Doe Castle

Doe Castle

Contact Details


Sheephaven Bay,

Co. Donegal.

Tel: 086 8437533




Opening Hours


Daily from 09.00 - 18.00.

The grounds are open all year around, but tours inside the Castle must be with a guide .
Admission Free

Daily guided tours of the Castle are facilitated by local community group, Moving Mevagh Forward, available during July and August only from 11.00 to 16.30.

For More Information- Tel: 086 843 7533

Please note the Heritage Card is not accepted at this Site


Admission Fees

Admission to the grounds is free

For Guided tours, a fee of 3 euro per person is applicable to all persons aged 12 and over. No charge for children under 12 but they must be accompanied by an adult.


Coffee Shop nearby

 Please note this site is closed until Further Notice

Doe Castle sits on the waterline of Sheephaven Bay on The Wild Atlantic Way off the R245 between Carrigart and Creeslough (latitude 55.135:longitude -7.864.)

One of Ireland’s few remaining, fortified, Gaelic tower houses, Doe which is believed to have been built in the 1420s, was home to the McSweeney Clan for almost two hundred years. The McSweeneys, originally from Scotland, were Gallowglasses or Gallóglaigh mercenaries known as Clan tSuibhne na dTuath or Sweeneys of the Territory. The castle became Caislean na dTuath, anglicised as Doe Castle. We know of thirteen McSweeney chiefs at Doe.

One of them, Eoghan Og II, fostered  the young Red Hugh O’Donnell at Doe in the 1580s  and gave shelter to shipwrecked Spanish Armada sailors in 1588. The last chief of Doe, Maolmhuire an Bhata Bhui was knighted by Elizabeth I in 1599 but subsequently fought with Red Hugh at The Battle of Kinsale in 1601.  

After the Irish defeat at Kinsale, Doe became an English military garrison.

In the 1640s, when Maolmhuire an Bhata Bhui’s grandson briefly regained control of Doe, a large party of veteran Irish soldiers sailed from France into Doe to lead a Gaelic uprising.

In 1905, led by Donegal piper Turlough McSweeney who had played at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, a Gaelic Revival Festival was held at Doe.

Doe remained in private ownership until it was taken into government control in the 1930s.

Much more information on the rich history of Doe, the people who lived there, and its place in the story of Ireland, can be found on information panels at the castle and on the daily guided tours available in July and August. 



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