Rerrin Village

Rerrin Village 1900. Notice the electricity poles, the eastern end of Bere Island had an electric supply from the British military base from the early 1900s.
BIPG Archive

Rerrin, (Irish Raerainn) is the name of the main village on Bere Island, and is located on the north of the island next to the sheltered mooring of Lawrence Cove. It is also the name of the townland surrounding the village. Historical records list Rurryne in the Calendar of Patent Rolls of James I dated 1611


The stone pier in in Lawrence Cove was built by the British Navy in 1797 following the attempted French invasion of Bantry Bay, and is the earliest structure built by British forces on the island.  The stones were quarried from a place nearby known as the Coal Slat and were brought at high tide on rafts from the quarry to the pier site.

Lawrence Cove

The O’Sullivans in Beara all have different agnomens in order to differentiate each family, and one of these is Labhrás (Lawrence), it is thought that the O’Sullivan Labhrás branch settled here, and the area took their name.

Samuel Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of Ireland recounts that in 1835 thre were 16 hookers (a fishing boat) and 90 yawls fishing out of Lawrence Cove, with up to 1,000 employed in the fishing industry.

Coal Island (Oilean na Cliodhna) located in the middle of Lawrence Cove was used to store coal, tracks and a trolleys were installed to move coal.


During World War One, British and American sailors came ashore to play sports at the British Admiralty Recreation Ground, (the Rec), which also housed a baseball diamond and to send mail home from the local post office.


There were two schools located in Rerrin, the two storey Lawrence Cove National School which opened in 1857 and a one storey red brick Military School which opened with the arrival of the British military garrison for the children of servicemen.

Photo gallery of Rerrin Village

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