Dunboy Castle

Dunboy Castle, also known as O'Sullivan Beara Castle, lies on the bayshore west of the town of Castletownbere, in County Cork in Ireland.

Dunboy Castle was built during the 15th century by Donal O'Sullivan Bere on a rocky promontory overlooking Bear Island Sound. It was meant to guard and defend the harbour of Berehaven, controlling sea fisheries and collecting taxes from Irish and continental European fishing vessels sheltering in the harbour.

In 1602, during the Nine Years' War, the castle was the scene of the Siege of Dunboy. At that time it was the stronghold of Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare, a Gaelic clan leader and the 'Chief of Dunboy'. O'Sullivan was part of a confederation of Gaelic leaders who had gone into rebellion against the English Crown. They were aided by the King of Spain and as a result Spanish troops were garrisoned at the castle. After the Spanish leadership had surrendered to the English, O'Sullivan resolved to continue the fight and rallied his forces at Dunboy.

First he had to recover possession of his castle, for the Spanish troops were preparing to hand it over to the English. After removing the Spanish he strengthened the castle and left to get reinforcements and supplies, leaving Dunboy Castle defended by 143 men.

The English army, some 4500 men, under the command of Sir George Carew, then bombarded the castle for 10 days, reducing it to ruin. The defending force then sent a messenger to the English, to ask for terms. The English responded by hanging the messenger in sight of the defenders. The next day the English troops stormed the ruined castle. The defenders had sealed themselves in the cellar with their gunpowder. They tried to ignite it in an attempt to blow themselves up when the enemy broke into the cellar but this was prevented by an English captain. All the remaining defenders were captured and later hanged.

In the 1650's the site was refortified by the Cromwellian government with an earth rampart around the ruined tower.

Dunboy Castle is freely accessible. It is not a very spectacular ruin but still interesting because of its history and location. The abandoned 19th century Puxley Mansion is nearby.


Gallery

Dunboy Castle

Dunboy Castle, also known as O'Sullivan Beara Castle, lies on the bayshore west of the town of Castletownbere, in County Cork in Ireland.

Dunboy Castle was built during the 15th century by Donal O'Sullivan Bere on a rocky promontory overlooking Bear Island Sound. It was meant to guard and defend the harbour of Berehaven, controlling sea fisheries and collecting taxes from Irish and continental European fishing vessels sheltering in the harbour.

In 1602, during the Nine Years' War, the castle was the scene of the Siege of Dunboy. At that time it was the stronghold of Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare, a Gaelic clan leader and the 'Chief of Dunboy'. O'Sullivan was part of a confederation of Gaelic leaders who had gone into rebellion against the English Crown. They were aided by the King of Spain and as a result Spanish troops were garrisoned at the castle. After the Spanish leadership had surrendered to the English, O'Sullivan resolved to continue the fight and rallied his forces at Dunboy.

First he had to recover possession of his castle, for the Spanish troops were preparing to hand it over to the English. After removing the Spanish he strengthened the castle and left to get reinforcements and supplies, leaving Dunboy Castle defended by 143 men.

The English army, some 4500 men, under the command of Sir George Carew, then bombarded the castle for 10 days, reducing it to ruin. The defending force then sent a messenger to the English, to ask for terms. The English responded by hanging the messenger in sight of the defenders. The next day the English troops stormed the ruined castle. The defenders had sealed themselves in the cellar with their gunpowder. They tried to ignite it in an attempt to blow themselves up when the enemy broke into the cellar but this was prevented by an English captain. All the remaining defenders were captured and later hanged.

In the 1650's the site was refortified by the Cromwellian government with an earth rampart around the ruined tower.

Dunboy Castle is freely accessible. It is not a very spectacular ruin but still interesting because of its history and location. The abandoned 19th century Puxley Mansion is nearby.


Gallery