A Letter from Ireland:

“Castle on the Rock of the Fairy”



Here is the wonderfully named Carrigaphooca Castle which traslates as “Castle on the Rock of the Fairy” near Macroom in County Cork. It was built 1436 by Donal McCarthy of Drishane – and in 1602, the castle was taken by Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare – who was based further west down the Beara Peninsula.

The area is heading into the modern-day “Gaeltacht” area of Cork – where Irish is spoken by a majority of the residents. It’s a really beautiful area of the country – with a feeling of wildness and magic never too far away.

  • Claire Mc Grievy Finley says:

    Dear Mike , Can you find out anything about the name Mc Grievy. I would love to know the region they came from. My great grandparents went to England from Ireland and only wrote “Irish free state ” on the census. I also have Murphy and Twoomy blood running through my veins but I am interested in Mc Grievy because my father died at age 51. Thank you, Claire

  • Judy Monahan says:

    Could you find some info on my maiden name McEnaney. I’m having a great deal of trouble finding any info on it. Maybe due to different spellings. I was told by my dad it means “the son of the hound of the fair”. and that’s about it. Any help would be great! Thankyou Judy Monahan

    • Mike says:

      Hi Judy – probably normally spelled “MacEneany” – usually found in County Monaghan. Hope this helps – Mike.

  • marvel says:

    Dear Mike , what csn you tell me about the surname McCarl (e). All I know is my 4x great grandmother wss born in ireland and wwidowed there and that wss her surname wheen she died in CO, USA in 1902. Thanx, Marvel

    • Mike says:

      Hi Marvel – I don’t know McCarl directly. It could be an interpretation of McGirl – but is most likely MacCarroll. Mike.

  • Joleen says:

    Dear Mike,
    I was wondering what you can tell me about my grandmother’s surname McClung. I am also curious about mine which is Harris. Is it Irish at all? Thank you!

    • Mike says:

      Hi Joleen – McClung is of Scottish origin, and so would normally be a Scottish planter name when found in Ireland – mainly in Ulster.

      Harris is originally an English name established in Ireland since the 1600s.

      All the best – Mike.

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