Grace O Malley

Grace O'Malley (Grainneuaile)

Small castle built on Ballynahinch Lake by Donal O'Flaherty, husband of Grace O'Malley (Grainneuaile), after Donal's death Grace took his place as head of the clan. Her life as a pirate is well known and the Pirate Queen is steeped in history and legend.

Martin Family Crest

The Martins

Robert Martin brought O'Flaherty's estate, The Martins were one of The Tribes of Galway. The Tribes were fourteen merchant families who dominated the political, commercial and social life of Galway city. The Martins were the first to leave Galway city and set up home outside the walled city.

Present Housers

The Present House was Built

The Martin family build the present house at Ballynahinch as an inn.

Present Housers


Ballynahinch House extensively renovated. Following the renovations Robert's son Richard moved to Ballynahinch. This move made Ballynahinch the principle residence of the Martin Family who were members of the British Parliament.


Humanity Dick

In 1822 during his time as MP, Richard Martin founded the RSPCA and introduced the “Cruelty of Animals Act” to the House of Commons. He then became known as "Humanity Dick".


Daniel O'Connell Visits Ballynahinch

Ballynahinch Castle was host to many famous people during the early part of the 19th Century. Irish political leader Daniel O'Connell was a guest of the Martin's while attending a meeting in Clifden.

Present Housers

London Law Life Assurance Co

Purchased as one of many houses after the Great Famine


The Berridges

The castle and estate was purchased by Richard Berridge, a London brewer, from the Law Life Assurance Society. One of the largest landowner's in Ireland at the time he transformed and refurbished the house at Ballynahinch. The estate remained in the family's possession for only two generations.


His Highness the Maharaja Ranjitsinhji

In 1923 His Highness the Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanager better known as Ranjitsinhji or Ranji Prince of Cricketers visited Ireland as a guest of the Irish government staying in Dublin before travelling to Ballynahinch for a private fishing holiday. It was during this two week holiday he fell in love with Connemara and at the end of his trip decided to purchase the house and estate.


Ballynahinch Ranji

Following the purchase of Ballynahinch Ranji developed over 72 stone piers along the riverbank which are still in use today. He also invested heavily in improvements to the castle and estate. Following his untimely death in 1933 his sold the property to Mr Fredrick C. McCormack who held it until his own death in 1946.

Eamon De Valera

The Irish Tourism Board & Eamon de Valera

Ballynahinch was purchased by the Irish Tourism Board. For the first time the world famous fisheries were open to the public, and they took advantage of it. During this time Ballynahinch Castle played host to Eamon de Valera. His signature is the first to be seen in the old visitors’ book.


Private Ownership

The Irish Tourist Board sold the hotel in 1952 and has remained in private ownership ever since, with three families owning the property over the past 65 years.

President Ford Mrsrs

Visit of a Former US President

The former President of America, Mr. Gerald Ford, and his wife Betty visited the hotel in a private capacity as guests of their friends Raymond & Minerva Mason who owned the hotel at the time.

Ballynahinch Superior

The Addition of Superior Rooms

In 1986 we added eight large spacious Superior Rooms all overlooking the river.

Ballynahinch Luxury Bedroom

A Touch More Luxury

We continued our expansion in 1999 with the addition of 14 Luxury Rooms. All finished to a superb standard, these rooms all have glorious views across the river, garden and woodlands.


Lunch with the President

President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina visited for lunch at Ballynahinch Castle while on a day of engagements in Connemara. It was a great honour to welcome President Higgins & Mrs. Higgins to Ballynahinch.

Ballynahinch Restaurant

Time to Extend

Following a change in ownership in 2014 we undertook a refurbishment project in 2015 including the restaurant, Ranji Room and the addition of eight additional luxury rooms.

Walled Gardenrs

Restoration of the Walled Garden

In early 2017 we started the Restoration of the Walled Garden including the rebuilding of the stone walls. It is a work in progress and due to be completed in early 2018.

Ballynahinch Walled Garden

Walled Garden Completed

In 2018, our Walled Garden restoration was completed. The Walled Garden has a water fountain, planting displays with different heights, colours and textures, as well as many other points of interest. In the vegetable patch and glasshouse a wide variety of fruits, herbs and vegetables are grown, which are used in the Owenmore Restaurant & the Fisherman’s Pub. 

Refurbishment of rooms in the original building

All 20 rooms in the original house at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel were refurbished by London-based Bryan O’Sullivan Studio, 18 classic rooms & two superiors along with the main stairs. The refurbishment of the guest rooms in the original part of the house was carefully undertaken, with consideration for the affection in which many regular guests hold their favourite rooms at Ballynahinch.