Ardgroom Harbour - 4.6 miles NNE
Kilmakilloge Harbour - 5.5 miles NNE
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Castletownbere (Castletown Bearhaven) - 0.6 miles NE
Mill Cove - 1.5 miles ENE
Lawrence Cove - 2.3 miles E
Lonehort Harbour - 2.9 miles E
Adrigole - 5.1 miles ENE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Dunboy Bay & Traillaun Harbour.














Overviews of the bay area




Dunboy Castle before it was restored



A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


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