Renvyle Castle is a medieval tower house that dates back to the late 13th or early 14th century. Renvyle Castle is located on the scenic peninsula of Renvyle, which offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Twelve Bens mountain range.

Renvyle Castle has a fascinating and turbulent past, involving feuds, battles, piracy and legends. It is believed that the castle was originally built by the Joyce family, who were Norman settlers in Connemara. However, some sources dispute this and claim that the castle was built by the O’Flaherty family, who were native Irish lords of West Connacht.

According to a legend, the O’Flaherty’s seized the castle from the Joyce’s in a brutal attack during a wedding celebration. They killed all the guests except one, who escaped to tell the tale. The O’Flaherty’s then became the masters of Renvyle Castle and the surrounding lands.

One of the most famous residents of Renvyle Castle was Grace O’Malley, also known as Granuaile or the Pirate Queen of Ireland. She was a fearless leader, warrior and seafarer who defied the English authorities and ruled over a large territory along the west coast of Ireland. She married Donal O’Flaherty, the chieftain of Renvyle, and it is believe she and Donal lived in the castle for some time around 1546. She bore him three children and helped him fight against his enemies.

However, Donal O’Flaherty was killed in an ambush by a rival clan in 1565. Grace O’Malley then left Renvyle Castle and returned to her own lands in Mayo, where she continued her maritime exploits and political intrigues. She later married another chieftain, Richard Burke, and had another son with him. She died in 1603 at the age of 73. It was recorded that the castle was later occupied by Miles MacTibbot in 1574.

Some stories say that Grace O’Malley destroyed part of Renvyle Castle with a cannon fired from her ship at sea. This may explain why the castle is now in ruins and not open to the public. However, you can still admire its remains from the roadside and imagine its former glory and drama.

Renvyle Castle is a testament to the rich and complex history of Connemara and Ireland. It is a place where you can learn about the lives and struggles of the people who shaped this land and its culture. It is also a place where you can enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of this region.


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Renvyle Castle



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