Location: The Burren - Leamaneh Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Seventeenth century
Story: Mary O'Brien was said by many to be a witch, and tales are told of how frequently she hanged her servants if they made mistakes. Some say she was finally caught by her enemies and left to starve to death in a hollow tree. Regardless of how she died, her unearthly form still returns to her castle.
Leamaneh Castle: is a ruined castle located in the townland Leamaneh North, Parish of Kilnaboy, between the Villages of Corofin and Kilfenora in the region known as The Burren in County Clare, Ireland. It consists of a 15th-century tower house and a 17th-century mansion.
The castle's name "Leamaneh" is believed to be derived from the Irish "léim an éich" which, when translated into English means "the horse's leap". It is also sometimes spelled "Lemeneagh Castle".
The castle was originally a basic, 5-storied Irish tower house which was built circa 1480, probably by Toirdelbhach Donn MacTadhg Ó Briain, King of Thomond of the O'Brien family, one of the last of the High Kings of Ireland and a direct descendant of Brian Boru.
In 1543, Turlogh Donn's son, Murrough surrendered his title of King to Henry VIII and was created in 1st Earl of Thomond and Baron Inchiquin. In 1550, Murrough gave Leamaneh to his third son, Donough. Donough was hanged in Limerick in 1582 as a rebel.
In 1639, Donough's grandson, Conor O'Brien married Máire ní Mahon (MacMahon).
She became one of the most infamous women in Irish folklore who, due to her flaming red hair, was commonly known asMáire Rúa ("Red Mary"). She was born in 1615 or 1616.
Her father was Sir Torlach Rúa MacMahon, Lord of Clonderlaw and her mother was Lady Mary O'Brien, daughter of the third Earl of Thomond.
Her first husband, Daniel O'Neylan (also sometimes written O'Neillan or Neylan) of Dysert O'Dea Castle in north Clare died young and upon his death, she gained control of his substantial estate and a £1,000 fortune. This wealth enabled her and Conor to build a more comfortable mansion on to the tower house.