When you are visiting a castle that is said to have its own Púca haunting the place, who better to have along than an actual Púca?!
John Ambrose Martin of Púca Paranormal was our knowledgeable guide, as IPI got to explore Lackeen Castle, hidden away in the rural splendour of County Tipperary. Situated on farmland, cows meander the green fields, oblivious to the historic monument beside them, rich in folklore and tales of haunting.
Home to the O’Kennedy clan, as with many fortresses, there was most likely a 12th century tower in situ before the laying of foundations for a 16th century stronghold. It is that Castle of the 1500s that we stood within.
It is eerily similar in structure and design to Redwood Castle, where we were going to be spending the night. While Redwood Castle is going through longstanding restoration, Lackeen has sadly succumbed to time and the harsh reality of nature.
The imposing tower was still and silent once inside. Incredible when one realises that when stood outside the sounds of birds, tractors and a nearby road were clearly audible. The aura was one of watchfulness, perhaps a guardian ensuring the O’Kennedy stronghold was respected. Or was it something else?
For legend has it that a Púca lies within the tower house, whether waiting patiently for revenge or feeling a tie to its former prison, no one can tell.
A Púca is of the Unseelie court, fairy folk who have the potential to be malevolent. It has the ability to shape shift, often into a horse, hare or goat. They are extremely mischievous and can be a waking nightmare for those who encounter them.
One of the O’Kennedy clan came upon a few hags who were grave robbing, needing corpse parts to complete their spells. Hags are more than meets the eye. Practitioners of Witchcraft, they often held positions of power and used it for evil purposes, the Devil their only master.
Such was the darkness of their deeds, they were protected by a Púca. O’Kennedy was stronger however, and managed to capture the fairy creature, halting the hags and thwarting their heinous crime.
The servants of O’Kennedy were terrified to have such a dark creature under their roof and begged their Master to release the unholy beast. He did so, but only after the Púca swore to bring no harm to the clan or servants of Lackeen Castle.
In the castle you can clearly see the remains of a murder hole, an imposing fireplace and many other exciting remnants of the past. We even came across the name “Dom” scratched into the stone, which we assure you was not carried out by our own Dominic! Our many thanks to John Ambrose Martin for showing us around this incredible location!