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Ballymaquirk Castle

Baile Mac Quirk: The Townland of Quirke's Son

According to an article in the Duhallow Magazine of 1978/9 by Mrs Stephen 'the O'Keeffes had Castles at Dromagh, Drominagh and Duarigle, as well as castellated mansions at Ahane, Cullen and Ballymaquirk.'

This would seem to express the position in a phrase, although there is little trace of any of them apart from Dromash. This proud Gaelic family almost disappeared from their position of power after the Confederate War.

The family of Ballymaquirk seem to have descended from Daniel the son of Art O'Keeffe (1547-1616), whose wife Honora daugheter of Dermot MacCarthy of Enniskeane. Daniel had command of a company of foot at the battle of Knocknanuss in 1641, and his son, another Art, also supported Charles II. He commanded a company of foot and in the Declaration of Royal Gratitude a proviso was made for him. The son of another brother, finghin, was also described as 'of Ballymaquirk',although the family lost much of their land to Cromwell. Daniel's son Arthur was killed at Aughrim, but his son Nicholas escaped to France where the family built their future. Hudson O'Keeffe also made it to France where his grandson became keeper of the Royal Treasury of Louis XV. Bally maquirk had been mortgaged to Sir Philip Perceval before the Confederate War, and being 'rebels' they forfeited their title. (1)

(1) The Castles of County Cork With 72 line drawings and 10 maps by the author James N. Healy Copyright © 1988 by James N. Healy, p. 305.
Material reproduced by permission of the publisher.

The Mercier Press Limited
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last revised 2007 Jan 15.