Drumboe Castle

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Ruins of Drumboe Castle
Back of Drumboe Castle

Drumboe Castle is located near Stranorlar in County Donegal, Ireland.

Early history[edit]

In 1622, Robert Redington sold the estate at Ballybofey to Sir Ralph Bingley. Bingley erected the original Drumboe Castle, which had four large towers. Its location protected a ford across the river.

After the death of Sir Ralph Bingley, his widow Lady Jane and Robert Harrington took charge until 1641, when it was granted to Sir William Bazil, Attorney-General for Ireland. He died in 1693.[1]

A descendent of Sir William Bazil was William Basil (who was born William Ball and changed name to Basil[2]). Basil married Frances Dowdeswell around 1736.[3] Their daughter Mary Basil married Sir Samuel Hayes, 1st Baronet and through this marriage it became the home of the Hayes baronets, of Drumboe Castle from 1789 to 1912.

Irish Civil War[edit]

It became the General Headquarters for the forces of the Irish Free State in County Donegal during the Irish Civil War.

It is infamous for being the location of the Drumboe massacre during the Irish Civil War.[4] On 14 March 1923, four anti-Treaty IRA fighters, Charles Daly (26), Sean Larkin (26), Daniel Enwright (23), and Timothy O' Sullivan (23), who had been captured and held in the castle since January, were summarily shot in retaliation for the death of a National Army soldier in an ambush.[5]


The Georgian house was demolished in 1945.


  1. ^ Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, volume 1, page 748.
  2. ^ Deed Poll Office: Private Act of Parliament 1724 (11 Geo. 1). c. 2
  3. ^ The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal: Being a Complete Table of All the Descendants Now Living of Edward III, King of England. The Anne of Exeter volume, Volume 2. Melville Henry Massue marquis de Ruvigny et Raineval. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1994
  4. ^ Donegal & the Civil War: The Untold Story. Liam Ó Duibhir. Mercier Press Ltd, 20 Apr 2011
  5. ^ "The Drumboe Martyrs 1923-2003". An Phoblacht. 13 March 2003. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 

Coordinates: 54°48′05″N 7°47′21″W / 54.801490°N 7.789092°W / 54.801490; -7.789092