Dromsicane Castle

Dromsicane Castle as it now
Dromsicane Castle as it now

Dromsicane Castle: The Ridge of the Seat (Big House)

Dromsicane is often described as having been a castle of the O’Keeffes, and indeed it appears to have been in O’Keeffe territory. It certainly was in the hands of the MacDonogh MacCarthys by the start of the seventeenth century, as an inquisition into the lands of Donogh McCormack (MacDonogh) on 14 August 1604 indicates; wherein it stated that “he was seized of the Castles of Lohort, Kanturk and Dromsicane when he was killed in rebellion on 4 August 1600.  He took legal action in 1592 against some of the MacCarthys of Drishane who had taken over Dromsicane and other townlands.

When the Papal Nuncio, Rinnucini came to Ireland in 1645 on his way to the Confederation of Kilkenny, and having passed four days of Macroom, he went on to Dromsicane to the residence of Dermot MacCarthy.  He was accompanied by the Bishop of Ardfert and Bishop Beothus MacEgan, who shortly would meet his ghastly end outside the Castle of Carrigadrohid (q.v.). Donogh MacCarthy was then a widower, and Donogh his son was married to a daughter of the Lord of Muskerry.  Richard Butler, brother of Lord Ormond – to whom the Nuncio’s visit would be disastrous – was also present with two troops of horse.

When the land was lost to the MacCarthys it fell into the hands of Sir Nicholas Chinnery.

Dromsicane consisted of a large walled quadrangle with a substantial rounded tower at each corner, enclosing a bawn in which there was a tall keep.  The central keep has been gone for a matter of a couple of centuries, having been demolished in Smith’s day, but substantial remains of the towers and bawn wall existed until recently.

Connie Hickey now farms the land.

(The Castles of County Cork – James N. Healy)


Dromsicane Castle


O’Keeffe Clans Droumiscane Castle

3 thoughts on “Dromsicane Castle”

  1. I seek information on my g-g-grandparents John and Julia Lehane (Lyons) CHINNERY. Whether he was related to the Nicholas Chinnery who was one-time owner of Dromsicane Castle I do not know. I have been searching for my Irish Chinnerys for many years. John (probably b. about 1825) married Julia Lehane in 1849; both born in County Cork and having some connection with Portumna, County Galway. The couple moved to Cardiff, Wales, after their marriage, where all four children were born in the 1850s: James, Catherine, John and Michael (my g-grandfather). John the husband died in Wales about 1858; Julia brought the four children to New York, probably between 1860 and 1865. I would like to know the names of the parents of both John and Julia, their siblings, etc. Julia was probably Catholic; John may have been either Catholic or Church of Ireland. I would like to hear from anyone with information. Thank you.

    1. Hello Anne. I don’t know if this will be of any help but I myself come from the family ambrose and Lehane, both of whom are from cork. However the only information we have at the moment is from a 1911 census. It would be interesting to find out if these were related in some way

      1. To Jessica re Lehane and Ambrose: In all my research into Chinnery/Lehane, I have never heard of an Ambrose in the family. But as researchers know, this does not prove there is no connection. All I really know about Julia Lehane is that she was b. in County Cork, Ireland, circa 1825, mother’s name possibly Kelleher, m. John Chinnery in 1849, went to Wales for reasons unknown. Had four children, all b. Wales in the 1850s; John d. in Wales ca. 1858. Julia then emigrated to NEw York with her four children sometime in the early 1860s. The family lived in Yonkers, New York. The youngest (Michael) would become my g-grandfather. Michael M. Mary Greeley (who was b. in NEw York to Irish parents) in Yonkers in 1879. Their son Albert was my grandfather. The whole family was Catholic. After years of research I have still not been able to learn the names of the parents of Julia Lehane or John Chinnery. Any help greatly appreciated. Anne

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