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Ballynahinch Castle Connemara County Galway Ireland
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Ballynahinch Castle   ~   Connemara

 
       
Ballynahinch Castle is steeped in a wealth of tradition and has been intertwined in the history of Connemara and its people for many centuries. From the days of the O'Flaherty Chieftains, to Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen of Connemara, to Humanity Dick Martin, founder of the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals and to H.R.H. the Maharajah Ranjitsinji, also known as the 'Ranji', Prince of Cricketeers. Ballynahinch Castle Connemara County Galway Ireland
The name comes from the Irish Baile na hInse meaning settlement of the island.
Ballynahinch Castle is located at the heart of the Ballynahinch Estate between Recess and Roundstone in Connemara. Comprising of 450 acres of beautiful woodlands, gardens, lakes and rivers. This sporting country estate offers a secluded retreat of peace for any visitor.

The history of Ballynahinch Castle goes back over 700 years. It was the home of 'The Ferocious O'Flahertys" and one of its most famous residents was Grace O'Malley from Mayo who married Donal O'Flaherty in 1546.
 
Ballynahinch Castle Connemara Ireland The lands of the O'Flaherty clan stretched to within 15 miles of Galway City on the east and into County Mayo to the north-west.

The clan leaders were the Lords of Connaught and Masters of the castles of Ballynahinch, Aughanure, Doon, Moycullen, Bunowen and Renvyle.
 

Grace O'Malley-O'Flaherty is well known for her meeting with another famous queen - Elizabeth I - in 1593. Grace was 63 years old at the time and an awesome and formidable lady. She certainly stood proud and erect next to the English Monarch. Although Irish was her native tongue, Grace conversed comfortably with her equal in Latin. The English court of the day wrote: "In the wild grandeur of her mien erect and high before an English Queen she dauntless stood"

Grace was unconventional to say the least, allowing neither social nor political convention to stand in the way of her ambitions. Her exploits as a pirate are well documented in history. It was on one of her voyages that she took a lover, divorced her husband and gave birth to a son at sea. She took over the role of head of the O'Flaherty family when her husband was murdered by a rival clan and it is said that she was 'a better man than her husband'. She died in 1603 at the age of 70 years, the same year as the death of Elizabeth I. A suite of music was composed in her honour in the 1980's called the 'Granuaile Suite' and historian Anne Chambers has received two films offers for the rights of her book on 'The Pirate Queen'.

Ballynahinch Castle has changed hands many times since and its decline as the noble home of the O'Flahertys began towards the end of the 16th. century. One other famous resident was 'Humanity Dick', founder of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). His ancestors took over the house in 1590.

The present house was built by Richard Martin's father in the early 1700's as an inn and so history repeats itself. The house is now one of the finest hotels in Galway renowned for its warm hospitality, good food, lovely ambiance and spectacular surroundings.

See more Castles in County Galway

 

 
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Connemara | Corrandulla | Dunmore | Galway City | Glenamaddy | Gort | Headford | Kinvara | Leenane | Loughrea | Milltown | Monivea
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