A series by Hannah Huxley

Part Six of the Great Irish Landmarks series takes us to south-west Kerry, and to an unassuming little village called Derrynane. The landmarks discussed so far in the series have been magnificent and imposing, but we will now focus on a house nestled away in the woodlands of Derrynane – Derrynane House.

Quaint and solemn, the house itself sits peacefully at the tip of the Iveragh Peninsula and is concealed from plain sight by the lush woodlands (also known as the Oakwood of St Fionán). This sleepy and aristocratic house was the childhood home of politician, lawyer and statesman, Daniel O’Connell.

Daniel O’Connell (1775-1847) inherited Derrynane House in 1825 and it was at Derrynane that his wife, Mary, and their eight children established their home.

Born at Carhan, on the outskirts of Cahersiveen and only a few kilometres from Derrynane, Daniel spent many happy years at the house before he was sent to be educated in France, England and Dublin. He later spent ten years as a practising barrister on the Munster circuit.

Hailed as the Liberator, not only has Daniel’s personal life has been heavily documented by historians, but his lasting influence on the political landscape of the state has been extensively excavated.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own