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Dursey Island is located at the southwestern tip of the Beara Peninsula in West Cork.

The island is separated from the mainland by Dursey Sound, a narrow stretch of water.

The island is connected to the mainland by Ireland’s only cable car, servicing the six permanent residents and the island’s visitors since 1969. 

Following the Irish defeat in the nearby Battle of Kinsale in 1602, the island’s 300 inhabitants were massacred.

The local chieftain, Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare, led 1,000 men, women, and children to seek refuge with the O’Rourke clan in Leitrim. Attacked regularly along the way, only 35 survived.

On the highest point on the island, there is a signal tower dating to the Napoleonic Wars, which is now in a state of ruin.

A whitewashed sign saying “Éire” was built and painted close to the signal tower during World War II to alert pilots that they were flying over neutral Ireland.

For walking enthusiasts, there is a waymarked section of the Beara Way which loops around the island.

Dolphins and whales are regular visitors to the waters around the island, as well as a wide range of seabirds.

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