About the O`Keeffe Clan and Dromagh Castle
Dromagh Castle Banteer
Drom Ath: Ridged Country
The remains of Dromagh Castle of the O`Keeffes are impressive. Four round towers about 50 feet high guard a square court facing east, at which side there is an entry arch. The south-east and north-east towers are are perfect externally - except that the roofs are gone.The flooring is gone in each case. There are indications of an attached building with a "V" shaped roof at the north-east tower. The battlements of the tower to the south-west are gone and the north-west tower is covered in ivy. There was formerly a five storey tower house, as the main building, in the centre of the yard, but there is no trace of this now. The yard is about 50 yards by 35. the ruin lies up a driveway to the right of the road from Banteer to Boherbue. There are two entries-just before and just after a church at the side of the road not quite half way between the two towns mentioned. The O`Keeffes had castles also at Duarigle and Drominagh, and fortified homes at Ahane, Ballymaquirk and Cullen, although some doubts are expressed about the latter location: they may have had a fortification over Nohaval Bridge. These are all commented on separately.
The O`Keeffes were an irish family of the Eoghanachta and held extensive land around the plains of Fermoy from where they were driven westward by the advance of the Norman Roches, Condons and FitzGeralds. They then became established around the area of Dromagh, which was their principal fortress. They trace their name from Caoimh , son of Fionguine, who was killed in battle in 908 A.D. His name is also associated in semi-myth from an earlier period in which he was said to have been assisted by the druid Mogh Rùith in war, and afterwards married the Druid`s daughter Cliona, head of the Munster Fairies. In truth the family history of the O`Keeffes, even in the seventeenth century, is somewhat confused, and disagrees about who was what, and when. It does emerge that Art Ò Caoimh, who owned Duarigle, got a regrant of his lands in 1582. Dromagh appears to have been built around this time. They did not support the Desmond rebellion, and it is recorded that Aodh Ò Caoimh died in pursuit of the Earl. Shortly after the chieftain Art (son of Donal, son of Art) was killed and Art Oge (d. 1610) succeeded his father. Dònal, son of Manus (d. 1636) succeeded him. This Dònal of Ballymaquirk was very active in the Confederate War; backing Ormond against the disastrous policies of Rinnucini, the Papal Legate. His brother Hugh, nickname "Paschalis", appears to have been the chief at that time and also had an adventurous life. It is said of him that when captured by the Cromwellians and having given his word not to escape, he stood up one morning and saying "Gentlemen, I give you notice-I`m off", jumped out of a window to freedom, considering that the "notice" cancelled any previous undertakings! He was governor of Dromag in 1652 at its capture by Cromwell, when he was allowed to march out fully armed to join the dying cause of Muskerry.
The property was attained but restored to Dònal`s son, also Dònal, by Charles II, who was aware of the support given to him on the continent by the O`Keeffes. The family history is a little contradictory at this point, but there were a succession of "Daniels" and "Dònals" and events become a little confused. It would seem that the third Daniel was killed fighting at Aughrim for James II, and his son, another Daniel, was taken to France as an infant.
Georgia O`Keeffe (1887-1986)
Georgia O`Keeffe (1887-1986) was an American painter who produced work prolifically for the majority of the 20th century. She emerged in the 1920s, becoming known for her large paintings of flowers, and later for her portrayals of landscapes and natural objects. From her first exhibition in 1916 in New York`s Gallery 291 to her death at 98 years old in New Mexico, O`Keeffe determinedly painted her individual vision that established her as one of the foremost American artists at her time.
This exhibition provides a selection of works that span her entire career. According to the exhibition`s curator, Richard D. Marshall:Georgia O`Keeffe: Nature and Abstraction focuses on her consistent determination to transform known or recognizable things into painted, abstract entities that expresses their essence through forms, colors, and allusions. It also presents a unique opportunity to survey her entire career and to review the majority of the subjects that interested her by concentrating on the most dominant aspect of her achievement and the one that constantly inspired her - transforming nature into abstraction.
In 1848, Georgia O`Keeffe`s paternal grandparents, Pierce O`Keeffe and Catherine Mary Shortall, left County Cork and sailed to America. They continued by boat along the Great Lakes to Milwaukee, and then by oxcart to Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. In 1887, Georgia O`Keeffe was born on a dairy farm just outside Sun Prairie to Francis and Ida O`Keeffe, the second of seven brothers and sisters. She received some private art lessons growing up, and even at the age of twelve had declared to a friend, "I am going to be an artist."

 


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