Ballinspittle

Ballinspittle or  Béal Átha an Spidéil as it is known in Irish, is a small village in the parish of Courceys, just a few kilometres southwest of Kinsale.

Ballinspittle or  Béal Átha an Spidéil as it is known in Irish, is a small village in the parish of Courceys, just a few kilometres southwest of Kinsale.

It is an area with a rich and exciting history, which goes back centuries. The parish in which the village is situated is named for the de Courcey Family, who themselves had a somewhat chequered fortune and whose legacy adorns the landscape in the shape of atmospheric ruined towers.

Ballinspittle_overview1Ballinspittle itself, a once sleepy village, was made famous in the mid-1980s by the Moving Statue when some locals claimed to have witnessed the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary moving spontaneously at the Ballinspittle Grotto. As news of the phenomenon spread, thousands of pilgrims and spectators flocked to the site of the statue. Many of the visitors claimed they had observed similar movements. The phenomenon remains a rich topic for debate in the local community.

Since that time, the village and surrounding area has seen great development while maintaining a strong sense of identity, offering the cream of traditional and modern, homegrown and diverse, in an area renowned for its exceptional natural beauty. Close by are the Blue Flag beaches of Garrylucas and Garrettstown.

The famous Irish Tenor Finbar Wright grew up in the townland of Kilmore just outside of the village.

For most people in Courcey’s the lifeblood of the parish is the GAA club. Courcey Rovers GAA Club was founded in 1947 when the Ballinspittle and Ballinadee clubs agreed to merge to form one single club.

Every year, in the closing weeks of July, Ballinspittle and neighbouring village Ballinadee, throw open their doors for the Ballinspittle Festival, extending a warm welcome to visitors and residents alike. This exciting and fun-fuelled event includes live music, fancy dress parades, sporting events, a country market, sea-side activities and novelty races to name but a few of its attractions. The varied program reflects the quality and diversity of life in this vibrant coastal community and showcases just a taste of what is available to do in this beautiful area, throughout the year.

DIRECTIONS: Located on the R600, 35km west of Cork city, 8km from Kinsale.

SPECIAL AREAS OF CONSERVATION: Garretstown Marsh, Garrylucas Marsh.

VILLAGES NEARBY:

Ballinadee

Ballinadee is a charming village which lies 9 km south east of Bandon and is a close neighbour of Ballinspittle. In summertime the houses in Ballinadee are decked in floral displays and a picnic area at the bridge makes a perfect stop off point to enjoy the sounds of the river and wildlife.

Garrettstown

Garrettstown beach is a stunning Blue Flag beach just a few minutes from Ballinspittle. A popular surfing spot, it is also a good Bass fishing beach. Fish the smaller beach from low tide up but beware a lot of surfers during the day.

Ancient historical sites in the Ballinspittle area include Ballycatten Fort, which dates from the Sixth Century, and Curtapurteen, which, according to legend, Saint Patrick once visited. The Old Head of Kinsale is a site of ancient and present-day lighthouses, as well as a golf links.

In 1833 Ballinspittle National School was built, it was the first national school in Ireland after Catholic Emancipation. It continued to be in use for 132 years until it was replaced in 1965 by the present school.

Swimming

This part of West Cork is very well known for its beaches with both Garrylucas and Garrettstown achieving Blue Flags for excellence of water quality. Great for swimming and surfing in summer or just walking whilst listening to the birds and waves on clear winter days.

Garrylucas is a sandy beach with sand dunes in parts. Located beside the R604 road and adjacent to Kilcolman Marsh and The Old Head of Kinsale. The beach is lifeguarded during the bathing season (lifeguard times and days are posted on the information noticeboard at the beach). Access to the beach is by ramps and steps.

Garretstown is a sandy beach located on the R604 road and adjacent to Kilcolman Marsh and The Old Head of Kinsale and within a short distance of Ballinspittle village by car. Public parking and toilets are provided adjacent to the beach and lifeguards are on duty on weekends during the bathing season (lifeguard times are displayed on the information noticeboard at the beach).  Access to the beach by ramps and steps. Wheelchair access is provided.

Golf / Pitch & Putt

Garrettstown Pitch and Putt Club is nearby while the Old Head of Kinsale is home to a world-class private championship Golf Course.