The Irish Pirate Queen
If you haven’t yet done so be sure to check out our Pirate Stories which tells the amazing story of Jack the Bachelor. Why do we mention pirates? Well, Ireland had it’s very own pirate Queen in the form of Grainne O’Malley, or Grace O’Malley, who is credited with attacks from Donegal to Waterford from her base in Co Clare.
The reason we bring her up is because of a great story from our neck of the woods in Howth. According to the popular tale she was refused entry to Howth Castle in 1576 when she attempted to call in unexpectedly to the Earl of Howth. Furious with this social snub she kidnapped the Earl’s grandson and her ransom was a promise that unanticipated guests would never be turned away again.
She also made the Earl promise that the gates of Deer Park, where the castle is located, would never be closed to the public again. The gates are still open to this day, and an extra place is set for unexpected guests during formal dinners in the dining room.