Clonakilty (Irish: Cloich na Coillte, Clanna Chaoilte) is a small but busy market town in West Cork, about 45 minutes drive from Cork City. The town is surrounded by hilly country devoted primarily to dairy farming, the region having an impressive dairy yield. In 2003 Clonakilty also became Ireland’s first ever official Fair Trade Town.
Michael Collins, one of the great heroes of the 1916-1922 period, was born at Woodfield, near here. He was General of the Free State Army, and his Dynamic and powerful personality made him a legend in his own lifetime. The small West Cork Museum in Clonakilty has many momentoes of the hero. The memorial to him at Sam's Cross was unveiled by General Tom Barry, himself a prominent figure in the Republican Movement.
Visitors go to several nearby beaches, visit the pubs, walk in the local countryside, or visit local attractions such as The West Cork Model Railway Village and Lios-na-gCon Ringfort.
From Clonakilty westward the coast becomes bolder and more rugged, the sea carving deep inlets and bays as it rolls in from the Atlantic.