The childhood home of Daniel O’Connell “The Liberator,” Irish orator and political agitator who lived from 1775-1847. A lawyer and political leader who promoted pacifism and purely constitutional means for gaining equality for the Catholic people. The people loved him after he helped pass the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, which improved the legal status of all Catholics.
Born in Caherdaniel, Daniel and his brother were adopted by their rich and childless uncle whose nickname was “Hunting Cap.” They came to live with him at the Derrynane House. They were educated in Ireland and then Paris just after the French Revolution. The political happenings in France both inspired and sickened Daniel. He continued his education in London then came back to Ireland to practice law. He took the Catholic struggle for equality as his cause.
Daniel inherited the Derrynane House from his uncle, it became his yearly summer retreat from Dublin. The tour includes an audio-visual presentation and tour of the house. The grounds are naturalist’s play land – trails, tidal flats, arboretum, and ocean – a gorgeous place to spend the afternoon. Tea house serving fresh baked cakes opens at 11AM.
How to get there:
Located on The Ring of Kerry drive, between Waterville and Caherdaniel, 3km outside of Caherdaniel.
From Kenmare, take Ring of Kerry drive N70 west to Catherdaniel. The House is 3km north of Catherdaniel, follow Derrynane House signs.
From Cahirciveen, take Ring of Kerry drive N70 east to 3km outside of Catherdaniel. Follow Derrynane House signs.
See www.buseireann.ie website for all current travel details and restrictions.
I loved wandering the fabulous grounds. They are just the right balance of manicured and wild, especially the trails maintained through woods. The beach is spectacular.
The grounds are an ideal place to rejuvenate from the city fray.
The House itself provided just the right amount of education about Daniel O’Connell. I felt it lacked substance inside. Many of the paintings noted in the tour guide had been removed from the walls. I wish there were more objects filling the rooms, to give me a better sense of the actual man.