Shanid castle is a tower castle dating from the 13th century. It sits high on a hill with a motte some 35 feet deep. This impressive stronghold of the Geraldines (Fitzgerald) boasted circular walls 10 feet thick. And surrounding are more motte and bailey defensives, ditches and banks.
Shanid Abú – Long Live Shanid
Maurice FitzGerald was granted lands in Limerick by Richard de Clare (Strongbow) after the Norman invasions of 1169. Thomas Fitzmaurice (son of Maurice) inherited the lands of Shanid. He is often credited with the building of the Shanid castle in 1230 but there are strong indications it was there before that date. Thomas was the ancestor of the FitzGeralds, the Earls of Desmond and this was to be the first stronghold of the Knights of Glin. These Desmond Geraldines would go on to build many castles but Shanid was the strongest.
The last Earl of Desmond was murdered in Kerry in 1584. The lands of the Desmond Geraldines were then divided by the English. It was captured by Hugh O’Donnell in 1601, and was inhabited until 1641. It was burned and dismantled.
Shanid Castle is located south of the town of Shanagolden on the Ardagh Road in Co Limerick.
On Shannon side the day is closing fair,
The kern sits musing by his shieling low,
And marks, beyond the lonely hills of Clare,
Blue, rimmed with gold, the clouds of sunset glow.
Hush in that sun the wide-spread waters flow,
Returning warm the day’s departing smile;
Along the sunny highland pacing slow
The keyriaght lingers with his herd the while.
And bells are tolling faint from far Saint Sinon’s isle.
O loved shore! with softest memories twined,
Sweet fall the summer on thy margin fair!
And peace come whispering, like a morning wind,
Dear thoughts of love to every bosom there!
The horrid wreck and driving storm forbear
Thy smiling strand, nor oft the accents swell
Along thy hills of grief or heart-wrung care;
But heaven look down upon each lowly dell,
And bless thee for the joys I yet remember well!