Welcome to Bere Island

Welcome to Bere Island Projects Group CLG (BIPG) Community Archive.

Bere Island Projects Group was formed in 1987 by a group of island residents with the aim of creating employment on Bere Island in a bid to sustain the island’s population.  Its remit soon widened to include supporting several island voluntary groups and to work with both Cork County Council and Government departments and agencies to improve access to Bere Island and maintain and improve the island’s infrastructure and highlight issues facing islanders.

In 2003, together with The Heritage Council and Cork County Council, Bere Island Projects Group launched the Bere Island Conservation Plan as a means to document, and protect the island’s archaeological, built and cultural heritage, and to protect its biodiversity.  The Conservation Plan was officially launched in 2003 by Éamon Ó Cuív TD and serves as a blueprint for the future development of the island and for preserving it’s culture, heritage, natural landscape and marine environment.

Bere Island has aptly been described as an open air museum.

The island is 10km long and 3km at its widest point and lies at the entrance to Bantry Bay in West Cork.  It is home to a Bronze age wedge tomb, a 3m tall standing stone which is said to mark the exact centre of the island, a large promontory fort, two remaining Martello Towers, and the remains of a Viking naust.

However, Bere Island is perhaps best known for its military fortifications and its role as a strategic British Admiralty base during World War One.  Following the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty in 1922 Bere Island became one of Ireland’s three Treaty Ports.  The island is said to be one of the best preserved military landscapes in Ireland.

 

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