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)