Dunguaire Castle




N 53° 08' 31.62"   W 008° 55' 33.84"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

M 38039 10569

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Wednesday 13 June 2018

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The most typical photo of Dunguaire castle is from the south-southwest.

Undoubtedly Dunguaire Castle is one of the most photographed castles in Ireland, and sometimes it's a symbol for the beauty of this country.

The name comes from the Irish Dún Guaire, the Fort of Guaire.
Guaire Aidne mac Colmáin was a king of Connacht and died in 663.
Of course this castle isn't the Fort of Guaire, it was built by the O’Hynes clan in 1520 over the site of a previous fort. It's a tower house with a defensive wall, standing on a small rocky promontory in the Galway Bay.

Over the centuries the castle went in possession of many different owners, among them Richard Martyn, Mayor of Galway, who lived in the castle until 1642, while the Martyns of Tulira Castle, owned the castle until the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1924 Oliver St. John Gogarty, the famous surgeon, acquired Dunguaire castle and began a process of restoration. It became the place for meeting for several Irish writers who probably found their inspiration by living in such an amazing site. Some of these writers were William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Edward Martin and John Millington Synge.

In 1954 Christobel Lady Amptill bought the castle and completed the restoration started by Oliver St. John Gogarty. Subsequently the castle became the property of Shannon Development.

Dunguaire Castle has been used as a location for a few movies.
"Guns in the Heather" (1969), by Robert Butler, in which the castle was passed off as the Boyne Castle.
"Flight of the Doves" (1971), by Ralph Nelson, where it's seen as a background feature in the opening scenes (see movie at 0:05:20).
"North Sea Hijack" (1979), by Andrew Victor McLaglen, where the castle was the Scottish residence of the main character.

We came here for the first time on June 26th, 1994, and though we drove by or stopped to look at it several times after that first time, I never took the coordinates or create a page for it.

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