Rosscarbery is a town in County Cork, Ireland. The town is on a shallow estuary, which opens onto Rosscarbery Bay. The meaning of the town's name is "Cairbre's wood")
The area has been occupied from very early times with;
Rosscarbery was home to the School of Ross, a major centre of learning, at one time ( around the 6th century) being a university town, and one of the major cities in Europe. Due to its popularity as a centre of pilgrimage it was also known as Ros Ailithir (Ross of the pilgrims).
The hereditary chieftains of the area, or tuath, were the The O'Learys of Uíbh Laoire q.v., known as Uí Laoghaire Ruis Ó gCairbre, until it passed to Norman control in the early thirteenth century. The entire region had belonged to the ancient Corcu Loígde, of whom the O'Learys were one of the leading septs.
Places of interest
The Square. The annual horse fair is held in the Square every year on August 26.
The Cathedral. Today, there is still a cathedral in the town, an unusual feature for what now would be considered a sleepy country town. It is a Church of Ireland cathedral - St. Fachtna's Cathedral. The Church of Ireland's dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross were effectively merged during rationalisation in the 1860s. The bishop of this tridiocese, Paul Colton, spends almost all his time in Cork. St Fachtna's is the smallest cathedral in Ireland. It is the size of a typical parish church.
Beaches. Rosscarbery is a popular tourist destination in the summertime, being in proximity to at least three fine beaches. The nearest of these, the "Warren Beach", is about a mile from the village, and is designated a blue flag beach, along with the nearby Owenahincha beach. The Warren Beach has experienced extensive coastal erosion in recent times, but remedial works have been undertaken throughout 2004/2005.
Antiquities. Bohonagh is a recumbent stone circle located 2.4 km east of Rosscarbery. The circle of 12 stones is thought to date from the Bronze Age. A boulder burial is sited nearby. (grid ref: 308 368, Latitude: 51.580102N Longitude: 8.998987W)
Castle Salem. A fortified manor house, the home to the Morris family from around 1660 until the early 1800s. The castle is now a guest house and run by the Daly family who bought the castle in 1895.
Fachtna of Rosscarbery (died c. 600), founder of Ros Ailithir monastery.
The poet Airbertach mac Cosse was lector and superior of Ros Ailithir monastery, where he died in 1016.
Rosscarbery was also home to one of the leaders of the Irish Fenian movement, Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa.
Tom Barry. A leader of the Irish War of Independence is associated with the town. Meda Ryan's biography - the standard reference text on Tom Barry - states that Barry was born in Kerry to Cork parents, and the 1901 census records the Ryan family living in Killorglin at that time. (Barry's father [also Thomas] was posted to Killorglin barracks as an RIC constable.) Tom Barry had moved to Rosscarbery with his family by 1911, and a Rosscarbery house bears a plaque to this effect. In his memoirs (Guerrilla Days in Ireland) Barry recalls riding a cow through the town's main street to amuse other boys. There is a plaque on the site of the former RIC Barracks, beside the current Garda Station, commemorating the taking of the RIC Barracks by Tom Barry's Flying Column in March 1921.