Kincora Palace Site

Kincora Palace Site (St. Flannans's Catholic Church), Killaloe, County Clare

Kincora Palace (Ceann Coradh) was situated on one of Killaloe’s highest points is now occupied by the Catholic Church. It is said that the Palace was built as a defence against the Norse in the early 9th century but it is most famous for being the stronghold of the High King of Ireland, Brian Boru during his reign. Therefore during his reign from 1002 – 1014 Killaloe was effectively the capital of Ireland in the 10th and early 11th century. He rebuilt and strengthened this ancient Dal gCais stronghold in 1002.

After the death of Brian Boru (Bryan Boru) at the Battle of Clontarf, the Connaughtmen raided and demolished the stronghold in 1016. After his death, as the O’Briens fought among themselves for the crown Aodh O’Connor burned Killaloe destroying the rebuilt Kincora. During Turlough O’Briens (grandson of Brian) reign, Kincora was burned, firstly by Rory O’Connor in 1081 and by the men of Breifne in 1084. It was again destroyed by Domnhnall MacLouchlainn, Kin of Aileach in 1088.

Murtagh Mór O’Brien, last of the O’Brien’s to be High King of Ireland took revenge for these raids 13 years later. Limerick was his main base but he kept Kincora as a secondary seat. Kincora was struck by lightning in 1107 and many of the buildings were set on fire. It seems that Murtagh much have repaired it again because he occupied it in 1114, but this was short lived as by now Murtagh in poor health and under pressure was attached in 1116 by Turlough O’Connor who burned and devastated the stronghold.

After Murtagh Mór O’Brien died in 1119, Turlough decided to end the O’Brien authority in Kincora so he attacked it once again, this time levelling it to the ground, throwing the stone and timber of Brian Boru’s great palace into the Shannon.

The Catholic Church was built on this site in 1836/1837 on one of Killaloe’s highest most Historical sites.