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Dunbulloge Castle

Dun Bolg: the Fort of the Bag(?)


It was held, as were the castles at Ballindura and Ballyvorisheen by branch of the ancient Gaelic family of the O'Keeffes of Dromagh who had been thrown west from their settlements around Fermoy at the time of the Norman advance. In this area their land extended north to Glenville. Fineen MacArt O'Keeffe of Dunbulloge, together with Art MacDonal MacArt O'Keeffe of Glenville, and Thady O'Keeffe of Knocknahorgan took part with James Fitzmaurice in the first Desmond rebellion, and, with the Barrys of Poulacurry and Rahinisky, they were attainted. However they seemed to have lain low after this for Dunbulloge was one of the places plundered by O'Neill in 1600, following the refusal of David Barry of Barryscourt to join him. IN 1619 Art O'Keeffe, a cousin of Art of Dromagh, was granted 'the castle and mills of Dunbullog' with other various lands. They were havily involved in the Confederate War of 1641-52 however, on the Irish side, and failure here swept the O'Keeffes, as powerful landlords, out of the area.


Caol Art O'Keeffe (see Ballindura) is a semi-legendary figure of the countryside. He is said to have possessed Dunbulloge, which was felled by Cromwell, and he continued his existence as a rapparee after the family was dispossedded. He is recorded as having been involved in a battle near Castlelyons against the Barrymores (possibly in Castlehaven's advance) and to have been buried in Bunbulloge graveyard. There is the not unsual story of a 'churn of gold' being buried by Caol, also in the graveyard; and the O'Keeffes were said th have made wine in caves in the vicinity (possibly at Ballindura). (1)


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(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. 51.

Material reproduced by permission of the publisher.


The Mercier Press Limited

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