The O'Mahony Clan has met each year since 1955 at one of their traditional sites. This is an opportunity for clan and the public to view this castle and learn of its history. O'Mahonys from near and afar will be gathering. Countries expected to be represented this year, along with Ireland, are Australia, United States of America, France, Scotland, England, Wales and New Zealand.
Friday 21 June 2019: Meet and Greet with Michael Keane, writer of the book, 'The Earls of Castlehaven', about the loss of historic lands by the O'Mahonys to the 1st Earl-. Coolcower House, Macroom, Co Cork at 5pm.
Saturday 22 June 2019: Genealogy and DNA Sessions from 10 am-Coolcower House, Macroom, Co Cork
Sunday 23 June 2019 - 1 pm: Castle Mahon, Bandon. BYO picnic. Kanturk Wild Boar Warrior's birds of prey and medieval archery and combat display.
Sunday 23 June 2019 - 3 pm: O’Mahony Gathering with Piper and Castle history speaker.
Castle Mahon was built by the OMahony clan not later than 1400. It was of stone and imitated the early 13th Century Norman castles. It would have become apparent to the Chief that a primitive fort such as the earthen ones, known as Raths, would not afford protection in case of a Norman invasion of the territory. A stronghold of the new type was soon provided by the O'Mahonys with Castle Lac, near Bandon, built around 1215.
Conagher O’Mahony, chieftain, resided at Castle Mahon but after the Desmond Rebellion he forfeited vast estates. Queen Elizabeth 1 granted the estates to Phane Beecher on condition he “Plant” 91 English Protestant families on his estates. Francis Bernard succeeded to the estate in 1660 and made changes to it. Judge Bernard rebuilt the castle in 1690, after it came into his possession. Other changes also took place in the following years.
Castle Mahon was renamed Castle Bernard in 1715. It became known as one of the most hospitable houses in Ireland and the house parties held by the fourth earl and his wife were legendary. However, on 21 June 1921, during the days of the Black & Tans, a party of IRA under Sean Hales called. They intended to kidnap Lord Bandon, but 'Buckshot' Bandon and his staff had taken refuge in the cellars. Apparently disappointed in the first object of their call, the IRA decided to burn the house. Lord Bandon was then kidnapped by the local IRA and held hostage for three weeks, being released on 12 July. The IRA threatened to have him executed if the British went ahead with executing IRA prisoners of war. During his captivity, Bandon coolly played cards with his captors, who treated him well. Tom Barry later stated he believed the kidnapping helped move the British towards the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the cessation of hostilities.
To learn more about your Ó Mathúna ancestors (and maybe discover a cousin or two) check out our Ancestor Chronicles.