O'Grady Castle

O'Grady Castle, Tuamgraney, County Clare

The Castle was built in c 1500 by the O’Grady family, to protect the adjacent St. Cronan’s church. In the era of Brian Boru (Bryan Boru), Tuamgraney, this stunning panoramic part of Clare was a major religious centre of learning. According to ancient records, Brian returned to O’Grady Castle in Tuamgraney in 1012 to worship and repair the bell tower (cloigteach) of the monastery. This castle has a recorded historical association with him.

The O’Grady Clan ruled Tuamgraney as a well as Whitegate, Mountshannon and Scariff. They built castles including this one O’Grady Castle, which is still in good preservation but crying out for restoration. The O’Grady’s were Ireland’s leading religious family. Related O’Grady’s went on to become Archbishops and many others held high office.

You can follow in the footsteps of the Great High King of Ireland by exploring this area of Clare. The area is rich in remains of the past such as the O’Grady Castle which was built to command a nearby fort. The Castle tower house itself is plain with only a machicolation over the door and several windows. Apparently there was at one stage a vault on the first floor. The area also has a famine memorial park recently conserved by East Clare Heritage, the Calvary of East Clare which was built to honour those whom fell in the fight for Irish Independence. Closeby is the tomb of Gráinne which dates back to ancient times and from where Tuamgraney, where it is said got its name.

The church is located on the west side of the Town next to the heritage centre.

(Image countesy of Jim Dempsey at megalithicireland.com)