Almost every country has a section of the population that they like to tell jokes about. In Ireland, it’s the people from Kerry. Not because people from Kerry are stupid. In fact they have a reputation for being the opposite.
The main reason we tell jokes about them is that we are jealous. They have the cheek to call their county ‘The Kingdom’, yet there are few people in Ireland who would dispute the aptness of the name. (The origins of that name have been lost, but that doesn’t matter – Kerry does feel like a Kingdom.)
There are soaring mountain ranges, desolately beautiful valleys, crystal lakes and a spectacularly rugged coastline that is alternatively lashed and lapped by the Atlantic Ocean. Kerry has it all.
The town of Killarney, with a population of 14,000, is the most popular base for exploring Killarney National Park and the Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry is a scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula; the Dingle and Beara Peninsulas are best explored from the towns of Dingle and Kenmare respectively.
Killarney has been welcoming tourists since the 18th century, and the locals have become mighty good at it. It is true there are far too many souvenir shops for some peoples’ taste. But fear not, Killarney is a very pretty and friendly town. And the Kerry people, regardless of the jokes we make of them, are some of the most welcoming in Ireland.
Authentic Ireland’s dedicated writers: Meredith and Win Blevins