The village of Dungeagan and the immediate Ballinskelligs area are NOT in the CORE ZONE due to street and house light pollution. These areas reside in what is called the BUFFER ZONE.  To fully experiance the true DARK SKY of the KerryIDSR you need to be inside the CORE ZONE.

Ballinskelligs Beach - photo by J. Ormonde

Ballinskelligs got its name from Sceilg Mhichíl, one of the famous UNESCO World Heritage island rocks which stands nine miles off the Ballinskelligs coast.




Mc Carthy castle, Ballinskelligs - photo by J. Ormonde

The iconic image of Mc Carthy Castle is a favorite to Ballinskelligs Beach visitors.

The awesome  Mc Carthy Castle tower house is one of many such houses built in the early 16th century all around the Cork and Kerry coasts by McCarthy Mór, Chieftain of Munster, in order to protect the coast from pirates and to charge a tariff on incoming trade ships. The castle is in great dis-repair due to storm damage over the years and is in urgent need of renovation.

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Star gazing at Ballinskelligs beach - photo irish Independent newspaper

Ballinskelligs beach has a large car park and – though not inside the Core Zone – provides a good enough Stargazing site.

STARGAZING: Half of Ballinskelligs is in the Core Zone and Half is in the Buffer Zone. The KerryIDSR tourist map marks out large parking areas by a large star, thus giving the false impression that all of Ballinskelligs in in the Core Zone which it isn’t due to the orangey glow of the street lights in and around the village of Dungegan which prevents quality Stargazing. Once away from these lights at the back-end near Sussa, the Dark-Sky night view improves considerably, and the Bolus Head dark-sky just has to be seen to be believed.  Download the KerryIDSR tourist map for more info  here.


The office is no longer in Ballinskelligs, we are currently looking for a new base of action


Cill rialaig, Bolous head, kerry dark-sky

View from Ballinskelligs side of Bolus Head looking across the Bay toward Waterville and Caherdaniel.

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