The Northwest Sights

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Donegal Castle Review

Donegal Castle was built by clan leader Hugh O'Donnell in the 1470s. More than a century later, this structure was the home of his descendant Hugh Roe O'Donnell, who faced the might of the invading English and was the last clan chief of Tyrconail. In 1602 he died on a trip to Spain while trying to rally reinforcements from his allies. Its new English owner, Sir Basil Brooke, modified the little castle in 1610, fitting Jacobean towers and turrets to the main fort and adding a Jacobean mansion (which is now a ruin). Inside, you can peer into the garderobe (the restroom) and the storeroom, and survey a great banqueting hall with an exceptional vaulted wood-beam roof. Also of note is the gargantuan sandstone fireplace nicely wrought with minute details. Mind your head on the low doorways and be careful on the narrow trip stairwell. The small, enclosed grounds are pleasant.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Tirchonaill St., near north corner of Diamond, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal
  • Phone: 074/972–2405
  • Cost: €4
  • Hours: Apr.–Sept., daily 10–6; Oct.–Mar., Thurs.–Mon. 9:30–3:45
  • Website:
  • Location: Donegal Town
Updated: 04-28-2014

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