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Beare


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[Ir. Béirre, Béarra].

A peninsula in south-west Munster between Bantry Bay and the Kenmare River estuary, divided between Counties Cork and Kerry. The peninsula is the home of the sovereignty figure Cailleach Bhéirre, the Hag or Old Woman of Beare, known from a 9th-century poem and often cited in the oral tradition. Tech Duinn [Donn's House], the realm of Donn (1) and thus of the dead, was thought to be on a rocky islet between the tip of the Beare peninsula and Dursey Island. Bear Island, formerly Beare Island, 1 mile S of Castletown Bearhaven, contains a standing stone associated with the Cailleach Bhéirre. By tradition peninsula and island are named for Beare, Spanish-born wife of Eógan Mór (Mug Nuadat).

Subjects: Religion.


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