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Kildare , County Kildare

Once an important ecclesiastical centre , and a Norman stronghold , but now famed as the centre of Irish house-breeding and training industry. The National Stud is on the outskirts of the own in Tully. St. Brigid founded a convent here in the 5th or 6th century and an adjoining monastery was built a little […]

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Castlebar , County Mayo

A tree-bordered green is the focal point of this busy county town. It has been a town of stature since the 16th century , receiving a royal charter from James I in 1613. A variety of wars , however , has meant that little of the old settlement remains. Historically it is best known for […]

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Roscrea , County Tipperary

Just North of the town the remains of an Augustinian monastery , built in 1100. On one side is a round tower , capless since 1135 and missing 20ft since 1798 when a cannon mounted there backfired. On the far side of the road are the remains of the priory , used as an entrance […]

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Rathlin Island , County Antrim

Ireland’s largest inhabited island is located just off the coast from Ballycastle and only 13 miles from the Mull of Kintyre , Scotland. This strategic position has meant a turbulent history , and following settlement by monks it was the site of the first Viking raid in Ireland in AD 795. The island has also […]

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Book of Kells , Trinity College , Dublin

This national treasure is kept on public display in the Long Room at Trinity College. It is a beautifully illuminated Latin text of the Gospels’ account of the life of Christ , and the most ornate of the Middle Age manuscripts to have survived. The exact origins of the book are unknown but it dates […]

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Inishowen Peninsula , County Donegal

Separating the inlets of Lough Foyle and Lough Swilly , this landmass encompasses some of the country’s finest scenery. From glorious Fahan beach to Malin Head , Ireland’s most Northerly point , and South to Muff it is largely unspoilt. Its centre is dominated by Slieve Snaght (‘Mountain of the Snows’). The border expands beyond […]

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Sligo Town , County Sligo

Sited on both sides of the Garavouge River, the settlement was given in 1235 to Maurice Fitzgerald , who built a castle here and founded a Dominican friary. In a period of 50 years during the 13th century both were destroyed five times , and later castles and abbeys continued to be sacked and gutted […]

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Roscommon , County Roscommon

Ireland’s last hung woman , ‘Lady Betty’ , worked at the jail which still stands in the town centre. She had her own death sentence withdrawn on condition that she carried out all the public hangings without payment. Roscommon Castle , located off Castle Street , was built by the Norman Robert d’Ufford in 1269. […]

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Glen of Aherlow , County Tipperary

This beautiful remote glen lies between the Galty mountains and Slievenamuck. Historically this was an important pass between the Golden Vale of County Tipperary and Limerick , and many battles were fought here between the O’Briens and rival clans. At the head of the valley near Galbally is the ruined Franciscan Moor Abbey , used […]

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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 […]