A Letter from Ireland:
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Ballynacarriga Castle – Home of the O’Hurleys

Ballynacarriga Castle

Ballynacarriga Castle

Welcome to Ballynacarriga Castle in West Cork!

This is the view that a castle was built for! It was meant to be imposing and awe-inspiring – you’d think twice about approaching it! Not built for the tourist-friendly aerial view you see today.

This is Ballynacarriga castle in West Cork – built by the Hurley family in 1585 (one of Liz Hurleys ancestors ;) ) and also lived in by the Cullinane family through marriage.

But – here’s my cultural question for today – you’ll find a “Sheela-na-Gig” carving a few yards up the wall – does anyone know the significance of the “Sile-na-gig”?

Ireland can be a real surprise sometimes – you leave the highway, or the coach tour – go along the backroads of Ireland, and you come across a pure gem like this castle in a lovely village. So easy to miss – and so glad that you found it!

  • Denise Hurley says:

    My father’s name was Hurley. Many family stories. But it was always stressed that we were Protestant & not related to the Irish Catholic Hurley’s. Seems silly these days, but it wasn’t humorous to my dad or his mother. Her last name was Prettyman. Always rumored to be from Cork county.

  • My grandfather came over on the boat to the USA around 1885. His name was James Hurley.

  • He came from County Cork, James Hurley.

    • John Hurley says:

      My great grandfather James Hurley was born in Mallow Cork October 1874

    • Carol Hurley Law says:

      Nancy: My greatgrandfather was James Hurley from County Cork, father of Maria/Mary 1832, Fanny, 1834, my grandfather John Hurley, between 1836-39. The 3 siblings sailed to Boston in 1854. James’ wife’s name was Mary. Carol Hurley Law, b. in W. Virginia, now in Encinitas, California.

  • lynne hurley says:

    Thank you..im a Hurley so would like to explore my ancestry one day to see if i have li.ks to this beautiful castle.

  • Gen Coleman says:

    My father’s mother was a Hurley. Her people came from Ireland long before America was America. We are Appalachia. But in our hearts, we are also Irish. Clan O’Hurley, Clan O’Daugherty, and Clan O’Coleman.

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