On a rock north of Kinvara Bay, the 16th-century Dunguaire Castle spectacularly commands all the approaches to Galway Bay. It's said to stand on the site of a 7th-century castle built by the King of Connaught. Built in 1520 by the O'Hynes clan, the tiny storybook castle takes its name from the fabled king of Connaught, Guaire. In 1929 it was purchased by Oliver St. John Gogarty, the noted surgeon, man of letters, and model for Buck Mulligan, a character in James Joyce's
Ulysses. To his outpost came many of the leading figures of the 19th-century Celtic revival in Irish literature. Today Dunguaire is used for a Middle Ages–style banquet that honors local writers and others with ties to the West, including Lady Gregory, W. B. Yeats, Seán O'Casey, and Pádraic O'Conaire (book on-line for banquet tickets to get substantial discounts).