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Park Castle, also known as Cooltymurraghy Castle, is a 15th century tower house was once a stronghold of the O’Kelly family, one of the most powerful clans in Ireland. Today, it is a ruin with not much remaining but it still offers a glimpse into the past.

Park Castle is located near Kiltormer, about 40 km east of Galway city. The castle was probably built in the late 1400s or early 1500s by the O’Kellys, who ruled over much of east Galway and west Offaly. They were involved in many wars and conflicts with other clans and with the English crown. In 1570, Queen Elizabeth I granted Park Castle to Sir John Crofton, an English soldier who had fought against the O’Kellys. However, the O’Kellys regained control of the castle in 1596, after Crofton was killed by another clan.

The O’Kellys held Park Castle until the 1650s, when they were dispossessed by Oliver Cromwell’s forces. The castle was then given to Sir Thomas Newcomen, an English settler who also owned several other properties in Galway. Newcomen leased Park Castle to various tenants until his death in 1695. After that, the castle fell into decay and was eventually abandoned. It remained in the Newcomen family until 1912, when it was sold to a local farmer.

Park Castle is one of the many castles that dot the landscape of Galway, each with its own story and charm. The ruins are located on private land so you will need to seek the landowner’s permission before visiting it up close.


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Park Castle



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