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Dunseverick Castle is thought to be one of the three great Dun's (Royal forts) [Dunseverick Castle click for a larger image.] which were visited by St Patrick in the 5th century, where he baptized a local man Olcan, who later became the Bishop of Armoy, he died in 480 AD. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Dal Riada. The Vikings captured it in AD 871. All that is to be seen today are the remains of the 16th century tower, the castle has been the focus of struggles between the warring families in the area the MacDonnells, O'Cahans, O'Neill's and the MacQuillans.
The O'Cahan's are the main local family associated with Dunseverick Castle, they are thought to have held it from circa 1000 AD to circa 1320 AD. Giolla Dubh Ó Catháin was in all probability the castle owner when it was captured and destroyed in the 1650's by Cromwell's forces commanded by General Robert Munro.
The castle is associated with one of Irelands oldest tragic love stories. Deirdre and the fate sons of Uisneach'. Cathbad the Druid foretold before the birth of Deirdre, that her beauty would bring disaster upon the Province of Ulster.
The Annals of the Four Masters, states that Dun-Sobhairce was among the first fortresses erected in this island by the Milesians. The Annals of the For Masters also relate that Dun-Sobhairce was plundered by the Danes in 994.
In 1962 the owner of Dunseverick Castle local farmer Mr Jack McCurdy gave the castle and surrounding land to The National Trust. Time took its toll in 1978 when part of the last remaining tower collapsed into the sea.
See Deirdre in Myth's & Legends.
Read about Dunseverick Castle From Sketches of Olden Days in Northern Ireland by Rev. Hugh Forde