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Ballylongford, from the Irish Béal Átha Longfoirt, meaning “ford-mouth of anchorage”, is a village in North Kerry along the Shannon Estuary.

A short distance outside the village stands Carrigafoyle Castle. It was built by the O’Connor’s, Kings of Kerry, between 1490 and 1500.

Standing almost 100 feet high, the castle features a spiral staircase of 104 steps that visitors can climb to view the estuary and the monastic Scattery Island from its battlements.

In 1580, during the Second Desmond Rebellion, the castle was breached by cannon fire and taken by Elizabethan forces, after which the surviving defenders were all hanged. The cannon breach remains visible to this day.

The O’Connors also built the nearby Lislaughtin Abbey in 1478, with two of the O’Connor chiefs buried within its walls. A processional cross, known as Lislaughtin Cross, buried by the friars was later discovered by a farmer and is now on display in the National Museum.

Fort Shannon, a concrete artillery fort, is located about six kilometres from the village. Constructed in 1940, it is the only such fortification built by the Irish Defence Forces during World War II.

Brendan Kennelly, one of Ireland’s most renowned poets, hails from the village.

The village hosts the popular annual Oyster Festival each summer.

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