Four Courts, Dublin
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Four Courts, Dublin

Completed in 1802 by James Gandon, this majestic building was virtually gutted 120 years later during the Irish Civil War when government forces bombarded anti-Treaty rebels into submission. The adjacent Public Records Office, with documents dating back to the 12th century, was destroyed by fire.   In 1932, the main buildings were restored using Gandon’s […]

Kinvarra, County Galway
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Kinvarra, County Galway

One of the most charming fishing villages on Galway Bay, Kinvarra’s appeal lies in its sheltered, seaweed-clad harbour and traditional seafaring atmosphere. From medieval times, its fortunes were closely linked to Kilmacduagh, the powerful monastery and bishopric upon which the village depended.   The pier is bordered by a row of fishermen’s cottages. Kinvarra remains […]

Ormond Castle
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Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary

This sleepy market town has a distinctly old-fashioned air. In the 15th century, it was a strategic site commanding access west to Clonmel and southeast to Waterford, but after Tudor times the town sank into oblivion.   Ormond Castle, although once a fortress, is the finest surviving Tudor manor house in Ireland. It was built […]

St Stephen’s Green
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Southeast Dublin

Despite its location close to the old walled city, this part of Dublin remained virtually undeveloped until the founding of Trinity College in 1592. Even then, it was almost a hundred years before the ancient common land further south was enclosed to create St Stephen’s Green, a spacious city park.   The mid-18th century saw […]

Glenariff Forest Park, County Antrim
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Glenariff Forest Park, County Antrim

The rivers have carved deep valleys through the Antrim Mountains to the sea. Celebrated in song and verse, the Glens of Antrim used to be the wildest and most remote part of Ulster. This region was not ‘planted’ with English and Scots settlers in the 17th century and was the last place in Northern Ireland […]

St Patrick’s Cathedral
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Southwest Dublin

The area around Dublin Castle was first settled in prehistoric times, and it was from here that the city grew. Dublin gets its name from the dark pool (Dubh Linn) which formed at the confluence of the Liffey and the Poddle, a river which originally ran through the site of Dublin Castle. It is now […]

Jerpoint Abbey, County Kilkenny
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Jerpoint Abbey, County Kilkenny

Lying on the banks of the Little Arrigle just south of Thomastown, Jerpoint Abbey ranks among the finest Cistercian ruins in Ireland, despite the loss of many of its domestic buildings. Founded in about 1160, the fortified medieval complex rivalled nearby Duiske Abbey in prestige. Jerpoint flourished until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when it […]

Fore Abbey, County Westmeath
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Fore Abbey, County Westmeath

The ruins of Fore Abbey lie in glorious rolling countryside about 8km east of Tullynally Castle. St Fechin established a monastery here in 630, but what you see now are the remains of a large Benedictine priory founded around 1200. Located on the northern border of the Pale, Fore Abbey was heavily fortified in the […]

Ardfert Cathedral, County Kerry
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Ardfert Cathedral, County Kerry

This complex of churches is linked to the cult of St Brendan the Navigator, who was born nearby in 484 and founded a monastery here. The ruined cathedral dates back to the 12th century and retains a delicate Romanesque doorway and blind arcading. Inside, an effigy of a 14th century bishop occupies a niche in […]

Clare Island, County Mayo
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Clare Island, County Mayo

Clare Island, set in Clew Bay, is dominated by two hills, and a square 15th century castle commands the headland and harbour. In the 16th century the island was the stronghold of Grace O’Malley, pirate queen and patriot, who held sway over the western coast. Although, according to Tudor stat papers, she was received at […]