Castleisland’s Desmond Castle Given the Voice it Deserves

Déise Medieval members pictured during their re-enactments at The Crageens in Castleisland on Saturday afternoon. ©Photograph: Koren O’Brien.

Castle of the Island Society founder and chairperson, Rob McGuire would like to thank everyone who attended and supported the medieval festival in Castleisland at the weekend.

A member of the Waterford based Déise Medieval group setting up her loom during the medieval re-enactments at The Crageens on Saturday afternoon. ©Photograph: Koren O’Brien.

An Incredible Journey

“It’s been an incredible journey and it was an absolute blessing to finally reveal the story of Castleisland Castle for the first time by means of this riveting documentary,” said Rob.

A total of over 600 people attending three screenings in the River Island Hotel over the course of the weekend.

The first show was held on Friday at 1pm. and this was attended by the local secondary schools.

Introduction by Minister Griffin

The Friday evening show was introduction by Minister Brendan Griffin TD and it was a convened for the cast/crew/families and donors.

The final show on Saturday night was also a sell out with over 200 local people attending.

This documentary uncovered the captivating and engaging story of the Desmond Castle in which was inhabited by the Fitzgeralds, the earls of Desmond.

Rob McGuire, chairperson and founder of the Castle of the Island Society.

Medieval Village Set Up

To coincide with the screening, a medieval village was set up by Déise Medieval  at Castleisland Rugby Club from 1pm to 5pm.

This was manned by re-enactors who created an authentic take on medieval life in which visitors witnessed the daily life and crafts practiced by our ancestors.

On show were: methods of spinning and weaving; cooking and food displays and a weapons display.

Normans V Gaelic Irish

There was also a battle between the Normans and the Gaelic Irish.

“Overall, The Castle of the Island Festival was a unique experience in which the general public gained a greater understanding, pride and appreciation of their local history,” said Mr. McGuire.

“So what of the future plans for the Castle of the Island documentary? We will enter it into a number of regional and national film/documentary festivals. Also we hope that there might be a chance that it may be presented on national TV. Ultimately we plan to make it available on-line.

Festival Events Filmed

“Thankfully a film crew from Tralee recorded all of the key events at the weekend and therefore, a short video of festival will be available to view and enjoy on-line over the coming days.

And, finally, the Desmond Castle has been given the voice it so truly deserves,” Rob concluded.

Find the society on Facebook at The Castle of the Island and on the web on:


The Maine Valley Post has, is and always will be a free resource for the people of the locality and its wider diaspora. When we started in 2013, the intention was to be a weekly, online newsletter. Over time, the site has evolved into a much different beast with multiple updates on a daily basis.
Because of its nature as a digital publication, it brings with it certain expenses: computers and cameras that require updating and maintenance; internet hosting and access; to say nothing of the time and hard work that goes into the site. It all adds up…
Our online community has always been our greatest asset and a vocal supporter of the Maine Valley Post since day one.

Please take a moment to click on the link below to see how you can directly contribute to our continued growth and success. Thank you for taking the time……..John Reidy

Patreon Banner