Bear (barony)

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Bear (or Bere; Irish: Béarra[1]) is the westernmost barony in County Cork in Ireland. It comprises the western tip and southern part of the eponymous Beara peninsula, the north of which is part of the County Kerry barony of Glanarought. The barony of Bear is bounded by Glanarought to the north, the Cork barony of Bantry to the north-east, Bantry Bay to the south, and the Kenmare River to the north-west.[2]

Legal context[edit]

Baronies were created after the Norman invasion of Ireland as divisions of counties and were used the administration of justice and the raising of revenue. While baronies continue to be officially defined units, they have been administratively obsolete since 1898. However, they continue to be used in land registration and in specification, such as in planning permissions. In many cases, a barony corresponds to an earlier Gaelic túath which had submitted to the Crown.

Subdivisions and features[edit]

The barony includes the whole of three civil parishes (Kilcatherine, Killaconenagh, Kilnamanagh) and part of a fourth (Kilcaskan).[2][3] It induces the town of Castletownbere and settlements of Allihies, Eyeries, Ardgroom, Adrigole, Garinish, Glengarriff, Urhin, Rerrin, Rossmackowen, and Trafrask.[4] Natural features include Hungry Hill,[5] Dursey Island off the west end of the peninsula, and Bere Island opposite Castletownbere.[6]


  1. ^ "Bear". Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Bere". The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland: Adapted to the New Poor-law, Franchise, Municipal and Ecclesiastical Arrangements, and Compiled with a Special Reference to the Lines of Railroad and Canal Communication as Existing in 1843-44; Illustrated by a Series of Maps, and Other Plates; and Presenting the Results, in Detail, of the Census of 1841, Compared with that of 1831. Vol.1: A-C. A. Fullarton. 1846. pp. 250–1. 
  3. ^ "Bear: subunits: civil parishes". Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Bear: subunits: population centres". Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Bear: subunits: hills". Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Bear: subunits: islands and archipelagos". Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 28 March 2014.