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Ballyvourney & Around

Ballyvourney Baile Bhuirne, meaning "Town of the Beloved" is a Gaeltacht village in south-west Cork.

Today, the district gives its name to the Muskerry Gaeltacht which is an officially designated Irish-speaking area. While the inhabitants of the area know Irish well, English has been the predominant household and community language since the 1920s. The Village is associated with Saint Gobnait and is the site of her abbey, cells and St. Gobnait's Well. Her Pattern Day, February 11, is still celebrated by the community. During a Mass at the well, everyone takes water from it. According to legend, Gobnait was born in County Clare in the 6th century. Fleeing from Clare, she took refuge in the Aran Islands, where she encountered an angel who instructed her to go on a journey. The angel told her that when she came upon nine white deer, that would be her place. When she found the nine white deer in Baile Bhuirne, she stayed and founded a convent. The remains of the convent are still the locus of pilgrimage, which while it is ostensibly Christian, may well be pagan in origin.

 St Gobnait Statue
St Gobnait Statue

Seán Ó Riada

The composer Seán Ó Riada is buried in the cemetery there. The abbey contains an example of a Sheela na Gig and there are a number of stone circles, stone rows and fulachtaí fia in the area.The poet Seán Ó Ríordáin was born in the town. Ballyvourney is also the home of Ionad Cultúrtha  which is a regional cultural centre for the traditional and contemporary arts. It holds many music and visual art events.The village gives its name to an Irish dance figure - the Baile Bhuire Set


The Toy Soldier Factory

Toy Soldier Factory is one of Ireland's best hidden secrets It is only 15mins drive from The Mills Inn. A trip to the Visitor Centre is both an educational and fun experience for all the family. The Factory produces hundreds of different black vulcanised rubber moulds that allow you, the customer, to cast your own model soldiers, chess sets and other figures and animals in metal as many times as you wish.Thousands of tourists every year visit the Toy Soldier Factory and experience first-hand how to cast and paint a miniature in their 30mins or 60mins workshops which are held daily from 10am to 4pm daily 7 days a week.

The gift shop is filled with hand painted soldiers and themed chess sets from many time periods in history as well as fantasy creatures, even jolly little leprechauns. The Visitor Centre also has an impressive collection of gorgeous jewellery, statues, pewter, silver, pottery, glass and leather giftware from many local Irish artists. Opening times are from 9am - 5pm Mon-Fri - Saturdays & Sundays 10am-5pm


Ionad Cultúrtha:

The aim of Ionad Cultúrtha in Ballyvourney is to promote high quality arts in the Gaeltacht in Cork and to encourage public interest and participation in the arts. Ionad Cultúrtha offers a challenging programme - including classes, workshops, concerts, contemporary dance performances and art exhibitions - which places this centre at the heart of artistic life in the Muskerry Gaeltacht. Ionad Cultúrtha has hosted concerts by many well-known musicians such as: Frankie Gavin, Jackie Daly, Sliabh Notes, Peadar O Riada, Iarla O Lionáird, Liam O Flynn, John Carty, Matt Molloy, John Spillane, Noel Hill, Tony Mc Mahon and Steve Cooney.Classical and chamber music concerts are also performed in Ionad Cultúrtha and in particular since a Grand Piano was bought (in memory of Séan Ó Riada) the likes of John Gibson, Micheál O Rourke, Catherine Leonard and Hugh Tinney have performed in the auditorium. As well as offering traditional and classical artforms to the public, Ionad Cultúrtha also maintains its commitment to offering contemporary and innovative artforms -contemporary dance performances and visual art programmes. Ionad Cultúrtha runs an art-for-older people programme and also hosts visual art exhibitions on a regular basis.Most recently, the 'Leabhar Mór' was on exhibit at the centre, as was also the inter-disciplinary performance installation idir, which featured Iarla O Lionáird, Fearghus O Conchúir, Bernadette Ní Choitir, Bob Rasmussen and Chris Hurley. úrthaionad cultúrtha.Check out up coming events by clicking here 

Macroom Farmers Market

The Market takes place every Tuesday from 9am-2pm in Macroom, County Cork. Shoppers will be able to buy fresh local produce and goods such as fruit and vegetables, flowers, honey, jams and a selection of clothes and shoes. The town boasts some beautiful walks and one of its greatest amenities is the Castle Grounds. These grounds comprise of the local G.A.A grounds, a top class golf course and they are also home to Bishop McEgan College. On the approach into town from the Cork side a large sculpture of a bronze bull denotes the long standing friendship and reliance that the farming community and the local townspeople enjoy from each other. Macroom town is 20mins from the Mills Inn.

The Ring of Kerry

The ring is a 179-km-long circular tourist route in County Kerry. " The Ring" is a popular day trip and numerous bus companies offer trips during the summer months. As the narrow roads make it difficult for tour coaches to pass, all tour buses run in an anti-clockwise (or counter-clockwise) direction, traveling via Killorglin first. It is recommended that car owners travel in the opposite direction, going first to Kenmare to avoid delays caused by tour buses. The Ring of Kerry is 30mins from The Mills Inn.