Heritage Wednesdays: Derrynane House, Co. Kerry

Derrynane House - Photos via Flickr (Andrew Parnell)
Derrynane House – Photos via Flickr (Andrew Parnell)

Derrynane House, Co. Kerry

Derrynane was the home of Daniel O’Connell, lawyer, politician and statesman. The house is now a public museum commemorating one of Ireland’s leading historical figures and arguably the greatest ever Irishman, known by the nation as the Great Liberator.

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Derrynane House – Photos via Flickr (Gerard Lovett)

O’Connell was born in a humble cottage to a Catholic family in nearby Caherciveen but came to live at Derrynane House with his rich uncle, “Hunting Cap” O’Connell who had grown rich through smuggling from both France and Spain. When his uncle died childless in 1825 the Derrynane estate was left to Daniel, whose descendants went on to live at Derrynane until 1958.

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Old tower in the grounds of Derrynane House – Photos via Flickr (Johnida Dockens)

The house is furnished with family portraits, writings and a great many items relating to Daniel O’Connell himself: from the duelling pistols used when he killed rival John D’Esterre in 1815 and the black glove he wore in memory henceforth, to the fabulous gold chariot he rode through Dublin amidst jubilant crowds on his release from prison.

Heritage Ireland Open Wednesdays

Derrynane House is on view every Wednesday thanks to Heritage Ireland and the Office of Public Works.

You can see the full list of open houses across the country here.