Traditional Irish Name

Baile Nua – new town.

Associated Families



Civil ParishClonelty.
OS Map RefSheet 37.

Protected Structure Record

Reg. No: 1699.
Ref.  No: N37(14).


Ballinoe/Ballynoe Castle was an important traditional stronghold of the MacSheehy family.

Ballinoe Castle (like Ballyegnybeg, Ballyguilleataggle and Ballyvoghan) has been cut down to a couple of floors.
It was described in 1840 as it looks at present: a fragment of a castle, with only about 20 feet of the building still standing.1

The remaining architectural features include a few original slit windows, and the top remaining floor is arched.


Much of the building is overgrown with vegetation. Its fabric has been much altered and it is gutted internally.2

(For an idea of how an ivy-free Ballinoe might look externally, see Image Gallery (below) for a side by side view with Ballyegnybeg, another almost identical truncated castle).


The remains of the castle lie in a farmyard. Permission is required.

Historical Timeline

1570:Ballinoe Castle and lands held by Owen MacSheehy. He is one of the principal freeholders and gentlemen in the county of Limerick.
1584:Some of the MacSheehys of Ballinoe fought and died with the earl of Desmond and are consequently proclaimed as ‘rebels’.
1587:Ballinoe Castle and lands are seized after the Desmond rebellion and granted to Henry Oughtred as part of the Munster Plantation.
1607:Castle and lands granted to James Fullerton.
1641:Castle besieged and taken by Irish Confederates under Captain William Cullum, who offers quarter to its defenders.

Cullum is later accused of breaking his word and of hanging the castle warders.3

1655:The castle, then the property of Colonel Francis Courtenay, is in ruin.


1 Ordnance Survey Letters, Clonelty parish, 170 and Field Name Books, 17.
2 See C.J. Donnelly, ‘A typographical study of the tower houses of Limerick’ in JRSAI, vol. 129 (1999), 33.
3 See 1641 Depositions: Samuell Wishlade, 8/3/1643, 1641 Depositions, TCD, MS 829.


All historical information is compiled from archival material; primary sources (such as State Papers); secondary sources; plus authoritative digital sources (such as CELT). Any direct quote or a further reading suggestion is footnoted.

For queries, suggested amendments, or other relevant information, or if you would like to contribute an archival image of Ballinoe Castle (of which you own the copyright), please leave a comment at the bottom of the page, or email (below).


Image Gallery

Images can be viewed individually or on a slideshow. To quit: hit ‘esc’ on keyboard, or simply click away from image.
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If you have any difficulty in viewing images, please contact us (above).

Castle location on map

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