Doonagore Irish Castle, Doolin, County Clare, Ireland

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Joined April 2009

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Doonagore Irish Castle, Doolin, County Clare, Ireland

Doonagore Castle is a round 16th-century tower house with a small walled enclosure located about 1 km above the coastal village of Doolin in County Clare, Ireland. Its name may mean “the fort of the rounded hills” or the “fort of the goats”; it sits on a hill overlooking Doolin Point and, along with a nearby higher radio mast, is used as a navigational point by boats approaching Doolin Pier. Doonagore Castle is at present a private holiday home, inaccessible to the public.

While a castle was built on the site by Tadgh MacTurlough MacCon O’Connor from stone drawn from the quarry of Trá Leachain some time during the 14th century, the current structure is likely to date to the 16th century. It was granted to Sir Turlough O’Brien of Ennistymon (a neighboring town of Doolin) in 1582. In 1588, during the retreat of the Spanish Armada from its failed attempt to invade England, 170 survivors of a Spanish shipwreck were caught by the high sheriff of County Clare, Boetius MacClancy, and were hanged at Doonagore Castle and buried in a barrow near of Doolin called Cnocán an Crochaire.

Doonagore Castle was repaired in the early 19th century, but by the middle of that century had again deteriorated in the care of the Nagle family. It was restored by architect Rex MacGovern of Lardner & Partners again in the 1970s for a private purchaser, an Irish-American named O’Gorman whose family still owns it.

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