Artefacts from the newly discovered 13th century castle in Galway’s Quay Street could form part of a future exhibition in Portumna celebrating the de Burgo family’s links to the area, according to a Galway East TD and Junior Minister.
Minister for the Diaspora and International Development Ciaran Cannon said this week that he would like to see any artefacts from the city centre site — which was revealed this week — at a future exhibition at Portumna Castle, which marks its 400th anniversary this year.
“While it is early days yet, the exciting discovery of this portion of an Anglo-Norman castle, believed to be related to the foundation of Galway city, is highly significant,” Minister Cannon said of the find.
“Despite the fact that it is believed that the castle at Quay Street had a relatively short lifespan, it still forms an integral part of the story of Anglo-Norman Ireland and the de Burgo family, who are also linked to the history of Portumna, where Richard de Burgo built a semi-fortified house in 1618.”
The de Burgo family were one of the earliest Anglo-Norman families to arrive and build in Galway.
“This year, Portumna Castle celebrates its 400th anniversary, and while archaeological work at the site in Quay Street will obviously take some further time, I would very much like to see any artefacts of interest exhibited at a future date at Portumna Castle to commemorate the link with the de Burgo family,” Minister Cannon added.
“An event like an exhibition always helps to join up the dots, as it were, in terms of how different heritage sites are related, and Richard de Burgo’s choice of Portumna as a seat should not be overlooked.
“Portumna Castle will shortly have enhanced visitor amenities including tea-rooms, toilet facilities, and ample parking. It is one of east Galway’s premier heritage sites, and an exhibition of artefacts related to the de Burgo family would be perfectly commensurate with that status.”