Information about Clonakilty
Clonakilty is a busy market town, but is only 3 km from one of the largest and most popular beaches in West Cork and is the centre for family holidays in this part of the county. It is about 40 km from Cork City and to the west of the town the landscape dissolves into a succession of bays and peninsulas along the coast or increasingly mountainous terrain inland.
It is a prosperous and bright town today but was notorious for suffering in the Irish Famine (1845-47) and was also the home town of Michael Collins, Ireland's lost leader, who was killed in the civil war, after concluding the Treaty of Independeance with Great Britain in 1921.
Image: Clonakilty library
Culture and Music
Clonakilty's position as a centre of music, both traditional and contemporary, has helped this small town to become a thriving melting pot of musicians. Clonakilty's bars host live music nights throughout the year and it is possible to find live music on most nights. Many famous musicians have found a welcome and a home here, and have contributed much to the energy and vibrancy of the town.
The town hosts several festivals every year, among these are The Clonakilty International Guitar Festival in mid-September, The Motion festival and The Waterfront Festival in August.
Clonakilty is known for its black pudding. The famous Clonakilty Blackpudding originated in Twomey's butcher shop in Pearse Street. The secret spice recipe has been handed down through the generations since the 1880s. To this day, the secret recipe is only known to the Twomey family.
The Model Village - in Clonakilty is a leading tourist destination in the Clonakilty area, it is an excellent way to start a tour of the region. The village is a fully scaled model of a West Cork town that grew along the old railway line between 1930 and 1950. Built on a miniature of the Railway line, you can enjoy a unique overview of the character and history of a heritage town. Location: Inchydoney Road, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
Michael Collins House Musuem - is another key tourist attraction in the area. The museum is set out in a restored Georgian town house on Emmet Square, where Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins lived from 1903 to 1905. The museum explores the history of Irish independence told through the story of three local patriots; Tadhg an Asna and the 1798 Rebellion, Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa and the Irish Republican Brotherhood/Fenians and, of course, Michael Collins. Interactive displays, audiovisuals, information boards, and historical artifacts bring the history to life for all ages. Location: 7 Emmet Square, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
Clonakilty is the home of the famous and world's only "Random Acts of Kindness Festival" set up in 2012 by the local Clonakilty Macra na Feirme Club. The festival aims to celebrate the welcoming and warm hearted nature of not only the Clonakilty community but also of the Irish people as a whole. The Festival is held each year on the third weekend in July, with the motto: "Cut the Misery and Spread the Positivity".
There are many historical attractions in the town for example the Clonakilty Museum, the Georgian ouses of Emmet Square and the Micheal Collins Centre which is located a few miles east of the town. A Farmers Market takes place at O'Donovans alley every Friday.
The Blue Flag beach at Inchydoney Island, just a few miles from Clonakilty, is renowned not only as one of the most family friendly beaches in West Cork but also as one of the most beautiful. With vast expanses of sand, dunes and excellent surfing conditions there really is something for everyone.
About 15 minutes from Clonakilty and looking out over the Galley Head lighthouse is the aptly named Long Strand. A mile and a half of sand bounded by waves of dunes this is the perfect place to stretch your legs and breath in the fresh Atlantic air. The top end is a haven for surfers but the rest of the beach is unsafe for bathing due to a dangerous undertow.