Kate was a well known beauty in Ireland in the years before the Great Famine (1845-1849). The legend of Kate has captured the imagination pf people far and wide down through the years.
It was at this síbín that Kate distilled her famous poitín, ‘Kate Kearney’s Mountain Dew’, which was “very fierce and wild, requiring not less than seven times its own quantity of water to tame and subdue it.” It was of course illicit. However, Kate flouted the law and invited the weary traveller to partake of her hospitality.
Pictured below are Julia Burke and her husband Donal Mór Moriarty who lived in Kate Kearney’s Cottage in the middle of the 19th Century. She and her husband are the first to be documented after Kate herself. They are Jim Coffey’s (the current owner) Great Great Grandparents.
Among the many characters who lived in the Gap of Dunloe was the famous Patrick Boyle, the bugler. This exerpt from ‘Empire News’ describes the man: “In a defile in the hills of Kerry is Sir Echo himself…78-year-old Patrick Boyle, the bugler who wears no uniform. Into his seven-mile valley of echoes, the romantic Gap of Dunloe, come thousands of visitors from all lands to ride under towering cliffs and hear the magic bugle. For more than 60 years Patrick has ‘blown the echoes’ for millionaire and honeymooner. His father before him made the valley echo for Queen Victoria. Unlike most buglers, he lives unsurrounded by precise barrack walls and men in uniform, he lives alone. But the bugle he blows these days was the gift of a soldier in 1948: a thoughtful gesture by Lieutenant-Colonel G Down, RA whose name and Paddy’s are inscribed on the much-dented instrument that wakes the valley.”