Dysert O Dea Castle:  Stories of Ancient Ireland Magic and Mystery

To visit historic ODea Castle, make your way to Munster Province, and County Clare. Whether you want to cycle around the castle or visit the archeology center, you can get there from the Dublin Airport in under three hours.

Irish Expressions - Dysert O'Dea Castle.

Stay on the M1, and be prepared for the road name to switch to the A1 when you cross over the border to Northern Ireland. When you hit the coast, you'll know you've arrive at Dunluce Castle on the aptly named Dunluce Road.    

Things to Know About ODea Castle

Here are some fun facts about this amazing Irish landmark.  Hopefully they will entice you to pay a visit in person!

But if that is not possible, you can always use them to impress your friends with your knowledge of one of the most-visited attractions in Ireland.

  • The Dysert O’Dea Castle, sometimes just referred to as the ODea Castle, is found in County Clare.
  • Built at the end of the 15th century, the castle is a rectangular tower that stands at a tall five stories high.
  • In 1970, an American purchased the castle, restored it, and reopened it as a museum and archeology center.
  • It's also the start of a historic walking and cycling trail that lets you spot battlefields, forts and other monuments in the area.
  • In Irish, the word Dísert means hermitage. That's where the full name of the castle comes from: Dysert O'Dea Castle.
  • The castle was built between 1470 and 1490 by the O'Dea family. It is located just next to the Dysert O'Dea Monastery, which dates all the way back to the 12th century. The castle, and the family, has always had ties to religion.
  • One of the most significant battles in all of Irish history took place at this site. The Battle of Dysert O'Dea took place on May 10, 1318.
  • The Battle of Dysert O'Dea was part of the Bruce Campaign. The Irish victory pushed the Anglo-Normans from the region for nearly 200 years, granting a long stretch of peace to the area.
  • The Cromwellian Invasion was not good for the Dysert O'Dea Castle. Soldiers stationed at the castle demolished staircases and battlements, ensuring it was an ineffective defensive fort in the future.
  • While the O'Dea family eventually had the castle returned to them, it was short lived. ODea Castle passed through many hands in the 18th and 19th centuries, but it was eventually left alone in ruin. 
  • A John O'Day from Wisconsin, America, purchased the castle in the middle of the 20th century. As his name suggests, he was an immigrant from Ireland with a connection to the original O'Dea family.
  • After restoration was complete, O'Day leased the castle to the Dysert Development Association. Today, the castle is known as the Clare Archeology Centre. 
  • You won't want to miss a stroll along the two-mile Archeology Trail. This walk around the castle includes over 25 monuments like churches, tower houses and stone crosses. 
  • Within the castle, you can explore many of the restored rooms. Finish the day in the Tea Room for a refreshing snack or drink before you drive home. 

You can find more information about this lovely Irish landmark here.

Want More Irish Castles?

It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish castles!  The Emerald Isle is dotted with hundreds of these incredible structures.  

Sharing pictures and stories about them gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!

We have captured the most amazing pictures and descriptions of Irish castles in an e-book we call "An Illustrated Guide to Irish Castles and Abbeys."

This fun, free guide is available to you to download.  Scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email to get instant access!

That Was Fun!  Where Can I See More?

Great question! As you can see, exploring the castles of Ireland offers many opportunities for enjoying an Irish experience and expressing your personal Irish side!

For more information of this kind, you might pay a visit to our section on Ireland Sightseeing here!