The Last Castle Of Ballymcelligott

Bealagrellagh Castle

My ancestors had many Castles in the region of Kerry and this is the only one left with a ruin to look at. All the others were demolished in the 1800s.

All of them were owned by Little William McElligott, head of the McElligott family and to whom I owe my existence. He fell foul of Queen Elizabeth in the latter part of the 16th century and subsequently had all his castles and lands removed from him. The reason for this is because he took part in the 2nd Desmond rebellion.

Whenever I’m feeling down I look at the photograph I took. It reminds me that to sacrifice riches, land and prestige for what is the morally right thing to do is what makes a man. Reading the literature, Little William was the clever yet stubborn type. At first he decided on not rebelling against the Queen. Then 2 weeks later he changed his mind.

Why did he do that? At first he thought about the future of his gentry family and decided against it. He must’ve mulled it over and thought to himself, “I am leaving my future descendants the riches of castles and land, while they inherit the legacy of a coward?” Instead he decided that the legacy left behind would be that of a man who sacrificed himself, his castles and families good reputation to prove that in the end, the right thing should never be compromised by what is here today and gone tomorrow.

Thank you Little William.

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