The Emerald Isle

It is all so very charming that it is not surprising that villages like Sneem seem to have sprouted as many tourist cafés and gift shops as brightly-painted houses, while the resorts of Parknasilla, on the southern section of the Ring of Kerry, and Kenmare, a busy and attractive market town, seem far more cosmopolitan than one would have suspected. Although Kenmare is a fine example of 17th- century town planning, having been founded in 1670 by Cromwell’s Surveyor-General in Ireland, Sir William Petty, it is in a place where many antiquities, including a 3,000- year-old stone circle, attest to long habitation. The lace- making industry for which Kenmare, guided by the nuns of the local convent of Poor Clares, became famous in Victorian times is undergoing something of a revival today. 222 The Southwest