Sailing Around Eden!

Wild Atlantic Way Cruise - Sailing Around Eden

Sail around the Sheep’s Head peninsula on a Wild Atlantic Way Cruise that introduces you to the coastline and pristine waters of the Sheep’s Head peninsula in West Cork, Ireland.

EDEN - European Destinations of ExcellenceThe Sheep’s Head is one of three peninsulas that jut out into the north Atlantic on Ireland’s southwesterly coastline. Here, on the very edge of Europe, you’ll get a sense of why the Sheep’s Head on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way has been designated as a European Destination of Excellence.

From Bay To Bay

The Sheep’s Head is flanked on either side by the Mizen and Beara peninsulas, and by Dunmanus and Bantry bays. You’ll start your tour in Ahakista on the Sheep’s Head. We’ll set sail through Dunmanus Bay, and watch the coastlines of the Sheep’s Head and Mizen peninsulas unfold alongside us. As we head towards the Atlantic, we’ll share with you stories about the people who have made this remote landscape home over several thousand years.

Bantry Bay, bordered by the Sheep’s Head and Beara peninsulas, is one of the deepest natural harbours in Europe. The drama of this bay, which can be as flat as glass or angry enough to repel an invading fleet, is something to experience. The majestic outlines of Hungry Hill and the Sugarloaf stand over the bay. The hills transform the sea, the wind and the quality of the light in ways that our visiting sailors are always amazed by.

Carbery Sailing's yacht Merlin at Anchor - Sailing Around Eden!

We’ll also explore Roaringwater Bay, named for the sound of the waves that, powered by Atlantic gales, crash against its many rocks and 100 islands. No better place to experience the Wild Atlantic Way! For all its drama, the climate here, influenced by the Gulf Stream, is mild. As we sail, look out for the harbour porpoises, dolphins and whales who make this bay their home. You’ll need your camera ready throughout the trip to capture images of local dolphins, minke whales, sunfish and leatherback sea turtles.

You’ll encounter three magnificent bays on Carbery Sailing’s Wild Atlantic Way Cruise. We’ll also chart our course past West Cork’s 7 inhabited islands. Spend time with their unique communities and experience the stunning natural habitats on Sherkin in Roaringwater Bay and Bere island in Bantry Bay during your sailing trip.

When we return to Ahakista on the Sheep’s Head peninsula to end our voyage, you’ll have a real sense that you’ve experienced a little bit of Eden, right here in West Cork!


Our Wild Atlantic Way Cruises start from €290 (per person, cabin-sharing).
Board and all food is included, and you’ll get to sample the best local produce while you spend time on our luxury Hallberg Rassy yacht.


Either choose a scheduled Wild Atlantic Way Cruise, or contact Chris Forker to arrange a booking for dates to suit you.
Tel: +353 (0)27 29101
Mobile: +353 (0)852 256901

It’s not every day you meet a Leprechaun Whisperer

It’s not every day you meet a Leprechaun Whisperer. And I thought it would be hard to suppress cynical smirks when I did, but when Kevin Woods of Carlingford, County Louth shook my hand firmly, looked me in the eye and gave me one of those smiles which emitted instant kindness and warmth, I could only mirror this and show respect and openness back.

As Kevin (or McCoillte as he is sometimes called) and I walked up Slieve Foye mountain together, I found myself wanting to believe that this was, as he told me, “the only place in Ireland where Leprechauns live”, not just because the affable Kevin has seen three Leprechauns in his life on this mountain but because this is, for me, one of the most magical spots in my home country of Ireland. Located right on the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the Cooley Mountain range on the southern side of Carlingford Lough looking straight out over this dividing piece of water to the Mountains of Mourne in the North, an invisible border going with the flow between them, this small town holds a wealth of natural and cultural heritage in its pocket. Any sense of divide is hidden here and long may it continue – starting with my respect for Kevin’s beliefs in Leprechauns.

Leprechauns don’t appear to everyone, according to Kevin, and indeed he shared many people’s cynicism twenty odd years ago when local publican PJ O’Hare found a small suit and collection of tiny bones up on the mountain, as well as a few gold coins. Doubting their origin, Wood decided to make the most of the ‘find’ and organised a Leprechaun Hunt in his capacity as Regional Tourism Chairman at the time. It worked and the hunters came in hoardes but, as if to warn him that there were too many people on the mountain, the Leprechauns then appeared to Kevin on a walk in the hills one day.

I asked Kevin what they looked like as we continued our hike up along the Slieve Foye Loop. “They look just as you might imagine them – like in the cartoons really. That is how they appear to me, because they are spirits. They are about 18 inches tall, have top hats, green jackets, trousers and shoes which are pointed or round and always with gold buckles. They were cobblers because they spent so much time dancing, and so they wear out their shoes – which is why they became cobblers’.

Kevin certainly had the gift of storytelling as we continued up further into the Cooley Mountain range, a landscape where myths abound. Myths which tell of Greek-like transformations from human to animal form such as Donn Cúailnge, the Brown Bull of Cooley,  a human who had been turned into a bull and which then went on to become the focus of battles between Ulster and Connaught led by Queen Medb in these very mountains.

“I can see some sheep or goats grazing up there on the heathland “I said, soon to be corrected by Kevin who told me, quite nonchalantly, “One of those is the Ghost Horse of Mountain Park. There was a fella called Cocker Reilly – he was known as that because he was cock sure of everything. He used to come up by this part of the Mountain Park, passing a fairy mound every night. One night he relieved himself close to the fairy mound. When he woke up in the morning he couldn’t get out of bed, as he had two extra legs. They (the fairies) had turned him into a horse. He took off up into the hills and that’s who you can see there. You’ll often see him up there. ”

Kevin told these stories in such a matter of fact way that I just wanted to believe him. And so by the time we approached the Slate Rock, a massive ramp of granite which emerges from the hillside, and the place where he first saw the Leprechauns, I asked him if he thinks I will see them.  “It’s up to you, if you have the gift”, he said, “I am not sure whether you have the gift or not’. So, keeping my eyes and mind well open, Kevin went on to tell me more about his gift, which allows him not only to communicate with the Leprechaun’s chief elder, Corrig, learn about their history and lifestyles, but also brings him the ability to bring happiness to others and be happy for the rest of his life.

One thing that makes me happy, however, is that Kevin spent nineteen years campaigning for this part of the Slieve Foye Mountain to be officially protected by the European Union, under the EU Habitats Directive to protect flora, fauna and wild animals. He won and in 2009, they received protection, with big brown EU signs up on the hill to prove it. I asked him how he managed to persuade the EU to protect something that was not actually in the physical world, and he said that the artefacts of the clothes and bones were proof enough.

As well as that,  the Leprechaun Hunt still happens in April every year which is “not to make money”, Kevin tells me, “but because for every person who stops believing, another Leprechaun spirit dies and so the Hunt increases the likelihood of more people believing.” (For more details see As we headed back down the mountain towards Carlingford  town, with sadly no Leprechaun sightings to record this time, and headed for a drink in O’Hares, I couldn’t help wondering if I would be laughed at in the pub as they saw me walking in with Kevin, knowing that another tourist was ‘being had’. But no, we were met with joviality rather than jeers and welcomed in to this lovely local gathering spot. This gift of spreading happiness must be working, I thought to myself. I may have been tricked, or I might not have the gift, but there are few belief systems which make me smile as much as this one. And if Kevin’s gift is to continue spreading the word and happiness with it, who am I to argue? And anyway,  I don’t want a dead Leprechaun on my conscience. To be sure, to be sure.

Catherine cycling on Carlingford Lough near Greenore Photo Shay Larkin

For more information on The Last Leprechauns in Ireland, see And click here for a podcast of Catherine’s walk and talk with the Leprechaun Whisperer. Or to go exploring the hiking trails of the Cooley Mountains see and In particular, check out The Tain Walking Festival 1-3 March 2103( and

The Great Western Greenway by Catherine Mack

Escape the bustle of urban life on the longest cycling experience in Ireland. Catherine Mack saddles up with her family in tow.

The entire article can be found at The Green Parent website.

The Green Parent is the UK’s leading green lifestyle and natural parenting magazine. A truly inspiring read, TGP is like nothing else on the newsstand, with insightful intelligent journalism covering topics from babywearing and attachment parenting to home-education and alternative medicine. Each issue features regular columns on Organic Gardening, Seasonal Food and Drink, Green Travel, Ethical Fashion and lots more. The magazine is produced by a small team of passionate experts who live and breathe the positive message of the magazine.

Also view the following pdf links to read the full article:

Greenore Model Railway Exhibit

Cinders & Smoke at Greenore on the Cooley Peninsula
On Sunday next the 9th of December we invite you to come along to Greenore on the Cooley Peninsula at 2.30 pm where for the first time our working miniature railway will be on display with the launch of our DVD. Our launch will be “fired up” by our own local “men of iron” and we look forward to seeing you there.

Greenore Railway

Loop Head Walking Festival

April 5th – 7th


Join us to walk the newly established circuits at Loop Head and Kilcredaun. Kilkee heritage walk. Dawn walks. Walks to suit all age groups. More to come … Loop Head Walking Festival Facebook page.

See the Gathering page for more detail.

A new resident in beautiful Clonakilty

Clonakilty welcomes a new artist to join the local ones as Dr Dre is seeking to set up a business in the community.

The rapper – who is the world’s highest paid musician – is establishing a network of subsidiaries and related companies in Ireland as part of his Beats empire.

Beautiful West Cork town

The company, which is behind the Beats headphones, was founded by Dre in 2006.

According to the Sunday times, he’s now established three separate companies here, all of which share the address of an accountancy firm in Clonakilty, Co. Cork.

If you would like to see why Dr Dre has chosen Clonakilty, have a look at the eco friendly towns website

The Burren, The Fertile Rock

Cavan Town

Mulranny & The Great Western Greenway

Loop Head Peninsula

Sheep's Head Peninsula

Carlingford & The Cooley Peninsula

Clonakilty District, West Cork