O'Hurley Tower Stone

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

I'm Irish on both sides of my family. Hurley on my father's side and McNamara on my mother's. However, this is the only bona fide Irish artifact that I own from either side and it's a small stone from O'Hurley Tower, a crumbling castle ruin in a small village called Knocklong in county Limerick.Knocklong was the ancient seat of the Hurley family and the castle, which was almost entirely square, was built sometime in the 16th century. Around that same time, if you were to travel roughly 60 km to the northwest, you'd arrive at Knappogue Castle, ancient seat of the McNamaras. I've never found any documented interaction between the two families from around this time, but I'd like to think the Hurleys and McNamaras were amicable. Perhaps some of my ancestors were friends, meeting for feasts or other gatherings in Limerick, the nearest city roughly equidistant to the two castles.Knappogue Castle is now exquisitely restored and preserved. People hold weddings, banquets and other castle-appropriate affairs there. O'Hurley Tower hasn't been so lucky, left to crumble outside Knocklong. When my father was there a few years ago, he had gathered up a small handful of stones and brought them back to the states. The stone I received is now proudly displayed at my desk upon a plaque that reads: "This object is sacred, handle with awe."

Place(s): Ireland
Year: 1550

– Ned Hurley

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant