Macroom (Irish: Maigh Chromtha) is an Irish market town in a valley of the River Sullane, about halfway between Cork and Killarney. The name in Irish Gaelic may mean "meeting place of followers of the god Crom" or "crooked oak", the latter derived from a large oak tree said to have grown at one time in the town-square, which was first marked out during the reign of John I.
In folklore the town began as a meeting place for the Druids of Munster, and historically is first mentioned in 6th century records. It was the site of a major battle involving Brian Boru around 1014, and in the following centuries suffered a series of invasions by warring families, including the Murcheatach Uí Briain and Richard de Cogan clans. In the 17th century the MacCarthy family took control and led Macroom towards prosperity through milling, markets and fairs. This fortune was short lived and followed by the Williamite wars of the 1690s when authority over the town castle waxed and waned between the Irish MacCarthys and a number of ambitious English families. Later Macroom became a centre point of conflict in the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.
The population was decimated in the 1840s by famine and emigration, the former evidenced by the remains of a workhouse, now the district hospital, and a mass graveyard to the west, near Clondrohid. During the 19th century a number of Anglo-Irish families settled in the area but many of their estate houses were burned out by rebels during and after the Irish War of Independence as the town was caught up in a turmoil of IRA activity. Eventually the Anglo-Irish families fled, leaving behind tracts of land that were, in the end, distributed among the wealthier of their former tenants.
Traditionally Macroom is known as "the town that never reared a fool." The broader urban area recorded a population of 3,553 in the 2006 national census. In 1978 it hosted the Mountain Dew festival, with Rory Gallagher as the main attraction, and in attendance the then notourious and Irish expat Sex Pistols singer John Lydon.
The town itself is dominated by Macroom castle gates and the market square on front. It's most famous resident was Sir. William Penn, the founder of Pennsilvania in the United States. He was also the owner of Macroom castle. The castle itself was given as a gift and later became the strong hold of the McCarthy clan. The castle was destroyed 6 times, last by the blackintans who executed it's last resident Bishop McEgan outside carrigadrohid castle. There is a school in his name built on the site today. the only remains of the castle are the tower and the castle gates. The ruin of the castle were torn down in the 60's after a large section fell onto a truck parked outside. Macroom is also most noted for it's hooded cloaks which were worn in the town by residents as late as the 1950's. They were a long black hooded garment.