CASTLE McGRATH (TERMON McGRATH CASTLE)
There are numerous
castles attributed to the Clan McGrath across Ireland, however one of
the finest is that of our own Ulster castle situated on the north west
shore of lower Lough Erne. The castle is within the modern county
boundary of Donegal and lies approximately one mile from Pettigo
village. The castle possesses some wonderful Elizabethan period military
and domestic features, including fashioned gun loops in the lower
ground floor and ornate window frames in the upper floors. The gun loops
indicate the transition from blade to firearms during the mid 16th
Construction commenced in the late 16th century and was completed in the early 17th century. The castle was a hugely important symbol of the status of the Clan McGrath in the area between the Clan O'Donnell of Tirconnell (Donegal), the Clan O'Neill of Tyrone and the Clan Maguire of Fermanagh.
As hereditary Corabs or Termoners of Lough Derg the Clan McGrath were in a unique position of influence and power in the region. The grant and title of Queen Elizabeth I and later of King James I warranted a suitable residence for the Clan McGrath, the result of which is the impressive fortification we see today.
There were numerous plans to restore and occupy the castle by subsequent landlords but these never came to fruition. The castle was left to degrade and crumble, serving as a potent reminder of the days when Gaelic society held sway over the land of Ulster.
A representation of the castle also appears on the shirts of Pettigo GAA club of which there are many McGrath clansmen and women amongst its playing members. The
Irish Penny Journal published an article on the McGrath Castle in their
St. Stephen's Day edition 26th December 1840. A copy of the journal is
reproduced and can be viewed by following the link below. The article
includes an interesting description of the castle and of the history of
the Clan McGrath in the area.
The Clan McGrath will return to Termonmagrath and the ancient Clan territories of Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone for the McGrath Clan Gathering 2020.
Please follow the link and click LIKE to be kept updated on the gathering and tips and information on booking your travel and accommodation. The Clan McGrath Society wish to make this a gathering to remember.