The famous war-cry and motto of the Earls of Desmond "Shanid aboo", echoed a belief that this little castle was "Desmond's first and most ancient house". It was built by Thomas FitzGerald, after he had been granted the land around 1198. The castle comprises the shattered shell of a polygonal tower spectacularly clinging to the summit of a large earthen motte with surrounding fosse and bank. The tower is circular internally and only half survives to full parapet height. It was surrounded by a curtain wall around the summit of the earthwork; the remains on the south side still retain some of their battlements and loop-holes. A small kidney-shaped bailey on the east side has no sign of an enclosing wall. It was captured by Red Hugh O'Donnell in 1601 and wrecked in 1641.
13 km (8 miles) N of Newcastle West. NGR: R 243452.
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