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A Car Trip to Cloughoughter Castle

Ireland has a very rich history and culture, which one can glimpse through the numerous castles that can be found across its countryside. One of the best and most efficient ways of seeing them is to hire a car. Car hire makes it very easy and convenient to visit the museums that are within the city and the archaeological and architectural sites that can be found in the outlying counties. Car hire also saves on the prohibitive costs of commercial tours, which follow a stricter itinerary and may not allow you to see some of Ireland’s “secret” treasures, which for those who travel by car, are just a detour away. One of these treasures is Cloughoughter Castle, which can be found in the County Cavan. It is easy to miss it, and indeed not many commercial tours include it in the itinerary. That is the advantage of hiring a car. You can drive to the remote corner of the Erne River system, on a tiny island in Lough Oughter, and discover the romance of Cloughoughter. This modest-sized castle has a surprisingly dark history. Built around 1200, it passed hands from the Normans to the powerful O’Reilly clan, where it set the stage for the dynastic power struggles between the owners and their former overloards, the O'Rourkes. Its prison held some of the “victims” of this war; one diary account documents how he had “no allowance save a sheaf of oats for day and night and a cup of water, so that he was compelled to drink his own urine". Another of its most famous inmates, The Bishop of Kilmore William Bedell and his two sons, were shackled in irons in a "cold, wet and windy room almost at the top of the tower". Excavations in 1987 also revealed human skeletons. Despite the gloomy stories associated with it, Cloughoughter Castle’s beauty captured the imagination of many artists, including William Ashford. To travel to Cloughoughter Castle by car, go to the island in Lough Oughter, 3 miles south east of Killeshandra and south of Killykeen Forest Park.It is a very pleasant ride, and like all car trips through Ireland, have the bonus of beautiful scenery and fresh air.To rent a car to take a car trip to Charles Fort, you can approach a carhire agency in any of Ireland’s airports or major cities.