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Trip Planner Europe  /  Ireland  /  Province of Munster  /  County Cork  /  Skibbereen

Skibbereen

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Ruins · History Museums · Bodies of Water
Skibbereen, is a town in County Cork, Ireland. It is located on the N71 national secondary road. The name "Skibbereen" (sometimes shortened to "Skibb") means "little boat harbour". The River Ilen runs through the town; it reaches the sea about 12 kilometers away, at the seaside village of Baltimore. As of the Census of Ireland 2011, the population of the town (not including the rural hinterland) was 2,568.HistoryPrior to 1600 most of the land in the area belonged to the native MacCarthy Reagh dynasty - today McCarthy remains the town's most common surname. The town charter dates back to 1657 and a copy can be seen in the town council chambers. In 1631 Skibbereen received an influx of refugees fleeing from the Sack of Baltimore. The "Phoenix Society" was founded in Skibbereen in 1856 and was a precursor to the Fenian movement.FamineThe region around Skibbereen experienced a significant famine in the years 1845-52, a time referred to as The Great Hunger or Great Famine (Irish: an Gorta Mór). The Skibbereen Heritage Centre estimates that 8,000 to 10,000 victims of 'The Great Famine' are buried in the famine burial pits of Abbeystrewery cemetery close to the town. While there is some question on the accuracy of census data from the famine era, records indicate a drop of population from 58,335 in 1841 to 32,412 in 1861.
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