Patrick Conolly-Carew, 7th Baron Carew
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Patrick Conolly-Carew, 7th Baron Carew


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Track 1: Patrick Carew speaks of the family background and the former family home at Castletown House. His grandfather George Shapland Carew was a tea planter who lived in London. His father William Francis would go for summer holidays to Castleboro, Co. Wexford. In 1938, he inherited Castletown demesne through Patrick’s great-uncle, Major Edward Conolly, where the family was to live until its sale in 1965. His father served in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry during WWII and was wounded at Normandy and at Dunkirk. Following his return home to Ireland, he became chairman of the British Legion which supported wounded ex-servicemen and women. Patrick recalls his great-uncle, Colonel John Conolly, who was born at Castletown, won the Victoria Cross during the Crimean War in 1854 and was promoted to the Coldstream Guards. Colonel Conolly was later Resident Magistrate in the Curragh. Patrick speaks about the history of the house and the character of Lady Louisa Conolly. He provides detail on the family title and the ending of the privilege of a seat in the House of Lords. His maiden speech in 1995 is recalled as is the coincidence of its similarity with that of his father. Track 2: In his early youth, Patrick attended the local Church of Ireland school at the end of the drive at Castletown, then went on to a preparatory school in England, followed by Harrow, but he always returned home to Castletown for school holidays. He discusses his military training at Sandhurst and as a regular officer in the Royal Horse Guards, ‘the Blues’, and he speaks in detail of his participation in competitive three-day eventing and showjumping. He represented Ireland at the Olympic Games in the three-day-event at both the 1968 and the 1972 Olympic Games. Following his retirement from the British Army in 1965 he returned home to Mount Armstrong to run the equestrian side of things with his sister Diana, who also rode in the 1968 Olympic Games in show jumping. He speaks of his allegiance both to his regiment and to his country. He details his strong connection with the Olympic Games, also acting as judge, and he explains that his daughter Virginia continues this familial connection. He considers himself very fortunate to have the support of his family in the equestrian arena and he speaks about the ‘sport horses’ which are generally used in show jumping and three-day eventing. Track 3: The reasons for the sale of the family home at Castletown and the financial realities of looking after such a house are discussed. He sits on the board of the Castletown Foundation and is very pleased with the state of the house today. He praises the events which are held at the house and the community spirit which prevails. Equestrian sport in Ireland is considered. In 1979 he became first president of the reconstituted Equestrian Federation of Ireland and was involved with the International Equestrian Federation in Switzerland, serving on the bureau in his capacity as chairman of the Three-Day Eventing committee. He discusses the position of Ireland in the international equestrian world. Track 4: His maternal grandfather, Ian Colin Maitland 15th Earl of Lauderdale, and the seat at Thirlestane Castle near Lauder in Scotland, is recalled. His parents met at Thirlestane in the 1930s. After the death of the Maitland heir in WWII, the Countess purchased the castle from her husband and on her death it was bequeathed to Gerald Conolly-Carew, Patrick’s younger brother, who now lives there with his family and has changed his name to Maitland-Carew. Patrick remarks that although there is no equivalent of the National Trust in Ireland major efforts have been made to save significant country houses. He recalls that at one point his father attempted to get involved with politics but, on the advice of Éamon De Valera, he did not pursue this. Patrick says that even when his father was chairman of the British Legion and received a CBE in recognition of his service, there were never any difficulties for him or for his family. He speaks of his wife, Celia Cubitt, and her family in Surrey and remarks that amongst her bridesmaids at their wedding was her cousin, a young Camilla Shand, now Duchess of Cornwall. Patrick and Celia Conolly-Carew celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2014.

Additional information



Audio series:

The Irish Country House and the Great War


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

10.90 MB, 10.52 MB, 14.65 MB, 8.18 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Castletown House

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore