Ross Castle is located in a spectacular location on Ross Island by the shores of Lough Leane. It was built sometime in the late 15th century by the O’Donoghue Ross chieftains and is surrounded by a fortified bawn, curtain walls and circular flanking towers. The castle’s most famous episode occurred in 1652 when it was the last stronghold in Munster to hold out against Cromwell. It was later occupied by Sir Valentine Browne who, for his loyalty to King James II, was given the title, 1st Viscount of Kenmare. He is acknowledged as the founder of Killarney Town in 1754 and the father of Irish Tourism. Having served as a residence for the “Kenmare” family and subsequently as an Army Barracks, the Castle was finally vacated in 1825. It remained as a ‘romantic ruin’ until 1970, when the Castle came into State ownership and has been beautifully restored by the Office of Public Works to become one the most famous of the Killarney landmarks. (R)
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