Traditional Irish Name

Baile an Mheala – town of the sorrow or compunction.

Associated Families



Civil ParishCrecora.
OS Map RefSheet 22.

Protected Structure Record

Reg. No: N/A.
Ref.  No: N/A.


Ballinveala was traditionally an O’Brien possession. It dates from about the late 15th century.

Ballinveala has one notable architectural feature: it is termed a ‘sectionally constructed tower house’.
It is an oblong building ‘constructed in two separate but interlocking sections; one section containing the spiral staircase and subsidiary chamber; and the other section containing the building’s main chamber block’.1

The wooden floors in this late 15th-century castle still remained in 1874.2


Parts of the castle are overgrown with ivy, but overall it is in good condition.
The entrance is sealed.


The castle is on private land. Permission is required.

Historical Timeline

1583:Ballinveala Castle owned by Brian Duff O’Brien of Carrigogunnell.
1584:Ballinveala surrendered to the crown as part of the manor of of Carrigogunnell.
Regranted to O’Brien under the Tudor policy of surrender and regrant.
1586:Castle held by bishop of Limerick.
1622:Leased to Margaret MacCanny by Donough (Protestant), earl of Thomond.
1655:Castle described as a ruin, estate held by Barnabas (Barnaby), earl of Thomond.
1656:Leased to John MacCanny.
1666:Earl of Thomond held castle and lands.


1 See C.J. Donnelly, ‘Sectionally Constructed Tower Houses’ in JRSAI, vol. 128 (1998), 26–28.
2 Westropp, ‘Ancient Castles … Limerick’, 136.


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 Ballinveala Castle (of which you own the copyright), please leave a comment at the bottom of the page, or email (below).


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Castle location on map

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