Established in 1974, Leac a' Ré is a family run business in Dingle, Co. Kerry. Eileen was inspired to turn the front of the family home into a craft shop with the purpose of promoting and selling Irish products. The first postcards were a black and white range taken by Mark and Jenny Fiennes. Mark and Jenny lived in West Cork with their kids (you might recognise the names Ralph and Joseph Fiennes) for a while in the 1970s. Real Ireland Design revolutionised the colour postcard range in Ireland. Leac a’ Ré was one of the first to stock the great Liam Blake photo/postcard range.
The movie Ryan's Daughter was filmed in the Dingle Peninsula between 1968 and 1970. Much of the film was shot west of Dingle, behind Dún Chaoin, set in the fictional village Kirrary. Dingle was the logistical base and the comings and goings of famous actors, extras and all the film paraphernalia gave the town a huge boost. After the film was released in 1970 tourism in the area began to rise. Fishing, at the time, was the predominant industry of Dingle, and still plays a large part in the town’s culture and business (you can still see the fishing nets of Eileen and Seán’s father hanging from the ceiling of our shop!). The film gave an opening to the development of pubs, restaurants and shops, and drastically changed the business landscape of West Kerry.
The name of the shop ‘Leac a’ Ré’ derives from a fishing tradition. A sloping rock face lies at the tip of the Dingle Peninsula overlooking Coumeenoole beach, which is particularly smooth and gives off a sheen of light under the moon. Before the days of radar technology, this ‘Rock of the Moon’ was utilised as a landmark to warn fishermen of the peninsula's shape and guide them across the most westerly point of Ireland.
Today, you’ll find siblings Eileen and Seán behind the counter, ready to welcome you into our shop. The shop has gotten bigger since opening day back in 1974, but Irish made products are still to the fore. These include John Hanly Weavers, Foxford Weavers, Animal Craft, Tinnakeenly Leathers, Meabh Enamels, Fragrances of Ireland, Gosling Games and Puzzles. And also the very local Firbolg Designs Celtic Birth Signs, Caoire Knits, Salamander Lightcatchers and Dr. Mahers 100% Natural Beauty Care.