Postcards of Castlerea

Castlerea derives its name from a castle which stood on the banks of the river Suck, at the point where it joins the river Cloonard, locally called the river Francis. This was "Caislean Riabhach", the ancient castle of the O'Conors, around which the town developed.

Theophilus Sandford in the 17th century was the first Sandford to obtain extensive lands in Castlerea. This was for his services during the civil wars in England. These lands had been taken from the O'Conors. He built Castlerea House c.1640 on the old O'Conor Castle site.

Castlerea developed under the Sandfords, and they established a distillery, a brewery and a tannery. His descesdants continued to hold their power through the troublesome 19th century, but in the early years of the 20th century they lost ground.

The estate was acquired by the Land Commission and the Congested Districts Board. The Demesne in which it was set survives and the people of Castlerea now enjoy it as a public park.

The local publisher of postcards in the town was Cahill's of Castlerea.

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