Bere Island Heritage Centre

Proud of our Heritage


The Bere Island Heritage & Information Centre is the focal point for the conservation and enhancement of the island’s rich heritage. It is home to The Bere Island Experience Exhibition detailing the unique history and lifestyle of Bere Island, as well as temporary themed exhibitions throughout the year. It is an important reference, meeting and information point for both islanders and visitors.

The proposal to create a Heritage Centre from the Ballinakilla Old School Building built in 1857, became a reality in 2009 after members of the Old School Committee in partnership with Bere Island Projects Group secured funding from The ISLA Project, The Department of the Islands  and Cork County Council, with the building work being carried out by local builder Jack Sullivan and Bere Island Construction, it was designed by DOD Architects, Kenmare, Co. Kerry.

The Heritage Centre Offers

  • The ‘Bere Island Experience’ Exhibition
  • Artefacts and photos telling the story of Bere Island
  • The Old School roll books recreated
  • Geneaology books and web sites
  • Maps and information on the Island’s Heritage sites and walks
  • The St Michael’s Graveyard database
  • Traditional skills workshops and courses
  • Highspeed Broadband Hub, printing and office services
  • School and group tours
  • Meditation and retreats
  • Meeting room hire
  • Craft shop
  • Refreshments
  • Craft and food fairs
  • Library

Since 2010

President of Ireland, Mary McAleese performed the official opening of the Bere Island Heritage Centre on Saturday 30th October 2010. On this most historic day, her presence and inspiring speech made the day for the people of Bere Island, and we were honoured that the President of Ireland Mary McAleese and her husband Dr Martin McAleese were able to share with us and acknowledge the importance of this day to our small island community.


Minister Heather Humpreys

The first ever remote cabinet meeting was held from the Heritage Centre in July 2021 during a visit by Minister Heather Humphreys to Bere Island. 

The Minister was visiting Bere Island  as part of a nationwide tour to promote ‘Our Rural Future’.

After meeting with the island community, the Minister availed of the Highspeed Broadband Hub at the Heritage Centre to securely attend the Cabinet meeting.

The broadband hub on Bere Island is one of hundreds of facilities across the country that provide highspeed quality broadband, allowing people to work and study remotely.

More Information

Annual Membership is available for the Heritage Centre and includes free access to all of our exhibitions, free internet access and 10% discount in the Heritage Centre cafe.


Bere Island Heritage & Information Centre, Ballinakilla, Bere Island, Co Cork.

Tel: 027 75956 E:

Supported by the Community Services Programme through Pobal and the Department of Social Protection

Coastal artillery gun at Lonehort Battery