Charles de Gaulle Memorial
Located in the corner of the North Square is a memorial stone devoted to the memory of a President of France.
Charles de Gaulle visited Sneem immediately after resigning the presidency in 1969. Here, he sought a haven of peace and tranquility for two short weeks in the winter of his years. Why Sneem?
Charles de Gaulle’s wife’s nanny came from Sneem. He stayed in Heron’s Cove just outside the village.
On the 25th anniversary of his visit, the people of Sneem, with financial assistance from The Ireland Fund for France and Bord Fáilte, commissioned a work of art by Valentia sculptor, Alan Hall. This consisted of a bronze plaque of General de Gaulle mounted on a large boulder of local stone, inscribed with de Gaulle’s famous verdict on his sojourn in Ireland:
“At this grave moment of my long life, I found here what I sought, to be face to face with myself, Ireland gave me that, in the most delicate, the most friendly way”.
A photographic exhibition of de Gaulle’s visit to Kerry is currently on display in the lobby of Sneem Hotel. In 2019, the 50th anniversary of his visit was commemorated by the village.