History of KInnitty Castle
The property was purchased by Cornelius Ryan from Shannon Development in May 1994 as an abandoned semi ruin. It had been utilized as a school and was very much institutionalized featuring dormitories and class rooms. Soon after purchase Mr Ryan took on the task of renovating the property and replacing the institutionalized features with authentic features of the period and transforming it into Kinnitty Castle™ . Previous to being a school it had been sold to the Irish Government in 1956 and who turned it into a forestry training facility and it became one of the first forestry nurseries in Ireland after Avondale, the birth place of Charles Stuart Parnell.
A grant of £50,000 was obtained to upgrade the interior, which was completed in November 1994. Later in 1995 the fine dining Sli Dala restaurant was opened along with six bedrooms on the first floor. The castle that is Kinnitty Castle™ opened was welcoming its first guests.
In February 1996 the top floor of the property was renovated and 12 additional bedrooms were added to give Kinnitty Castle™ a total of 18 operational bedrooms. 1997 saw the development of the stable block in the inner courtyard into a banqueting hall and Kinnitty Castle™ as a premium wedding venue was born. This became immediately successful and in 1998 work was commenced on the remaining out offices in the inner courtyard to add an additional 19 bedrooms, bringing the total number bedrooms to 37. In November 2000 Kinnitty Castle™ had its first Celebrity Wedding when Miriam O Callaghan of Prime Time fame got married there.
Kinnitty Castle™ quickly grew as a business primarily due to its unique product offering at the time offering something exclusive and different to those in a flourishing economy. In 1998 the Dungeon bar was opened and became a regular venue for trad sessions every Friday and Saturday nights fast becoming a well-known attraction.
Kinnitty Castle™ soon became a top venue for weddings in Ireland including many world famous celebrities. On New Year’s Eve 2003, Louis Osborne, oldest son of Ozzy Osbourne had his wedding at the castle. This was quiet a media extravaganza and set the stage for the future development of the property as one of Ireland's premier wedding venues. Another top celebrity to celebrate their wedding at the castle was Joe Elliott, lead singer of Def Leopard. His wedding was on September the 1st 2004. This was a two day event also covered extensively by the media. In attendance were many famous rock celebrities including Brian May of Queen fame.
Meanwhile development of the Castle continued setting out an ambitious target of 200 weddings per year with a highest achievement of 185 in 2005.
In 2006 Shane Lynch celebrated his wedding as a 2 day extravaganza at the castle which saw the first reunion of Boyzone and a 2 episode TV special on RTE which gave significant exposure to Kinnitty Castle™.
An article in The Sunday Mirror UK: Stars Say I DO to suite dreams at Ireland's Top Wedding Retreat