Castles Castles Athenry Castle 130573054 Athenry Castle 130573057 Aughnanure Castle 130573059 Aughnanure Castle 130573062 Aughnanure Castle 130573063 Aughnanure Castle A corner of the castle wall with a defense tower. 130577856 Aughnanure Castle Stairwell. 130577857 Aughnanure Castle A window of the castle. 130577862 Aughnanure Castle One view of the main hall. 130577866 Aughnanure Castle The minstrel gallery in the main hall. The bards and minstrels would perform their heroic ballads for the entertainment of the guests from this balcony. 130577867 Aughnanure Castle A window, showing a 'murder hole' on the floor, with the protective grating cover (as castle is now a tourist attraction). This was positioned over the castle entry, to rain down arrows or boiling oil on any would-be intruders. 130577868 Aughnanure Castle The main portion of the castle-the tower house. 130577858 Aughnanure Castle A portion of the castle. 130577859 Aughnanure Castle 130577860 Aughnanure Castle An aerial view of the castle grounds. 130573065 Drimneen River Drimneen River with Aughnanure Castle in the background. 130577863 Drimneen River The river on the edge of Aughnanure Castle grounds. 130577864 Yew tree Aughnanure was the English interpretation of the Irish Gaelic : Achadh na nlubhar, meaning 'field of the Yews'. This is the last remaining yew on the castle grounds. Known for it's strength and durability, yew wood was used for everything from axe handles to flooring, and also particularly useful for bows, due to it's flexibility. 130577865 Aughnanure Castle sign A tourist photo taken from the internet. 130577861 Ballynahinch Castle The Ballynahinch Castle and tourist hotel....owned by Donal O'Flaherty (Donal-an-Cogaidh, meaning Donal of the Battles) 1st husband to Grace 0'Malley (Pirate Queen of Connemara) when she was 15 and together they had 3 children. The name is derived from the Irish Gaelic: Baile na hinse, meaning 'town of the holm'. Holm refers to the 'oak', an integral part of ceremony and ritual in the Druid religion. 130573068 Ballynahinch Castle The backside of the castle. 130607488 Kirk Castle (Cock's Castle) Located in Lough (Lake) Corrib, called Cock's Castle in tribute to Donal O'Flaherty, who died defending it. 130573072 Cock's Castle-close up Located in Lough Corrib, later to be known as Hen's Castle, (Caislean-Na-Circe) in honor of Grace O'Malley for her valiant defense of it after her husband's death. 130573069 O'Flaherty Castle, Oughterard The castle dates from the 16th century, among the best features of the ruins are the tower and the main hall with it's stonework, with carved vines. The O'Flaherties were not popular in Galway and were considered a threat. Over the West Gate of Galway in the Middle Ages was the following inscription: "From the furies of the O'Flaherties, Good God deliver us." The Clan were silenced during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 130573078 O'Flaherty Castle Manuscripts give an account that the castle contained the following entourge to keep the O'Flaherties in comfort: one physican, one collector of revenue, one master of the horse, two brehons, (judges) one file (poet) one person in charge of entertainment and two other attendants. 130573071 Rockfleet Castle The home of Richard Bourke, 2nd husband to Grace O'Malley. This castle is located in Clew Bay. Grace O'Malley was born on Clare Island, the island on the horizon. Irish castle name: Carraigahowley. 130573070 D'Arcy Castle Located in Clifden, a main town in Connemara. 130573073 O'Brien Castle On the cliff of Inisheer, one of the Aran Islands at the mouth of Galway Bay. You can barely see the castle on the cliff's edge. 130573075 Cliff formation A close-up of the peculiar formation at the base of the cliff of O'Brien Castle. 130616793 O'Brien Castle A view from the other side of the cliff. 130616794 O'Brien Castle Close up. 130573076 O'Brien Castle Conquered by the O'Flahertys from the O'Briens. The O'Flahertys controlled the Aran Islands, probably after taking them from the O'Briens. 130573077 O'Brien Castle Another O'Brien castle. 130616795 O'Brien Castle The same castle as the previous photo, to include the beach front. 130616878 Renvyle Castle 130573079 Rock of Cashel The castle of the first High King of Ireland, Brian Boru. 155061186 Rock of Cashel Another view of Brian Boru's castle complex. 155061187