Castle Bernard

Castle Bernard lies west of the town of Bandon, in County Cork in Ireland. The first building at this site was a medieval castle that had belonged to the O'Mahoney family. In 1715 that castle was named Castle Bernard after its then owner. In 1788, Francis Bernard, the 1st Earl of Bandon, demolished much of the old castle and erected a new building in front and slightly to the east of it. 

It is the ruin of that new building that we see today. So, this isn't a real castle but a castellated mansion. In the early 20th century Castle Bernard was inhabited by the 4th Earl of Bandon; James Francis Bernard and his wife. They regularly held large parties at their castle. On June 21, 1921 the IRA came to Castle Bernard with the objective to kidnap the Earl. 

The Earl and his staff however, had taken refuge in the cellars. As they could not find the Earl, the IRA then set fire to the castle. Then the Earl and his party came out of the cellars and he was kidnapped nevertheless. Castle Bernard completely burned down and was never rebuilt again. Three weeks later the Earl was finally released. At present the area around Bernard Castle is a golf course. The ruin of the castle itself is fenced off due to danger of collapse, so not accessible. A very nice ruin.


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