Doe Castle, Cresslough, County Donegal

Doe Castle was built by the MacSweeneys in the early 1500s and is similar in style to a Scottish tower house. The MacSweeney’s were descendants of a class of elite Norse – Gaelic mercenaries called Gallowglasses who lived along the Western Isles of Scotland. It was captured by Cahir O’Doherty 100 years later who used it for his headquarters when he attacked Derry in 1608. In 1642 Eoghan Rua O’ Neill landed here on his return voyage from Spain to lead the Irish Confederate Army during ‘The Wars of the Three Kingdoms’. It changed hands many times over the following years and you can still see the initials GVH carved into the east door from 1800 left by one of the owners: General George Vaughan. The last occupant to live here was a Church of Ireland minister who left in 1909. The castle then fell into disrepair until it was sold to the OPW in 1932 and vested it as a National Monument. The most important fact from the last 400 years however is that Irish singer Brian McFadden proposed to his (now ex-) wife, Kerry Katona at the castle in 2001. This was also the spot where his grandfather proposed to his grandmother. Lovely!!