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  • Wednesday, August 6, 2014

    Cloghleagh Castle

    After resupplying in Fermoy, I setup camp with a view of Cloghleagh Castle. It was built by the Norman De Caunton family who arrived here in the 12th Century.

    Later, the family came to be known as the Condons. In the 16th Century they took the side of the Earl of Desmond against the English Elizabethan forces in the Munster Rebellion and lost. Patrick Condon was subsequently pardoned and regained his estates, but later lost them to the Fleetwood family in 1622.

    In the rebellion of 1641, the Condons retook the castle from the Fleetwood family, promising safe passage to those residing there if they surrendered. It's the least they could do, but they decided to go the extra mile and murder, wound, or imprison those who surrendered instead.

    In 1643, the English forces retook the castle and the 38 occupants were "put to the sword."

    I've seen the ruins of many old homes and castles on this trip, but for the first time since I got here, it felt real. I found myself staring at it, particularly the arrow slits spread throughout the tower. I couldn't help but imagine the whoosh and thud of arrows hitting the ground around me and the clash of swords.

    The night was actually quiet, the grounds green and lush and peaceful, but it's hard to ignore its bloody past.

    Next time you find yourself thinking we live in extraordinarily dangerous times, pick up any history book and read about any random period of time.