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A West Clare castle rooted in history has the potential to become a “grade A” heritage project.

Clare County Council have been requested to include the newly created access path into Carrigaholt Castle under its insurance policy.

Carrigaholt Castle is a noted landmark on the Shannon Estuary located in the Loop Head Peninsula. It was built around 1480 by the MacMahons who were the last Gaelic chieftains to rule West Corca Baiscinn which is now the Peninsula.

Tadhg was the last of the MacMahons, he was rebellious against English colonisation and was banished from the castle at the end of the Tudor period. The MacMahons were succeeded by the O’Briens, who had a history of loyalty to the Crown. The castle was taken by Oliver Cromwell’s forces in 1651, but the O’Briens were reinstated after the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.

When William of Orange defeated James II’s army in Ireland, the O’Briens left for France in what is known as the Flight of the Wild Geese. In 1697, the estate was granted to the Earl of Albermarle and quickly sold. The Burton Family acquired the castle and lived here until the end of the 19th century.

Given its history and past, Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) believed its potential to strength the offering of heritage projects in the county. He was supported in his call by Cllr Shane Talty (FF) and Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG).

An engineering inspection to determine further support of the project will be carried out, acting senior executive officer with the West Clare Municipal District, John O’Malley stated in response to Murphy’s motion. He spoke with representatives of Carrigaholt Development prior to Christmas to agree to meet, the pathway will form part of their conversation along with inclusion on the Council’s insurance policy.

“Trojan work” of community groups has been evident in recent months, Cllr Murphy stated. Funding from The Heritage Council must be tapped into to further the offering of infrastructure such as Carrigaholt Castle. “We’ve a long road, pardon the pun to make this a heritage asset to West Clare. It is shovel ready but we’re back to insurance”.

Murphy added, “I’m really hoping we can do something for the village and ourselves, once this thing is up and running there is an opportunity for another grade A heritage project to add to the others in West Clare”.

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