By Bryan T. Smyth
Fianna Fáil Senator Denis O’Donovan has welcomed confirmation that Castle Donovan Castle will open this summer after a lenghty refurbishment project.
Castle Donovan or O’Donovan’s Castle is a tower house or túrtheach, in a valley near Drimoleague. It was the so-called “seat” of the Clann Cathail sept of the O’Donovans for a period during the 16th century. This week it was confirmed that Castledonovan or O’Donovan’s Castle
restoration project is near completion and should be open to the public during the summer of 2013.
“This is a project that I have had a keen interest in since I joined Cork County Council in 1985,” said Senator O’Donovan.
“At that time, as part of the National Monument Committee in the Council, I managed to divert funding to restoration projects in West Cork…. am pleased that the constant efforts, not just by me, but many people has come to fruition, including former Minister Síle De Valera who officially sanctioned finance for the refurbishment plan in 1991.
The delay in completing the project is partly to do with complex and painstaking work that was needed to restore elements of the castle. The project has cost in the region of EUR 1.6 million
Senator Denis O’Donovan has also welcome the OPW supporting the local community group, through the ‘Communities Initiative’. This will help locals promote the castle as a tourist attraction. The owners of the castle have also indicated their support and car parking spaces will be marked out.
The castle will be open to members of the public in early June or July 2013 in this the “Year of the Gathering” and it’s hoped it will quickly find it’s way onto the agendas of tourists, especially emigrants from the who wish to trace their O’Donovan or Donovan ancestry.