About Cahore

Cahore (Cathoir) is a small fishing village located 2km from Ballygarrett on the R742 in north Co. Wexford. Located in the heart of the sunny South-East, but only an hour south of Dublin, Cahore has been a popular location for tourists, fishermen, and wild-life enthusiasts for generations.

Cahore, near Ballygarrett in North Wexford Cahore is just an hour south of Dublin, and has been a popular tourist destination for generations.

Cahore Pier

The sea has been an important part of life in Cahore for centuries, and the village itself is dominated by the pier, which was hugely-extended over a hundred years ago, initially for schooner ships to unload coal phosphates and salt. Although small boats have always fished here, the extension to the pier led larger boats to begin depositing their catch at Cahore in later years. Even today, larger whelk-fishing boats are still regular visitors.

The pier itself is a busy place, especially in the summertime. For generations, children have fished for crabs from the small bridge that joins the older section of the pier to the newer extension, while many small fishing boats are lauched daily from the slipway. The churning effect of the tides provides superb fishing opportunities in the whole area, and a variety of species like herring, mackeral, tope, smoothhound, spurdog, ray, bass, flounder, whiting, and dogfish can all be found here at different times. Even night fishing directly from the pier itself can produce great results. Sea anglers also frequent the small beach to the immediate north (known locally as "the North Beach"), as do many families, who enjoy swimming and bathing in the shallow, sheltered area between the beach and pier.

The Pier in Cahore, from the North Beach The Pier at Cahore, from the North Beach.

The old coastguard station - now a private dwelling - can be seen just beside the pier. It once employed eight men, whose services were often required. Many ships sank off Cahore in the past, the most noteworthy of which was the Irrawaddy way back in 1895. The seats in St. Mary's Church in nearby Ballygarrett were made from her timbers!

Thankfully, modern technology means larger ships very rarely encounter problems off our coasts anymore. However, smaller vessels who run into trouble near Cahore can rely on the Cahore Inshore Rescue Service, which operates out of the Old Rocket House with a crew of 12 volunteers.

The night seaview from the pier can feature a myriad of lights when the seas are rough further out, as large fishing vessels, cargo ships, oil tankers, and even the Navy come closer to shore to take advantage of the natural shelter provided by Cahore Point. The huge Irish Lights vessel ILV Granuaile is also a regular passer-by, as she continues her endless task of maintaining the system of automatic navigation buoys that allow ships to pass safely through Irish waters.

The South Beach

The South Beach, viewed from the cliffs beside Cahore Castle. The South Beach, viewed from the cliffs beside Cahore Castle.

The "South Beach", which is just 2 minutes walk from Cahore Holiday & Leisure Park, is a massive sandy beach that begins just behind Cahore Castle, and stretches for miles and miles to the south - more than 20 miles, in fact, all the way past Curracloe, near Wexford town.

Even at high tide, the beach itself is huge; at low tide, it's quite a walk just to reach the shoreline! It's one of the longest beaches in the whole country, and may be very familiar to movie-lovers: Much of the bloody D-Day landings featured in the movie Saving Private Ryan were filmed on the beach further south at Ballinesker. As well as being popular with summertime bathers, the South Beach also provides excellent fishing for sea anglers.

Cahore Special Area of Conservation

Adjacent to the South Beach is a very large system of sand dunes, some rising up to 60-feet high, all backed by extensive areas of wetland, lagoonal drainage areas, and polder grasslands. Several miles of these dunes, and the surrounding areas, have been listed as a Special Area of Conservation by the National Parks & Wildlife Service, which terms the area "Cahore Dunes & Polders".

The dunes support several very rare and protected plant species like Wild Asparagus, Moore's Horsetail, Sharp Rush, and Hound's-tongue. The extremely rare Soft Hornwort plant has been recently found in Cahore too. Except for one other location in south Wexford, this plant has not been recorded anywhere else in Ireland. Cahore is also the only known site in Co. Wexford where Umbellate Hawkweed can be found.

Cahore Dunes and Polders is also considered a site of major ornithological importance too, especially for wintering waterfowl. It's an important feeding site for a sub-flock of the Wexford Harbour Greenland White-fronted Goose population. Both Whooper and Bewick's Swans are found here too, as are nationally-significant populations of Wigeon, Golden Plover, Shoveler, and Lapwing. Other bird species of significance are Teal, Mallard, and Curlew.