Garech de Brún’s Galway gate is finally found

When Guinness heir Garech de Brún died over a year ago, his final will and testament included a “bow gate” bequeathed to the city of Galway.

Garech de Brún’s Galway gate is finally found

When Guinness heir Garech de Brún died over a year ago, his final will and testament included a “bow gate” bequeathed to the city of Galway. Much focus was then on the future of his 5,000-acre estate at Luggala, Co Wicklow, which is up for sale with a guide price of €28m.

“Garech never mentioned a Galway city gate, and so initially we didn’t know where it was,” Luggala’s project manager Tony Boylan says.

However, large granite sections of what is believed to be the missing gate have now been found by Mr Boylan’s colleague, Seamus Hayes, close to the 18th century house at Luggala. The sections, seen by the Irish Examiner, are partially covered in moss in the Temple field overlooking Lough Tay.

Galway city heritage officer Dr Jim Higgins says he believes the “gate” may have been one of several installed as part of “bastions”, designed to withstand artillery, built for Galway from 1647 to 1652. Dr Higgins says:

We know that one of the last Browne nobles, Lord Oranmore and Browne, had a collection of stones taken from Galway, and he actually wrote to the Galway urban district council asking for the Browne doorway — but this was refused

The gate, or “portico”, was kept in the Oranmore and Browne home of Castle MacGarrett in Mayo, where Garech de Brún was brought up, Mr Boylan says. De Brún subsequently inherited the 5,000-acre estate at Luggala from his mother, Oonagh Guinness.

“We think the gate was taken to Luggala from Mayo at some point, with plans for its restoration,” Mr Boylan says. Claddagh Records founder and patron of the arts Garech de Brún died in March 2018 at the age of 79.

His estate at Luggala has been left to his wife, Princess Harshad Purna Devi Jadeja of Movi, as well as his nephews Dorian and Julian Browne.

The Galway “gate” is among items valued at more than €4m that were left to the State and to relatives. It is understood that there is “advanced interest” from several parties in Luggala estate. Mountaineering Ireland has urged the State to purchase the estate.

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