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O'Grady's Castle

Tuamgraney Castle was built c1500 by the O'Grady family adjacent to St Cronan's church in order to protect the church. The O'Gradys were Ireland's leading ecclesiastical family in the fourteenth century starting with John O'Grady, Archibishop of Cashel in 1332, and his son John O'Grady, Archbishop of Tuam in 1368, followed by his son of the same name who was Bishop of Elphin in 1405. In Tuamgraney, the coarb in the monastery was always an O'Grady until ousted by the Brady's. The tower house is rather plain looking, with only a machicolation over the slightly recessed door and several arrow loops and windows. We have no interior shots as the large red door, pictured right, was locked when we visited. We have read that there is a vault on the first floor with a trace of wicker centering that would have been used in the construction of the vault. This would have been very interesting to see, but the floor of the particular storey is missing.

Access to the castle may be through the East Clare Heritage Centre that is now housed in St Cronan's Church next to the castle. We were very disappointed to see that a rather indistinct "modern" handball court has been built right up against the castle.

South Wall Tuamgraney Castle

Situated: Very easy, located on the west side of the R643 in Tuamgraney town next to the East Clare Heritage Centre.

Discovery Map 58: R 6367 8304. Last visit April 2012.

Longitude: 8° 32' 24" W

Latitude: 52° 53' 49" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey and Deb Snelson.

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