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Baile Choitín
Ballycotton lifeboat station dates from 2002. The Trent class boat Austin Lidbury is at its moorings in the harbour.
Ballycotton lifeboat station dates from 2002. The Trent class boat Austin Lidbury is at its moorings in the harbour.
Ballycotton is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 51°49′26.4″N 8°0′32.4″W / 51.824000°N 8.009000°W / 51.824000; -8.009000Coordinates: 51°49′26.4″N 8°0′32.4″W / 51.824000°N 8.009000°W / 51.824000; -8.009000
Country Ireland
Province Munster
County County Cork
Population (2002)
 • Total 425
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference W992640
Ballycotton Lighthouse
Ballycotton Lighthouse.png
Ballycotton Lighthouse
Coordinates 51°49′33″N 7°59′03″W / 51.825737°N 7.984159°W / 51.825737; -7.984159
Year first constructed 1851
Construction sandstone tower
Tower shape cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / pattern black tower
Height 15 metres (49 ft)
Focal height 59 metres (194 ft)
Range white: 21 nautical miles (39 km; 24 mi)
red: 17 nautical miles (31 km; 20 mi)[1]
Characteristic Fl WR 10s.
Admiralty number A5774
NGA number 6428
ARLHS number ARLHS IRE-007
Ireland number CIL-0290
Managing agent Commissioners of Irish Lights[2]

Ballycotton (Irish: Baile Choitín) is a Seaside resort village in County Cork, Ireland, situated about 25 miles (40 km) east of Cork city. It is a well known fishing village which sits on a rocky-ledge overlooking Ballycotton Bay and has a sandy beach that stretches for about 25 kilometres (16 mi) east to Knockadoon Head. The current village is actually a re-settlement of an older village which is now entirely underwater. Ballycotton experiences severe coastal erosion with metres of land crumbling into the sea every few years. It is a site of international research interest on coastal erosion.[3][4]


The RNLI lifeboat station was established in 1858 even though medals had been awarded for rescues that took place in 1826 and 1829. The most famous rescue by the Ballycotton lifeboat took place in 1936. A Gold Medal was awarded to Coxswain Patrick Sliney, Silver Medals to Second Coxswain John Lane Walsh and Motor Mechanic Thomas Sliney, and Bronze Medals to Crew Members Michael Coffey Walsh, John Shea Sliney, William Sliney and Thomas Walsh for the service on 11 February when the Daunt Rock lightship broke away from her moorings. The seas were so mountainous that spray was flying over the lantern of the lighthouse 196 ft high. The Barnett-class lifeboat, RNLB Mary Stanford (ON 733) was away from the station for 79 hours and at sea for 49 hours; the crew had no food for 25 hours and they only had three hours sleep. The eight crew were rescued after the lifeboat went alongside the vessel more than a dozen times. This was one of the most exhausting and gallant services in the history of the RNLI.[5]


Situated on the steep sloped Ballycotton Island approximately 2 km from the village, the lighthouse was commissioned in 1851 when the keeper and his family lived on the island and their children rowed to school weather permitting. By 1899 the four keepers were housed in the town with keepers rotating duty at the lighthouse. In 1975 the light was converted to electricity and it was automated on 28 March 1992 when the lighthouse keepers were withdrawn.[6]

Local attractions[edit]

Ballycotton is also well known as the home of many fine public houses including the Blackbird of Ballycotton, Lynch's or the Inn by the Harbour, The Schooner and McGraths. The Blackbird closed in January,2011 but re-opened on December 2. of the same year, following extensive refurbishment. For the very best fish and chips look no further than Skinny's Diner, situated on Main Street. Always fresh and tasty in a lovely environment. Ballycotton was the scene of a major movie called 'Divine Rapture' in summer 1995 which starred Marlon Brando, Johnny Depp and Debra Winger. Unfortunately, after 2 weeks the film production team went bankrupt and the movie was never made. Now in its 40th year, the Ballycotton Road Race attracts runners from around Ireland and abroad to its 10 Mile circuit of country backroads, each year the race is over subscribed many times over. The local area is home to many artists and craftspeople included woodworkers, painters, potters, writers and musicians who regularly exhibit at the Stephen Pearce Gallery in Shanagarry. Ballycotton has a scenic cliff walk extending westward to Ballytrasna. The full walk is about 9 km. along a goat-track, with safety fencing where it is needed. Cycling and Horse Riding are prohibited. There is plenty of bench seating placed at the better viewing points. The walk provides excellent opportunities to take photographs of the cliffs and seascapes and is rich in wildlife at any time of the year. The cliff walk is used annually, in March, for a charity walk in support of the Children of Chernobyl. There is also a good chance of spotting Peregrine Falcons near the rocky inlets at dawn and dusk. Wildlife is plentiful in the area, with seals and dolphins being regular harbour visitors. Whales of various types can be seen from the cliffs in December and January. The nearby beach at Ballynamona is on a wildlife sanctuary and herons, oystercatchers and sandhoppers are regularly spotted.

Ballycotton cross[edit]

In 1875 a local antiquarian, Philip T. Gardner, donated the Ballycotton cross to the British Museum. It is a 9th-century jewelled Celtic cross with a centre glass jewel with an inscription of the Bismillah in Kufic script[7] which may be interpreted as As God wills, In the name of Allah or We have repented to God. It is held in the British Museum's brooch collection, and the provenance is: "said to have been found in or near Ballycotton Bog" (hence the variant spelling of the artefact compared to the modern place name). As an early indicator of possible links between what is now the Republic of Ireland and Britain, and early Islam, the cross has been cited in academic papers and histories of Islam's presence in Northern Europe in the late Dark Ages, and on speculative history websites and forums.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ballycotton Lighthouse Commissioners of Irish Lights
  2. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Southwestern Ireland (Munster)". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved February 10, 2016. 
  3. ^ (retrieved 2 July 2007)
  4. ^ [1](retrieved 2 July 2007)
  5. ^ RNLI Ballycotton lighthouse history (retrieved 7 June 2007)
  6. ^ Ballycotton Development Company: History (retrieved 7 June 2007)
  7. ^ Gilliat-Ray, Sophie (2010). Muslims in Britain: An introduction (PDF). Cambridge University Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-521-83006-5. 
  8. ^ Petersen, Andrew (December 2008). "The archaeology of Islam in Britain: recognition and potential" (PDF). Antiquity. 082 (318). 

External links[edit]