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Kildavnet Castle; The Pirate Queen Grace O'Malley and Achill Island
Kildavnet Castle (castle number 1010 on the Castles of Ireland Map) sits quite alone on Achill Island, it is one of the lesser known sites in Ireland. However what is known is that it was built by the O'Malley's. They were a formidable seafaring Clan that acted as essentially pirates along the west coast of Ireland, as such they built a series of Tower houses along the west coast of County Mayo. It is not known whether this particular Castle was built by the legendary pirate queen Grace O'Malley (probably not) as it is quite difficult to seperate fact from fiction when it comes to the Pirate queen herself. What is known is that she married at various times an O'Flaherty and a Burke, since these were the powerful neighbours of the time that was probably due to political alliances rather than romance. She is also known to have raided up and down the West Coast of Ireland as far south as O'Loughlin territory in Clare, and the O'Boyles and MacSweeney territory in Donegal. She apparently met with Queen Elizabeth I in England. I think I'll have to check the sources on that!