Killowen Cemetery and Holiday Homes

Our host loaned us a charming book by Damien Enright called Six Easy Walks of Killarney and Kenmare. We decided to follow the Kenmare River route, which promised a pleasant ramble along the Beara Way to the boglands east of Kenmare town.

As promised, there were fine views of the Sheen River:

And an old woollen mill:

And bogs and hills:

And quiet fields along the Roughty:

What the book, published in 2004, only hinted at was this:

The river was lined with holiday homes rising out of or sinking into or dropped on top of fields and bogs. A few were stony unfinished stucco, most were the color of artificially colored butter. Some appeared occupied, others abandoned; the differences were minor and sometimes nonexistent.

Our lodging (also of fairly recent vintage) was in Killowen, next door to a ruined abbey. Even closer to the abbey, competing for space with brambles and rabbits, two more holiday homes were under construction.

Behind the abbey is a cemetery, and behind that is another partially finished holiday village. The tombs and the unbuilt foundations look awfully similar.

Over the hills near the Caha Pass is a place marked Druids View. The druids appear to be clearing the ground for more houses.

Consider the Oyster.

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One thought on “Killowen Cemetery and Holiday Homes

  1. Because we first became overwhelmed by these droppings of the Celtic Tiger around Kenmare, I first thought of them as bog mansions. However, since they proved just as ubiquitous on grassy or rocky terrain, I next thought of them as Bubble-&-Busts. However, since (as you say) more had been intended for holiday homes, I finally settled on calling them bouncy castles.

    Served only by narrow one-lane sometimes-paved roads, dozens, hundreds, loom cheerily across the landscape like Smileys in a Gahan Wilson cartoon. If they ever became occupied, rural transport and water supplies would reach refugee camp standards. One way or the other, the future looks bright for ruins.

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