A series by Gemma Grant
For celebrity watchers, castle Oliver became the focus of attention when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West graced Limerick with their presence when they spent part of their Irish honeymoon in the castle.
Reportedly spending some €15,000 on their trip around the county in 2014, the couple, according to one source, complained that the castle, with its 110 rooms, was too big and even more disturbingly, had poor mobile reception.
The castle had been lovingly restored by the then owners, Northerners Emma and Declan Cormack. Coming into the property in 2006, the young couple spent time and money turning the old castle into a residence to be envied.
Described as Scottish Baronial, castle Oliver boasts some 14 bedrooms, grand reception rooms and more importantly, a wine cellar with room enough for 55,000 bottles. Enough to keep any connoisseur happy. In its early heyday, the wine cellar was reportedly one of the largest in Ireland.
The castle managed to retain certain features of its original appearance. The cellar can be reached at the end of an original stone spiral staircase that also leads up to the belfry. The ninety-seven steps guarantee a work out for those able for the stairs.
The ground floor rooms have eighteen foot high ceilings, complete with oak doors, nine feet in height. The large picturesque windows, depicting the life of St. Patrick, flood the castle with natural light and offer stunning views of the gardens. Still on parade stand the stone carved, five-foot griffins, keeping guard on the terrace.
The estate now sits on fifteen acres of land, much reduced from the original land grant of some twenty-thousand acres awarded to the castle’s namesake, Captain Robert Oliver, whose family owned land in counties Cork and Kerry.
Oliver, one of Cromwell’s soldiers, came into the receipt of land following on from Cromwell’s successful subjugation of Ireland of the 1640s. The original holdings were in the hands of Edward Fitzharris who found himself on the loosing side of the Cromwellian wars. A supporter of King Charles l, Fitzharris received his marching orders, ‘to hell or Connaught’.