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Trip PlannerEurope  /  Ireland  /  Province of Munster  /  County Kerry  /  Portmagee

Portmagee

4.3
Wildlife Areas · Geologic Formations · Scenic Drive
Portmagee is a village in County Kerry, Ireland. The village is located on the Iveragh peninsula south of Valentia Island. The name in Irish means 'the ferry', referring to its purpose as a crossing point to the island. Access to Valentia Island is now via a bridge from Portmagee. The bridge is called the Maurice O'Neill Memorial Bridge. The bridge was built in 1970 and named in memory of a young farmer captured and judged by a military court before being executed in 1942.NameThe name Portmagee comes from Captain Theobald Magee, a notorious 18th-century smuggler. Having served in the army of King James as an officer, Magee 'retired' to a life of merchant shipping between France, Portugal and Ireland. Thanks to the intricately chiselled coast around the South West, his trade in contraband spirits, textiles and tea and tobacco was extremely hard to police and therefore very profitable. He married Bridget Morgell, 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.TourismIn December 2012, Portmagee was awarded the Fáilte Ireland National Tourism Town Award, the first town to be awarded the accolade.
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