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Ard na Caithne (Irish pronunciation: [ˈaːɾˠd̪ˠ nˠə ˈkanʲə]), (English: Smerwick) meaning height of the arbutus or strawberry tree, in the heart of the Kerry Gaeltacht, is one of the principal bays of Corca Dhuibhne. It is nestled at the foot of An Triúr Deirfiúr and Cnoc Bhréanainn, which at 952 metres (3,123 ft) is the highest mountain in the Brandon group. Bounded by the villages of Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, Baile na nGall and Ard na Caithne itself, the area is what has been known as the Fíor-Ghaeltacht, or true Gaeltacht, in recent decades.

Ard na Caithne

Ard na Caithne is located in Ireland
Ard na Caithne
Ard na Caithne
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°11′17″N 10°25′14″W / 52.188141°N 10.420532°W / 52.188141; -10.420532Coordinates: 52°11′17″N 10°25′14″W / 52.188141°N 10.420532°W / 52.188141; -10.420532
CountyCounty Kerry
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceQ347072
Ard na Caithne.

Ard na Caithne (old anglicised form Ardnaconnia) was also known in Irish as Iorras Tuaiscirt ("north peninsula") and Gall-Iorras ("peninsula of the strangers").

Early Christian historyEdit

Ard na Caithne has a significant place in both the history of south-west Munster and Ireland. The early Christian Gallarus Oratory and Mainistir Riaisc monastic site nearby are central archeological and tourist attractions.[citation needed]

Desmond Rebellions - Dún an ÓirEdit

The Holy See had pronounced in 1570 in the papal bull Regnans in Excelsis that Elizabeth was not Ireland's legitimate queen, but had not formally declared war on her. James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald landed a small invasion force in July 1579, quietly funded by the Holy See, initiating the second Desmond rebellion, but was killed a month later. On 10 September 1580, a force of some 600 Italian- and Spanish-origin mercenaries, combined with some Irish and English Catholics, all commanded by Sebastiano di San Giuseppi, landed with arms for several thousand men to support the rebellion carrying a banner blessed by the Pope[clarification needed] bearing the coat of arms of Fitzmaurice. San Giuseppi's force occupied Dún an Óir ('Fort of the Gold'), an Iron age Promontory fort located near the harbour.

The force was accompanied by Dr Nicholas Sanders, a Jesuit theologian bearing the respect and backing of two of the Catholic kings of Europe; neither of whom were, however, formally at war with the Kingdom of Ireland. This precipitated the Siege of Smerwick, which culminated with their surrender to English and Irish Royal Army forces under the command of The 14th Baron Grey de Wilton, Lord Deputy of Ireland. Excepting 20 or 30 officers, they were all executed as outlaws immediately after the surrender was complete[1], probably on the orders of Lord Grey de Wilton. The killing was later brought against Raleigh as one of the charges at his trial; he avoided conviction by pleading that he had to obey the orders of his superior officer.[2]

Ard na Caithne HarbourEdit

The harbour where Fitzmaurice's invasion force landed was also the landfall of the returning transatlantic expedition of Sir Martin Frobisher in 1578.[3]

Piaras FeiritéarEdit

In the nearby Caisleán an Fheirtéaraigh lived the famous 17th-century poet and Hiberno-Norman lord Piaras Feiritéar. Feiritéar's life was anything but uninteresting and in both his poetry and actions he won enormous support and honour from his community. He was executed at the hands of the Cromwellians in Killarney in 1653, following the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, for his part in the Irish Rebellion of 1641. His death was known in the region, and he remains a folk hero in the local community today.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Palmer, William (March 2017). "Early Modern Irish Exceptionalism Revisited". Historian. 79 (1): 9–31. doi:10.1111/hisn.12419. Retrieved 10 July 2017 – via EBSCO's Academic Serch Complete (subscription required)
  2. ^ Desmond Rebellions - Dún an Óir,; accessed 28 September 2015.
  3. ^ Discovery of Martin Frobisher's Baffin Island "ore" in Ireland,; accessed 28 September 2015.

External linksEdit

  • Entry,; accessed 28 September 2015.