Posted by Brian Hoban on June 28, 2011 at 11:50:54:
In Reply to: re: It is commonly referred to as Barrys Castle . . . posted by Colloquial Language on June 27, 2011 at 10:13:51:
There seems to be some confusion as the the name and history of castle at Lough Lannagh.
The following article by Eamonn Bourke , of De Burca Rare Books, author of “Burke People and Places “ entitled “An Old and Formerly Fortified Building” was published in Castlebar parish Magazine some years ago.
See link: http://www.deburcararebooks.com/places.htm
In a recent email from Eamonn this is the most accurate information on this castle available at the time of publication and cannot be improved on since. Eamonn would be seen internationally as an authority on the history of the De Burcas.
“An Old and Formerly Fortified Building”
The building in question was Bourke Castle, and the latter part of his description is incorrect as this castle was never completed or lived in. The ivy covered ruins of the keep can still be seen adjacent to the North West shore of Lough Lannagh, on the outskirts of Castlebar.
The castle was built about 1580 by a son of Edmond Bourke of Castlebar. This Edmond, as Tarist, should have succeeded to the Chieftaincy of the Mayo Bourkes with the title of the “Mac William Iochtar”, on the death in September 1585 of Richard MacOliver Bourke.
However the Governor of Connacht, Sir Richard Bingham had different ideas and he set up Sir Shane Bourke’s nephew William as Chief. One reason for Bingham’s choice was that William Bourke was thought to be more dependable from the crowns point of view.
Bingham, with Sir Thomas L’Estrange, Mr Barkley and Ulick Bourke 3rd Earl of Clanrickard (a cousin of the Mayo Bourkes) met the Bourkes and the Scots in a field near Ardnaree, where the latter were completely and utterly defeated. Oliver and Edmund Bourke along with 1500 Scots men, women and children were slain or drowned in the River Moy.
Three years later in 1589, Sir Richard Bingham’s brother, Captain John, direct ancestor of the present day missing Lord Lucan, bought Edmond’s Estate for 100 cows and the rent of£5 per annum, unpaid since 1586, from the Government.
Local legend has it that the beautiful Bourke ladies lived in this castle and that there is an underground passage going from the castle to the other side of the lake. Both can be discounted although there is a certain amount of truth in the former.
There were in fact three beautiful ladies but almost 150 years later. They were granddaughters of Theobald Bourke, 6th Viscount of mayo, by his daughter Bridget who was married to Barnaby Gunning Esq. of Castle Coote, Co. Roscommon in 1731; they were Maria, Elizabeth and Catherine.
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