Promotional Video Launch for Castle Film Project

Rob McGuire
An event promotional image supplied by Rob McGuire.

The River Island Hotel will be the venue on Friday night, June 2nd at 8:45pm for the launch of a Castleisland Castle Promotional Video project.

Castleisland Castle was known in medieval times as ‘the Castle of the Island’ and t was described at the end of the 16th century as ‘A high monstrous castle, built very high with several vaults and rooms.’ This castle was controlled by one of the most powerful families in medieval Ireland, the Fitzgeralds the Earls of Desmond; also known as the Geraldines.

“Nowadays the ancient and fragile remains of the Desmond fortress can be seen just off the Killarney road in the town. A castle has stood on this site since 1226,” according to  Currow native and archaeologist, Rob McGuire.

The Norman invader Geoffrey de Marisco established the castle - from which Castleisland takes its name - in 1226. Its last recorded occupant was the Earl of Desmond to the time of his death in 1583.  ©Photograph: John Reidy
The Norman invader Geoffrey de Marisco established the castle – from which Castleisland takes its name – in 1226. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Remains Plundered

“The true significance of this castle has never been fully acknowledged or treasured. This great stronghold once dominated the valley of the Maine but over time its physical remains were plundered and its story was lost in time. No comprehensive study of this castle has ever been undertaken or completed. That is until now,” he said.

A recently established group entitled The Castle of the Island Society intends to preserve and promote the history and heritage of Castleisland Castle.

This is a voluntary and non-profitable society and its primary aim is to make a documentary about the history of the castle this summer.

Research and Script Done

The research and script is complete and a production team is ready to commence recording in August. Once post production is complete, a free premiere of the documentary will be held in Castleisland town.

It will eventually be available to access on-line free in early 2018.

Discovery by Fr. O’Shea

The late Fr. Kieran O'Shea,  published a revealing castle inventory from its heyday.  ©Photograph: John Reidy
The late Fr. Kieran O’Shea, published a revealing castle inventory from its heyday. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Powerful evidence of the day to day life of the castle in its heyday was discovered  by

Castleisland curate and historian the late Fr. Kieran O’Shea. His findings were published in the Kerry Archaeological Magazine in the early 1980s. They create a vivid picture through an inventory for everything from dining hall furniture to anvils and horses.

The members of the new society include: founder, Rob McGuire, Tom McCarthy, Maggie Prendiville, Denis Divane, Rita McCarthy, Charlie Daly, Eamon Breen and Eamon Fleming.

An Engaging Documentary

The primary aim of the society is to produce an engaging documentary about the history of Castleisland Castle. It will be recorded using top of the range equipment, camera and sound and will include drone footage. Additionally the living history group Claíomh will be hired in order to record key flashback scenes from the medieval period. Furthermore a range of specialists and archaeologists will be interviewed as part of the film,” said Mr. McGuire.

This launch is free and everybody is welcome to attend. The schedule includes: a short introduction by the members of the society, followed by a viewing of three short videos including: a timeline video of the castle’s history, a video of the physical remains of the castle and finally the official Castleisland Castle Promotional Video.

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