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Updated 04/09/2014


Creagh Castle

Creagh Castle is in Doneraile, Co. Cork, Ireland above the Awbeg River.  The house, originally called Crogh or Castle Saffron, and standing beside a well-preserved tower-house once the stronghold of the Roche family, became a Creagh property in 1788, when Dr. John Creagh leased it from Mr. William Love. The original house was built by John Love before 1750 and is said to have contained rooms with plasterwork by the Francini brothers.  Creagh Castle, as it became known was destroyed by fire towards the end of the eighteenth century and was rebuilt in 1816 by William Brasier-Creagh, incorporating the old front of the original house, which gives the building a somewhat earlier look. The two bay additions on the south side of the house were built in 1911 to provide a larger drawing room and in exactly the same style as the original block. William's brother, George, also made many improvements to the estate, including the spectacular Gothic entrance gates and gate lodge, which were built in 1827.

The Creagh family has a long-standing connection with Doneraile.  They are descended from the O'Neills of Thomond who in a battle against the Danes in Limerick wore laurel branches to their helmets, thus earning the name O'Craoibh (branch), of which Creagh is the anglicized form. From the eleventh to the sixteenth century the family was settled in County Limerick, where, in 1312, John Creagh of Adare was Mayor of Limerick. The date of arrival of the Creaghs in Doneraile is not clear but one branch of the family appears to have settled in County Cork by the sixteenth century. Christopher Creagh was Mayor of Cork in 1541, and a man of great influence and power amongst the native Irish.