Burke

Burke

The name Burke, or de Burgo, is one of the most important and numerous of the Hiberno-Norman names. The first to arrive in Ireland was William FitzAlan de Burgo, who took his name from the town of Burgh in Suffolk. He came with the Anglo-Norman invasion.

In the early 17th century, Richard Burke built Portumna Castle in Co Galway. It was the most magnificent house of its time in Ireland until gutted by fire in 1826, but its still impressive ruins can be freely seen. Edmund Burke (1729-1797), whose statue is outside Trinity College, Dublin, was one of the most renowned philosophers of the 18th century, the father of the modern Conservative Party in Britain.

Places connected with the name include Burke's 17th-century pub in Clarinbridge, Co Galway. Paddy Burke founded the famous oyster festival there in 1954. At Greencastle in Co Donegal can be seen the ruins of the castle built by Richard de Burgo, the Red Earl of Ulster, in 1305 and destroyed in 1555.