Some Kerry natives will joke about the Black Valley getting its name from remaining in the dark so long without electricity. It was not until 1976 that the Valley was finally connected to the National Grid, making it one of the last outposts in Ireland.
Today, the Black Valley is still a remote and untouched part of Ireland. As the name 'valley' suggests, it is more of a dispersed area than a village with a centre. The church qualifies as the centre for the community and is accompanied by a youth hostel which operates a small shop with limited supplies.
During the summer months things start to come alive. Tours come from Kate Kearney's Cottage on horse-drawn jaunting cars through the Gap of Dunloe and pass through Black Valley on their way to Lord Brandon's Cottage. Traditional boats then navigate through the Lakes of Killarney to finish at Ross Castle. The Gap of Dunloe is generally closed to traffic during the daytime to facilitate the horse and carts as the road is so narrow.