Baile Chaisleáin na nGeochagán
Castletown in winter
|Elevation||95 m (312 ft)|
|Time zone||WET (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (WEST) (UTC-1)|
|Irish Grid Reference||N337442|
Castletown Geoghegan (Irish: Baile Chaisleáin na nGeochagán) in County Westmeath, Ireland, lies south west of Lough Ennell near the county town of Mullingar. Castletown was the seat of the Geoghegan family of the medieval Barony of Moycashel, County Westmeath. The family were descendants of the Southern Ui Neill. They were major landholders in south Westmeath prior to the War of the Three Kingdoms. They lost considerable portion their estates through the confiscation and resettlement acts of the late 17th century. Lilliput, on the shores of Lough Ennel is in Dysart, a neighbouring village approximately 3 miles from Castletown Geoghegan. Nearby Middleton Park House, a magnificent 19th century Georgian house and estate, is now open to the general public.
The MacEochagáin family are descended from Fiacha, son of Niall Naoi Noigíallach. Niall is reputed to have captured and enslaved the teenage Magnus Succetus - who later returned to preach Christianity as Patricius - in a raid on the Cumbrian or Welsh coast. The descendants of Niall's son Fiacha (Fiachu Fiachrach) were collectively known as Cenel Fhiachaigh, of the southern Ui Neill (later anglicised as Kenaleagh and Kindalane). The medieval barony was surrendered and regranted to the family Chief 'Captain' Kedagh Geoghegan in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. One of the principal Geoghegan castles was located in the village at this time, as is the original motte and bailey close by.
The Geoghegans led other local Gaelic chieftains of the area in notable and powerful long term Gaelic alliance. The 'Irish of Meath' included the O'Melaghlin (McLaughlin), O'Maolmhuidhe (Molloy), Kearney, Fox, Dalton and Brennan families. These native septs all suffered heavy property confiscation and resettlements after the wars of the 17th century. They are prominent in the Annals of Clonmacnoise, a notable collection of historical records. This collection was translated from the original Irish into Elizabethan English by Conall Geoghegan, a 16th-century Franciscan monk.
The surrounding territories were held by the Tyrrells of Fartullagh, the Dillon's of Drumrany (which lay to the west between Moate and Athlone). The Nugents of Delvin, later Lords Delvin and Marquess of Westmeath and the Tuites of Sonagh were to the east.
Among the most popular local sports are G.A.A. football and hurling. The Castletown Geoghegan Hurling Club sports the black and amber stripe. It was introduced by a Kilkenny railway employee, and became a tradition here. The club holds 12 senior hurling titles, 1923, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1964, 1979, 1982, 1986, 1990, 2004 and 2013. The club has a very strong junior component. It achieved two National titles at under the 14 level in 2007 and 2010 The club crest depicts the ruins of a castle on the shores of Lough Ennel with the sun rising in the background.
Castletown Geoghegan GAA colours
- "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- "Baile Chaisleáin na nGeochagán/Castletown Geoghegan". Placenames Database of Ireland. Government of Ireland. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
- Armytage, Marcus (2011-03-31). "Oscar Time primed for his chance in the Grand National spotlight". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- Geoghegan Clan
- Field Study of the midlands
- Niall of the Nine Hostages
- Westmeath County Council information source