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The Only Cable Car in Ireland

Created on Dec. 31, 2012, 2:01 a.m.

It runs over to Dursey Island from the Beara peninsula and as well as being unique to Ireland, is the only Cable Car in Europe to run over open water. The sea below the car thrashes against rocks and cliffs. You wouldn't want the car to suddenly drop, and it certainly isn't a sailing route.

The trip takes about ten minutes and gives a fantastic view of both the island and the mainland. The Beara peninsula is my favourite region of Ireland and the landscape is just incredible. If you are ever visiting Ireland I cannot recommend it enough, as a more barren and peaceful alternative to the increasingly touristy Dingle peninsula.

The whole set-up for the car is a rather ramshackle affair. It resembles a garden shed being pulled along on telephone lines and is far from the technology we are used to today. Joyfully, the door to the cabin is a front door, as seen on houses, fully complete with brass handle. The capacity of the car is six people, eight sheep, or one cow. This is meant quite literally as the car is the primary source of transport for farmers wanting to bring new livestock over to the island.

Dursey Island itself is very peaceful. It has no shops, pubs, or restaurants and a population of six to eight people. As you get off the cable car you are greeted with a number of dead cars, many from the 60s and 70s, but as you head further into the island the relics get older, with ancient tractors and plows sunk into the grass.

There are also several destroyed castles, towers, and standing stones to visit but overall Dursey Island may as well be in the wilderness. It is miles away from civilisation and, much like a cable car carrying sheep, an icon of Ireland. Long may it stay like that.

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