County Cork

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O Callaghan Clan HQ
O Callaghan Clan HQ

Built c 1610 as a replacement for a much older castle on the same site by the O Callaghan Clan who controlled over 40,000 acres of land along the Blackwater Valley. The O Callaghans were the most powerful clan in Munster during the 900's when Ceallachain Caiseal ruled as King of Munster for up to 20 years and was the first ruler to take on the Vikings and drove them from his kingdom. The clan fought for the King of England against Cromwells Parliamentarians at the Battle of Knocknanuss near Castlemagner and was later outlawed by Cromwell and the clan chiefs were deported to Co.Clare.Cromwell's general, Sir Richard Kyrle, got the castle and 1,000 acres for his efforts but sold out to the Newman family who resided there until 1739 when the deteriorating castle became ruinous. It has remained idle ever since.It should be noted that the British Army housed a large garrison of soldiers there in the early 1690's during the Williamite war.

The older tower house castles built before about 1500 AD,  were built to withstand manual siege ,with only slits as windows and walls up to 10 feet thick at ground level and often included murder holes.uneven stair steps and other defense capabilities but all of this began to change with the arrival of gunpowder. Later castles were considerably improved as habitats with ornate fireplaces, much larger windows,more ornate doorways etc and had perimeter walls as defenses. Dromineen has one of the finest and well preserved bawns in the country .It is much bigger than normal at about six acres and surrounded by much of the protection wall which had a number of guard towers.These bawns got their name from the Irish words Bo Dun (cow fort) as their main function was to prevent cattle raids which were very prevalent in those times. Ô

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