This famous and
epic march was undertaken by Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beara,
chieftain of the O' Sullivan Beara Clan, from the Beara
Peninsula to Leitrim passing through the Counties of Kerry,
Limerick, Tipperary, Offaly, Galway, Roscommon, Mayo & Sligo
happened as a result of the the Irish and the Spanish defeat
by the crown forces at the Battle of Kinsale which began on
the 17th of October 1601. A force of 3,400 Spanish soldiers
under the command of Aquilla were supported by O'Sullivan
Beara , O'Driscoll and the O'Connors of Kerry. Aquilla
surrendered on the 12th January 1602 and Donal Cam, rushed
back to Beara to to fortify Dunboy Castle home of
the O'Sullivan Beara Clan. The castle was attacked on June 6th
and fell to the Crown forces after 11 days under cannon fire.
Dunboy and Dursey Island castles were wiped out in June 1602,
O'Sullivan Beara went on a campaign of guerrilla warfare
around West Cork, taking at least six castles. By December
1602 he and his followers were camped in Glengarriff.
Crown forces, under Wilmot, attacked and took 4000 cattle and
200 sheep. Faced with overwhelming odds and starvation, the
O'Sullivans left Beara on their epic march to Leitrim to meet
was a group of 1000 men, women and children including members
from other clans. It was the first large-scale exodus of
people from Beara Peninsula. In mid January 1603 they reached
their destination. Only 35 people remained, many having dies
in battles or from exposure and hunger along the route and
many others having settled along the route where descendants
are still known as 'the Bearas' to this date
Beara Holiday Homes provides 4 star Bord Failte approved, self
catering holiday homes, which will form the perfect stepping
stone for anyone who wishes to embark on the adventures of
this exciting trail. We are
situated in Allihies, Beara near the picturesque
village of Allihies with panoramic sea and mountain views all around us.
Our three bedroom homes can accommodate up to six people and
our four bedroom homes can accommodate up to eight people - so
as you can see we can cater for groups, both large or small as
well as individuals and families alike.
Please click on map to enlarge
towns and villages, situated along the historic route in Beara.
Allihies - The picturesque village of Allihies is the
most westerly parish of County Cork and is home to the
spectacularly located ruins of the Allihies Copper Mines and
the beautiful, sandy Ballydonegan beach.
Castletownbere - This is the larges town on the Beara
Peninsula and was the ancestral home of Donal O'Sullivan
Beara, and is Ireland's larges white fishing port. Over 20,000
tonnes of fish are landed annually and exported to the gourmet
restaurants of the Continent.
Bere Island - this is just a short ferry trip away,
enclosing the natural sheltered harbour of Berehaven.
Scattered about the island are the remains of Victorian
military forts, Martello towers and ancient sites.
Eyeries - this village has beautifully painted houses
and flower displays on nearly every window. many films and
television advertisements have been filmed here.
Ardgroom - Like Eyeries this village displays many
colourful houses and also is home to Glenbed & Derryvegal
lakes, both of which provides good trout fishing. Beyond this
village is a stone circle, one of the many archaeological
sites on the peninsula.
The Heritage Council of Ireland has decided that the historic
route from the Beara Peninsula to Breifne will form part of
the European Greenways trail. It will be developed as a long
distance walking, cycling,
heritage and clan route, eventually linking with walking and
cycling routes in Northern Ireland.
So if your
passion is waling, cycling, heritage, traditional music or
Irish language and Irish culture throughout the centuries is
or if your surname is associated with one of the famous clan
names or heritage houses along the route, please check the
list of events on
Click here for the Official Beara
Breifne Greenways Website