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Dysert O'Dea Castle, Dysert O'Dea, Clare

(52°54′40″N, 9°4′15″W)
Dysert O'Dea Castle
R 28 85
pre-1974 traditional (Republic of Ireland) Clare
now Clare
medieval Killaloe
now Killaloe
  • Tessa Garton

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Feature Sets

A late medieval castle, housing an Archaeology Centre. Two loose fragments displayed in the castle bear 12thc. sculpture; (i) was discovered in rubble outside Dysert O'Dea churchyard in 1985 and (ii) was found in the churchyard at Rathblathmaic.


See entries for Dysert O'Dea church and Rathblathmaic.


Loose Sculpture


Both the measurements and design of VI (i) differ from the capitals with human heads in the doorway at Dysert O'Dea church, so that the original location of the stone is uncertain. The impost block could come from the chancel arch of the 12thc. church. Harbison (1987, 11) has suggested that some of the sculpture used at Dysert O'Dea may have been brought from Rathblathmaic. The interlaced snakes and foliage on VI(ii) are similar in general design to those on the reused window sill [IV 5 c (ii)] at Rathblathmaic, but less finished and detailed, and other more damaged stones reused at Rathblathmaic are also decorated with interlaced animals. The combination of interlaced snakes with an angle roll flanked by wedge mouldings is also found on the corner stones of the plinth of the High Cross at Dysert O'Dea.


P. Harbison, 'Two Romanesque Carvings from Rath Blathmaic and Dysert O'Dea, Co. Clare', NMAJ, 29 (1987), 7-11.