Tralee grew up around a castle built by the Anglo-Norman warlord John Fitzthomas Fitzgerald early in the 13th century. His descendants, the ‘Munster Geraldines’ held the castle for four hundred years and it was the centre of their rule over a large region of the southwest of Ireland. The castle and town were conquered by the forces of Queen Elizabeth in 1580 and, a few years later, were granted to an English settler Sir Edward Denny. In spite of further upheavals in Cromwellian times, the Dennys remained as the leading family for more than two centuries.

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