Holy Cross Abbey, County Tipperary
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Holy Cross Abbey, County Tipperary

Founded in 1169 by the Benedictines, Holy Cross was supposedly endowed with a splinter from the True Cross, hence its name. Now it has been completely restored, and the church has become once again a popular place of worship and pilgrimage.   Most of the present structure dates from the 15th century. It was built […]

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Baltimore, County Cork

Baltimore’s most bizarre claim to fame dates to 1631 when more than 100 citizens were carried off as slaves by Algerian pirates. Now that the threat of being  kidnapped has gone, this village appeals to the yachting fraternity and island-hoppers. Like neighbouring Schull and Castletownshend, the town bustles with summer festivals.   Overlooking the harbour […]

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Lough Arrow, County Sligo

People go to Lough Arrow to sail and fish for the local trout, and also simply to enjoy the glorious countryside. You can explore the lake by boat, but the views from the shore are the real joy of Lough Arrow. A full circuit of the lake is highly recommended, but for the most breath-taking […]

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Kilmacduagh, County Galway

This monastic settlement is in a remote location on the borders of Counties Clare and Galway, roughly 5km southwest of Gort. The sense of isolation is accentuated by the stony moonscape of the Burren to the west. Reputedly founded by St Colman MacDuagh in the early 7th century, Kilmacduagh owes more to the monastic revival […]

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Roscrea, County Tipperary

The 13th century Anglo-Norman Roscrea Castle consists of a gate tower, curtain walls and two corner towers. In the courtyard stands Damer House, a Queen Anne-style residence with a magnificent staircase and Georgian garden. Just over the river lies St Cronan’s Monastery which has a High Cross, Romanesque church gable and a truncated round tower. […]

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Bantry Bay, County Cork

Bantry Bay encompasses the resorts of Bantry and Glengarriff. It is also a springboard for trips to Mizen Head and the Beara Peninsula.   Bantry nestles beneath the hills which run down to the bay. Just offshore you can see Whiddy Island, the original home of the White family, who moved to Bantry House in […]

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Achill Island, County Mayo

Ireland’s largest island, 22km long and 19km wide, is reached by a road bridge that can be raised for boats to pass through.   Achill offers the more intrepid visitor moorland, mountains, rugged cliffs and beautiful long beaches, and is a very popular spot for angling and water sports.   The Atlantic Coast Drive, a […]

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Kenmare, County Kerry

This town, on the mouth of the River Sheen, was founded in 1670 by William Petty, Cromwell’s surveyor general. However, Kenmare’s appearance owes more to his descendant, the first Marquess of Lansdowne who, in 1775, made it a model landlord’s town of neat stone facades with decorative plasterwork.   Today Kenmare is renowned for its […]

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Avondale House, County Wicklow

Lying just south of Rathdrum, Avondale House was the birthplace of the 19th century politician and patriot, Charles Stewart Parnell. The Georgian mansion is now a museum dedicated to Parnell and the flight for Home Rule.   The state owns Avondale and runs a forestry school here, but the public is free to explore the […]

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St Mary’s Church, Dublin

In amongst the produce stalls and family-run stores in the warren of streets to the west of O’Connell Street stands what was once one of the most important society church’s in 18th & 19th century Dublin. Dating back to 1697, its design is usually credited to Sir William Robinson, the Surveyor General who also built […]