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Castles of Ireland
Doe Castle, Co. Donegal

Doe Castle, Co. Donegal Doe Castle is a four-storey tower standing in a square turreted bawn built early in the 16th century on a beautiful site on Sheep Haven Bay by MacSweeney na d'Tuath, foster father of Red Hugh O'Donnell. The moat on the landward side has been hewn out of the rock. The castle is first mentioned in 1544 in connection with internecine wars between the sons of MacSweeney Doe. Wrecked sailors from the Spanish Armada were granted refuge here in 1588. By 1600 it had been taken over by Eoghan Og MacSweeny, an ally of the English, who was unsuccessfully besieged there by his brother Rory in 1601. Red Hugh O'Donnell attacked the castle unsuccessfully in 1601, but shortly afterwards the castle was granted by the Crown to Rory O'Donnell.

Taken again by the MacSweeneys in 1606, it was captured again by Rory O'Donnell in the following year. In the same year it was granted to Sir Basil Brooke, but was taken in 1608 by Sir Cahir O'Doherty's allies and shortly afterwards retaken by Crown forces. It was then granted to a number of English men before it fell into Irish hands again in 1641. In the following year it greeted Owen Roe O'Neill back to Ireland.

Captured by surprise by Coote for the Cromwellians in 1650, it later served as a Royal garrison under Charles ll. In the Williamite wars it was captured by Donough Og MacSweeney but was taken by the English again shortly afterwards. It was extensively repaired by Hart at the end of the 18th century and inhabited by his family until 1843 then deserted.

Donovan's Castle Co. Cork

Donovan's Castle Co. Cork Castle Donovan stood amid the rugged grandeur of Mullach Me�se, Doir�n-a-Cr�onaigh and Gleannacloiche. It was the principal Seat of the O'Donovan Clan. It was built in the year 1560 by Donal O'Donovan or D�nall na gcroiceann, so called because when he was a young child his mother had to wrap him in skins to conceal him from his enemies. The castle is 47' long, 26' wide and 61' high. The walls are 6' thick .On the top is a very well defined parapet. The Castle was divided into various chambers or rooms. One room was set aside in the old days for food for the garrison and another store room for gunpowder and shot. It is built on a very solid rocky foundation and faces south of the valley. The main door was of heavy oak and was situated in the western-side. A spiral stone stairs with 91 steps led from the ground floor to the top of the castle. In front of the main entrance was a huge flat topped rock known as Carraig na Mart. Here animals, mainly cattle and sheep were killed for food. Cathal � Donnabh�in ruled over 67 townlands, mostly in Drimoleague, Drinah and Myross. Clann Lochlann � Donnabh�inn held sway over 54 townlands to the east of Glandore Harbour. On the coast the lands of the O'Donovans stretched from Castletownshend to the Rowry River near Rosscarbery. Graciously contributed by Jos Staats

Dunamase, Co. Laois

Dunamase, Co. Laois The Rock of Dunamase is one of the most prominent of the historical sites. Once the fort of the O'Moore clan, it was destroyed by Cromwell's troops in 1650. The ruins stand on a hill overlooking Portlaoise, and if you climb the hill you can explore them at your leisure. Lea Castle 3 km east of Portarlington is a Norman castle, built in 1260 by William de Vesey. Like Dunamase, it was destroyed by the Cromwellians after the rebellion of the 1640s.

Dunluce Castle Co.Antrim

Dunluce Castle Co.Antrim This spectacular castlecrowned crag on the famous north Antrim coast was shaped when the sea cut deep into the land, exploiting cracks on either side of the rock. Dunluce castle was originally occupied by the O'Donnells and was set to seige by the British in the 16th Century. They eventually signed an accord with the British in the name of peace. The dark hollow on the very right of the castle was where the kitchen used to be. one night during a storm, that part of the castle broke off and plumged into the sea, killing all the cooks and kitchenhands.

Dunmanus Castle, Co. Cork

Dunmanus Castle, Co. Cork Dunmanus Castle,is located on the Mizen Penninsula in County Cork. It is situated right off the road that traverses the north side of the penninsula and faces Dunmanus Bay.

It was built in 1430 A.D. by one of the O'Mahony Septs and is one of thirteen O'Mahony castles in the area.

Photo and information contributed by Chris Mahony