Menlo Castle, County Galway

And then night fell and there you were
in the space that sits between
the silky stitches that link reality
the fabric of my dreams.
— Claire Loader

Sitting silently on the banks of the River Corrib, Menlo Castle is a twilight haven only a stone’s throw from the city of Galway. Best visited in the quiet hours of a summer evening, the tranquil setting is nothing but breathtaking, the sad monument watching from the trees the only hint of her tragic history.

Click here to read my short story inspired by the beautiful cemetery at Menlo.

Copyright © 2017 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved

Shrule Castle, County Mayo

To safety, to the bridge, you will find your refuge there. But instead I found a sword, stuck right into my back, and found instead my refuge in the sound of my last breath.
— Claire Loader

There is an eeriness about Shrule Castle when you learn of the massacre that took place there in 1642 – a group of English settlers seeking safety in Galway, killed by their escort.  The towering De Burgo walls, with their four great bartizans, look on towards the Black River still, watching as the waters speed by and the memory of her lands with it.

Copyright © 2017 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.

Leap Castle, County Offaly

Below the Bloody Chapel
A bloody chapel lies in wait,
Where bone upon bone ponder
And listen through the stone.
For the sounds of their next companion
A new soul for the collection,
A new victim for the oubliette
To lie in forgotten reflection.
— Claire Loader

Touted as one of the most haunted castles in Ireland, Leap is an enchanting place in the light of day, with views from the back windows like no other in the country. Ask me to stay after sundown, I'm not sure there would be enough money.

Copyright © 2017 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved