Today’s Garrykennedy at Lough Derg was once a fortification of the O’Kennedy’s. In the 15th Century this old Irish clan built a tower house at the sheltered bay, with which they controlled the strategically important harbour and the surrounding lands. The incursion of Cromwell’s troops put an end to the reign of the clan. Records from the mid-17th Century indicate that Garrykennedy Castle was already decayed at that time. Despite the castle´s fall the port was always kept in working order. Among other things, mainly slate from nearby mines was shipped across the Shannon to Limerick. For the renovation of the harbour in the middle of the 19th Century much of the stone from the castle’s remains were used to construct the lining of the harbour basin.
Nowadays Garrykennedy is a favoured wharf among Shannon-tourists who cruise the Lough Derg. The new, in 2006 completed marina provides all public facilities that amateur sailors are looking for. Furthermore this little place with two pubs is known for its traditional music sessions.