Earliest representation of West Cork person, 1585, Catherine Cullinane, Ballynacarriga Castle, Dunmanway.
In Brian Lalor’s excellent book of sketches and commentary he refers to the earliest portrait of a West Cork person. (Brandon Book Publishers Ltd. 1990)
This is Catherine Cullinane, wife of Randal Hurley who build Ballinacarriga Castle in 1585. The castle was forfeit in 1654 to the Crofts.
Ballynacarriga Castle was built in 1585 by Randal Hurley. (The date 1585 can be seen in a window-recess on the top floor). The castle was forfeited by the Hurleys in 1654, and it passed to the Crofts. It is believed that the castle was used as a chapel as well as a family residence. Locals say that the chapel was still in use until 1815.
Catherine Cullinane is shown in two window embrasures in the main chamber on the upper floor in carvings in low relief. She is shown in Elizabethan Dress, three roses represent her three children. Her initial and those of Randal Hurley are also carved.