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Between the 9th and the 13th century Inishowen was divided into three sectors, Aileach, Bredach and Carraic Brachaidhe (Carraickabraghy) which is situated in the west of Inishowen. On a large rock, named the Friars Rock in the Isle of Doagh, stands the ruins of Carraickabraghy Castle. The translation of the Irish name into English is Castlebrack. There is some confusion about the origin and date of this Castle but it is commonly accepted that it was erected before 1600 by Phelemy Brasleigh O'Doherty. At that time Carrickabraghy was almost an island with little ground separating it from the mainland.

The castle has changed hands many times and was once occupied by Mc Faul the 11th descendant of Prince Eoghain son of Niall and the nine hostages. It was last inhabited in 1665.

The structure of the castle included an oval bawn and towers 7 circular towers. The bawn and towers enclosed a keep. To the south of the keep stood a small tower which is believed to have belonged to a church. The walls of the castle are 3 feet 9 inches wide. To the south of the bawn tower an abundance of sandhills now exist.

Just beside the ruins of Carraickabraghy Castle a fissure in a rock called 'the hissing rock' spurts water from the adjoining sea. This magnificent sight can only be viewed when the tide is in. Stationed along the spiraling coast of the North West, this Castle presents us with a spectacular panorama of the rolling waves crashing in from the Atlantic ocean and the quaint Glasheedy island platformed amid the tumbling waters stands brilliant and serene in the far of distance.

To find Carrickabraghy Castle, take the Isle of Doagh road just outside Ballyliffin and keep driving until you reach the end of the road where you will see remains of the castle set amongst the beach and the rocks.

Carrickabraghy Castle model on display in Doagh Farm


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