County Donegal

Doe Castle, County Donegal

Doe Castle began life as an enclosure style Castle built in the 1520s by MacSweeney Doe, one of the O'Donnells, incredibly the Castle was besieged about 20 times in it's 100 year history.

The Castle's most important period was during the time of Eoghan Og II MacSweeney, the foster-father of the famous Red Hugh O'Donnell.  In 1596 it passed to Sir Miles MacSweeney Doe - an unpleasant man to say the least - who would put on trial disobedient vassals in the Castle's great hall.  Those he found unpleasant he either bludgeoned to death personally with his club or hung up on hooks around the Castle parapet.

In 1601 Red Hugh O'Donnell ousted Sir Miles and the Castle spent the next decade being taken a re-taken by the O'Donnells, MacSweeneys and the English Crown.  It was repaired by Captain Sandford in the 1620s. The Castle fell to the Confederates in the war of 1641 and was later taken by Parliament in 1650.  The Castle's last siege and attack was in the Williamite Wars when it was taken by Donagh Og MacSweeney.

By the 1790s it was in ruin and was rebuilt by General Vaughan Harte. It then remained occupied for a century before being allowed to fall into disrepair once again.

Doe Castle is owned by Páirceanna agus Séadchomharthai Náisiúnta na hÉireann (or the Irish Ministry of Works) and is open to the public throughout the year.

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