Doe Castle in Sheapheaven Bay
A Short History of Doe Castle, The castle was built in the 15th century. Sometimes the date given is 1425.The first or early occupants were the Mac-Sweeney's. the Castle remained in their possession for about 200 years. The Mac-Sweeneys ruled the area's of Rosguill (now Downing's & Carrigart). Doe (now Creeslough & Dunfanaghy) Cloughaneely (now Falcarragh ) and Tory Island, from Doe Castle.
Sir Cahir O'Doherty had his headquarters here when he attack Derry 1608. The Mac Sweeneys are back by 1641 and Eoghan Rua O'Neill landed at Doe Castle on 6th July 1642 on his return fron Spain. Around 1660 an English garrison take possession of the castle but by the 1690's the Mac Sweeneys are back.
The Castle changed hands many times over the years. One of the owners: George Vaghan Harte who bought the castle in 1800 left his initials (GVH) embedded on the wall above the door of the eastern entrance.
The Castle was occupied up until 1909. In 1932 the Irish Land Commission (Office of Public Works) bought the Castle and vested it as a National Monument. The work to restore the castle to it former glory is ongoing, Many legends and stories are told about the castle and the people that lived there.
Legends and Stories.
The tragic romance of Turlough Aileen.
Aileen was the fair and sweet daughter of Maolmhuire of Doe. Turlough was an O'Boyle from Ballymore. Turlough often
went hunting deer in Duntally woods. It was there he first met
sweet Aileen of Doe. The O'Boyle's and the MacSweeney's hated
each other, but Aileen and Turlough were very much in love. When
Malomhuire heard of the attachment , he was furious and confined Aileen
to the top room in the Castle Tower. Turlough would often go fishing
on the Lackagh River in the hope of seeing Aileen. While he was
out fishing the MacSweeney's captured him and took him back to the Castle.
One night Aileen looked out the window and to her horror saw the dead
body of her beloved Turlough being prepared for burial. At the
sight Aileen jumped from the tower to her death. To this day the
ghost of Turlough and Aileen rowing their boat on Lackagh River can
still be seen.
The castle has being restored by the Board or Works most of the walls have being pointed and the floors have being renewed. New stairs have being fitted in line with the original degisn. A new roof has also being completed on the tower and for the first time in many years the rain is unable to do much damage.
The Keys Of The Castle.
Doe Castle Graveyard.