January 2014 saw the coasts of Kerry and much of Ireland battered by storms and record high tides. On Rossbeigh strand the partially submerged wreck of the 19th century schooner, The Sunbeam, was dislodged from the sands where it had been resting for over 100 years following it’s shipwreck.
The wooden schooner built in 1860 in Exmouth, England was bought by Richard Kearon of Arklow. She was driven ashore in a storm and wrecked in January 1903 on a voyage bringing a shipment of flour from Kinvara to Cork. There was no loss of life.
The wreck had peeked above the sands of Rossbeigh Strand for the past century and was a well known landmark for locals. It is now completely exposed and has been moved over 100 metres further up the beach.
The timbers, showing the wooden dowels/pegs holding the ship together are now visable for all to see and have been remarkably preserved by the sands of time. The concern now is that the old boat will succumb to the elements and indeed there are reports that souvenir hunters have already removed some timbers. It is hoped that the wreck may be moved into the village and preserved.