Kilfadda Castle

Now an almost obliterated building, standing on a hard and rather high spot of ground at the end of a low track, on a marsh near a bog in the town land  of Kilfadda  in Aglish. It was remembered that in 1909 one small apartment, with a stone arch over it remained. The walls were 8 ft thick and the building was not grouted. This building was one of the two castles occupied by the members of the famous old Ely O’ Carroll of Ely family, Emmill, being the second. At the beginning of the 19th Century there still lived in Kilfadda Castle  an O’ Carroll of the Emmill branch. This O’ Carroll in his younger days was the most famous swordsman of the day and a deadly shot with a pistol. He was regarded as a celebrated duellist, and the terror he inspired, caused many of the Cromwellian’s in the area to lower their pretentions. As he got on in years the local people regarded him with respect due to his long lineage and looked to him as their champion, a position needed in those days of landlord oppression.

In 1798, during their rebellion, O’ Carroll of Kilfadda removed the bell from the Abbey in Lorrha to prevent it falling into the hands of the Orange Men. The bell was hidden in the ground and was discovered in 1807 and restored to its former position. Tradition says that “The bell had a silver tongue” but this was missing when the bell was found. Eventually sickness came over the O’Carroll, but he did not contemplate death and his servants did not want to tell him that his life was nearly spun. Amongst his neighbours in Aglish was a surveyor named Kelly, who took it upon himself to bring in a doctor. When the doctor arrived at the castle, he found old O’ Carroll seated in an armchair in his bedroom, showing no sign of depression or fear of the unknown. The old blood was haughty; the spirit of so many warlike ancestors gave a last fiery flicker before death. Then, O’ Carroll stood up, and taking down his sword, went through the various exercises of the sword drill which he knew so well, and said to all present “there was a time when if death came to me, I would cut him up in pieces”. He placed his sword on the table, sat down in his armchair and died.