In Search of Castle Matrix

Castle Matrix

For over a decade, my car rental maps had tempted me with a pink star marking the location of Castle Matrix. It was just a ways outside of Limerick a few miles from Adare. On our way to visit Imen from www.marriedanirishfarmer.com, Liam and I decided to stop.

A Hidden Castle

We drove from one end of Rathkeale to the other and beyond in search of the landmark. When we clearly went too far, we stopped and asked for directions from a gentleman who was standing in his drive talking to a woman parked nearby.

“Pull in here, and I’ll help ye,” he said directing us into his driveway before rushing back to the woman in the SUV. When he returned, he let us know the woman driver lived beside castle Matrix (pronounced Matt-trix), and she said it was open again for tours. Sounded as if things were going our way.

He proceeded to give us very detailed directions, even predicting, “you won’t even know it’s a road.” Indeed! With the building of the highway bypass around Rathkeale, the driveway to Castle Matrix goes completely unnoticed. Had it not been for the man’s instructions, we would not even have attempted… especially since there wasn’t a sign marking the way.

Abandoned… or Just Heavily Lived-In

Grass grew up the center of the drive, and the trees hung down and scraped the top of the car. I told Liam at least three times, “This can’t be the road.” A few turns in and we arrived at a small clearing beside the stone tower house. The foliage was overgrown, but there was a spot of shorter grass big enough for a car to turn around. The castle looked sturdy and a big wooden door marked the entrance. As we marched up, a cat or two scattered from behind a bush. We knocked, took a few pictures, but no one was there.

Liam at Castle Matrix

Liam at Castle Matrix

It was hard to tell if there had been any activity at the place recently… a wood carving and scattered rubbish made it look like there had, but overgrown bushes, cloudy windows, and no signs of modern life made us think twice.

On the internet, I couldn’t find any solid information on the place more recent than 2005-ish, but since those reports referenced an eccentric owner and a castle overwhelmed with clutter and pets, maybe nothing has changed, and we just hit it on an off day.

If you’ve been to Castle Matrix recently… let us know about your experience.

Directions and more photos >>

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Author: Corey

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104 Comments

  1. My husband and I stayed in the castle on our honeymoon in 1988 after a search similar to yours. Liz O’Driscoll and her husband Sean had renovated the castle and she and her small son were living in the house adjacent. Her lodger lead us on a tour of the castle when we showed up on the drive and later Liz came out to meet us. After a few minutes she invited us to stay. What ensued was a night of ghost stories and castle history told while we ate Irish stew in the great hall by candlelight. We were escorted to a lovely room with an Elizabethan bed and the only electric light in the castle. There we stayed through a howling gale that uprooted trees outside but which didn’t even make a sound through the thick walls. The ghost stories weighed heavily and we didn’t dare open our eyes that night. But in the morning we were amazed at how bright and beautiful the rooms were. As we approach our 25th anniversary we had hoped to re-vist but I see on Tripadvisor that the castle is not open to the public at present.

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    • Dear Sarah et al,
      Sean and Liz are deceased. Liz passed about 2010. Sean sometime in the early 2000’s I believe. Sean was a crew member with my Uncle in WW2. If any one has any photo’s of Sean and or Liz I would really appreciate if you would share.
      Thank You.
      jcdowdy_2000@yahoo.com
      Sincerely,

      Editor’s note: Continue reading the comments below and you will find that at this time Liz is still among the living :)

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      • I’ve toured the castle twice. I may have pictures of Liz. I will look for them. I didn’t know she had passed. She was always a gracious tour guide with fascinating stories.

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      • Hello,
        Liz is still very much living. I wonder how you heard she died in 2010? Where ever it was, this information was very wrong.
        Regards,
        Debra

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        • Since I posted that message regarding Liz Driscoll being deceased I found out that this was not true as well. That is good news and I am sincerely sorry for my error. However I could not reach her at the castle and it may be under new management. If any one could help me contact her i would very much appreciate it. I will gladly post my e-mail address.
          Thank You

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        • Today, Nov 14, 2012, my friends and I stumbled upon the Castle Matrix and the interesting Liz. Just as was posted before, we were having trouble locating this castle when we asked a local gentleman for directions. We followed the directions to find an overgrown, narrow path which was blocked by a large fallen limb. We continued by foot to find the overgrown Castle Matrix. The grounds have been without care for such a long time that we thought it was abandoned. Just as we were about to leave a kind voice from a window high above called out to us… “I’m up here in the window”. We were delighted to meet Ms Liz and hear of her life while living at the Castle Matrix. She lives alone without funtional power or heat. Her husband, Sean O’Driscoll and son have passed away and she lives alone with many cats and dogs. However, after spending a delightful morning with her and touring her “castle” I leave Ireland with a smile and a warm heart. Thank you Ms Liz for a delightful day!

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  2. Wonderful post! I never knew castles such as these existed. It must have been really fun searching for it.

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  3. Many thanks for the kind remembrance, Margaret and sorry I’ve missed some visitors. I’m still here, albeit slow in recuperating from past events, but always enjoy sharing stories and castle experiences though our location is a bit confusing. Never did close to visitors. Look for the flowerbed saying Rathkeale on the N21 highway bypass of Rathkeale, and our driveway is on the opposite side of the road in the middle of the staggered intersection with tall trees at the edge of the highway. Thanks for replying, Debra.

    I like to see what nature will produce if left in peace, but some times of the year it can look very neglected from a gardener’s point of view, no apologies. Eccentric may fit. Absent-minded does too. Not much of a sense of time passing either. Still enjoy meeting new friends and hope some will be able to help solve debatable issues. Love, Liz

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    • Hello Liz…..so lovely to hear you are still enjoying your home. I am hoping to visit you this summer, sometime in August, as I will be over to the UK to see family and attend a wedding.
      My interest in Castle Matrix comes from an ancient family connection to the Southwells and Browns who occupied the property in times past.
      Looking forward to meeting you and walking in great grandfather’s footsteps!

      Jilly

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      • Hello Jilly, so sorry if I missed a visit from you! Apologies if we were in touch and I’ve forgotten it, as I’m so absent-minded at times! I would very much like to hear more of your family links here. I’ve wondered whether the tendency for the family records available on the internet to show them as the Southwells of Castle Mattress, stems from a Welsh heritage? Kieran, my son was also a Brown through Sean’s ancestry (very early settlers in Virginia, West Virginia, New York and New Jersey, etc.), the hospital he was sent to, St. James in Dublin is on the former Mount Brown estate, and his doctor was also a Brown. So far we’ve found that there were three Elizabeth Forrests in Sean’s family history also. I suspect my late husband knew a whole lot more about me than I ever knew about him! :-) Love, Liz

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    • Hello Liz,

      We will definitley stop again… we are in the area every summer, and would love to meet you and share some stories.

      Corey

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      • So sorry if I missed you too, Corey. Hopefully I will be easier to contact this year, and if you find a blue car outside the castle, then I’m definitely home, just maybe in the courtyard or up in the tower out of hearing distance unless you make a commotion. Might be here anyway, if the car is being fixed, so if you send an e-mail I can provide my new phone number. Love, Liz

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    • Travelling across Ireland for the first time and Spent hours searching for this castle and finally found. Would love to have seen inside but nobody home and seemed abandoned. I went back to our B&B and researched aliitle and happened onto this site. I’m sure it’s a long shot but if anyone knows of a way to get tour before we head off tommorrow to Galway I would be ever so appreciative. Thank You

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    • Liz, I’m totally delighted you’re still alive. I was getting quite depressed from the messages saying you had passed. I’d love to come to see you at the castle. Sean knew my mother many decades ago and I have fond memories of him as a child and when I last saw him I was pregnant with my son Jack who is now 33. Are you still licking in the house next to the castle? If I can make it over, can I come and see you? I’m living in Yorkshire right now. I’m completely delighted you’re there. I’d just love to see you and the old castle for a visit? Love Mary-Rose. Please write to my email if you want! Are you well?

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      • Sorry Liz that was meant to read living, not licking.

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      • Dear Mary-Rose, abject apologies to you and everyone I’ve not replied to as yet. Just rediscovered this page thanks to Cynthia, and trying to catch up, hoping I will hear from you all again. Didn’t realise about the subscription aspect to receive e-mails until today. I’m not very technically-minded. Will send my new telephone number when I hear from you too. Would love a visit from you when you can manage it. Love, Liz

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        • Hello Liz,
          Many thanks for getting back to me! So nice to hear from you. I’m hoping to get over to a friend’s house in Clare. I’m not sure when this is yet, I will certainly let you know as soon as I know. You can send me your telephone number via my email above. If you didn’t receive it with this message I will simply publish it. I will ring you when I get to Clare to ask when it’s convenient to drop by. I’m so looking forward to being able to get over and to see you. Take care. Let me know you got my email ok? You can always get me on that email address too. xx

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          • Hello again, Mary-Rose, did I ever manage to send you an e-mail? Can’t see yours posted here. Looking forward to meeting you this summer, if you haven’t come over yet, love, Liz

          • Hiya Liz, No you didn’t send me an email. Just in case it doesn’t show I’ll post it here. It’s siamesee88@yahoo.co.uk. I haven’t gotten over yet. I will do this year definitely. It’ll be great to see you. I hope you’re well. Contact me anytime with your phone number. If not I will look it up when I get over. Thanks for your message!! Love Mary-Rose

    • Hello Dear Liz,
      I visited you and your companion in 1994, I believe. The most enjoyable and authentic night in some time. I was with my traveling companion Tina. I wonder if we signed a ledger…? In any case, I remember you fondly as a kind, patient, contented soul and enjoyed so much the stories of old and your adventure with Sean, rebuilding Driscoll Castle (Matrix). The private Chapel and thick beams, a mantle adorned with broad swords, a meandering river… I visited because my brother and law (a Driscoll), mentioned it to me before I left for that great adventure by a mid twenty’s version of myself took to see where that half of my bloodline, the O’learys’, came. Thank you for a rich memory:) Patrick

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      • Hello again, Patrick, and abject apologies now I see the date, if I haven’t replies before. I skim too quickly sometimes. So glad to hear from you and hope I havent’ missed a visit from you in the past year. If I have replied and forgotten again, my late husband used to say I have a brain like Swiss-cheese! As he sometimes relied on me to remember the names of people we’d met at social engagements, this must have been highly irritating for him! :-) Love, Liz

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        • Hello Liz, Robin & Steve Larsen gave me your # in case we were able to visit Castle Matrix. Unfortunately we will not be near you. Thank you for your invitation & best wishes, Sandra Smiley

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    • Dear Liz,
      When I was 21 and traveling Ireland to discover my family, I had the grand opportunity to meet and spend time with Sean. It was 1971, and I was coming back to England after spending time with my family in Co Leitrim. I met Sean on a flight from Dublin to London. I was reading a book about Gordon Craig by his son Edward Craig — he knew the son and so we struck up a great conversation and we talked non-stop. I was working as an actress for a small company outside of Philadelphia at the time and he told me about Castle Matrix and wanted to make it an arts center.
      I am coming back to Ireland in May and staying at the McLaughlin Farm in Shannon, Co Mayo. I will be with my son, my sister and her husband. I would so love to meet YOU and see the Castle your Sean spoke so lovingly about.
      Would this be possible? It would complete the circle we began more than 40 years ago. Pls write to me if you can see us we’ll be there May 15 – 20. We have an early flight out of Dublin on the 22, so I don’t count the 21st as a viable day to visit. Longing to hear from you. I’m at momcfadden@aol.com
      Best regards, Maureen McFadden

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    • Oh MY …my Swan Sister,
      I have missed you so much over the years ! when did the letters stop? i cant remember..its hard to believe that its been 14 years now…
      Do you remember the photo shoot we did with Keiren and sandy? she was alll dressed up in renissance clothing and he had her locked in the tower? that was happy times then…
      I miss you much… i had a gal pal move to Galway, she even came to your house and knocked.. no one answered… she brought me some pebbles and some dirt from your place … so i could feel close … how thoughtful of her..
      please contact me… lets reconnect…
      ~Cyn

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    • Hi Liz,
      Wondering if you remember my mom Maxine Asher, Atlantis researcher, friends with your husband Sean. We stayed in your amazing castle many years ago. Please let me know if i have correct Sean O’Driscoll and castle. One of best memories of my life! My sister is on her way to Ireland tomorrow. Would it be possible for her to meet you and see your castle? All the best to you, Laurie

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      • Hello Laurie, lovely to hear from you after all these years. Wondering if you could ask Corey to send me your e-mail address or telephone number? Or give you mine if I’ve remembered to give one? And yes, it was Sean O Driscoll and this castle. Would really enjoy meeting your sister. When will she be in this area? Sorry it’s taken two days to pick up this note, but if I’m too tired by the end of the day, I can’t open up my laptop. Hoping you’re in touch with her. Love, Liz

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        • Hi Liz,
          I’m so excited to have found you. I sent an email to Corey to share contact information. I hope it works because I am not very tech savvy! My sister Holly just arrived in Ireland and will be in your area on Monday and Tuesday. Just in case we don’t hear from Corey is one of those days good for you? All the best to you, Laurie

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  4. Looking forward to your visit, Jilly, and hearing more of the history from your family’s 300 plus years here. I’ve only found bits and pieces as when I had access to the British Library many years ago, I didn’t realise they were still using the old version of the name as Castle Mattress. Mainly going by what my late husband and others have told me over the years, including members of your Southwell and Brown families who have visited. Its links to major poets have also been quite intriguing through the centuries, the latest being Sean’s friendship with Michael Hartnett.

    Also many thanks for the memories to Sara, and wonder if John Dowdy ever received an e-mail from me? Apologies if not as my laptops have been hacked at times. Thanks also to the Editor of this very informative website. Liz

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  5. Looking forward to your visit too, Corey and also hope Solo Mate Travel manages to cross paths with the Castle as well. It’s kind of like finding the correct train track in the first Harry Potter movie! At least so I’ve been told …. :-) Liz

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  6. Oh, Liz, I am glad you are still with us! So very sorry to hear that you have lost your son as well as Sean. Your graciousness to me in 1985 will never be forgotten. That was my first magical visit to Ireland. Aengus O’Carroll, who was something of a protegé of Sean’s, wrote me an introduction and Sean even read a manuscript of mine. Now I am a “slightly published” poet and a grandmother. My husband and I plan to visit Ireland this fall, late September, though since he reluctant to drive there, we will have to give Rathkeale and Castle Matrix a miss.

    My welcome to your place was a nip from a white horse! How magical is that?

    Stay well,

    Sue

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  7. Wow, hi Sue, so good to hear from you! I’ve often wondered whether ‘the Men in Black’ meet our visitors as they leave, as it’s quite rare for me to be contacted again. Apologies if my memory is dodgy but can’t remember if you visited later and did meet my son, gifted artist by the age of eleven, musician/composer/producer by fifteen, photographer and highly skilled basketball player too. ‘Slightly published’ is a whole lot more than I can say about my writing! :-) And glad to hear you have become a grandmother! Will you be anywhere near Limerick City or Shannon? Perhaps we could meet …. Safe travelling, Liz

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  8. I’ve never even been to Castle Matrix & I live in Rathkeale

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  9. Hi Stacey, was it you I met at the top of the boreen? Just listening to the latest CD from ‘Dead Can Dance’ and if you like it, you’ll probably like the castle too. There are some paintings in the Limerick Art Gallery worth checking out as well. One with the most animals, by Gerry Davis, could have the title ‘And Man is the least of these’, the words which passed through my mind from someone else, when I looked at it. Try to connect with me around a lunchtime or leave a note with your phone number for me. Liz

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  10. Travelling across Ireland for the first time and Spent hours searching for this castle and finally found. Would love to have seen inside but nobody home and seemed abandoned. I went back to our B&B and researched aliitle and happened onto this site. I’m sure it’s a long shot but if anyone knows of a way to get tour before we head off tommorrow to Galway I would be ever so appreciative. Thank You

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    • My apologies for missing your post and your visit, as I’m sometimes there but out of earshot, or else had to head for the bus to get supplies as I have no car at the moment and that takes extra time. Hope you can get in touch with me through Corey or a tourist office which should still have my mobile listed. However today I’ve even forgotten to take my phone with me. Sigh.

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      • Hi Liz,

        Don’t know if you are still checking this but this is Niall Hartnett, son of the poet Michael Hartnett you mention above. I will be in Newcastle West in April coming and hope to stop by at the Castle! I hope you are around when I visit!

        Best-

        Niall

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        • How wonderful to hear from you Niall. Hope all the family is well and look forward to seeing you in April. I keep missing the poetry sessions around about, and have wondered about my sense of time/space, memory, etc. :-) It’s been quite a while since I’ve remembered to look at this very cheering website! Will try to remember Eigse at least. Love, Liz

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          • Hi Liz!

            Great to hear from you! We shall definitely visit! One of my best friends will be with me from the USA (Tim) and this is his first visit to Europe so he will appreciate the Castle :) MY Mum will be around for Eigse too- I’ll ask her if she is interested in visiting with us (she has a different itinerary to us) if a trio is not too much 😉

            We should be in the area from April 16-18th approx!

            best-

            Niall

          • Hi Liz,

            Hoping to drop by this Thursday or Friday Morning -April 16 or 17th! Looking forward to seeing you!

            Best-

            Niall

          • Looking forward to meeting again, Niall. About what time? More of an owl than an early bird! :-) Are you busy for lunch? Liz

          • Ok that may wirk! Ill let you know a bit lateer after i get ti newcastle west, just arrived in Dublin! :)

          • Hi Niall, looking forward to seeing you. Up at my sister’s at the moment to post on this webpage, but heading back down home in a few minutes and will take laptop with me to check for replies later. Debra’s my nearest neighbour to the south on the old road, a small cottage behind the stone wall with the castle to its rear beyond the trees. Love, Liz

  11. Dear Liz,

    In 1988, my husband and I took a wonderful touring drive of Ireland, and on the driving map we spotted Castle Matrix on the route we were driving, so decided to take a look. When we pulled up, your husband came out to great us, and then proceeded to give us a lovely tour of the castle and the history behind it. We have never forgotten how hospitable he was and fondly remember the event. We plan on a trip to Ireland the summer of 2014, and would love to stop by again. It is so nice to know that you are still there.

    Regards,

    Patti Claar
    Murphy, Texas USA

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    • Do wonder why I haven’t remembered to use my laptop for weeks at a time, let alone check this great website! Glad Sean’s health issues were still in the future that year. He had so many stories to share. Thanks for remembering us, Patti and so sorry if I missed a visit from you last year. Even when my car is parked here, if I’m up the top of the tower or in the courtyard, the walls are so thick I may seem invisible! Love, Liz

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  12. Liz, still checking to see where to get in touch with you, please email me if you can. thank you.
    Alice Forrester

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    • My apologies Alice, for being so forgetful at times, as I would like to hear from you too, and will search my e-mails to see if your note was sent to me and I missed it in the skimming. Love, Liz

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      • Hi Liz! This is Kathryn. We corresponded a little bit when I was living in LA about 10 years ago. I had met your husband in 1969. We exchanged a few emails and then lost touch, alas. I will be in the UK this summer and would love to pop over to Ireland and perhaps meet you in person if you are there. I hope that can happen! In the meantime, best wishes to you always! Kathryn Ward

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        • Would really enjoy meeting Kathryn, so could you write to my address to let me know if you can visit and when? Looking forward to hearing from you, Liz

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          • Hi Liz: Thanks for your prompt response! I’m going to email you at the last email address I have for you, although it might not be current. I’ll also snail mail you. Thanks again, and I hope to see you this summer!
            Cordially, Kathryn

          • Hi again, Liz!
            I just tried the last email address I had for you, and that message bounced back. You may email me at wa88@aol.com, if you wish. In the meantime, I’ll snail mail you in Ireland.
            I hope we can get together when I visit Ireland this summer!
            Cordially,
            Kathryn

  13. In 2006 we toured castle Matrix. The owner was lovely. We called ahead and asked her permission for a tour. The castle is privately owned and and is the owners home and she may not always want to give tours. It was a thrilling experience to see the castle. The owner gave us some history of the place as we toured. I have many lovely photos from that day.

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    • Many thanks for kind thoughts of us, Loika! I’m intrigued by your name, as my research is based on etymology, the study of the history of words. Hope we meet again someday, Liz

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  14. Dear Liz,
    My husband and I along with our daughter and granddaughter hope to visit your castle on the 18th or 19th of October. Hope you will be there so we can have a tour of the place. My ancestors, Philip Raynard (sometimes spelled Reynard, Rayner,or Rynard) and his wife Frances Holland were living in that area in the 1840’s. They called Castle Matrix “their castle” as it was a landmark for the area where they lived. Am looking forward to seeing the castle. Would either date be better for you?
    Barbara

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  15. Well well. I was hiking the Great Southern Trail from Rathkeale to Abbeyfeale 10 days ago and seeing the little sign at the end of the track thought i would call down in the hope of a cup of tea and a look around.
    More and more intriguing as i ventured down the overgrown boreen past what looked like feeding stations for birds or cats( presumably not both!)
    Unfortunately didn’t seem to be anyone in although there was a car parked outside and thinking that i may have been intruding i turned away.
    In the process of trying to write an article on my walk i stumbled upon this website and now wish i’d tried harder to make contact. It looked like my kind of place and Liz sounds like a lovely woman it would have been great to meet.Maybe another time.
    Steve Barham

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    • Oh dear, I’m so sorry to have missed a visit from you, Steve. Sometimes I feel more like the castle ghost might be me! I do have a car again, so that might have been one of the days I was effectively invisible, but not deliberately so. It was apparently a trick I had as a child when not wanting to be noticed by the teacher, being very shy. I was often marked absent when there, unless the other children piped up and pointed me out! :-) Hope we will meet when you visit again, Liz

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  16. Hello Liz,

    I drove down to Castle Matrix yesterday 08th October. I didnt realise that the castle was occupied. I am very interested in wildlife and i am currently surveying sites for Barn Owls. I saw a Barn Owl a few weeks back coming from your general area, i could see the castle from the road and so yesterday i decided to drive down and check it out. I did a bit of walking around the outside buildings looking for evidence of Barn Owls…there was a dog in the shed so i left after that, but i think that the sheds or even the castle could be a suitable roost or nest site for Barn Owls.
    I hope i didn`t alarm you if you were in the castle, i would love the chance to check the inside of the sheds for evidence of Barn Owls and perhaps the castle.
    I live in Abbeyfeale so could meet you at short notice, i wouldn`t like to check without your permission.

    Tony

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    • So glad you think there may still be a barn owl in our vicinity, Tony. I haven’t seen one for many years, but may not be outside at the right times. Then again there are some cats here now, so the rat population appears to have withdrawn, perhaps affecting the owls. Sorry this note is so late after yours, and hope you receive it, Liz

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  17. Hello from Wisconsin, Liz! Andreas Transo here. Remember me!? I stayed with you a bit a number of years ago…before and after I did some coursework at UL. After many more years of traveling and playing music I am now a bit more settled down and have started a family here in Wisconsin. I would love to reconnect with you. I sent a message to what I think is or was your facebook profile. All the best! -Andreas

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    • Wow, Andreas, so lovely to hear your news and be in touch again. Apologies for the delay in replying, but I sometimes have too much on my plate to open my laptop. Many thanks to Corey for this website, too. Hoping to hear more, Liz

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  18. Hello Liz, My wife and I stopped by last year as well and would have loved to have met you. We live in Cork are and would love to stop by and see your lovely castle again and have a chat and a tea if you are available?? Please let me know when you will be there by e-mail so we can say hello.
    Daithi and Maire O’Brien

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    • Apologies Daithi and Maire, but can’t find your e-mail address. Would love to meet you and enjoy a chat over tea. I’m not far away even if not at home, as my sister is my nearest neighbour, a small cottage on the next road turning right ab out 50 yards to the south of the castle entrance. It might be safer to park in her lay-by, to the right as you turn into that road anyway, or in front of her cottage wall. That is, unless I’m out picking up supplies, but she can give you my phone number if she’s at home. I haven’t ever closed the castle to visitors, unless I had an appointment elsewhere I couldn’t avoid, or when I had my broken leg (not at the castle I hasten to add), though some visitors might have found it rather odd this last few years. Very slowly improving. :-) Liz

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  19. Liz,
    It has been awhile since we have spoken. I was hoping to find new photos of the castle online, and I came across this site. I hope you are still doing well. Would be really nice to hear from you.

    Take care of yourself!
    Glenna Driscoll- Roberts

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    • Did you ever heard back from Lizzy?
      ive been trying to hear back from her myself… we stayed a wee bit with her , Kerien & Tony. we used to regularly write.. then the letters stopped coming and i had mail returned…
      I would like to reconnect … at least know she is okay…
      Thanks
      Cynthia DeFay

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      • Cynthia,
        To date I have not heard from Liz. I would also like to know that she is doing okay. We get into a rather hurried pace, and look up to realize that it has been years since we have spoke to those that we care for. But, If anyone does have photos, especially of my grandfather Sean, I would LOVE to see them.

        Thank You
        Glenna

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        • Oh wow, Glenna! So good to hear from you, and my apologies for not remembering to check here for new comments! To everyone else too. Will write more tomorrow as it’s very late here now. My sister found some great photos of Sean and his more spectacular experiences on a military site recently. Love, Liz

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    • Still hoping you check in with this website, Glenna, as I’ve lost a lot of my contacts information. Love to hear from you, Liz

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      • I posted a comment a while back but never got a reply. We stayed with you over the Millenium/New Year. I have an artist drawing of the castlei wantedto aend you. I also have some photos and recordings of story telling and singing. Please reply if you would like me to send it to you.Take care . Mia

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        • My apologies for the gaps in my efforts at communication, Mia. Yes, I would very much like to be in touch and see the artwork and photographs, etc. If you could get in touch with Corey, could we exchange e-mail addresses or phone numbers that way? Hoping to hear from you, Liz

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  20. Hi Liz,
    Its Henry’s daughter Andrea here, bet you didn’t expect to find me here!I was interested to see if there were any sights or articles on the castle and alas I found many, I also realised that you are edging on famous!
    I hope you are well, its been a bit since I visited the castle and I am pretty sure nothing has changed even with Dad pounding you to strim the driveway!On my most recent visit I stumbled accross a room home to a clowder of kittens, I hope they are still around and well:)I think you should nearly charge for tours now, you would make a fortune!
    Andrea:)

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  21. Hi Liz,

    I have been coming to Adare for over five years and staying that the Gatelodge at the gate to the manor. I have missed seeing your wonderful home and, as I read, I am hoping to come by on April 25th. Very excited to see what I have just read so much about.

    Regards,
    Mary Ellen

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  22. Dear Liz,
    I stumbled quite by chance on this website and if I may be so bold, am very excited at the possibility of meeting you if we are able to find our way there and you have the time. Will be visiting your area April 28 or 29 and would love to stop by to say hello and have a chance to hear the wonderful stories that you are certainly privileged to have of your lovely home. Look forward to a lovely time with you, your home, and your pets, as I am a pet lover as well. With very warm regards, Alma

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  23. Dear Liz,
    It was a glorious afternoon today and the two of us took the bicycles out and cycled on the railway line. Sometime ago,I think perhaps as far back as two years, we met you. After cycling, we wandered around the grounds of your home thinking no one lived there. To our delighted surprise your face popped out of the window and you came down to meet us. I remember you telling me of your sister Debra and by coincidence it is my given name also. We thought you were amazing and so kind and we think of you often since then. You gave us your mobile number and Des put it in his phone. It was our intention to come and visit you much sooner but since we first met we have had a couple of challenging years we hope remain behind us. We hadn’t been back to the railway line in all this time. We came to see you and rang your phone but learned your phone was no longer in use. We were really disappointed and we just would like to say we think of you often and wish there was a way we could see you again. We live close to you down the road in Adare. We hope you might remember us and wish to meet again. We hope you are the best and sorry we missed your lovely face looking out of your castle today. Love Deborah and Des XX

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    • Dear Deborah and Des! Can only hope you are both well and I do apologize for managing to lose four phones in five years! So many contacts lost! Also hope you still check this wonderful website, and will be able to meet me again, Liz

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      • How delighted we are Liz to know you are well! When the weather warms up and it is a glorious sunny day we shall take the bicycles out to the track near you. We will come by to see you with hopes that you will be home and we can see your delightful face! Many warm thoughts of you till then. Deborah and Des xx

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        • So sorry to have met you by chance on the pathway just when I was under stress re the trees, Deborah and Des, but hoping you have my telephone number and can reach me, though I don’t answer unidentified or blocked number calls, as I can’t seem to keep a password/pin on this phone. It was a great help that you arrived just when you did, even if I seemed totally distracted! :-) Love, Liz

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  24. Dear Liz, how nice to come across all these comments. We stayed with you to celebrate the Millenium/ New Year. We had a great time. Do you remember the hogroast we cooked in the open fire? I found an old video of all the singing in the big hall. I will try to convert it to a dvd so I can send you a copy. A friend of ours drew a picture of the castle. I will copy it and send it to you. I moved from England to Upstate NY two years ago. We are restoring a Historic home over here. Hope to meet you again.
    Mia

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  25. I have heard about “Castle Matrix or Mattrass” for many years as I have researched the Delmege name. I believe many others have probably heard about it in the same way as they hear stories of their Irish origins. In 1709 Castle Matrix was the home of Lord Southwell, an Englishman, who had been granted a huge parcel of land in that area after the Desmond rebellion. Lord Southwell sponsored the immigration of hundreds of German Palentine families. Many thousands in North America have family ties to this area of Ireland. I believe many who claim to have lived at the castle actually lived in homes in the area around it. The Delmege’s claim that the family lived in the castle in the late 1870’s but it is not substantiated by any documents that I’m aware of.
    I hope to visit on my next trip to Ireland.

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    • Hello Evan, yes, that huge parcel of land I’ve was told by my late husband was approximately 10,000 acres. Seems they were a most industrious family and the Palatines they brought here were also family relatives, cousins some of them, as was confirmed for me by Palatine visitors a few years ago. There are a couple of pages in the book “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail” which give some idea of what was happening in the Palatinate at that time. The Southwells were also Freemasons, with two of the Lords Southwell being Grand Masters of the Irish Lodge. They also appear to have been impartial in their support of all the local churches. Whether or not some of the Palatines may actually have lived in the castle is a moot point, as it is rather a small castle though in the 1800s the Earl’s chamber upstairs, now the library, was divided into six rooms and there would have been small chambers available in the thickness of the arches then too. By the time I arrived they had been sealed up and oh, do I miss those storage spaces!

      If you post I’m hoping that I will pick it up in my gmail and be able to write back with my telephone number to make sure I don’t miss your visit. Otherwise, phoning from the Adare tourist office may work, if I remember to drop in and give them my new number! Happy Green Man’s Day, Liz

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  26. On our first trip to Ireland in 2003, my husband and I went to Castle Matrix. It was on our last full day there, if I remember correctly, and we found it with no problem from Adare. We were only able to stroll around outside, but that was fine and we were glad we made the stop.

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  27. While staying at Adare Manor on September 3, I mentioned to the concierge that I was hoping to figure out where my Driscoll ancestors lived before eventually coming to the US. She mentioned that I should try to visit Castle Matrix which has belonged to the O’Driscoll family for many years. (I took that to mean centuries and was excited to look for “my ancestral castle”). After over two hours of fruitless searching (though we unknowingly passed the entrance at least 6 times) a very kind 87 year old gentleman from Limerick who was visiting the Irish Heritage Center in Rathkeale said he would walk there with us. We never would have found it without his help. We saw a car outside and had hoped to meet Liz but no one answered the door. The castle looks like something out of a fairy tale and, after reading the posts written by people who were lucky enough to have met Liz and Sean, I am sorrier than ever not to have had the chance to do the same and learn more about them and the history of the castle. Liz, I will try to contact you the next time we visit Ireland in the hopes that we get to meet you.

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    • Many thanks for your kind thoughts of our home and myself, Diana. So sorry to have missed you, as if the car was there, I was probably just out of hearing range upstairs. The stone walls are very thick, and I often don’t notice storms outside. I’m not sure how exchanging e-mails work but Corey may have my new phone number already. Apologies for the long silences between my posts, as I don’t have much access to the web at times. Will try to remember to notify Adare tourist office as well. Looking forward to meeting you when you visit again, Liz :-)

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  28. Hi Liz
    while i´m going through pictures of the past I also found a lot of them with my Father Glenn Krause and Johnny O Driscoll. In the 7o`s my Father and I visited Castle Matrix and spent one week with Johnny. I do still have a lot of Pictures of the Castle. Maybe you are Interrested. Please let me know. also I would like to know what has become out of the Castle?
    Many Greetings from Germany
    Jacqueline Krause-Burberg

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    • I think we would all like to see them I know I would thank you so much for considering to post them

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  29. Hi
    My father’s family the Johnstones lived at Castle matrix for some years in the 19th century into the early 20th century.I have some old photos and ledgers from my grandfather Malcolm Johnstone. I also stayed there in 1986.

    Has anyone anyone anymore information on the Johnstones.I’d love to find out more.

    Gail Johnstone

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    • Apologies for my delay in replying Gail, but hopefully you still check this list. I think I may actually remember your visit! A thrill to meet any members of the families who lived here as you can teach me so much. I’d love to hear more about any documentation and photographs you have kept safe. Also any of your family history you are happy to share. My main research interests are through symbolism, etymology and genealogy, so if anyone is interested, please let me know. I suspect that most of the folk who find their way here are connected to the castle’s history and its characters in some way, even if we don’t know it consciously. Looking forward to your next visit! Also, you wrote on my wedding anniversary! :-) Liz

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  30. Gail,
    I’m sure that Liz (who I spoke to last week, would love that information and I’m sure many of us who are interested in history of the castle would love to view that info.! :-)
    Síabhra

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  31. I visited Castle Matrix in 1999 during a solo trip and received a wonderful tour of the place. I will be back in County Limerick this March 24-27 (2015) with my adult son, showing him some of the sites of his ancestors (MacSheehys), who guarded Castle Matrix and other places for the Fitzgerald Earls of Desmond. Liz, if you’re reading this e-mail, is there any way to arrange for a brief visit there without disturbing your peace? Many thanks.

    Kevin Sheehy
    USA

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    • Skipping a few comments until tomorrow (if I can remember), but will answer yours Kevin, as March approaches quickly. Would very much like to meet you and your son! Send an e-mail and I will post you my new phone number, Liz

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      • Liz– Thank you for the welcoming reply. My son and I will make the effort to stop by there during March 24-27. Looking forward to it.

        Kevin Sheehy

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        • Hello Liz Driscoll,
          I am curious as to who the Driscoll family bought the castle from. Would it have been from the Connellan family
          Thank you,,Eileen Hogan

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          • Hello Eileen, Sean was guided by several friends to purchase the castle when it came up for sale by the bank in 1961, after Mr. T. Malone was unable to keep ahead of the ‘weeds’ here when trying to keep a market garden going. He had been the one to buy it with 15 acres of land and its courtyard, when it was sold by the Connellan family, I was told by my husband. Best wishes for the Green Man’s Day to you and everyone here, Liz

  32. Hello Liz,

    Thank you for the information. My grandmother’s brother was John Connellan. He had 8 children and I believe after he died, the children were the ones that sold the castle and land. Of the 8 children, 3 were nuns and 3 were priests . I thought possibly that Uncle Johnny bought the property sometime in the 1920’s and maybe had it for 30 years. I never met him, I believe he died before I was born or shortly after. I do not think the Connellans ever lived in the castle but rather lived in a house on the property. If you have any further history, I would love to hear it. Is the castle still open or is it completely closed ?
    Best , Eileen

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    • Hello Eileen, as ever apologies for my long time-delayed response. Yes, our home will be open again this year in better shape than for awhile, I hope. As long as I’m here I enjoy having visitors, and try to do my bit for our Irish (and other) ancestors. They walk with us still, embedded in our DNA, RNA and even the words we use, let alone what may be happening in the 90 percent of the ‘unknown to us’ cosmos. Thanks so much for sharing. Your family lived in the 7-room cottage set in the buildings (facing the new highway) around the edge of the courtyard where the 3 mills were built in the 1800s (linen, flour and sawmill all driven by the water in the millrace and the 40 feet wooden wheel which was destroyed just three years before my late husband arrived here and which he said could have powered the whole of ‘Rathkeale!). I will write to your e-mail address too. Love, Liz

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  33. Hi Liz,
    Just found this website, and was very interested to read the comments from you. I spent the some time Saturday searching for Castle Mattrix, and again today finding it by foot from the shadow it casts on Google maps!
    I had no idea someone was in residence so just wandered around outside..
    Thank you for for allowing visitors to have this experience which for me was fantastic.
    I would love to have seen inside- next time I am back in Ireland- July. I will try to look you up..

    Best regards, Australian Peter (living in Singapore)

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    • Having trouble posting this to you, Peter, but my apologies for being absent when you visited. My sister had invited me for a drive to Tralee and it’s been so long since we have done anything like that together, that I couldn’t resist. If you write to me directly by regular post, maybe we can arrange to meet and I can show you the library and the view from the roof of the tower. I would enjoy hearing about Singapore and Australia too, Liz

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      • My family and I went to Castle Matrix yesterday. It took quite a while to find and we had to stop three locals to help us with directions. The path was very over grown but eventually we found the castle, and wow was it magnificent. The place seemed abandoned, but from reading a few of these comments, maybe no one was home. The castle is in amazing shape, though I only saw it from the outside. ((There were a lot of cats and cat food bags around lol))

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        • Hi Annie, sorry to have missed you. If the car wasn’t there, I was out on errands, but if it was, then I was either in the courtyard or up in the tower, out of hearing range. Even a knock on the door can be too quiet then. I keep forgetting to take the broom up the driveway to push the plants back (watch out for the thorny ones, any visitors, if you’re walking down or have windows open). There are a varying number of cats et al who come for food, and I can’t afford replacing dishes which disappear (souvenirs?), so cat bags are handy and colourful, as well as replaceable, when the wind blows wildly, or someone is feeling playful, taking some temporarily out of reach. Someone very kindly left 2 euros in change a few days ago, all contributions very appreciated! :-) Liz

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  34. Dear Liz,

    My name is Piper and I wrote you a snail mail letter a month or so ago, I’m not sure if it got through to you however. Myself and a friend will be traveling from Seattle, Washington in the United States to Ireland in early August. I’ve always wanted to see Castle Matrix and I am hoping we’ll get to see you when we visit, if that’s alright. My friend and I intend to stop by on the 4th of August. If we get to see you that day, that will be lovely, and if not I’ll still be very excited to get to see the Castle in person. Thank you for being willing to share your home with visitors, it was very encouraging to read through your welcoming and friendly posts on this website. If you would like to contact me, you can reach me by email at: pelewis08@earlham.edu. I hope this message find you doing well!

    Sincerely,
    Piper Lewis

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  35. My ex-wife and I stopped at Castle Matrix in (I believe) 1972 when it was being restored. Her father was a good friend of Sean’s (who was known in the US as Johnny Driscoll) from their work together in the aerospace industry. Sean was onsite with a very attractive woman, who I believe was Liz, and proudly showed us around his project. I remember this very well even 43 years later and will try to stop again on my next trip to Ireland

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  36. Hi Liz:

    I am coming to Ireland next spring to visit relatives (The Conways) I haven’t seen in 50 years who lived around Rathkeale and Newcastle West. I would also like to visit Castle Matrix. Can you provide a phone number and/or email so that I can keep in touch with you. I am told, by my relatives, that my cousin, Marian Nolan, lives at Castle Matrix. Is that true? If so, that would make it a double reason for visiting Castle Matrix.

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    • Hello Sylvia, just found your message. If you write to me at my home address, Castle Matrix, Rathkeale, Co. Limerick, Ireland, that would be best. There are Nolans just down the road from here, but I’m not sure about Marion. The castle address is as I’ve given it above, but it is also part of a townland, and that is written as one word, Castlematrix, so that may be confusing. And although most of the original buildings no longer stand, there is also another townland, Courtmatrix, which was one of the main communities for the Palatine settlers, not far away. If you like I can ask at the post office for you, but do hope I manage to meet you next spring, Liz

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      • Hi Liz: Thank you for your response.

        The names of the Nolans are: Patsy, Marian and their son Trevor who was recently married a year ago.

        It seems so strange to send a letter my mail today. I haven’t done that in years as I rely heavily on the internet and getting information quickly.

        I have been able to locate one of my relatives who lives at Coolanoran off the N21. I haven’t actually connected with her but I did connect with the owner of the Orchard B & B who told me where she was. So everything is falling in place for my visit next spring – which probably means I am supposed to visit as the heavens are aligning.

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