Carrigafoyle: History and Memory

By Mary McAuliffe

DISTRICT DIRECTOR: Joe Murphy / EDITOR: Micheal O coileain

At an inquisition held at Limerick in March 1542, the Chief Justice of Ireland, Sir Gerald Aylmer, sought to ‘inquire about all singular treasons, murders, felonies, transgressions… within the aforesaid county’.1  He heard several complaints from the merchants of Limerick about the extortions on their ships by Gaelic chiefs who controlled the land either side of the Shannon, from its mouth at Kerry Head.  Among those charged with these ‘transgressions’ was

 ‘O’Conoughour of Carigfoyle [who] did take of John Streech Fitzgeorge, for his ship coming to that citty, 3s. 4d. and 20 gallouns of wyne, and so of every ship that cometh to that towne with wyne’.2

The O’Conoughour of Carrigfoyle was the chief of the Ui Chonchobhair Chiarraighe/the O’Connor Kerry clan, whose lands lay in modern barony of Iraghticonor along the mouth of the Shannon3. The wine cellar of O’Connor Kerry continued to impress; a tale told of John O’Connor, d.c .1652 (known by his sobriquet, Sean an Fíona / John of the Wine) describes a visit of the Seneschal of Imokilly to Carrigafoyle on a scheme’ to prolong their stay until O’Connor’s cellar should be drunk dry’.4 On the first night the guests drank their fill and Sean an Fíona, fearing he would be caught short of wine and hospitality, asked them, the next morning, to go hunting for the day and ‘as luck would have it, a wreck full of rich wines was drifted onto Carrig Island…the contents of which he took care to replenish his ample cellar’. His guests, overcome at the sight of so much wine, fled to some neighbours where ‘they might meet a more easy conquest’.  Locally the story of how the O’Connor Kerry claimed the Shannon is still told;

everyone who went up the Shannon had to pay them, there was Spanish brandy and wine on ships…and they would throw a dart into the Shannon every year, in the month of August to claim jurisdiction, and then when they were gone, the Lord Mayor of Limerick used to do it, they used to come down to Carrigafoyle and throw a dart in there, at Carrig island..6

Documentary evidence, folk tales and oral history combine to show that the Shannon River had, for many centuries, provided the O’Connor Kerry with protection, military power and with riches, both by rich fishing and by taxing the ships sailing up to Glin, Foynes and Limerick.  So wealthy were the family that by 1490 they had one of the largest and best defended tower house in Kerry built. Conor Liath O’Connor, was The O’Connor Kerry, responsible, in 1490, for having Carrigafoyle built.

Sir George Carew
Sir George Carew

As noted by Patrick J. O’Connor, the substantial ruins at Carrigafoyle ‘form one of the most haunting scenes in Ireland, set between a foreground of causeway and estuarine mud, and a wide background of island and estuary, of land and sky’.7 It was built on a rock outcrop on an inlet near the mouth of the Shannon.  The name itself, Carrigafoyle, derives from the Irish Carrig an Phoill, meaning ‘rock of the hole’. It consists of a single tower which rises to five storeys (almost 90 feet in height) and was constructed of small limestones, neatly laid.  There are vaults over the second and fourth storeys and, in order, to reduce the weight of the vaults on the foundations small chambers were constructed in the haunches of the vaults.  Unusually, entrance to the tower was from the seaward side, built high above the ground so that the tide could not reach it.  Access to the upper floors is gained by a well-preserved spiral staircase in the South-East angle. Over 40 windows remain on the tower, all of which were of cut limestone, with pointed, rectangular or round heads. The tower was originally protected by a double bawn and moat, the inner bawn which enclosed the castle had rounded turrets while the outer wall enclosed the north, south and west sides, and had square turrets at the corners.  The fortified tower house, surrounded by water on all sides and protected on the river side by the bulk of nearby Carrig Island, making a well-protected anchorage for O’Connor boats.  The walls of the double bawn created a dock capable of landing ships that were up to 100 tons in weight, its entrance could only be approached across the river to the inner dock and ‘from here O’Connor Kerry was able to intercept ships going up the Shannon to Limerick, board them and take part of their cargoes’ as a ‘fee’ to go on their the ports of Foyes and Limerick unmolested.8 It was called the ‘strongest castle in all Kerry’ by the English army officer, Sir George Carew who knew it well ,as he took it in siege in1601. Conor Liath’s wealth was such that, in 1479, he and his wife Joanna, daughter of the Knight of Glin, commissioned a beautiful processional cross for the friars at Lislaughtin, which today is regarded as one of the masterpieces of Irish late medieval Gothic metalwork.9

The builder of Carrigafoyle, Conor Liath, died about 1523, and was succeeded by his son Conor Fionn. The period between 1400 and 1580 mark the height of the power of the O’Connor Kerry clan and their stronghold in Iraghticonor.  The O’Connor Kerry, in Irish, Ui Chonchobhair Chiarraighe, had been the main family of the Ciarraighe Luachra, who dominated most of Kerry, from about the mid-7th century.10 However, from the 13th century the O’Connor Kerry, driven from their ancestral lands stretching towards Tralee by the invading Anglo-Normans, was confined to the northern most Barony of Iraghticonor. The dominant power in north Kerry from the 13th century were the Fitzgerald, Earls of Desmond, to whom the O’Connor Kerry owed fealty, although relations between the two were often fraught.  In 1450, it was recorded in the Annals of Inisfallen that

there was committed the most wretched…the most foreign-like, the most hateful deed ever committed in Ireland until then. Diarmait, son of Conchobar Ó Conchobuir11, who had been held prisoner in irons for the previous eight years by the earl of Desmumu [Desmond], i.e. by James, son of Garret, was maimed and injured (i.e. blinded and emasculated) by Maurice, son of the above James, accompanied by some of the Uí Chonchobuir’.12

However, as Sir Nicholas Browne, wrote in 1597, 

O’Connor-Kerry, fronted [surrounded] by his ancient enemies, the Lord Fitzmaurice (the Knight of Kerry) and the Knight of the Valley 13 between whom there is deadlie hatred; his County is but small, and he is not able to make above 7 skore men; but by reason of his woodes and bogges he was wonted to keepe his owne.14

 Despite their insecure position as a Gaelic family, on marginal lands, harassed and dominated by the descendants of the Anglo-Normans invaders, the O’Connor Kerry managed to survive; indeed from the mid-15th to the late-16th century they experienced a brief renaissance as a family of some wealth and power.  This wealth did not come from their lands, but from the Shannon, from their great ‘castle’ at Carrigafoyle, and from the many advantageous marriages and alliances they made with both Anglo-Irish and Gaelic families, including the powerful families of Fitzmaurices, Lords of Kerry, Fitzgerald, the Knights of Glin, the O’Briens, Lords in Thomond, and the O’Sullivan Beres,

The O’Connor Kerry were a war like clan, like the Gaelic and Anglo-Norman neightbours.  Wars, cattle-raids and skirmishes were part of the violent history of the family.  The men of Iraghticonor often marched in the armies of the O’Briens of Thomond.  In 1431 two sons of O’Connor Kerry were raiding Dublin city with the MacMurrough Kavanaghs.  In 1516 Conor Liath O’Connor Kerry (builder of Carrigafoyle) took sides in the succession struggles of the Earl of Desmond, he supported James, who did succeed to the Earldom in 1520.  One of the more tragic incidents was the participation of Conor Bacach O’Connor Kerry (son of Conor Fionn) in the battle of Lixnaw in 1568. The Earl of Desmond sent his chief military leader James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald to bring the Fitzmaurice of Lixnaw to heel.  Among the army called up by James Fitzmaurice was O’Conor Kerry and his men.  Papers in the Carew Manuscripts show that O’Connor could provide a lot of strength to Fitzmaurice.  A record from 1569 shows that ‘O’Connoghrer Kirrey’ could bring 100 footmen, 6 horsemen, 60 sparres (gallowglasses) to the siege and that ‘Carrigeowheel’ [Carrigafoyle] was a good place for the keeping of ‘gallies’ [ships].15 The siege proved a disaster, Conor Bacach, who the annals said was

a lively brand of his tribe and race,… a sustaining prop of the learned, the distressed and the professors of arts; a pillar of support in war and contest against his neighbours and against foreigners.16

was killed in the siege.  He left behind a young widow, Hanora O’Brien (daughter of Donal O’Brien of Thomond) and a young son, John (later known as Sean na gCathach, or John of the Battles).  As Carrigafoyle was so important as a strategic fortress, the Earl of Desmond granted the castle to James Fitzmaurice, although he did ask James to be good to Sean, the heir of O’Connor and give him the castle in due time.  It is also though that James cemented his control of Carrigafoyle and the lands of Iraghticonor, by marrying Hanora, widow of Conor Bacach.  In 1573 Mathew Scaine, Bishop of Cork wrote, scandalised, to the Lord Deputy Fitzwilliam that ‘Fitzmaurice has put away his wife… married the relict of O’Connor Kerry and taken possession of Carrigafoyle’.17 Granted the lands and castle of Carrigafoyle for the minority of Sean O’Conor Kerry and married to the widow Hanora, James Fitzmaurice would have control not just of lands of Iraghticonor, but of all the shipping traffic on the Shannon. 

It is from the river that the O’Conor Kerry derived their power and their wealth. In 1542 the records of Limerick show that ‘O’Conoughour of Carigfoyle did take of John Streech Fitzgeorge for his ship coming to that citty 3s. 4d. and 20 gallouns of wyne, and soe of every ship that cometh to that towne with wyne’.18 The ships sailing up the Shannon to Glin, Foynes and Limerick all had to pass below the impregnable fortress of Carrigafoyle, and run the gauntlet of the O’Conor Kerry ships moored there. Each ship had to pay a fee or part of its cargo to The O’Connor Kerry to be allowed passage up the Shannon.  This opportunistic ‘piracy’ was the basis of their wealth which allowed them to build Carrigafoyle, endow the Friary at Lislaughtin and commission the beautiful Lislaughtin Cross.   The wealth and the power of the O’Connor Kerry family was to last well into the 16th century, however the changing fortunes of their overlord, the Earl of Desmond, were to bring the family low in the late 16th and 17th centuries.    

In 1579 the second Desmond Rebellion began. James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, kinsman of the 15th Earl of Desmond, arrived in West Kerry, near Dingle, in July 1579.  With him were about 100 Irish, Spanish and Italian soldiers and Papal banner and Papal emissary, and Fitzmaurice proclaimed war again Elizabeth and her representatives in Ireland. This was, as many historians claim, ‘ a religious and ideological war on the part of many of the rebels as well as an attempt to conserve the power of the house of Desmond’.19 Within weeks all of Munster was up in arms, including the O’Connors of Kerry, who as liege men of the Earl of Desmond, were obliged to fight for him. The response of the Elizabethans was ferocious, with Carrigafoyle and Iraghticonor, bearing much of the brunt of that. ‘The Earl and his allies (the Geraldines) ‘controlled, apart from a small fertile area in County Limerick, secured by castles, a swathe of hilly country from north Kerry, through the Glen of Aherlow in Tipperary to west Waterford’20and it was from these bases they launched raids on the Elizabethan armies, and their English enemies. The response on the part of the English army was to take all the Geraldine strongpoints along the Shannon, and none was stronger than the tower house of O’Connor Kerry at Carrigafoyle.

Carrigafoyle Castle

On Palm Sunday, 1580, Carrigafoyle was besieged, for a second day, from the landward and seaward side by a force of Elizabethan soldiers under the command of Sir William Pelham.  Pelham had been reinforced by three ships brought up the Shannon by Sir William Winter, filled with ordinance to help take the castle.  Carrigafoyle was defended by 50 Irish, along with 16 Spanish soldiers who had landed at Dingle the previous year, 1579.  There were also civilians, men, women and children in the Castle. Captain Julian, an Italian engineer, who commanded the garrison, had spent some months reinforcing the battlements. With its double bawn, thick walls and sea defences it was expected that the defenders would win the day.   James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald was dead by 1580 and the  Earl of Desmond was being harassed and harried by the combined forces of Elizabeth’s army and her Irish ally, Thomas Butler, third Earl of Ormond.  Under pressure, Desmond retreated back to Kerry, one of his last hopes of holding out was the garrison at Carrigafoyle.  So confident were they that Carrigafoyle would hold out that neither the Earl nor The O’Connor Kerry, Sean na gCathach, came to help the defenders nor did they feel the need to reinforce the same garrison.  While Carrigafoyles walls had stood strong before previous invaders, none before had cannon with which to pummel the walls.  Admiral Winter had brought three cannons, a culverin and a demi-culverin, and even the thick walls of Carrigafoyle could not withstand two days of heavy bombardment.  The final assault, on Palm Sunday, was concentrated on the tower which cracked unde the impact of the shot and the walls crumbled, allowed the Elizabethan soldiers to flood in. The shock of the attack reverberated through the lands of Desmond and is vividly described in the annals:

... the Queen’s fleet reached the coast of Ireland; and they made no delay until they entered the harbour of the glassy-waved Shannon, and cast anchor in the sea, directly opposite Carraig-an-Phuill.  As for the Lord Justice.. and he placed five great guns opposite…He then began to storm the castle; and there was not a solitude or wilderness, a declivity or woody vale… in which the sound and roar of these unknown and wonderful cannon were not heard. The western side of Carraic-an-phuill was at length broken from the top to the foundations; and the warders were crushed to death by its fall.21

However, it was simply not the taking of Carrigafoyle which resonated but what happened in the immediate aftermath. As a letter by the Elizabethan Captain, John Zouche, to the chief secretary to the Queen, Sir Francis Walsingham, recalls of the fall of Carrigafolye:‘The house being entered they yielded and some sought to swim away, but there scaped not one, neither of man, woman or child’.22 According to local tradition during the siege some who tried to escape by night by swimming were caught and slaughtered.  After a pounding by cannon the castle fell, and the Elizabethans soldiers, led by Capt. Mackworth, poured through the breech.  Mackworth reputedly drove the defenders up to the turret of the castle, and when they surrendered, they were executed.23 The reminder of the garrison which was led by an Italian engineer, Capt. Julian, was also killed, the Irish were hung and the Spanish and Italians put to the sword. This massacre served its purpose, as Pelham’s forces marched on the garrisons at the other Desmond strongholds in the area surrendered one by one. The fall of Carrigafoyle was the beginning of the end for the Earl of Desmond, his allies melted always and he was finally captured and killed in the woods of Glenagenty, near Tralee, in Nov. 1583.  Sean na gCathach was one of those who abandoned the Earl. 

Locally, however, another reason was given for the fall of Carrigafoyle on that fateful Palm Sunday in 1580. It is said that it was through the treachery of one of O’Connor Kerry’s maid servants, who put a candle in the weakest window in the castle, to direct the cannon fire to that spot, that Carrigafoyle fell.  The story goes that:

One of Pelham’s officers so played on the affections of this wicked girl that, wielding to his solicitation she agreed to assist him in getting possession of the castle.  The plan adopted was to place a light on a certain night at the weakest part of the castle walls where it would be visible to the besiegers, who then concentrated their fire on this particular spot, with the results that the wall collapsed and O’Connor’s stronghold, hitherto deemed impregnable fell in to the hands of the English.24

It is also reported that this unfortunate girl was among those slaughtered after the siege, especially as they then slaughter three months in Lislaughtin, in front of the High Altar.  The brutality with which the defenders and the local people were treated was also never forgotten. The fall of Carrigafoyle was significant, as the defenders of other nearby castles and tower houses took fright and surrendered or abandoned their settlements. The English army marched on in though Kerry, and as the Annals noted, displayed a vicious ruthlessness towards the civilian population.

These, wheresoever they passed, shewed mercy neither to the strong nor the weak. It was not wonderful [surprising] that they should kill men fit for action, but they killed blind and feeble men, women, boys, and girls, sick persons, idiots, and old people.25

This scorched earth policy broke the back of the rebellion and by Gerald, Earl Of Desmond was friendless and hiding out in woods near Tralee, Co. Kerry, where he was found and killed by members of the local O’Moriarty clan.

Sean na gCathach had survived the rebellion, but Carrigafoyle was declared forfeit and now held by an English garrison.  He did retake Carrigafoyle sometime before 1600. Very soon after that, however, the violence of the rebellion of Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone and Hugh O’Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell, reached into Kerry, and Sean surrendered it, again, to the Lord President of Munster, Sir George Carew, who had besieged and captured the nearby Glin castle.   As Carew wrote ‘O’Connor Kerry understanding that I had like intention to batter his castle at Carrigafoyle … made suit to be received into…protection and for his loyalty did surrender into my hands the said castle’.26 In December 1601 Sean retook Carrigafoyle again, and ‘the English ward, who had been left in it with a guard, was murdered’.27Sean na gCathach threw his lot in with O’Neill and O’Donnell, and was  at the Battle of Kinsale in 1601,  After the defeat at Kinsale Sean retreated and joined his kinsman and ally, O’Sullivan Beare, at his stronghold at Dunboy, Co Cork, and helped defend that castle in the great siege in June, 1602.  Unfortunately, the Irish were defeated at Dunboy and it is from here that the vanquished Irish forces including O’Conor Kerry make the famous ‘O’Sullivan Beres March’ from Dunboy to O’Rourke’s castle in Leitrim.  The 215 mile march began with over 1,000 people and marched through the bitter December of 1602.  When they reached Leitrim on January 4th, 1603 only 35 of the original 1,000 remained.  Despite losing a toe to frostbite enroute, O’Connor Kerry was one of the survivors.  It is said that, like all the others on that march, he suffered from hunger and cold and his leg ulcers became infected; he reputedly addressed his legs thus; ‘Are not my head and the safety of my whole body more precious to you, my delicate feet? What doth it avail to have fled so far if through your sloth we now fall into the hands of the enemy’.28

Sean recovered and is said that he then crossed to Scotland to meet the recently crowned James VI, who according to local tradition, regarded Sean na gCathach one of the greatest of the old Gaelic aristocracy and agreed to have him reinstated in Carrigafoyle.  Subsequently, Sean na gCathach remained, peacefully, in Carrigafoyle until his death in 1640.  As he had no direct male heir he was succeeded by his brothers’ sons, Conor Cam. However, the time of The O’Connor Kerry at Carrigafoyle was coming to an end.  Elizabeth I had granted the castle and lands of Iraghticonor to the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College Dublin, and now they moved to claim those lands. Between 1640 and the end of the 17th century, when they finally lost Carrigafoyle, hands times came to the O’Connor Kerry family.  The wars of the 1640’s and 1650’s fractured many of the old alliances that had kept O’Connor Kerry relatively safe in Iraghticonor. Their nearest neighbours, the Fitzgerald, Knights of Glin and the O’Connor Kerry were cousins, several generations of the families had intermarried.  The Knights of Glin had suffered as much as their O’Connor Kerry cousins from the depredations of the Elizabethans.  In July 1600 Glin castle had fallen to the Elizabethans under Lord Carew, who placed a senior officer, Nicholas Mordant, in charge of the garrison as he [Carew] marched on to take Carrigafoyle. Memories of Mordants stay in Glin were long lasting, where he was known as ‘An Fámire Riabhach’ (the swarthy monster); a despoiler of women, children and the corpses of the dead.29

During the Cromwellian wars of the 1650s, ‘Tadgh [or Teige] O’Connor Kerry, Baron of Tarbert and John O’Connor Kerry [Sean an Fíona] of Carrigafoyle … were actively engaged in warfare’.30 Sean an Fíona, despite his problems with the English authorities, continued the old traditions of hospitality at Carrigafoyle of his ancestors. On a visit to Sean an Fíona  at Carrigafoyle, the Seneschal of Imokilly was on a scheme’ to prolong their stay until O’Connor’s cellar should be drunk dry’.31  On the first night the guests drank their fill and Sean an Fíona, fearing he would be caught short of wine and hospitality, asked them, the next morning, to go hunting for the day and ‘as luck would have it, a wreck full of rich wines was drifted onto Carrig Island…the contents of which he took care to replenish his ample cellar’.32 His guests, overcome at the sight of so much wine, fled to some neighbours where ‘they might meet a more easy conquest’.33  In the following years Sean an Fíona continued to resist the Cromwellian forces. 

Carrigafoyle Castle
Carrigafoyle Castle

In 1649, however, Carrigafoyle was once again besieged, and desperately defended by O’Connor Kerry and his men, but it fell to the Cromwellians.  It was in this siege that the ‘strong tower’ of Carrigafoyle was finally destroyed, and the outer walls were taken down.    Sean an Fíona went on the run, but was finally captured and ‘half hanged and then beheaded’ in Tralee.34  His cousin Teige, son of the 5th Lord of Tarbert was also out during the Cromwellian wars.  In 1652 Teige was also captured and executed at Martyr’s Hill in Killarney, in the company of the poet Ferriter, Boethius Egan, Bishop of Kerry and Dr Moriarty, a Dominican. It was said that:

Ferriter’s women folk had no trouble in getting the dead bodies of the three last named martyrs, but it was otherwise with the O’Connor Kerry.  His tarred head was displayed on a spike …and there guarded by the Protectors’ soldiers as a warning to the turbulent Kerrymen.35

That was end of the associations of the O’Connor Kerry with Carrigafoyle.  In 1649 some of the lands around Carrigafoyle were granted to Lancelot Sandes, and in 1666 the English crown confirmed the grant of all the estates of Iraghticonor to the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College Dublin. There were still some O’Conors in Ahanagran and Ballyline but now they were tenants on lands they had formerly owned.  By 1661 Lancelot Sandes junior was styling himself ‘Sandes of Carrigafoyle’ and had built himself a grand house beside the now ruined Castle.  Despite their eveutal defeat the stories of the O’Connors of Carrigafolye were never forgotten; John of Lislaughtin, Conor Liath, Conor Bacach, Sean na gCathach, Sean an Fíona were all remembered in song and story. A poem sometimes told in local pubs celebrates the deeds of the family.

Now the Castle of Carrigafoyle, by the way,
Is in Kerry opposite Poulnasherry Bay,
Where reigned long ago with much glory and honour
O’Connor the King of Iraghticonnor;
And there was not a merrier old mansion in Kerry;
From famed Knockanore to Portmagee Ferry,
With plenty of liquor and money to kick, or
To burn if you wanted to make it go quicker;
For whiskey was cheaper than paraffin oil
In the days of O’Connor of Carrigafoyle.

Today the well-preserved ruin of Carrigafoyle is visited by many from all over the world.  Its history and the history of the family most associated with it, The O’Connor Kerry, are now well known and fascinating to the very many visitors. Locals take pride in their castle and their stories and enjoy sharing them.  On a quiet day, perhaps we can hear the ghosts of the many who inhabited this storied place take pride in the preservation of their histories.

[1] Lenihan, M., Limerick, its history and antiquities; ecclesiastical, civil, and military Dublin 1866, 89

[2] Ibid 91

[3] Iraghticonor is the northern most barony in County Kerry, bordered to the east by Limerick and to the north by the Shannon.

[4] Notes on some branches of the O’Connor Kerry family, compiler unknown, 19th century, National Library of Ireland, Ms. 667, 18

[5] ibid

[6] Michael Finucane, Ballylongford, interview Dec 2013.

[7] O’Connor, P. ‘Medial regionalism in north County Kerry; a region anatomised’ in Journal of the Kerry Historical and Archaeological Society, 1990,  152-153

[8] Barrington, T. J.,  Discovering Kerry (Its history, Heritage and topography  Cork, 1999, 262

[9] Ó Floinn, R., ‘The Lislaughtin Cross’ in Murray, G. (ed) Treasures of County Kerry Tralee, 2010, 88. The Lislaughtin or Ballymacasey Cross can be seen in the National Museum of Ireland. The inscription on the cross reads (from the Latin) ‘Cornelius (Conor) son of John O’Connor captain of his nation and Avelina (Joanna), daughter of the Knight, had me made at the hand of William Cornel in the year of our Lord 1479’.

[10] O’Corráin, D., ‘Studies in West Munster History’, Journal of the Kerry Historical and Archaeological Society, 1968, 49

[11] This Diarmait was son of Conor O’Connor Kerry and brother of John O’Connor Kerry, founder of Lislaughtin Friary.

[12] Mac Airt, S., The Annals of Inisfallen (MS. Rawlinson B. 503) Dublin 1951. 439, 1450.5.  the Earl mentioned was James, 6th Earl of Desmond, died 1463.

[13] These are the Fitzmaurice, Lords of Kerry, based west of Iraghticonor in Lixnaw, and the Knight of Glin –often called the Knight of the Valley – east of the lands of Iraghticonor in what is now west Limerick.

[14] ‘The Antiquities of Kerry. No. XIX “The Forfeitures of Iragh-y-Connor’ in The Kerry Magazine; A Monthly Journal of Polite Literature, Tralee  1855, No 22, Vol II,  181

[15] Carew Manuscripts MS 635, 1569

[16] John O’Donovan (ed) The Annals of the Four Masters 1568:5 (Dublin 1848-1851)

[17] John O’Donovan (ed) The Annals of the Four Masters 1568:5 (Dublin 1848-1851)

[18] Maurice Lenihan Limerick, its history and antiquities 1866 p. 91

[19] John Dorney The Desmond Rebellions Part II, The Second Rebellion, 1579-83

[20] ibid

[21] O’Donovan, J., (ed & trans) Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland vol 8, 1733.

[22] Wiseman, N .P., The Dublin Review, 1891, Part 1, 454.  See also Cal. Stat. Papers, Introd., p. 66, ” Siege of Carrigafoyle,” x580. Captain Zouche to Walsingham.

[23] This is the same Capt Humprey Mackworth who would participate with Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Edmund Spenser, and Lord Grey, in the slaughter of the defenders at the siege of Smwerwick some months later in October 1580.

[24] From the notes collected in Ballylongford by Mr Thady Brassil, in private collection.

[25] Annals of the Four Masters, 1580

[26] Brewer, J. S. & Bullen, W., Calendar of Carew Manuscripts, 1589-1600, London, 1869, 412

[27] Graham, Rev J. The Annals of Ireland, Ecclesiastical, Civil and Military, Dublin, 1817, 58

[28] From the notes collected in Ballylongford by Mr Thady Brassil, in private collection.

[29] Thomas F. Culhane’Traditions of Glin and its neighborhood’ in Home Thoughts from abroad – the Australian letters of Thomas F. Culhane Glin, Glin Historical Society, 1998

[30] Declan M Downey ‘Between Scylla and Charybdis: The Knights of Glin and their Hapsburg and Stuart associations, 1600-1700’ in Tom Donovan (ed) The Knights of Glin; Seven Centuries of Change. Glin, Glin Historical Society, 2009, 122

[31] Notes on some branches of the O’Connor Kerry family, compiler unknown, 19th century, National Library of Ireland, Ms. 667, 18.

[32] ibid

[33] ibid

[34] Richard Francis Cronnelly, A history of the Clanna-Rory, or Rudrician, 48

[35] From the notes collected in Ballylongford by Mr Thady Brassil, in private collection

[i] Lenihan, M., Limerick, its history and antiquities; ecclesiastical, civil, and military Dublin 1866, 89

One comment

  1. O’Connor Kerry of Carrigafoyle looks great this morning.

    Mary McAulifee tells a story over hundreds of years, great photos.

    I heard some years ago that a major book was planned. I look forward to seeing it in print.

    For over the coming years .. a series of 500 pieces …
    .. on each different member of the family .. Conor Liath .. Sean an Fiona – John of the wine: what a name – ..Conor Bacach .. Sean na gCachach etc
    .. Carrigafoyle in different periods .. Henry, Elizabeth, Cromwell etc
    .. the castle … it’s architecture, location, its name (Carraig a’ Phoill), the entrance etc
    .. The Lislaughtin Cross, Palm Sunday 1580, etc
    .. links with .. O’Sullivan Bere; O’Neill & O’Donnell; the Earl of Desmond etc

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