Macroom, like hundreds of other towns, began as a primitive settlement on the banks of a river, In this case the Sullane. The area was reasonably sheltered and more fertile than the surrounding hills. In the 6th century it was known as Achad Dorbchon within the kingdom of Muskerry.

The area is rich in archaeological artefacts such as gallauns, stone circles, dolmens, cist graves, ring forts, fulacht fiadhs and souterrains. It is reported that the area was an important centre of pre-Christian and post-Christian worship.  Very slowly over the centuries the power of the druids waned and Christianity took over. Evidence suggests that the ruins of Macloneigh church is the site of St. Finbarr’s first church.  Other saints associated with the area include St. Gobnait, St. Lachtain, St. John and St. Berrihert. Alliances and rivalries between tribes flourished during those early centuries. A major battle took place at Bealach Leachta (Bealick) in 978 AD.  Brian Boru avenged the death of his brother, Mahon, and became king of Munster by defeating Maolmuaid and a large force of Danes.  From Cashel he built up his power. At Clontarf, in 1014, he defeated the Leinstermen and the Danes but was killed himself with his eldest son, Murcadh.  His other sons, Tadgh and Donnchad lost power to Mael Seachnaill who became high king until 1022.macroom-010The O’Flynn family became one of the most influential families in the region. They are credited with building the Castle in Macroom in the 12th century. Subsequent development centered around the Castle and it became the capital of Muskerry.  The McCarthy’s defeated the O’Flynns and occupied the Castle until the middle of the 17th century. They controlled thousands of acres in Muskerry, Duhallow and Carbery.  They built castles at Carrigaphoca, Carrigadrohid and Blarney (1446) Cormac McCarthy founded Kilcrea abbey in 1456 and was buried there after being killed by his brother in1494.

Read more: Macroom - A Social History

Situated on the N22 midway between Cork City and Killarney is Macroom, a busy market town in the valley of the Sullane River.The town has a colourful history and a range of activities for the visitor, making this an ideal destination for a relaxing vacation in County Cork. Go fishing in the local river or go golfing at Macroom Golf Club and other surrounding clubs. You can also enjoy hill walking or cycling, as the area has various trails and pathways.


The Gateway and tower are all that remain of Macroom Castle, which was granted to Admiral William Penn, (father of the founder of Pennsylvania U.S.A.) by Cromwell.

Macroom is twinned with the Breton town of Bubry. and Marcallo con Casone in Italy.

Read more: Historic Places around Macroom