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Tralee Bay facts for kids

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Designated: 10 July 1989
Reference #: 440
Tralee Bay in 2004, looking towards Mount Brandon.
Tralee bay
Tralee Bay

Tralee Bay (Irish: Loch Foirdhreamhain / Cuan Thrá Lí) is located in on the west coast of County Kerry, Ireland. It is situated between Kerry Head on the north side and the Maharees on the west and extends eastwards as far as the bridge at Blennerville. Several small rivers feed into the bay through the town of Tralee. Villages around the bay include; Ballyheigue, Fenit, Kilfinora, Spa, Blennerville, Camp and Castlegregory.

General information

The hinterland of Tralee Bay is rich in historic content covering most major eras in the origins and development of the Island and the Nation, from the mythological history, social and industrial development to relatively recent political evolution. In conjunction with Barrow Harbour, the following list of people, items, places and events are indicative and relevant;

Maps and charts

  • Ordnance Survey of Ireland, Discovery Series Map ref No. 71 Kerry. Scale 1:50,000
  • British Admiralty Navigation Chart Ref No. 2739. Scale = 1:37,500.

Place names and features

Generally, clockwise from Kerry Head;

  • Kerry Head
  • Ballyheigue Pier
  • Ballyheigue
  • Blackrock
  • Banna Strand
  • Illaunnabarnagh (rock)
  • Mucklaghmore rock
  • Illaunnacusha, rock
  • Crow Rock
  • The Rose rock
  • Barrow Golf Links
  • Fenit Island
  • Barrow Harbour
  • Little Samphire Island
  • Samphire Lighthouse
  • Wheel Rock
  • Black Rock
  • Spa
  • Tralee Ship Canal
  • River Lee from Tralee
  • Blennerville Bridge
  • Blennerville Windmill
  • Blennerville
  • Bealathaleen Creek
  • Derrymore Island
  • Derrymore Strand
  • Carrigagharor Point
  • Aughacasla Strand
  • Castlegregory
  • Lough Gill
  • The Trench River
  • Kilshshannig point
  • Illaunlea rock
  • Callahangrin headland
  • Rough Point
  • Mucklaghbeg rock
  • Minnaun Point
  • Illaunturlogh island
  • Illauntannig island
  • Reennafardarrig island
  • Illaunboe island
  • Illaunimmil island
  • Inishtooskert island
  • Magharee Islands or The Seven Hogs
  • The Maharees
  • Scraggane Bay
  • Minnaun
  • Illaunnanoon
  • Doonagaun Island

Items of interest

  • A bird sanctuary is located on the south side of the bay on the low-lying land of Derrymore Island.
  • Little Samphire is a low-lying rock in the Bay on which a lighthouse stands. The lighthouse, operated and maintained by the Commissioners of Irish Lights also marks the limit of the harbour area under the control of Tralee and Fenit Harbour Board.
  • Great Samphire Island is a small rock in the Bay around which is built the harbour and port of Fenit. The name comes from the rather rare yellow samphire plant that grows there. A monument to Saint Brendan the Navigator is located at the apex.
  • Shore based angling is a popular pastime practised from the viaduct leading out to the harbour.
  • Several angling boats are licensed to take recreational anglers out on the bay.

Vessels sunk and wrecked

  • Integrity 13/3/1837. Lost off Brandon Head, en route from Tarbert to the Clyde.
  • Audrey Anne 5/12/1998. 65 foot trawler lost off Brandon Head
  • Brothers 4/5/1841. A Dingle hooker carrying potatoes for the Protestant colony at Dingle
  • Saint Lawrence 7/2/1840. A barque went ashore at Ballyheigue Bay.
  • Port Yarrock 29/1/1894. Sank in Brandon Bay, en route from Santa Rosilia, California. All 22 crew lost.

See also "" for much more detailed information.

Adjacent bays

Brandon Bay is the next bay to the south west and the Shannon Estuary is located to the north. Barrow Harbour is a bay located in the bay, east of Fenit Island.

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