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.


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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