Treks to Carrigogunnell
Enjoy cross country pony trekking through the scenic limerick countryside to a spectacular Irish landmark with breathtaking views of the Shannon. Carrigogunnell Castle was built in 1449 on an outcrop of volcanic rock. Built by Norman William de Burgo, who married into the O’Briens, the kings of Munster, it later became the property of the Earls of Kildare but had returned to the ownership of the O’Briens by 1536. The Confederates had possession of the castle from 1642 to 1648 and it survived many battles until it was blown up by the Williamites during the Siege of Limerick in 1691 to prevent it being used again as a fortress.
The patron saint of Ireland St.Patrick is said to have banished a witch who lived on the rock. As the story goes each evening the witch lit a candle on top of the castle. Anyone who saw this light died immediately. When St Patrick blessed the well in Patrickswell, he stood on high ground and looked towards Carrigogunnell. When night fell and the light appeared from the castle, Patrick began to read from his book. He closed his book and as soon as he did, the light in the castle was quenched forever.
Carrigogunell has two more recent claims to fame. It is mentioned several times in Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt and features on the back cover of the album “The Unforgettable Fire” by U2.