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Desmond Castle / Wine Museum
Desmond Castle (Irish: Caisleán Deasmhumhan) is a tower house located in the town of Kinsale in County Cork, Ireland. It was built as the Customs House for Kinsale about the year 1500 by Maurice FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Desmond, following the grant of the customs of the port of Kinsale to the Earls of Desmond by King Henry VII in 1497. Presumably there must have been an earlier structure on the site as the 1st Earl was Captain of Desmond Castle.
It was used as a Customs House until 1641 when it was converted into a naval prison, following the construction of a new Customs House. The prisoners kept in the Castle were in the main French and Spanish, and the building became known locally as the "French Prison" as a result.
In January 1747, a fire broke out, killing 54 of the prisoners. In 1791 the castle was donated by James Kearney MP to the town of Kinsale, and it was subsequently used as a town gaol till 1846, and during the Irish Famine as a workhouse. In 1938 it was taken into government hands, and in the 1990s was restored and opened to the public by the Office of Public Works. In 1997 the International Museum of Wine, which details the links between Ireland and the wine trade, and is run by the Order of the Wine Geese, was added.
The trip was excellent, couldn't have asked for better weather and the people were overly friendly.
Our favourite place was in Doolin, Susan was amazing. The four of us agreed that the experiences in Doolin; Cliffs of Moher, O'Connor's Pub, boat trip to the cliffs were our favourite experience.
We truly enjoyed our stay at the Inn in Killarney, how could you not - great rooms, great food & service. The town itself was beautiful and a nice place to spend St. Patrick's Day. While there we went horseback riding (Killarney Riding Stables) it was a nice way to spend the morning and the scenery was breathtaking.
The Hotel in Kinsale was a perfect location, overlooking the harbour. The town itself was a great town to walk and explore. We hooked up with a local, who offers tours of the town and offers a history lesson, he was a great resource while in the town.
In regards to the rental vehicle, we all agreed that the driving on the "wrong side of the road" was an interesting experience and where glad that we opted to rent an automatic vs standard transmission.
The package that you provided with all of our reservations, itinerary etc made checking in a really smooth process, we had no problems with any of the hotels, B&B's or car rental.
So in conclusion, I can only say on behalf of myself and travelling companions that we had no complaints, concerns or other wise. In fact I have advised friends and family that have enquired that the trip went smoothly thanks to your company and in more particularly because of you.
Thanks for all your help and assistance
Joseph Van Der Klugt, London, ON, Canada