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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 She had her own death sentence withdrawn on condition that she carried out all the public hangings without payment.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 […]

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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 […]