Bantry - Encyclopedia


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BANTRY, a seaport, market-town and seaside resort of Co. Cork, Ireland, in the west parliamentary division, 58 m. S.W. of Cork by the Cork, Bandon & South Coast railway, on the bay of the same name. Pop. (1901) 3109. It is an important centre both for sea fisheries and for sport with the rod. It is the terminus of the railway, and a coaching station on the famous "Prince of Wales" route (named after King Edward VII.) from Cork to Glengarriff and Killarney. The bay, with excellent anchorage, is a picturesque inlet some 2 2 m. long by 3 to 6 broad, with 12 to 32 fathoms of water. It is one of the headquarter stations of the Channel Squadron, which uses the harbour at Castletown Bearhaven on the northern shore, behind Bear Island, near the mouth of the bay. It was the scene of attempts by the French to invade Ireland in 1689 and 1796, and troops of William of Orange were landed here in 1697. There are several islands, the principal of which are Bear Island and Whiddy, off the town. Ruins of the so-called "fish palaces" testify to the failure of the pilchard fishery in the 18th century.

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