Ross Castle, on the shores of Lough Leane, County Kerry was built by the Irish chieftain O’Donoghue Mór in the fifteenth century.
O’Donoghue still keeps watch over his fine castle from the bottom of the lake. Every seven years, on the first morning in May, he rises from the waters on his magnificent white horse. If you are lucky enough to catch sight of him, you are promised good fortune for the rest of your life!
This was one of the last Irish castles to hold out against Cromwell’s forces. According to legend, the castle could only be taken by ship so Lord Muskerry, its defender, believed it would never fall to a land-based attack. Aware of the prophesy, General Ludlow of the English forces decided, in 1652, to attack from the water. Upon seeing the approaching boats on the lake, the defenders quickly surrendered – thus fulfilling the prophesy! (In reality, Muskerry had already decided to capitulate, knowing they’d never defeat the Cromwellian army. The boats provided a timely excuse!!).