Coolavin House, County Sligo
The family MacDermott were the Chieftains of Moylurg and descendants of Tadhg O’Connor, who was the King of Connaught before the Norman invasion of Ireland.
The MacDermotts lived in financial straits in Shruffe for generations following the Cromwellian Confiscations of land, living in a 2-storied thatched cottage until it became uninhabitable. However in 1898 Hugh MacDermott restored the family fortunes after being educated at Maynooth and becoming a successful barrister. He commissioned John Franklin Fuller, a native of Kerry, to design a family mansion adjacent to Lough Gara at Clogher, Monasteraden. The resulting house is a Scottish baronial type structure. The design of the top portion of the Coolavin windows are remarkable being inspired by an early Christian Cross slab from Co.Kerry.
The house has extensive grounds with an impressive stone ringfort on the lands. Cashels and ringforts abound in this area , and although earthen ringforts are common throughout the country, the stone built cashels are much less so. They date mainly from the early Christian period (500-1100A.D.) and were erected as enclosures around farmsteads.
Madam Felicity MacDermott currently resides at the house. Her late husband, Charles John MacDermott, was the last ‘Prince of Coolavin’ and died in 1979.
For info on the nearby village of Monasteraden click here