Dunboy Castle (Caisleán Dhún Baoi)

Dunboy Castle


Location: Beara Peninsula Map

Destroyed: 1602 after Siege of Dunboy


Dunboy Castle (Irish: Caisleán Dhún Baoi) is the ruin of a lowland castle on the Beara Peninsula near the town of Castletownbere in County Cork, Ireland. It was a fortress of O'Sullivan Bere, a Gaelic clan chief and "chief of Dunboy"; from there, the port of Berehaven (Castletownbere) should be guarded and defended. The existence of Dunboy Castle enabled O'Sulliven Bere to control the marine fishing grounds off the Irish coast and demand taxes on Irish and continental European vessels seeking shelter in the harbor. Dunboy Castle was also a center for import and export to and from continental Europe. Today, much of the castle is destroyed, but the ruins are open to the public.

Dunboy Castle was besieged in the summer of 1602, eventually leading to its destruction and the breaking of O'Sullivan Bere's power. At that time, Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare was in rebellion against the English crown and Queen Elizabeth I had sent a 5,000-strong army under the command of George Carew, 1st Earl of Totnes, to quell the rebels. Despite his small garrison of only 143 men Dunboy Castle was considered impregnable, but after a wild Artillieriebombardement the walls were crumbled and after some hopeless fighting man against man in the rubble of the walls defenders finally defeated. The 58 survivors of the two-week siege were executed on the nearby market square.

Near the castle ruins is the Puxley Mansion, a 19th century country house. It was burned down by the IRA in 1920 by the IRA in retaliation for the destruction of houses containing men and weapons of the IRA. Some restoration work was completed in the 2000s, but financial problems prevented the conversion of the country house into a hotel and its opening.