Garryowl Castle, County Cork
and the O'Driscoll Family in Ireland
From the Illustrated Dublin Journal, Volume 1, Number 35, May 3, 1862
OF Garryowl Castle, county Cork, as it appears in the above illustration, not a trace is now visible. What time spared the hands of man ruthlessly swept away, and nought now remains to denote the existence of a once princely pile, save the traditions which still haunt the pleasant vale of Garryowl.
The castle formed a portion of the patrimony of the O'Driscoll family, in whose possession it remained until a short period before the Union. About this time the property was claimed by a family named Davidson, the nearest of legitimate kin to the father of Florence O'Driscoll, the last inheritor of the castle. Their zeal for the ejection of Florence from his hereditary home, was heightened by a very strong political prejudice, and they pushed their claims with such pertinacity that the former was ejected, and although he had very powerful interest, including that of Mr. Foster, the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, nothing could secure to him the possession of his patrimony. Mr. Davidson, who was a prejudiced and eccentric man, on the successful termination of his suit, immediately threw down Garryowl Castle, demolishing every vestige of the edifice, in the sage hope that he might thereby obliterate all traces of the former family. Florence's fortunes were not destined to flourish.
When the Act of Union passed he lost a post which he held in the Customs, and quitting Ireland in disgust entered the Austrian service, and fell in one of the numerous campaigns of the day. As shown in the above sketch there were three shields over the door of the castle, surmounted with a label moulding. The central one bore the arms of O'Driscoll, while the two others presented the bearing of O'Sullivan and O'Neill.