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posted 07-27-2000 02:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alberto   Click Here to Email alberto     Edit/Delete Message
Does anyone know an castle called Ballea?
The castle is close to Cork in the south of Ireland and it is supposed to be a castle from the 10 century.

Can anyone confirm this and give more details about the castle?



posted 07-28-2000 02:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Levan   Click Here to Email Levan     Edit/Delete Message
Between 1310 and 1320 King Dermod III hired Golloglas mercenaries to take back West Muskerry. Among these Galloglas (meaning foreign warriors - they came mostly from the Scottish Hebrides) were the MacSweeneys, a sept of MacCarthy.

Some traditions suggest that the MacSweeneys actually arrived earlier, invited by King Cormac V to assist in the war against the Anglo-Normans (1262).

It's also known that the MacSweeney arrived in Ireland through the marriage of Domhnall Óg O'Donnell with a MacSweeney of Castle Sween and MacDonnel of the Isles.

Whichever date is preferred, what is certain is that in reward for their mercenary services, the Golloglas received grants of land upon which several castles were built and garrisonned. One such castle was Ballea; others included Ballycarbery, Blarney, Carrignamuck, Castleinchy, Castlelough, Castlemore, Cloghroe, Carrigadrohid, Drishane, Dromaneen, Gorticlough, Kanturk, Kilbrittain, Kilbonane, Kilcoe, Kilmeedy, Macroom, Mashanaglas, Togher, Pallis and Castleshort.

Obviously, these events indicate that Bellea Castle is late 13th or early 14th century rather than the 10th century you suggest. Of course, there may have been a pre-existing castle structure on the site, but I have seen no evidence to support this speculation (that's not to say there isn't any!).

As a side issue, some time ago I'd heard a rumour that Ballea Castle was being purchased by Liam Gallagher of the pop group Oasis (whether this went ahead following the reported split with Patsy Kensit, I've no idea).


posted 07-28-2000 02:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Levan   Click Here to Email Levan     Edit/Delete Message
I've just found a link to a book that includes coverage of Ballea Castle.

The Castles and Strongholds of Ireland:

I've not actually seen this book, but perhaps other contributors to Castle Quest might be able to indicate the level of detail that it contains about Ballea Castle? The book covers over 50 castles in 160 pages with 470 illustrations, so the text can't be especially detailed - but then, it might be substantially more than you have already!


posted 07-28-2000 10:14 AM           Edit/Delete Message
yes, the link provided leads to the muchmentioned book of that name by Mike Salter, and his entry on Ballea is fairly brief.
Ballea, Cork
The Cogans built the earliest castle on the rock above the Owenboy estuary. It was held by the MacCarthys of Muskerry in the 16thc and in 1604 was granted to Sir George Carew. He sold it to Richard Boyle who in turn sold it to Edward Martel from whom the MacCarthys purchased it back, only to lose it again in the 1650's. One of these families built the present stronghouse which is still inhabited.

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