Derrynane House

When was Derrynane House built?

Derrynane House was first built by Daniel O’Connell’s grandfather beside Derrynane Beach (see my web page here) in 1702. He had moved from Ballycarberry Castle to Waterville after the castle was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell in the 1650s. Sitting on a 300-acre site it was a sight to behold. It was replaced by a 3 storey house some years later by his son, Maurice O’Connell, Daniel O’Connell’s uncle.

Daniel O’Connell inherited the house from his uncle in 1825. He extended it once again. In 1844, Daniel O’Connell built a chapel on the grounds. The chapel was linked to the house by a single-story passageway. It is believed Pope Pius XII gave £100 to the conservation of the chapel and the grounds it sits on.

When did Eamon de Valera open Derrynane House to the public?

Eamon de Valera opened the National Historic Property to the public in 1967. It contains all relics of Daniel O’Connell’s life including his childhood. Some of the relics are also contained in Old Cahersiveen Barracks (see my web page here). Derrynane Historic Park was opened to the public in 1975. The house and the park receive 23,000 visitors a year.

Prices to get into the National Historic Property are

  • Adults €5
  • Senior citizens €4
  • Child/Student €3
  • Family €13
  • Under 12 are free

There are guided tours for groups which usually are 40 minutes in duration. Also, there is a 20-minute documentary on Daniel O’Connell in the House.

Daniel O’Connell

Daniel O’Connell was born on the 6th of August 1775 just outside Cahersiveen (see my web page here) in Carhan. His father Morgan O’Connell and his mother Kate O’Mullane were very poor. He had 9 siblings. Due to the severity of their deprivation, Daniel O’Connell was adopted by his uncle Maurice O’Connell along with one of his brothers.

Where Daniel O'Connell was born
Where Daniel O’Connell was born

His original home has suffered from serious decay. There is no roof and parts of the walls are missing. So, £20,000 was used to stop the decay of the building.

Politics & Daniel O’Connell

He was educated in France, England, and Dublin. Following his studies, he spent 10 years practicing as a barrister in the Munster Circuit Court. He entered politics and was elected an MP for Clare. He was also the Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1843.

Death of Daniel O’Connell

The bed Daniel O'Connell died in pictured in Derrynane House.
The bed Daniel O’Connell died in pictured in Derrynane House.

While traveling in Italy he suffered from Encephalomalacia. He died in Genoa on the 15th of May 1847. He is buried in Glasnevin.

Check out my web pages on the Ring of Kerry Drive, The Skellig Ring and Slea Head Drive.