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The castle was built in 1269 by Robert de Ufford, Justiciciar of Ireland, on lands he had seized from the Dominican Priory.
The castle was besieged by the Connacht King Aodh O'Connor in 1272.
Less than a decade later it was again it was regained by the English garrison, and fully restored.
By 1340 the O'Connors regained possession of it, and held it for two centuries until 1569, when it fell into the hands of Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy.
In 1641 the Parliamentarian faction gained it until Confederate Catholics under Preston captured it in 1645.
It remained in Irish hands until 1652 when it was partially blown up by Cromwellian "Ironsides" who had all the fortifications dismantled.
It was finally burned down in 1690.