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Chieftain O’Donoghue

Ross Castle was built in the early 15th Century by the Chieftain O’Donoghue. There are many legends about the great Chieftain. One of the more famous tales involves The Lakes of Killarney.

Chieftain O'Donoghue Ross Castle Killarney

This tale revolves around the formation of Loch Léin. It is said that O’Donoghue had a palace in the Killarney area, at the centre of which was a magical fountain. The fountain was built by a magician who warned that the large rectangular cap stone should never be taken off the fountain as the palace and surrounding areas would be flooded.

After a great Stag hunt and subsequent feast, O’Donoghue, in an intoxicated state ordered that cap stone be removed from the fountain to test the magician’s threat. The Captain of his archers was tasked with the removal of the capstone and immediately, water began to flow out and fill the area around the palace. It is said that none escaped the rising waters. Not even O’Donoghue himself.

Every seven years O’Donoghue rises out of the lake upon his white horse and rides around the Lakes. For any of the boatmen that see O’Donoghue it is said to be good luck.

Léin the Smith

The Tuatha de Danann were deities of Pre-Christian Ireland. It is said that a skilled Blacksmith called Léin the Smith of the Tuatha de Danann visited the Lakes of Killarney and spent much time here fashioning many pieces of fantastic metalwork from helmets to armour.

Killarney was famous as being the first place in Ireland that metal was produced during the Bronze age. It was renowned for it’s mineral wealth as copper, tin, iron and lead were all mined here. Léin the Smith is said to reside still under the waters of Loch Léin, jealously guarding the mineral wealth of the area.