Clooneen Castle is a mysterious ruin that probably dates back to the 14th century. Clooneen Castle is located near Coolfin, a small village in the parish of Abbey, about 10 km from Loughrea. The castle was built by the Mac Donnell family, who were lords of the manor of Headford and had several other castles in the area. The castle was part of the lands seized by Ulick Burke, the 3rd Earl of Clanricarde, in 1608, according to an inquisition held in Galway.
Today, only the west wall and parts of the north and south walls remain of the castle, which stands on a rocky hill overlooking the countryside. The lower stones have been removed from the corners, and the interior is filled with rubble and vegetation. The most striking feature of the castle is the ogee-headed loop window on the west wall, which has finely cut stone surrounds. There are two more similar windows on the upper floor, but only one is intact. The west wall also has a large opening at the ground level, which may have been a window or a doorway. Inside, there are two wall cupboards, one on the south wall and one on the west wall.
The castle is situated on private land so you will need to seek the landowner’s permission in order to visit the castle up close. Clooneen Castle is one of the many castles that dot the Galway countryside, each with its own story and secrets.
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