Ard na Caithne
Ard na Caithne
View over Ard na Caithne
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Ard na Caithne (Irish pronunciation: [ˈaːɾˠd̪ˠ nˠə ˈkanʲə]), meaning height of the arbutus or strawberry tree, sometimes known in English as Smerwick, is a bay and townland in County Kerry in Ireland. One of the principal bays of Corca Dhuibhne, it is located at the foot of An Triúr Deirfiúr and Mount Brandon. Bounded by the villages of Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, Baile na nGall and Ard na Caithne itself, the area is what has been known as the Fíor-Ghaeltacht, or true Gaeltacht (an area in which the Irish language is the official and principal language).
The area's official and common Irish language name, Ard na Caithne, means "height of the arbutus" or "height of the strawberry tree". Ard na Caithne (formerly anglicised as "Ardnaconnia") was also known in Irish as Iorras Tuaiscirt ("north peninsula") and Gall-Iorras ("peninsula of the strangers").
The area's former English language name, Smerwick, is believed to derive from the Norse (Viking) words smoer and wick meaning "butter harbour".
Early Christian history
After the Holy See pronounced that Elizabeth was not Ireland's legitimate queen, James FitzMaurice FitzGerald and others initiated what became known as the Second Desmond Rebellion. While Fitzgerald himself was killed in August 1579, in September 1580, a force of 600 Italian- and Spanish-origin mercenaries, combined with some Irish and English Catholics, landed with arms for several thousand men to support the rebellion. Commanded by Sebastiano di San Giuseppe, and carrying a banner bearing the coat of arms of FitzMaurice, the force occupied Dún an Óir ('Fort of the Gold') at Ard na Caithne. Dún an Óir was an Iron Age promontory fort located near Ard na Caithne harbour.
San Giuseppe's force was met by English and Irish Royal Army forces, precipitating the Siege of Smerwick. After a 3-day siege, San Giuseppe surrendered to forces under the command of Arthur Grey, 14th Baron Grey de Wilton. Except for 20 or 30 officers, the fort's occupants were all executed immediately following their surrender. Charges for these killings were later brought against Sir Walter Raleigh; he avoided conviction by pleading that he was obeying orders from a superior officer.
In the nearby Caisleán an Fheirtéaraigh lived the 17th-century poet and Hiberno-Norman lord Piaras Feiritéar. He was executed at the hands of the Cromwellians in Killarney in 1653, following the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, for his part in the Irish Rebellion of 1641.
Smerwick massacre memorial
Remains of Caisleán an Fheirtéaraigh, castle of the poet Piaras Feiritéar
- "Ard na Caithne / Smerwick". logainm.ie. Irish Placenames Commission. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- "Smerwick Harbour". eoceanic.com. eOceanic. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- "The Massacre at Dun an Oir". clarechampion.ie. Clare Champion. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- Palmer, William (March 2017). "Early Modern Irish Exceptionalism Revisited". Historian. 79 (1): 9–31. doi:10.1111/hisn.12419 – via EBSCO's Academic Serch Complete (subscription required)
- Coyne, Joseph Stirling; Willis, Nathaniel Parker (1841). "Dingle Bay, Smerwick and Brandon Bay". Scenery and Antiquities of Ireland Desmond Rebellions.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- Hogarth, D. D.; Roddick, J. C. (1989). "Discovery of Martin Frobisher's Baffin Island "ore" in Ireland". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences: 1053–1060. doi:10.1139/e89-086.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
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- Entry for Smerwick Harbour, Irelandscape.com; archived 28 September 2007.