No ordinary butchers, this traditional shop run by Irish Craft Butchers Association member Jerry Kennedy has been in the same family for generations - and it’s where, among many other fine Irish meats, you get that special Blasket Islands lamb in late summer and autumn.
It all began in 1910, in nearby Annascaul, where Jerry’s grandparents had a butchery counter at their general store, and the Antarctic explorer Tom Crean ran The South Pole Inn (see entry); Jerry still has the original ledger recording his meat orders.
The business moved to Dingle in the ‘90s when his father John and uncle Pat were on watch, and Jerry - who trained at McAlister’s of Moore Street and the College of Marketing and Design in Dublin - now runs this friendly shop with both pride in tradition and an eye for innovation, a great combination that has made it a destination for visitors (who are urged to ‘take a taste of Dingle home’) as well as loyal local customers.
‘Pré-salé’ mountain lamb from the Blasket Islands and Dingle Peninsula is perhaps the biggest attraction in season - the rugged terrain and salt-laden air gives the lean, late-season meat its unique herby flavour and slightly salty tang. The season is short (late July- end October) and it is in great demand, yet Jerry does not charge a premium - so just don’t miss the opportunity of tasting it if you can.
But Jerry is equally respected locally for all of his meats, which come from his own and neighbouring farmers’ fields, and he takes the concept of ‘Farm to Fork’ to a new level on his website where his trusted suppliers - including Donncha Kelliher, herdsman of the Blaskets flock - are profiled. Like many other craft butchers, Jerry is also famous for his excellent sausages - which you could try before buying if you pop around to The Garden Café (see entry), where their ‘Dingle Dog’ features a different Kennedy sausage every day.
Well worth seeking out.