- Victor Holohan
Once a seat of Government
After the time of St. Patrick the Kingdom of Annaly was divided into two sections, each ruled by an O'Farrell. Ancient Granard was the chief town in the northern division and was also the seat of Government. The House of Parliament or, as it was then called, "the Convention Hall", stood where Granardkille Chapel now is, and O'Farrell, the ruler had his castle on the Moat of Granard.
The Moat is of very ancient structure, indeed it may be concluded as certain that its erection goes a long way before the Danish era. It bears some resemblance to the great Moat of Kilfinnane in Co. Limerick, but it is much smaller. It was very strongly fortified except on the southern side, which seems to have been guarded solely by the deep trench on the summit, out of which the defender fired arms and hurled stone missles at the approaching enemy. After the Norman invasion (1172 - 1266) it was occupied by Sir Richard Tuite, Baron of Moyashell, who entertained King John of England within its walls on August 12, 1210, just then that monarch was concluding his sixty days' visit to Ireland. In King John's Itinerence, complained by Thomas Duffus Hardy, F.S.A., reference is made to the Royal visit. A short time after this Sir Richard was killed in Athlone while holding a court there, and the castellanship passed over to his son, who,