The spectral apparition of the once beautiful flower of Drimnagh Castle, Eleanora Barnwall, slips through the lonely dark rooms of the castle searching for the love she was denied. This was a love she could never have, she was to be married off to her cousin Edmund Barnwall, a man she respected but was not in love with.
This was common practice with many of the aristocratic families, this was a way of holding onto their vast estates. The marriage ceremony of Eleanor and Edmund was not to be denied any splendor or preparation, for Eleanora’s Uncle was a very wealthy man of high position. Unfortunately for him, at a social gathering at a friend’s house, somewhere in the outskirts of Dublin, all these plans were thrown on their head, for it was here she met her true love, his name was Sean O'Byrne.
Sean O’Byrne of the O’Byrne Clan of Wicklow, was a sworn enemy of the Barnwalls and all other Norman families. Eleanora’s heart was filled with love for this man, something she could never explain to her uncle or her husband to be. So it came to pass in the late sixteenth century that Eleanora and Edmund left Drimnagh Castle with all the pomp and frills that adorned a noble wedding. They were only half way to their wedding ceremony destination, which was St. Patrick’s Cathedral, when Edmund’s coach was attacked by Sean O'Byrne and his followers. Edmund was quickly subdued and killed at the scene. Eleanora’s uncle took advantage of the time it took to kill Edmund, and regrouped with his knights to see off this attack, in the melee that followed many of the O’Byrnes were slaughtered and sadly for Eleanora so was her beloved Sean. Eleanora was brought back to the castle in shame because not only had she lost the man she truly loved but she had caused the death of her cousin. Her uncle Hugh forbade her to leave the castle, partly for her safety, but mainly out of anger, as he blamed her for the attack on the wedding party.
After a day or two of mourning Eleanora somehow managed to get free from her room in the castle, and made her way through narrow wooded lane ways, until she finally reached Sean O'Byrne's grave deep in the Dublin Mountains. The deep well of pain in her heart had no end that night and there was nothing in this world that could mend her loss. She lay holding the soil that covered her love until the wind and snow snuffed the life from her frail body.
Eleanora - by Willie Tynan