Portmagee is a beautiful fishing village located in south west Kerry just off the Ring of Kerry and the connection point to the island of Valentia. Access to Valentia Island is via a bridge. The bridge was built in 1970 and named in memory of a young farmer from Cahirciveen. He was captured and judged by a military court before being executed in 1942. The young man was Maurice O’Neill; hence the name of the bridge the “Maurice O’Neill Memorial Bridge”. Portmagee is the gateway to Skellig Michael tours, which operate from April to October.It is the tours to Skellig Michael that bring thousands of visitors annually to the village of Portmagee.
The name of Portmagee is derived from a notorious smuggler from the 18th century Captain Theobald Magee. Magee was an officer in the army of King James. He then retired to become a merchant operating between France, Portugal and Ireland. The rugged coastline of south west Kerry was a perfect location to trade in contraband spirits, textiles and tea and tobacco was almost impossible to police and hence very lucrative.
Theobald married a Bridget Morgell, who was the widow of a rich Dingle merchant and also the daughter of the then representative for Dingle, Thomas Crosbie. There is some suspicion that Magee’s death in a Lisbon monastery was due to some exile imposed by the powerful MP. However, his wife and sons continued the family business of smuggling.
Portmagee top tourism town 2012
Portmagee was awarded the top tourism tour in Ireland in 2012. This highlights the standing of Portmagee within the hospitality and tourism industry. Portmagee has loads to do and see. Also Portmagee has restaurants cafes shops etc, but the jewel in its crown is Skellig Michael. Skellig Michael is a UNESCO world heritage site and you quite simply have to see it once you are in Portmagee.
Skellig Michael Tours
Portmagee in the mornings is a hive of activity with crowds of people and the small street full of cars as people are trying to get a boat to take them out to the Skelligs.
People shouting and callings names and as they are almost ready to depart and the low humming of the engines as they warm up for this fantastic tour that lies ahead of you.
Skellig Michael Cruises
Skellig Michael cruises allows you the opportunity to see the Skellig Rocks from this unique perspective. Many people who come to Portmagee are unable to climb Skellig Michael for a variety of reasons; young families, age, disability or time constraints etc. Our Skellig Michael Tours operate 3 times daily and the duration of each boat tour is 2.5 hours. So if you do not want to be disappointed Book your Skellig Michael tours today here.