Pirate Ports and Harbours of West Cork in the Early Seventeenth Century

Kelleher, Connie
December 2013
Journal of Maritime Archaeology;Dec2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p347
Academic Journal
In the early part of the seventeenth century in Ireland select harbours along the southwest coast of Munster acted as the North Atlantic headquarters for pirates, primarily made up of English mariners. The places picked by the pirates as their bases were spatially strategic and three harbours in particular dominated this West Cork landscape—Baltimore, Leamcon and Crookhaven. Complicit English officers facilitated this activity and pirates and their families settled on the estates of the local officials while others used this pirate landscape as a staging point for plundering adventures further afield. As a consequence, piracy in Irish waters at that time had a profound influence on local economies, social activities and, in some cases, political events. Indeed the tolerance shown to it in the early seventeenth century in the southwest may be explained by the fact that it facilitated the colonial effort ongoing under the Munster Plantation and thus, inadvertently, suited the purposes of official government.


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