American visitors Terri and Mark O’Connell were startled to find a white Barn Owl perched on the shower door of their bathroom in the top floor apartment of Turin Castle, in Kilmaine.

“After returning from dinner at a local restaurant, we were very surprised and excited to find this beautiful owl which had made its way in through an open window and perched in the bathroom. Wwe managed, using a broom, to gently coax him back through the window ironically, my sister, Roseann Bird took the photo!” says Terri.

The owners of Turin Castle feel “honored” by the visitation “We get the occasional bat or starling but nothing like this has ever happened before” says owner Marnie Farrell.

"We have noticed more raptors around including buzzards but sadly no eagles, which were hunted to extinction by the early 20th century."

"This part of Ireland was once a haven for them. Croagh Patrick was once known as Eagle Mountain and remarkably, a lancet window in the northwesterly chamber in the Great Hall of the castle is in direct alignment with the summit of the mountain."

The barn owl is a rare protected species and has a ghostly white spectral appearance. This coupled with a shrill haunting call was often associated with the wailing of the banshee (bean sidhe) - the female spirit whose mournful keening was a portend for the death of a family member.

Hopefully, this visitation is an omen of good luck for Patrick Kielty, the new presenter of "The Late Late Show", one of the world's running late-night chat shows.

Turin Castle in County Mayo is a luxury self-catering venue near Ballinrobe, in County Mayo. It is a unique medieval castle set against the backdrop of picturesque countryside.  The castle sleeps a maximum of 10 people and is hired on a self-catering basis but catering can be arranged if required. 

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