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Kerry Map

Molly Gallivan was a successful Victorian farmer, entrepreneur and inn-keeper.

Widowed at an early age with seven small children, she not only kept her farm running, she also supplemented her income by brewing poitin known locally as Molly's Mountain Dew which she sold in her sibbeen.

Fortunately for her, her farm was situated in the Caha Mountain pass road between Glengarriff and Kilarney, so she was able to attract early tourists along with the general passing trade. For these she developed a range of hand made woolens that she knitted during the winters.

Eventually she had earned enough to be able to knock down half of her original farmstead (which today forms the shop and café) and replace it with a fine two-up two-down house which forms the right-hand half of the present building. The new farmhouse is furnished as it would have been in Molly's day.

Leading from the site is a 500m trail, passing a vegetable patch, a bored donkey, a very distressed pig, a duck pond, a display of peat cutting, a very doubtful astronomical alignment of stones, an old famine house, and more.

It is such a shame that the audio-visual presentation put so much emphasis on how hard life was for the Irish back then, rather than celebrating a woman who somehow managed to rise above it, and lead a successful and (by the standards of the time) prosperous life. Still, I suppose that is what the Americans like.

No mention of opening hours anywhere, either on the web site or at the place itself. I suggest you ring or email if in any doubt.