Bantry ( ) is a town in the civil parish of Kilmocomoge in the barony of Bantry on the coast of West Cork, County Cork, Ireland. It lies at the head of Bantry Bay, a deep-water gulf extending for to the west. The Beara Peninsula is to the northwest, with Sheep's Head peninsula to the southwest. The focus of the town is a large square, formed partly by infilling of the shallow inner harbour. In former times, this accommodated regular cattle fairs; after modernising as an urban plaza, it now features a weekly market and occasional public functions. Two piers protect the harbour. Bantry is in the Cork South-West DÃ¡il constituency, which elects three members of DÃ¡il Ã‰ireann (the national parliament).
Image:Plaqueinbantry.jpgthumbA commemorative plaque, presented to the citizens of Bantry by the Canadian Government for their kindness and compassion to the families of the victims of Air India Flight 182. Bantry House is located west of the town and has been home to the White family since 1739 â€“ sometime Earls of Bantry. It contains a number of historic artifacts and paintings and is surrounded by formal gardens. Other landmarks include Bantry Market House, and the Catholic and Church of Ireland parish churches. The public library and Garda (police) station are examples of modern architecture in the town.
The town is a service centre for a large catchment area, including both the Beara and Sheep's Head peninsulas. Livestock fairs were held in the square in the past. It is no longer a major fishing port, mussel-farming having replaced the traditional trawling. Tourism has been a major part of the economy since the 19th century, exploiting the coastal scenery of the region, and the town contains a number of hotels and guesthouses. There are small-scale local industries, including pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs and building materials. Bantry became a Fairtrade Town in 2006. Bantry hosts two cultural events each summer â€“ the West Cork Chamber Music Festival and the West Cork Literary Festival. These feature musicians and writers of international stature, with performances at various venues in the town. Bantry held the Atlantic Challenge International Contest of Seamanship in July 2012, in which 15 nations competed. The inner harbour contains a marina comprising 40 berths and associated facilities, opened in 2017.
Bantry is accessed by the N71 national secondary road. Scheduled bus services connect the town with Cork city, Killarney, Castletownbere, and some smaller local centres. In the early 20th century, there was a regular steamship service from Bantry to Castletowbere on the Beara Peninsula. The also serving Glengarriff and Adrigole. Improvements to the roads and land transport eventually made this uneconomic. As of the early 21st century, Bantry has been a port of call for smaller cruise liners, which anchor between the town and Whiddy Island. Bantry has its own small privately owned airfield called Bantry Aerodrome, though the nearest large international airport is Cork Airport. Cork Airport is served by direct Bus Ã‰ireann buses from Bantry in the summer tourist season. Bantry Town railway station, the western terminus of the Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railway, opened on 22 October 1892, but finally closed on 1 April 1961, and was subsequently demolished.
Graham Canty (b.1980), Gaelic footballer who represented Bantry Blues and also captained the Cork senior team
Anna Maria Desmond (1839â€“1921), a Roman Catholic nun and teacher in Queensland, Australia
Marlene Enright (b.1985), singer-songwriter
Tim Healy (1855â€“1931), was an Irish nationalist and Home Rule MP in Westminster. He later became the first Governor-General of the Irish Free State.
William Martin Murphy (1845â€“1919), was a Catholic businessman and MP at Westminster who lived in Bantry for many years. Born in Castetownbere, he gained notoriety during the 1913 Dublin lock-out.
Francis O'Neill (1848â€“1936), Chicago police superintendent and collector of Irish traditional music was born just outside Bantry.
Derry O'Sullivan (b.1944), a Paris-based Irish-language poet who has written several poems about his native Bantry.
John Sullivan (1830â€“1884), was a sailor and recipient of the Victoria Cross
The local Gaelic Athletic Association are the Bantry Blues. The area also has a golf club (Bantry Bay Golf Club), a sailing club (Bantry Bay Sailing Club), an association football club (Bantry Bay Rovers A.F.C.), rugby union and rowing clubs. thumbnailThis historic mill-wheel beside Bantry library overlooks the town's main street.
Bantry is twinned with:
La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States
20px Pont-'n-Abad, Brittany
List of towns and villages in Ireland
Market Houses in Ireland
List of Cork Archaeological sites including Bantry area.
History of Durrus and District, contains references to Bantry and Bantry Bay
Cork County (Parliament of Ireland constituency)
Image:French armada anchor in Bantry.jpgthumbnailThis anchor from the French Armada force in 1796 was discovered off the northeast point of Whiddy island, Bantry Bay, in 1980 by the Dutch salvage company Smit Tak
Bantry Bay : Ireland in the days of Napoleon and Wolfe Tone. P. Brendan Bradley, 1931.
Bantry in Olden Days: Richard S. Harrison (Published by Author)
J. Kevin Hourihane, Town Growth in West Cork: Bantry 1600â€“1900 in JCHAS (1977), LXXXii, no 236, 83â€“97.
Wild Gardens: The Lost Demesnes of Bantry Bay Nigel Everett, Hafod Press.
An Irish Arcadia: The Historic Gardens of Bantry House Nigel Everett, Hafod Press 1999
Reminiscences and recipes of Bantry : A century in the life of a town, its people and their food Denis Cotter, (Editor), 1999.
It might have been but yesterday : a Bantry anthology Denis Cotter (editor), 2000.
What the doctor ordered, a third Bantry anthology, compiled by Denis Cotter, Pooky Paw Press Bantry, 2000.
Speaking Volumes, Edith Newman Devlin, Blackstaff Press 2000 , Bantry in early 1920s.
The Memoirs of John M. Regan, a Catholic Officer in the RIC and RUC, 1909â€“48, Joost Augusteijn, editor, District Inspector, Bantry, 1919, .
Picturesque Bantry : a century in photographs, Denis Cotter. 2005.
Bantry.ie â€“ Bantry Development and Tourism Association