This week I made a pair of cufflinks and a tie pin with the image of Ballybunion castle. The customer suggested this theme and I was able to design and make the items within ten days of receiving the order. Ballybunion is a seaside village in Co. Kerry, Ireland. The castle is situated on the cliffs of Ballybunion which divides the two main beaches, overlooking Ballybunion Bay. The castle was built by the Geraldines of West Limerick in the 14th Century. In 1582 the castle was acquired from them by the Bonyon family, from whom Ballybunion takes its name. The following year William Og Bonyon lost the castle and its surrounding lands due to his part in the Desmond Rebellion. It was said that the castles of Beale and Ballybunion were wrecked to prevent them falling into enemy hands.
In 1612 the castle was granted to Thomas Fitzmaurice, Lord of Kerry whose chief stronghold was further south in Lixnaw. There is no indication that any attempt was made to restore the castle but its ownership passed to various landlords until 1923 when it came under the care of the Office of Public Works. Little is now left of the castle, only the east wall remains rising to a height of 12.1 metres. The tower was originally made up of four storeys and a basement. All that remains is the doorway on the east wall and above three of the narrow windows.
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