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Lismore , County Waterford

This picturesque market town in the Blackwater Valley was a major ecclesiastical centre from the 7th to the 14th century. The 7th century monastery founded here by St. Carthach was renowned throughout Europe as a University. Lismore Castle was built by King John in 1185 on the monastic site , and it served as a […]

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Athlone , County Roscommon/ Westmeath

The River Shannon here divides the counties of Westmeath and Roscommon and the provinces of Leinster and Connacht. As it was a strategic crossing point there were frequent battles in the town, first between the Irish tribes and then with the Anglo-Normans. Bishop John de Gray, the English justiciar, built a castle in 1210 to […]

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Trinity College , Dublin City

Trinity College was founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I to consolidate the Reformation through education. The restriction on Catholic students was abandoned in 1873 but the Roman Catholics church maintained its own ban until 1970 on its members being students. Today the majority of the 7000 students are Irish Catholics. Trinity’s seven libraries – not […]

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Dromana House , County Waterford

What is left of Dromana House is dramatically sited on a rocky escarpment overlooking the Blackwater estuary. It was built in the 17th and 18th centuries as an addition to a 15th century stronghold of the Fitzgeralds , badly damaged in the Civil War. Much of the house has been demolished , but the surviving […]

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Enniscorthy , County Wexford

Home to the Strawberry Fair every July. The County Museum is housed in the Norman castle overlooking the River Slaney. It contains some interesting documentation on both the 1916 and 1798 rebellions. The castle itself , built in 1205 , has had many owners , including the poet Edmund Spenser. The castle was given to […]

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Clonmacnoise , Clonfanlough , County Offaly

This is one of Ireland’s most important monastic and historical sites. Founded in AD 548 by St. Ciaran , it was once a great city and medieval University. The remains include a cathedral , seven church buildings , two round towers , three high crosses and two holy wells. Irelands last high king , Rory […]

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Limerick City , County Limerick

Ireland’s 4th largest city began as a 10th century Viking settlement on an island in the River Shannon , from which the Danes marauded through Munster. The Thomond Kings used it as a trading centre , and Muirceartach Mor O’Brien made it his principal seat while high King of Ireland. The city was an early […]

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Killaloe , County Clare

Scenic Killaloe is at The Southern tip of Lough Derg , the largest of the Shannon lakes. It’s most fascinating building is the 12th century St. Flannan’s Cathedral , which was restored in the 18th century. Beside the door is Thogrim’s Stone , a cross shaft with a unique bilingual inscription in ogham and Viking […]

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Dunguaire Castle , Kinvara , County Galway

Dunguaire , on the shores of Galway Bay , bridges thirteen centuries of Irish history from the early Christian period through generations of alternating war and peace and the literary revival of the early 20th century to modern times when its use reflects its historic past. Squatting on a rocky outcrop in Kinvara , a […]

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Glendalough , County Wicklow

A monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century flourished around the valley’s two lakes for over 600 years. It survived many attacks before being burned and abandoned in 1398. The area became a place of pilgrimage until it was suppressed by Cardinal Cullen of Dublin in 1862. Conservation work on the buildings […]