Ireland is as famous for its castles as for its Guinness and here in Kerry, you will find both in abundance though the locals prefer the Guinness to the castles.
Most Irish castles date from the 11th to 15th century. The Irish began to build fortifications in the form of castles soon after the Norman Invasion (1169 I think). Most of these medieval strongholds were subsequently occupied by invading lords who used them as defensive administrative headquarters. They are distinctly different from some of the royal castles or palaces found in Britain or continental Europe, in that Ireland has had no royalty for over a thousand years and so the castles served a more practical than symbolic role. The castles built in Ireland and Kerry were fortified homes for chieftains, or Anglo-Norman settlers, and were designed primarily for defensive purposes.