Would you like to own your very own Irish Castle and not only an Irish Castle but the place where Ireland’s Romeo and Juliet story took place? That’s right, McDermotts Castle situated on an island off Lough Key in County Roscommon is on sale for only €90,000.
The iconic castle built in the 12th Century comes equipped with 0.54acres of land, tonne loads of history, and even more scenery. One of the most fascinating story’s that is associated with the place is the legend of Una Bhan, the story of Irelands very own Romeo and Juliet.
The fact that the tale revolves around the hauntingly beautiful Castle Island only adds to the spine tingling power of the tale. Surrounded by water Castle island is one them places that leaves a long imprint on your memory. The place evokes images of fairy tales, spirits, and all sorts of other supernatural activities. But it is for the story of Una Bhan that the Castle Island is most remembered for. The heart rendering tale of two star crossed lovers goes like this:
The chieftain of the Celtic Kingdom of Roscommon was a man by the name of MacDermott. The chieftain had a beautiful daughter by the name of Una Bhan and she was named this because of her eye dropping long blond hair. The local neighbour was a young man called Toms Laidir Costello who was honest, hard-working, and strong person who looked out for other people.
When Una Bhan and Tomas met each other they both caught each others eye and over time both of them fell madly in love. Tomas Laidir asked Una Bhans father for his daughters hand in marriage but he refused believing that Tomas was not good enough for his beautiful young daughter. The furious chieftain ordered that Tomas was to leave the area for good and was to never return. To protect his daughter, or so he believed, he confined her on Castle Island, Lough Key. The Castle which was covered in water on all sides meant that Una would have no chance of escaping and eloping with the man that she loved.
Una Bhan then fell into a deep grief because she could not be with the one she wanted. When Tomas Laidir heard of her grief he couldn’t help himself and decided that he would go and visit Una. Her heart was mended when she seen her lover but Tomas when he was leaving sent a messenger to Una’s father stating that if he did not send a message to him to return and be with his daughter by the time he crossed the river that he would never return. MacDermott never got to send his message on time. Being a man of utmost honor Tomas Laidir refused to break his vow never to return.
Una Bhan then went and died of a broken heart and was buried on Trinity Island, a small island on Lough Key. Tomas used to swim out to the island to be by his former lovers graveside. Eventually, after swimming across to the island countless times in the cold dark waters Tomas picked up incurable pneumonia.
Realising he was about to die Tomas requested that he be buried right next to Una Bhan and so in death the two lovers where eventually reunited. Local legend has it that two trees grow together on the island and that these two trees have joined up together forming a lovers knot, in which Una Bhan and Tomas Laidir form their eternal watch over the island.
And so there you have it, why not own not only an Irish Island, not only an Irish Castle, but the very island and castle where Ireland’s very own Romeo and Juliet took place.