Traditional Irish Name

Baile an Mheala, town of the sorrow or compunction.


Barony, Pubblebrien.
Civil Parish, Crecora.
Townland, Ballinveala.
OS Map Ref: Sheet 22.

Families Associated With Castle

O’Brien; MacCanny.


An O’Brien possession, Ballinveala dates from about the late 15th century.

Interesting architectural features: Balinveala 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

Historical Timeline

1583-84: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.


Note: 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.

Any queries 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, or email us at


1 See C.J. Donnelly, ‘Sectionally Constructed Tower Houses’ in JRSAI, vol. 128 (1998), 26–28.


The castle is on private land. Permission is required.


Image Gallery

Ballinveala Castle location

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