Home of a Hero

Buried deep in the undergrowth: the remains of Bellanagare Castle, County Roscommon. This was formerly the seat of the O’Conor family including the antiquarian, proponent of ancient Gaelic culture and ardent advocate of Roman Catholic rights Charles O’Conor (1710-1791) who served as the O’Conor Don (that is, a descendant of the ancient line that provided one hundred Kings of Connacht and eleven High Kings of Ireland). Here he lived until the marriage of his son in 1760 after which he moved to a small cottage nearby. What survives suggests this was a late 17th/early 18th century house, of five bays and with a pedimented façade. Given the importance of Charles O’Conor in Irish history, the building’s present state, on the verge of being entirely overwhelmed by undergrowth, is another sad indictment of how this country treats its heritage.


5 comments on “Home of a Hero

  1. Mark Pitman says:

    I very much enjoyed looking at your site. I wonder if you would be interested in Priestown House Mulhuddart County Down. It belonged until some 15 years ago to my sister, Valerie Wellesley. We eventually sold it to a developer called Mick Bailey. I think that as the result of the decline in property values he has done nothing with it. My sister inherited it from a great Aunt called Geraldine Butler, who had lived on her own for many years. It was pretty run down then. My sister could just about afford to keep the roof from leaking but no more. I would be interested to know what has happened to it.

    Mark Pitman

    • Thank you for your message. I think you must be referring to Mulhuddard, County Dublin as I do not believe there is a place of that name in County Down? Mr Bailey is certainly well known in building circles. I am not familiar with the house in question but must try to see if anything can be discovered about it…

    • jill Mulroy says:

      Hi Mark
      The Mulroys are still here!

  2. James Canning says:

    Surely there are rich descendants of the O’Conor Don in the US, Canada, or elsewhere, well able to save the remains of Bellanagare Castle from total decay.

    • I wish such was the case: even the present residence of the O’Conor Don could do with additional support, and it is in much better condition that poor Bellanagare Castle. The list of properties in need of love and care in this country is endless…

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