Dating from the late 1190s, this castle became the chief stronghold of the O’Sullivan Mór clan. Then, nearly 450 years after it was built, the family destroyed the castle rather than risk its capture by Cromwell.
The site is located near the town of Kenmare in the southwest of Ireland. A “Jewel on the Ring of Kerry”, the town lies nestled between the mountains of Kerry and Cork.
Today, the castle ruins stand in a wooded glen, vegetation crawling up the stone edifice of what remains of a grand tower. Emerging from the stillness of the forest, these ruins are a breathtaking sight. One can almost conjure the history and romance of this powerful clan.
Lush green foliage, the gentle song of wrens wafting through the glade and pervasive mists of an early spring morning gives the site its unique Celtic flavor.
Yet for those of us descending from the O’Sullivan Baera branch, our stronghold is a pile of rock about waist high, situated near Dunboy Castle on the outskirts of Castletownbere. It was blown to bits in 1602 in the Seige of Dunboy. Move along folks, little to see here.
Since Dunkerron belongs to distant cousins from a remote past, I’ve decided to revise my personal history. Skipping a few generations and facts in order to claim the enchanting Dunkerron, I’ve decided to trace my lineage back to Eoghan, founder of all the O’Sullivan branches.
Now, that’s my castle ... Is é do bhaile do chaisleán
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those who are Irish … and those who wish they were.