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Knappogue Castle, County Clare

The battlemented keep of Knappogue – built by one of the MacNamras in 1467 – and its later extensions were rescued from ruin in the 1960s by Mark Edwin Andrews of Houston, Texas, a former assistant secretary of the US Navy, and his architect wife. They transformed a mere shell into an authentic setting for […]

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Timoney Standing Stones, County Tipperary

On top of a hill, in a labyrinth of lanes, stand some 300 stones. All about 3ft high and seemingly scattered at random, their origin and significance are a mystery. Many explanations have been put forward – Bronze Age rituals, druidical ceremonies, even medieval follies – but no convincing explanation has stuck. Perhaps they mark […]

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Clontuskert, County, County Galway

The well-preserved ruins of an Augustinian priory stand about a quarter of a mile’s walk across fields at the edge of the vale of Suck. The original foundation on the site was by St Baetan in 805 and from 1140 it became a monastery of great wealth and influence. A disastrous fire destroyed it in […]

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Glinsk Castle, County Galway

A ruined shell on a rise above a small, wooded rover valley is all that remains of one of the many tower houses built in this area by the de Burgo family. It dates from the 1630s, by which time these defensive buildings began to evolve into more comfortable places to live in. it has […]

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Tipperary, County Tipperary

Known as “Arann’s well” in Irish, Tipperary is full of many interesting features including monuments to some of its less law-abiding citizens. The statue of the Maid of Erin commemorates three men known as the Manchester Martyrs, who were executed in England in 1867 for killing a police officer while trying to rescue a prisoner. […]

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O’Connell Street, Dublin, County Dublin

A statue of Daniel O’Connell, ‘The Liberator’, stands at the Southern end of the street named after him, overlooking O’Connell Bridge, the city’s main North-South link. Around the plinth fly bronze angels of victory, their wings pierced with bullet holes from the Easter Rising of 1916. Behind the victor in the struggle for Catholic emancipation […]

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Edenderry, County Offaly

This spacious Georgian town, with a long,  straggling main street lined with neat houses and shops, marks the Westward limits of the Pale, the region centred on Dublin that was under direct English rule, and which gave us the expression ‘beyond the pale’. Still to be seen dotted around the area are the crumbling walls […]

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Queen’s University Belfast, County Antrim

Looking out over trim lawns, this Tudor-Gothic building with its red-brick façade, stone facings and stone-mullioned windows is all that a University building should be. Indeed, its central tower closely resembles the Founder’s Tower of Magdalen College, Oxford. The architect was Sir Charles Lanyon, designer of several of Belfast’s most distinguishing buildings. When the University […]

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Valencia Island, County Kerry

A popular holiday resort, Valencia Island is reached by a modern bridge that spans the 120 yard wide channel from Portmagee. On the West side of the Island is a dark grotto with sacred figures appearing out of the gloom, set high in the cavernous entrance to an old slate quarry hundreds of feet above […]

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Lough na Fooey, County Galway

Between the raw slopes of Benbeg (1788ft), in Joyce Country to the South, and the flank of the Partry Mountains to the North, is a lake of haunting beauty. In poor weather, when cloud and mist cloak the surrounding hills, Lough na Fooey is an eerie place, but when the weather breaks and the gold-fingered […]