Free the Old Head of Kinsale

Restore public access to Ireland's magical headland





For over a decade now public access to the Old Head of Kinsale has been blocked following the building of a private and ultra-exclusive golf links course on the headland.  The Free the Old Head of Kinsale campaign was formed to oppose this denial of access to one of Ireland's most beautiful headlands and has held many People's Picnics at the Old Head of Kinsale over the past six or seven years. 


The Old Head of Kinsale is a piece of land which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean about 10 kilometres south-west of the town of Kinsale in County Cork, Ireland.   The headland is reached by a narrow isthmus from which it widens out before meeting the sea with spectacular rock formations.  It is well above sea level, producing magnificent views of the south coast of Ireland.  On a good day it is possible to see a panorama from the East Cork coast beyond Ballycotton and Youghal in the East and west as far as Galley Head.   It is a place of great beauty as well as major historical, archaeological and ecological importance.  There is evidence of Iron Age workings on the Old Head and there is a ruined castle at the entrance (De Courcey's Castle from the local Norman De Courcey family who gave the region its name of of Courceys).    The Old Head is home to one of Ireland's most popular bird sanctuaries but despite a government Fauna Order banning aircraft from the vicinity of the bird sanctuary the owners of the golf course have provided a helicopter pad beside their clubhouse which, according to their own figures, often lands at the headland more than a dozen times in a day, ferrying rich golfers from Cork Aiport.   

As well as being a bird sanctuary several species of rare plant and animal can be found here including Ireland's only reptile, the tiny vivaporous lizard.


Quite simply the people of Cork and visitors to the region are denied a right that was enjoyed by our ancestors for hundreds of years.  Hillwalkers, rock-climbers, fishermen (and women) and nature lovers visited the Old Head and enjoyed the fantastic walk to the lighthouse for generations.   Now ordinary people are locked out with a combination of barbed wire, security guards, closed-circuit television and razor wire at the entrance.  The Old Head of Kinsale is special.  It is on a par with the Giant's Causeway, the Cliffs of Moher or any of the international beauty spots you could think of.  It is part of the heritage of the Irish people and should be enjoyed by native and visitor to our shores alike. 

It has been ten years but the Free the Old Head of Kinsale campaign is as determined as ever to fight for the restoration of public access to this most important piece of Ireland.  We are currently pursuing the issue through the courts  and in the long term we believe that the Old Head of Kinsale should be a United Nations listed world heritage site and we intend to campaign for this status.
We Shall Overcome!



Join us on Facebook

FACEBOOK: The Free the Old Head of Kinsale Campaign is now on Facebook.

If you are a Facebook member just go to the Groups page and search for "Free the Old Head of Kinsale".

Those joining the group are expressing their support for our campaign to restore public access to the Old Head of Kinsale.