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Support: Grace O'Malley Castle Upgrade

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Step back in time and enter The Pirate Queen's Stronghold.

Grace O'Malley, Gráinne Ní Mháille, Granuaile, lived in this Castle on Clare Island, in Mayo, off the West coast of Ireland. It was built by the Ó Máille (O'Malley), Kings of Umaill, and was her stronghold. Grace (c. 1530 – c. 1603) was the famous "Pirate Queen" of the West of Ireland.

After the death of her first husband Dónal (an Chogaidh) O’Flaherty Grace, taking with her the O’Flaherty men who wished to continue to serve under her, she returned to her father’s territory of Umhall and settled in the castle on Clare Island. From there, with a flotilla of at least three galleys and a number of smaller boats, she launched herself on a career that was to establish her as the legendary Pirate Queen of Ireland. 

Listen to Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Guardian Chieftain O'Malley Clan

Grace O’Malley is buried in a tomb in the Abbey on Clare Island which is very ornate and has the O’Malley Crest on the wall beside the tomb. It is said that the Pirate Queen’s head is buried near this castle. This location was strategically vital, as it helped her control the waters of Clew Bay and the seas off the west coast of Mayo.

The Granuaile Castle Group is mandated by the local Cliara Development Company to lead and develop the project to restore the Castle and build an interpretive centre that will highlight the importance and uniqueness of Grace O’Malley in the History of Ireland. This project when finished will be a big contributary factor to the sustainability of life on the island for the 150 inhabitants. It will also be a centre piece destination for the extension of the Green Way and the larger development of the Clew Bay area.

The Development Company has set up a designated account to receive donations for the restoration of the Castle. This account will adhere to all corporate governance requirements and will be used solely for the purpose of the castle restoration and development.

ACTION: IF YOU WANT TO PLEDGE A DONATION (DO NOT FORWARD MONEY YET) OR HELP FUNDRAISE, GIVE US YOUR EMAIL FOR UPDATES. 

Updated: June 25th, 2020

Fundraising Details

How much does the project need?

The fundraising target is €1.5m across the following three categories:

1. Public Funds: Target = €600k,  and we have indicative pledges so far are circa €120k

2. High net worth and business: Target = €500k, with indicative pledges so far = €45k

3. Micro funding from Ireland101 supporters: Target = €400k, with indicative pledges so far = €5k

Total Target = €1,500k, and indicative pledges so far = €170k


Why help with this project?

Help celebrate and promote Grace O'Malleys life as a female Irish legend.

Bring a new, heritage-rich tourist attraction to Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way.

Bring more tourists to the Island (by local ferry and large cruise liners).

Support local employment on the island and across Mayo's ferry villages.

Help protect an Irish island community and counteract its urban migration challenge.


What can I give and what do I get in return?

Donations from Ireland101 supporters are not capped, but we do have three proposed levels to suit people - NOTE: WE ARE JUST LOOKING FOR INDICATIVE PLEDGES AT THIS STAGE: 

1. Bronze Supporters = €50: electronic listing as a project supporter for the entire lifetime of the project.

2. Silver Supporters = €250: electronic listing as a project supporter for the entire lifetime of the project, and your name written in the welcome section of the interpretive centre.

3. Gold Supporters = €1,000:
+ electronic listing as a project supporter for the entire lifetime of the project,
+ your name written in the welcome section of the interpretive centre,
+ a signed copy of Anne Chambers book on Grace,
+ an invite to the official opening, and
+ your name carved in stone inside Grace O'Malley's Castle for your future ancestors to see and appreciate.

ACTION: IF YOU WANT TO PLEDGE A DONATION (DO NOT FORWARD MONEY YET) OR HELP FUNDRAISE, GIVE US YOUR EMAIL FOR UPDATES. 

Updated: June 25th, 2020

Project Updates

[TO ADD]

Geolocation: 53.79970159,-9.95105042 

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