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Irish Wolfhounds Return To Bunratty Castle & Folk Park.

Affia Hussey, aged 4 years, walks with newly arrived Irish Wolfhounds, Rían and Míde, who today took up permanent residence on the grounds of Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.
Photograph by Eamon Ward

Unlike the town of Thurles, Co. Tipperary, which has allowed its elected representatives to succeed in eradicating most of the town’s history; Bunratty village in Co. Clare, has reinstated a small but attractive piece of their medieval history, for the benifit of its well established tourist trade.

The sight of Irish wolfhounds roaming the paths and laneways of Bunratty Castle and Folk Park has now once again been reinstated.

Among the largest of all breeds of dog, Irish wolfhounds were regular guests at Bunratty Castle from the early days of its medieval banquets in the 1960’s. The dogs would roam the great hall and dining areas as would have been the custom in medieval times at the castle.

12-week-old Rían, (Irish meaning King), and 1-year-old Míde, (latter named after the 5th province of Ireland in Celtic times), today took up permanent residence on the grounds of the famous County Clare visitor attraction. They both replace Meabh and Saoirse, the two previous resident wolfhounds at the castle.

Breeder Mr James Hussey of Cúdáráth Irish Wolfhounds, delivered the dogs to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park today, where they were welcomed by farm manager Mr Niall Moloney.

According to Mr Aodhagan Behan, Operations Manager at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, “Bunratty Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland, and no 15th century Castle is complete without these iconic and noble dogs.”
“These noble creatures were regular guests at the Bunratty Castle from the early days of the medieval banquets in the 1960s and therefore it is only fitting that they make a welcome return to this iconic fortress in the same year that the castle world famous medieval banquets celebrate 60 years in operation,” he added.

Mr Niall Moloney, farm manager at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, explained that Irish wolfhounds are known for being gentle, friendly and very intelligent, and they inhabited Ireland long before the arrival of Christianity and the written word. He stated, “For many visitors, especially children, the sight of wolfhounds wandering throughout the site is the highlight of their visit. We are grateful to Cúdáráth Irish Wolfhounds for their support, and we look forward to hosting Rían and Míde for many years to come”.

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