Doonbeg Castle




N 52° 43' 52.2"   W 009° 31' 26.4"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

Q 97096 65505

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Tuesday 10 June 2014

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The poor remains of the castle seen from the south.

Unfortunately the ruins of this castle are a bit hard to reach due to the very high grass and the vicinity of the Doonbeg River with steep banks to the water.
It was built by Philip Mac Sheeda Mor Mac Con in the early 16th century and in 1570's it was possessed by sir Daniel O'Brien of Thomond, but in 1585 it passed on Turlough Mac Mahon of West Corca Baiscinn. The clans O'Brien and Mac Mahon were related
In 1595, after the death of Turlough Mac Mahon, the possession of the castle went to his son Tadgh Caech but the O'Briens claimed the castle back, so Daniel sent his brother Henry to talk to Tadhg who wasn't at the castle but when he returned some weeks later a battle began and Henry escaped.
Queen Elizabeth declared Tadhg a rebel and granted Doonbeg to Daniel O'Brien who besieged the castle and hanged all the defenders in couples face to face.
In 1619 the Earl of Thomond 1619 gave the castle to James Comyn.
In 1688 it passed to the English Crown and in 1703 it was sold.
At the end of the 19th century it had fallen in disrepair and according to a survey by Thomas Johnson Westropp in 1893 it appeared that the castle was 18.50 metres high, it measured about 14 metres from east to west, 10 metres from north to south and it was in bad general conditions.
Despite that seven families lived in the tower and it was still used as an accomodation for poor until 1930.
Today only the northwest corner survives and is a striking landmark for the village.
The coordinates for this monument have been taken at the end of the bridge, as close as possible to the south side of the ruins.

We saw this castle for the first time on May 13th, 2002.

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