Tinnahinch Castle

The principal castle of the Dunnes was built in Tinnahinch in the old parish of Rearymore (east of Clonaslee) by Tadhg MacLaighnigh Ui Duinn who ruled the territory in 1475. It was the residence of the chief of the Dunnes. A map made in 1563 shows this castle (Baun Riaganach) to be near the source of the river Barrow. The castle was located about one mile south of Tinnahinch Bridge beside the river Barrow. The place name Tinnahinch comes from "Tigh-na-hlnnse" or "house of the island." A fairly large stream flowing into the Barrow at the site of the castle almost surrounds it, creating the impression of an island. It is believed that the castle was on the west side of the river and, of course, this is in line with the place name description above.


In fact, the field on the opposite (east) side of the Barrow was known locally as the Mill Field. In 1547 the forces of Anthony St. Leger, the Lord Chief Justice, built a fortification around Baun-Riaganach in order to oppose the O'Connors and O'Moores. The castle was attacked and blown up by Cromwellian forces under Colonel Hewson in 1653. It was occupied by Charles Dunne, possibly the Catholic son of Barnaby Óg, who took part in the Confederate Wars (1641 - 1649). Very strong resistance from Charles resulted in Colonel Hewson using a full park of artillery to level the castle. Dr. O'Donovan, in his Ordnance Survey Letters for the Queen's County (1838), stated that "The present ruins of this castle are very trifling, but it was certainly, when perfect, a castle of considerable importance and extent." There is very little trace of it today with the possible exception of an old wall which may have formed part of the structure.

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