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Sir Edward O’Brien, 2nd Baronet,1705-1765

The O’ Brien’s owned Dromoland Castle for over 300 years. Sir Edward O'Brien, 2nd Baronet, 1705-1765, was not only fanatical about horse racing, he was revered as a famous racehorse owner and trainer, but he too was a gambler, alcoholic and hypochondriac and ran up huge debts.
The Dromoland Octagonal Pond (today referred to as the Lilly Pond), The Grotto, The Temple of Mercury, The Walled Gardens and the Dromoland Turret; are beautiful adornments and still visible on the Dromoland Estate today, all constructed on his watch.
From The Dromoland three story high turret, Sir Edward had excellent views from all sides, where he could watch his racehorses train in the fields below. He is also said to have had a racecourse near this site which he too could keep a watchful eye over from his turret.

It is said that Sir Edward, gambled his entire estate on one race back in 1730 with a horse named Seán Buí. Luckily for him, Seán Buí beat off all the competition and Sir Edward managed to hold on to the family estate. When Seán Buí died, Sir Edward showed his appreciation to the horse that saved his estate by building The Temple of Mercury in honour of this great racehorse, according to local folklore, this is the burial site of Seán Buí.

The tale handed down through the generations of the O'Brien family is that Lady O'Brien so disapproved of her husband’s extravagance, love of horses, gambling and racing, which had ran up vast debt, that she burnt all records after his death.

But at the end of the day the man had style, and in his actions and what he built, he left a legacy that’s with us to this day.

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