BLARNEY, a village

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

BLARNEY, a village, in the parish of GARRYCLOYNE, barony of EAST MUSKERRY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 5 miles (N. W. by W.) from Cork; containing 417 inhabitants. It is situated on a river of the same name, over which is a handsome bridge of three arches, on the road from Cork to Kanturk, and comprises 57 houses, which are small but well built and slated. The noted castle of Blarney was built in 1446, by Cormac McCarthy, surnamed Laidir, who was descended in a direct line from the hereditary kings of Desmond or South Munster, and was equally distinguished by his extraordinary strength and feats of chivalry as by elegance and grace both of body and mind. It is situated on an isolated rock of limestone rising boldly over the junction of the rivers Blarney and Comane, and is the third castle occupying the site: the first was rather a hunting post of Dermot McCarthy, King of South Munster, and was built of timber; the second was built in the year 1200, and the present structure was raised on its foundations, which are still visible.

In the reign of Elizabeth it was the strongest fortress in Munster, and at different periods withstood regular sieges, but was treacherously taken by Lord Broghill in 1646, and the army of King William demolished all the fortifications, leaving only the tower remaining. Donogh McCarthy, who commanded the forces of Munster, was first summoned to parliament in the reign of Elizabeth by the title of Baron of Blarney; and Charles II., in 1658, conferred the title of Earl of Clancarthy on the head of this family, the last of whom was dispossessed after the siege of Limerick; and the estate, comprising all Muskerry, was forfeited to the crown for the earl’s adherence to the cause of James II. On the sale of the forfeited lands in 1692, the Hollow Sword Blade Company purchased all the land around this place, and more than 3000 acres in the parish were allotted to a member of the Company, and are now held by his descendant, George Putland, Esq., of Dublin. Justin McCarthy, of Carrignavar, the only lineal descendant of that family, holds a part of the ancient inheritance.

The castle was purchased in 1701 by Sir James Jefferyes, governor of Cork, who soon after erected a large and handsome house in front of it, which was the family residence for many years, but is now a picturesque ruin. The top of the castle commands a very fine view over a rich undulating tract intersected by the rivers Blarney, Comane, and Scor-thonac, and bounded on the north-west by the lofty chain of the Boggra mountains. On the east is the Comane bog, many years since an impenetrable wilderness, and the last receptacle for wolves in this part of the country: that river, which takes its name from its serpentine course, flows through the bog and joins the river Blarney under the walls of the castle; and their united waters receive a considerable accession from the Scorthonac, a rapid stream which rises in the Boggra mountains.

The interest which both natives and strangers take in the castle arises more from a tradition connected with a stone in its north-eastern angle, about 20 feet from the top, than from any other circumstance: this stone, which bears an inscription in Latin recording the erection of the fortress, is called the “Blarney stone,” and has given rise to the well known phrase of “Blarney,” in reference to a notion that, if any one kisses it, he will ever after have a cajoling tongue and the art of flattery or of telling lies with unblushing effrontery. Few, however, venture upon this ceremony, from the danger in being lowered down to the stone by a rope from an insecure battlement 132 feet high. The “groves of Blarney” are of considerable extent and very interesting; and beneath the castle are some spacious natural caves, one of which was converted into a dungeon by some of its early proprietors: it is entered by a very strong door, near which is a solitary window scarcely admitting a ray of light, and there are several massive iron rings and bolts yet remaining. Stalactites and stalagmites of beautiful formation and very compact are found in these caves.

The village, though now of little importance, was once the most thriving in the county, and between the years 1765 and 1782, when the linen manufacture was carried on, had not less than 13 mills in operation, erected by St. John Jefferyes, Esq., at an expense of about £20,000. The cotton trade was afterwards introduced and flourished for a time, but has decayed; and the only establishments now in operation are a spinning-mill belonging to M. Mahony, Esq., in which about 120 persons are employed in spinning and dyeing woollen yarn for the extensive camlet manufactory in Cork; and a paper-mill, erected by G. Jenkins, Esq., which employs about 170 persons. St. John Jefferyes, Esq., the proprietor of the village, has it in contemplation to rebuild it on an enlarged and improved plan. Just above it stands the parish church, which was repaired and enlarged in .1835, and is a very neat edifice. Fairs are held on Sept. 18th and Nov. 11th; here is a station of the constabulary police; and petty sessions are held on alternate Tuesdays. A national school, capable of accommodating 500 children, was built in 1836, at an expense of £300, of which the Commissioners gave £90, the parishioners £11, and the Rev. M. Horgan, P.P., gave the remainder; and there is a dispensary.

BLARNEY CASTLE.—There is, perhaps, no ruin in Ireland that has acquired such worldwide celebrity as Blarney Castle from the legend ascribing to it the power of endowing any one who kisses a certain stone of the structure with an irresistible faculty of persuasion, and which Milikin, Father Prout and others have popularized. Milikin’s “Groves of Blarney” was written in ridicule of the high-sounding, nonsensical verses of some of the village poets of his time. Blarney Castle stands in the village of that name, and is about six miles from Cork. It was built by Cormac MacCarthy “The Strong,” A.D. 1449, and was the stronghold of the chieftains of that sept. All that remains now is the donjon keep, 120 feet in height; and the walls, 18 feet in thickness, add to its great strength. The inner courtyard was 8 acres in extent. The castle sustained may sieges and attacks in the Anglo-Irish wars. The process of kissing the Blarney stone is a somewhat perilous venture, and few tourists care to risk it.

The castle dates from the fifteenth century, and was founded by Cormac MacCarthy, who also founded the abbey and castle of Kilcrea, in the former of which he was buried. The castle and estates were forfeited in 1689, the last of the original owners being allowed a pension of �300.

Seen across the river by the approach from the town, the lofty grey mass of the huge quadrangular keep towering above the foliage of the trees, the castle presents a very imposing appearance.

The real Blarney Stone was one containing the inscription Cormac Mac Carthy fortis me fieri fecit A.D. The situation of the stone has shown a tendency to vary according to the predilections of the guides. But that now exhibited is the lowermost of those clasped between the iron bars, as shown in the engraving. Whatever the origin of the tradition, and of the custom of kissing the Blarney Stone, the reputation it has acquired of recent years has been due largely to Father Prout’s verses.

Cork-Blarney-CastleThere is a stone there,
That whoever kisses,
Oh! he never misses
To grow eloquent.
‘Tis he may clamber
To a lady’s chamber,
Or become member
Of Parliament. A clever spouter He’ll sure turn out, or An out and outer “To be let alone”! Don’t hope to hinder him Or to bewilder him, Sure he’s a pilgrim

From the Blarney Stone.

The groves of Blarney,
They look so charming,
Down by the purlings
Of sweet silent brooks,
All decked by posies
That spontaneous grow there
Planted in order
In the rocky nooks.
‘Tis there the daisy,
And the sweet carnation,
The blooming pink,
And the rose so fair;
Likewise the lily
And the daffadowndilly–
All flowers that scent
The sweet open air.

Blarney Lake, a pretty sheet of water, lies about a quarter of a mile from the castle; it, however, would be scarcely worth noticing, were it not connected with some old tradition of a herd of enchanted white cows, that at certain seasons are said to come up out of the lake to graze amongst the luxuriant pastures on its banks. There is also a story generally current amongst the peasantry, that the last Earl of Clancarty who possessed Blarney, cast all his plate and treasures into a certain part of the lake, and that “three of the McCarthys inherit the secret of the place where they are deposited; any one of whom dying, communicates it to another of the family, and thus perpetuates the secret which is never to be revealed until a McCarthy be again Lord of Blarney.”

Lords of Muskry

From Irish Pedigrees; or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation by John O’Hart

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Armorial Bearings: Same as those of the MacCarthy Mór.

CORMAC MACCARTHY MOR, Prince of Desmond (see the MacCarthy Mór Stem, No. 115,) had a second son, Dermod Mór, of Muscry (now “Muskerry”) who was the ancestor of MacCarthy, lords of Muscry, and earls of Clan Carthy.

116. Dermod Mór: son of Cormac Mór, Prince of Desmond; b. 1310; created, by the English, in A.D. 1353, “Lord of Muscry;” issue:—1. Cormac; 2. Felimy; who was ancestor of MacCarthy of Tuonadronan; and Donoch, whose descendants are called Carthy (modernized “Cartie”), of Cluanfada. This Dermod was taken prisoner by MacCarthy of Carbery, by whom he was delivered up to his (Dermod’s) mother’s brother the Lord Fitz-Maurice, who put him to death, A.D. 1368. Another authority states he was slain by the O’Mahonys in 1367.

117. Cormac, lord of Muscry: his son; b. 1346. This Cormac was slain by the Barrys in Cork, and interred in Gill-Abbey, in that city, on the 14th of May, 1374. From his youngest son Donal are descended the Carthies of Sean Choill (Shanakiel).

118. Teige (or Thadeus), lord of Muscry: his son; b. 1380, d. 1448; governed Muscry thirty years; issue:—1. Cormac; 2. Dermod, ancestor of the MacCarthys of Drishane, and founder of the castle of Carrigafooka; 3. Ellen, who married Dermod-an-Duna MacCarthy, Prince of Carbery; and Eoghan,[1] of Rathduane.

119. Cormac Laidir: his son; b. 1411; married to Mary, dau. of Edmond Fitzmaurice, lord of Kerry, by whom he had Cormac Oge, and a dau. who married Donal MacCarthy-Reagh, of Carbery. This Cormac, in 1465, founded the Franciscan Monastery of Kilcredhe or Cill-Credhe (now “Kilcrea”), in the parish of Kilbonane, dedicated to St. Bridget, founded five additional churches; and also built the donjon of Blarney Castle, together with the castles of Kilcrea, and Ballymaccadan. The Four Masters record his death as follows, under A.D. 1494:

“Cormac, i.e. the MacCarthy, the son of Tadg, son of Cormac, lord of Muskerry, was killed by his own brother Eoghan, and by his (Eoghan’s) sons. He was a man who raised and revered the church, and was the first founder of the monastery of Kilcrea; a man that ordained that the Sabbath should be kept holy in his dominions as it ought to be; and he was succeeded by Eoghan, son of Tadg.”

He was buried in Kilcrea, in the middle of the choir; the inscription on his tomb runs thus:—

“Hic jacet Cormacus, fil. Thadei, fil. Cormac fil. Dermidii Magni MacCarthy, Duns de Musgraigh-Flayn, acistius conventus primus fundator. an. Dom. 1494.”

120. Cormac Oge, lord of Muscry: son of Cormac Laidir; b. A.D. 1447; d. in 1537; buried at Kilcrea. Married to Catherine Barry. Issue:—Teige; and Julia, who was married thrice: first, to Gerald Fitzmaurice, lord of Kerry; secondly, to Cormac MacCarthy Reagh, of Kilbrittain Castle; and thirdly, to Edmond Butler, lord Dunboyne. This Cormac defeated the Fitzgeralds in several engagements; fought the battle of “Cluhar and Moor” (Mourne Abbey), where he, assisted by MacCarthy Reagh and other chieftains, defeated James Fitzgerald —earl of Desmond—who ravaged Munster in 1521. This Cormac attended Parliament in 1525, as “lord of Muscry.” He had a dau. Ellen, m. to James Barrett; and another, Mary, married to O’Sullivan Mór.

121. Teige, lord of Muscry: his son; born, A.D. 1472; died in A.D. 1565; buried at Kilcrea. This Cormac married Catherine, the daughter of Donal MacCarthy Reagh, prince of Carbery, and by her had issue:—1. Dermod; 2. Sir Cormac MacTeige, lord of Muscry, who was ancestor of the families of Courtbreack, Bealla, Castlemor,[2] and Clochroe; 3. Owen, who was slain at Dromanee; 4. Donal-na-Countea,[3] who died in 1581: 5. Ceallachan, who was ancestor of the Carthys of Carricknamuck; 6. Donoch, who was ancestor of the Carthys of Carew; 7. Eleanor.

122. Dermod, lord of Muscry: his son; born A.D. 1501; m. Elana, dau. of Maurice Fitzgerald, and niece of James, the 15th earl of Desmond; died in 1570, buried at Kilcrea. Issue:—Cormac; Teige, ancestor of the MacCarthys of Insirahell (near Crookstown, co. Cork); Julia, married to John de Barry, of Laisarole; and Graine, who married Donogh Oge MacCarthy Reagh, of Carbery In 1563, this Dermod fought and defeated Sir Maurice Dubh (duff) Fitzgerald, his father-in-law, who was beheaded by his guard.

123. Cormac Mór, lord of Muscry: his son; born, A.D. 1552; married to Maria Butler. Issue:—1. Cormac; 2. Teige, ancestor of the MacCarthys of Aglish; Donal, ancestor of the MacCarthys of Carrignavar; and Julia, who married twice: first, David Barry of Buttevant; and, secondly, Dermod O’Shaughnessy of Gort, in the county of Galway. This Cormac Mór attended parliament in 1578 as “Baron of Blarney;” conformed to the Protestant church; died in 1616; and was buried at Kilcrea. He also contested with Florence MacCarthy Reagh for the dignity of “MacCarthy Mór,” but did not succeed. Acted as Sheriff of Cork; and on the memorable 21st October, 1601, when all his kinsmen were ranged under the O’Neill, the Red Hand of Ulster, at Kinsale, this Cormac assisted the English against the Irish, who were there commanded by O’Neill and O’Donnell. For this act he received many “honours” from the English.

124. Cormac Oge, 17th lord of Muscry: his son; born A.D. 1564; married Margaret, the daughter of Donogh O’Brien, by his wife Elena Roche; and died in London, on the 20th of February, 1640. This Cormac was educated at Oxford (England), and on the 15th of November, 1628, was created “Baron of Blarney” and ” Lord Viscount Muscry.” Issue:—1. Donogh; 2. Maria, who married Sir Valentine Brown, ancestor of the Earls of Kenmare; 3. Ellen, who married Colonel Edward Fitzmaurice, only son of Thomas, 18th lord of Kerry; and 4. Eleanor, who was the first wife of Cormac MacCarthy Reagh.

125. Donoch MacCarthy, lord Viscount Muscry: son of Cormac; born A.D. 1594; created “Earl of ClanCarthy” by Charles II., in 1658; was confederate chieftain and commander of the Munster forces in the civil wars in Ireland of 1641-52; exiled to the Continent, and his property conferred on his second wife Ellen (a sister of the first Duke of Ormond) and her issue; returned to Ireland at the “Restoration” of Charles II.; contested the right of Florence and Donal to the dignity of MacCarthy Mór (See Appendix, Annals of the Four Masters”); died in London (England), July, 1665. By his first marriage this Donoch had a son named Donall, who was known as the Buchaill Bán (or “the fair-haired boy”). By his second marriage he had three sons:—1. Cormac; 2. Ceallachan, who conformed to the Protestant religion; 3. Justin,[4] created “Lord Mountcashel” by King James II., in 1689; and died in France, 1st July, 1694, at Barrege, of the effects of wounds. Cormac, lord Muskerry, above mentioned (who d. 24th Dec. 1675), was, in 1665, engaged in a sea fight with the Dutch off Harwich, whilst in the same ship with the Duke of York, afterwards James II.; he (Cormac) died on the 22nd of June, 1665, of wounds received in this action. He married Margaret, the daughter of Ulick de Burgo, 1st Marquis and 5th Earl of Clanrickard, and 2nd earl of St. Albans, by whom he had two children:—1. Charles-James, b. 1663, who died young; and 2. Francis, born 1564.

126. Ceallachan MacCarthy: second son of Donoch; married Elizabeth Fitzgerald, sixth daughter of George Fitzgerald, the 16th earl of Kildare; had issue by her one son, Donoch; and four daughters, one of whom, Catherine, married Paul Davis, who was created “lord Viscount Mountcashel,” by whom she had a daughter, who was married to Justin, son of Donoch, 4th earl of ClanCarthy. This Ceallaghan, who died in 1676, was being educated in France, for Holy Orders, but when the news of his brother’s death reached him, he quitted his monastery, became a Protestant, and married.

127. Donoch MacCarthy, the 4th Earl of Clan Carthy: son of said Ceallaghan; born 1669; was educated in Oxford, and having, like his father, conformed to the Protestant religion, was, before he was sixteen years of age, privately married to Elizabeth Spencer, second daughter of Robert Spencer, earl of Sunderland. In 1688, he received and entertained King James II., on his arrival in Ireland, having become a Catholic when James II. became King. In 1690, on the taking of Cork, he was taken prisoner by John Churchill, Earl of Marlborough, and confined in the Tower of London, from which, in 1694, he escaped to France; in 1698, he returned to England, was arrested, and exiled on a pension of £300 a year; his estates, worth over £200,000 a year, were confiscated, and sold in violation of the “Treaty of Limerick;” he died at Prals-Hoff, in the territory of Hamburg, on the 19th September, 1734. By his wife, who accompanied him into exile, and died abroad in June, 1704, he left issue:—1. Robert; 2. Charlotte, who married John West, Lord Delaware; and 3. Justin, who married his own first cousin, the Hon. Miss Davis, dau. of Paul, lord viscount Mountcashel.

128. Robert, hereditary Lord of Muscry, earl of Clan Carthy. Baron of Blarney, etc.: his son; born 1686, and died in a chateau near Boulogne, A.D. 1770; married twice: by his first wife, Jane Plyer, daughter of Captain Plyer, of Gosport, Southampton, he left no issue; at the age of 63 years he married a young wife, who brought him two sons:—1. Dermod; 2. Cormac. This Robert was a Commodore in the English Navy. Having failed to regain his father’s estates, he threw up his commission and joined the “Pretender.” At length he settled at Boulogne-Sur-Mer, in France, and obtained from the French King an annual pension of £1,000. His estates were seized by the English, and sold to the Hollow Swords Blade Company; Chief Justice Payne; the Very Rev. Dean Davis, of Cork; General Sir James Jeffries; and others. Blarney Castle and surrounding estate is now (1887) possessed by Sir George Colthurst, who married a Miss Jeffries.

129. Dermod: son of Robert; an officer in the French service, at the time of the Revolution in France; threw up his commission, and with his family (having married in France, in 1772, to Rose, youngest daughter of Nial O’Neill, Prince of Ulster), returned to Ireland; died in 1815, and was buried in the family vault in Kilcrea. Left issue three sons and four daughters.

130. Cormac, hereditary Earl of Clan Carthy, etc.: his son; resided in comparative obscurity in the City of Cork; married there to Nora, dau. of William O’Neill, of Ulster (see “O’Neill, Prince of Tyrone” Pedigree, No. 130), and died in 1826, leaving issue:—Donogh, Dermod, Teige, and Ada (or Adelaide). Buried at Moviddy.

131. Donogh, hereditary Earl of Clancarthy, etc.: his son; married Eva MacLoughlin, granddaughter to Mary O’Neill, who was dau. to Nial, Prince of Ulster; died in 1871; buried at Kilcrea; left issue four sons:—1. Justin; 2. Robert; 3. Cormac; 4. Finghin; and three daughters:—Elana, Elizabeth, and Ada. Eva died in 1874, and was buried at Moviddy.

132. Justin MacCarthy, hereditary Earl of Clan Carthy, etc.: his son; married Margaret O’Daly, in Cork, prior to leaving thence in 1878; had issue:—1. Teige; 2. Cormac; and 3. Charlotte; living in St. Louis, America, in January, 1887.

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NOTES

[1] Eoghan: From this Eoghan descended Donogh MacCartie, who lived temp. James II., and married Eva O’Donoghue, of Glenflesk, by whom he had a son, Charles, who married a Miss Barrett, of Barretts. By this lady Charles had a son, Charles, who married Mary O’Leary, daughter of Art. O’Leary (and niece of Col. MacCarthy of Drishane), by whom he had a son Denis, who married Joanna O’Donoghue Dubh, and had Charles, who married Mary O’Donoghue of Killaha (niece to the O’Donoghue of the Glens), and Jeremiah, who was the father of Denis MacCarthy of Woodview, co. of Cork. Charles, the eldest son of Denis, had by his wife, Mary O’Donoghue, a son Denis, who married Catherine, daughter of D. O’Connell, of Tralee (by his wife Ellen, sister of Daniel O’Connell, M.P.); and a son Daniel MacCarthy, of Headford Castle, in the county of Kerry.

[2] Castlemór: This castle is now a ruin near the Bride, on a limestone rock; built by the MacSweeneys. It was possessed by Phelim MacOwen MacCarthy, who was driven from it by Oliver Cromwell in the Commonwealth period.

[3] Donal-na-Countea: This epithet na-Countea means “of the county.” In the State Papers, temp. Elizabeth, this Donald is styled “Donyll ny-Countie.”

[4] Justin: This Justin married Arabella, second daughter of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, and had issue: Margaret, married to Luke, Earl of Fingal, who died in 1693; and Ellen, who married William de Burgh, Earl of Clanrickarde, by whom she had a daughter Honoria (or Nora), who married twice: first, to the celebrated Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan; and, secondly, on the 26th of March, 1695, to James Fitzjames (Stuart), Duke of Berwick, natural son of King James II.

The Blarney Stone: a load of old cobblers

May 22, 2013 by Paul MacCotter

The most commonly googled place in Ireland is ‘Blarney Stone’.  Blarney is a small village and now dormitory town five miles north of Cork City. A village with some pleasant walks, nice pubs, restaurants and hotels, with some modern housing estates on its outskirts. It has a lovely village square, more reminiscent of an English rural village than an Irish village.

The main attraction of Blarney is, of course, its famous blarney stone, perched high up in the battlements of the equally famous Blarney Castle on the outskirts of the village. This appears to have been attracting visitors to kiss it since the late 18th century. Various legends surround the stone. One story concerns Cormac Laidir McCarthy, who is said to have built the castle in 1446. McCarthy being involved in a lawsuit, he appealed to the goddess Clíodhna for her assistance. She told MacCarthy to kiss the first stone he found in the morning on his way to court, and he did so, with the result that he pleaded his case with great eloquence and won. Thus the Blarney Stone is said to impart ‘the gift of the gab’, having been later placed in the castle by McCarthy. Another legend makes the stone a piece of the Scottish stone of Scone, the inauguration stone of the kings of Scotland, said to have been given to an early McCarthy by Robert Bruce, a king of Scotland (as in the film Braveheart).

Needless to say, the whole business of the stone is harmless nonsense with no historical background whatsoever. So should you come to Blarney? Well yes, Blarney Castle is an impressive example of a medieval Irish tower-house located within lovely woods and parkland, and worth a visit. At the same time there are several other equally impressive Irish castles, some even more impressive than Blarney in fact, such as Caher, Co. Tipperary, Trim, Co. Meath, Barryscourt, 15 miles east of Blarney, and others. Blarney is perhaps one of a dozen or more really impressive Irish castle ruins.

The ‘history’ surrounding the Blarney Stone castle is also a load of cobblers

The ‘history’ surrounding the blarney castle is also a load of cobblers, by the way, and the real story is much more interesting. The Lee Valley, in which the castle stands, was heavily settled by Anglo-Norman settlers in the early 1200s (people of English, Welsh and French extraction). One of the biggest strongholds in the valley was Cloghroe, the ‘red castle’, three miles west of Blarney. During the 1320s the settlers began fighting among themselves, with the local lords, the Cogan lineage, being attacked by the Barrys and Roches, two Norman lineages from other parts of Cork. Seeing their chance, a branch of the McCarthys, living further west in the agriculturally poorer part of the valley which the Normans had not settled, began a campaign of ethnic cleansing, attacking and killing the settlers, stealing their cattle, and burning their corn. Over a twenty year period the McCarthys had driven the settlers out of most of the valley, and the Anglo-Norman government responded by sending a large army from Dublin which drove the McCarthys back west. However, the local lord of the Blarney area, Ralph de Guines of Cloghroe, had died without heirs, and the government granted the area to John Lombard, and the settlers returned. Lombard was a descendant of an Italian family, the Donati del Papa family, who had come to Ireland late in the 1200s as tax collectors for the king (of England). As late as 1479 his descendant, David Lombard, still held Cloghroe and Blarney. (Blarney is first mentioned in Lombard’s will of that year.) This shows that the tradition that the castle was built by a McCarthy lord in 1465 cannot be so.

Now the interesting thing about Blarney Castle is that it is really two castles. The first was a tall narrow tower, and this was later greatly extended when the main tower-house was attached to it. This can be seen clearly in pictures of the castle. The narrow tower is of a kind built in the 1390s at a time when King Richard II of England was in Ireland trying to bolster the English colony there. At the time the McCarthys had returned to attacking the colony in the eastern Lee Valley, and major efforts were being made to repel them. It seems clear therefore that the original Blarney Castle had been built by one of the Lombards in the 1390s. When it eventually fell to the McCarthys is unclear, probably during the last years of the 1400s, and surely it was the McCarthys who greatly extended the castle, probably in the early 1500s. Genealogically, Blarney Castle should be of interest to McCarthys and Lombards, as well as those with the other surnames associated with the castle and its McCarthy lords, such as Riordan, McSwiney or Sweeny, Murphy, Kelleher, and others.Mac Cotter

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