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Irish: Baile an Sceilg
County Kerry
Grid reference: V429657
Location: 51°49’33"N, 10°16’20"W
Population: 375  (2011)
Local Government

Ballinskelligs, is a townland on the shore of Ballinskelligs Bay on the Iveragh Peninsula in the west of County Kerry and a collection of village thereabout, even outside the townland.[1]

The place is located in the south-west of the Iveragh Peninsula and is within the Gaeltacht. According to the 2016 census about 10% of the population here speak Irish on a daily basis outside the education system.

The name of the townland is from the Irish language (and officialdom has decreed the English language name abolished, which does not stop it being used by the large English-speaking majority. The name in Irish is Baile an Sceilg, meannig "Town (townland) of the craggy rock",[2][3]

The rock(s) referred to in the area’s Irish name are the Skellig Islands: Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. The islands, which were an ancient monastic colony, lie off the coast from Ballinskelligs.

The area also has a beach.[4]

About the villages

An artists' retreat named Cill Rialaig has been established in Ballinskelligs since 1991, in two locations: in the former village of Cill Rialaig, and the Arts Centre in the village of Dun Geagan.

Ruins of Ballinskelligs Castle

Ballinskelligs Castle stands in ruin on the western shore of Ballinskelligs Bay, on a narrow promontory which is subject to heavy erosion.[5] The castle was built by the MacCarthy Mór (MacCarthy ) dynasty in the 16th century to protect the bay from pirates, and possibly in order to extort a tariff on incoming trade vessels.

Ballinskelligs Priory
Ballinskelligs Prior

Ballinskelligs Priory was an Arrouaisian house of Augustinian canons.[6]

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Ballinskelligs)


  1. {{cite web |title= |url= Where is Ballinskelligs?]: Visit Ballinskelligs}
  2. Placenames Database of Ireland
  3. Deidre Flanagan et al.: Irish Place Names, Gill & Macmillan, 1994, ISBN 0-7171-2066-X, p. 172
  4. Lord Killanin and Michael V. Duignan: The Shell Guide to Ireland, Ebury Press, London 1967, p. 86
  5. Sheehan, John (1988). "Ballinskelligs Castle, Ballinskelligs". Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. 
  6. Saints and Stones. "Ballinskelligs Priory".