HISTORY OF GENTRY AND BIG HOUSES IN MILLSTREET PARISH
The McCarthy Family:
Drishane Castle was built by Dermot McCarthy, second son of Tadg , the third Lord Muskery in 1450. The same Dermot built Kilmeedy Castle in order to command
the wild mountain pass from Macroom to Killarney.
adopted the policy of "surrender and re-grant" receiving them back as an English feudal lord
In 1592 another Tadg McCarthy submitted his lands to Elizabeth thereby freeing himself from the
overlordship of Lord Muskerry at the time. This step was important in the history of the family as it entitled Tadg to bequeath his lands as he pleased instead of being compelled to follow the ancient Irish custom of tanistry. Donough McCarthy, as a consequence, inherited all the lands, castles etc. of Drishane, Carrigaphooka and Kilmeedy. He was buried in Drishane at the age of 122 in June 1719.1 8 In June 1678 the lands which he lost in the Rebellion of 1641 were restored under the Act of Settlement provided he paid to one Dominick Coppinger the sums due on the mortgage put on the lands before the Rebellion. If the age and name are correct, this Donogh was born at the end of Elizabeth's reign, fought as a Colonel against the English in 1688 at the age of 94 and was one of the garrison of Ballyclough Castle when it surrendered in 1691. To retain his lands after the victory of William of Orange he passed a bond to Thomas Connor of Dublin who, as a Protestant, could be the nominal owner of the estate. The old warrior enjoyed his lands in peace and so did his widow for six years after his death when Connor died. The heirs of Connor, the Hamiltons of Meath, found the bond, closed on the property and turned out the widow who died on the doorstep.1 9
A variant of this latter item :- she, the widow, had been his second wife and was nee Julia Anne O'Leary of Coomlegane and she made over her life-interest in the lands to her grand-nephew, Denis O'Leary. The McCarthies of Dooneen and Kilcorney disputed this and legal warfare ensued. Meanwhile Connor who had the title-in-trust died and his executors discovered that it was a sham deed. In 1728 Wallis proved that the lands were "Papist" property and as a result the property was put up for sale and was bought by Wallis for £450. Wallis turned out the widow who died on the doorstep.
inscription on McCarthy family tomb in Drishane ;- "Sacred to the memory of Donough McCarthy, Esq., whose great grand-father, Dermot McCarthy, second son of Teige, Lord Muskerry, built the Castle of Drishane AD 1450. Donogh was born 1517, died 3rd. March 1639 aged 122 years. His son Dermot McCarthy of Drishane Castle and his grandson Donogh McCarthy of Dunine who forfeited the family estate of Drishane 1641. Donogh McCarthy Oge of Dunine Esq. who died 1763 aged 96 and his three sons, Justin, Denis of Glyn and Alexander of Knock.... who died March 1802 aged 80 years. Denis McCarthy of Coomlogane who died AD 1825 aged 80 years. Alexander McCarthy of Cork Esq who died 1843 aged 72 years. His family having rebuilt the tomb 1844 erected this tablet as a pious memory of their ancestors." 18
Note on tombstone inscription and 17th. and 18th. century dates of the Drishane McCarthys :- The name Donogh occurs so often that in both cases where a life-span of 122 years is given for a Donogh McCarthy, it is quite possible that there were two Donoghs, father and son, covering that period.
1 9 These notes have been culled from various sources. Their authenticity is doubtful and they are given for what they are worth.