Notes prepared by Gene Gill
CUSTOMS: You may bring with you 400 cigarettes, 1 ltr. alcohol, 2 ltrs wine. CURRENCY: The Euro... 100 cents to the Euro. Bills are 5,10,20,50,100,200. Coins are
1,2,5,10,20,50 cents and 1, 2, Euro. The Euro was introduced in 2002.
TEMPEPATURE: Summers are best time to visit. July-August 66, and some rain. Fall and
Spring can be nice but weather is not reliable...and some rain…and some more rain.
BANK HOURS: M-F 10-12:30, 1:30-3
SHOPPING HOURS: M-Sat 9-5:30
THINGS TO BUY: Tweed, Lace, Linen, Woolen sweaters, Waterford Crystal. If you ship an
item home, there is no tax. Otherwise, keep receipts, have them validated at customs, send them to the store where you shopped, and the store will refund your tax. There are always long lines for this procedure.
FOOD: Ample rather than gourmet...often overcooked. Boiled meat, fish, fowl, and lots of
Boiled vegetables. Expect a hearty Irish Breakfast. Indications are that the preparation of food is improving.
DRINK: The National drink is Guinness...a dark, stout beer, and Irish Whiskey. Every Irishman
will spend some part of every day of the year in a Pub. Because of this, there is a heavy tax on alcohol.
TIPPING: A service charge of 12-15% is usually added. No additional tip is necessary unless
service was excellent. Taxi drivers get 10%. There's no tipping in Pubs, but a waiter in a bar or lounge gets 20 pence. Ireland is not big on tipping.
TRANSPORTATION: Trains are generally reliable, inexpensive and comfortable. Where
trains don't go, buses do. There are Irish Tourist Cards available for train travel. From England to Ireland, there are Boat/Trains available. Depart London, Euston Station 9:30 AM to Holyhead where you board the ferry, arriving Dublin about 8 PM. The overnight ferry departs London 6 PM, goes to Liverpool where you board the ferry, arriving Dublin about 1 AM.
AIRPORTS: Shannon or Dublin.
Av. NY 10154 1-800-223-6470
TIME: 5 hours ahead of EST.
FOR FREE MAPS AND INFORMATION: Write or call Irish Tourist Board, 345 Park
as first mentioned in AD 140. Its name is derived from the Irish "Dubh Linn (Dark Pool), a reference to the peat colored waters of the Liffey River. It is believed that St. Patrick visited Dublin in AD 448 and baptized many converts to Christianity at St. Patrick's Well, near the site of which St. Patrick's Cathedral was later to rise.
THE RIVER LIFFEY provides a useful orientation, flowing as it does against the dramatic
backdrop of the Wicklow/Dublin Mountains, cutting its way through the heart of the city.
O'CONNELL BRIDGE...is usually defined at "the center". It is one of 10 bridges spanning
the Liffey and is a very short bridge...wider than it is long. O’CONNELL STREET is the main shopping street. Off some of its side streets, there are pedestrian-only zones, street vendors who call their wares in the traditional Dublin style, and lovely flower stalls.
ROTUNDA ASSEMBY ROOMS were originally built to raise funds for the hospital beside
them. They were very elegant and were the favorite haunt of the wealthy. Today they are a cinema.
PARNELL SQUARE, beyond he ROTUNDA, opens up one of Dublin's first Georgian
squares. It contains many typical features of Dublin's architecture. When looking at a Georgian terrace, it is always worth looking upwards beyond the proportions of the facade to note the fantastic shapes made by the chimneystacks on the rooftops. Note also that the first floor windows are larger than the upper floors. This was so passers-by could see who was being entertained in your home. The top of Parnell is dominated by the impressive facade of CHARLEMONT HOUSE, and its unfinished Palladian arcade. This is now the HUGH LAND MUNICIPAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART. Just around the corner from the gallery is the GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE, dedicated to those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom. A large bronze statue was erected in 1971 to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the truce of Britain. At the top of PERNELL SQUARE, you approach JAMES JOYCE TERRITORY...and will see numerous places he mentions in his writings.
ST. MARY'S PRO CATHEDRAL...is the main Catholic church of Dublin ABBEY STREET...will lead you to the ABBEY THEATRE, the National Theatre of Ireland.
It is a new brick building dating from 1966.
PARLIAMENT HOUSE...is a short walk across O'Connell Bridge, down Westmoreland
BEWLEY'S COFFEE HOUSE...on the way to PARLIAMENT is an institution that has
been serving coffee and buns since 1840. The interior is richly decorated with marble-topped tables, and stained-glass windows.
TRINITY COLLEGE...was founded by Elizabeth I in 1591. At that time it offered a free
education to Catholics, on condition that they accepted the Protestant faith. That no longer holds true. Trinity is built on ground which was reclaimed from the sea many years ago and, as a result, the cobblestones in the main court have to be entirely relayed every seven years
LEINSTER HOUSE...is the seat of the Irish Parliament. The building has an interesting
facade facing Merrion Square. The Kildare Street entrance is flanked by two important buildings: THE NATIONAL LIBRARY on your left, and THE NATIONAL MUSEUM on your right. They are almost symmetrical, each featuring a massive colonnaded entrance rotunda. The National Museum houses an excellent collection of Irish antiquities dating from 6000 BC.
MANSION HOUSE...on Dawson Street has been home of the Lord Mayors of Dublin since
1715. It is one of the best Queen Anne houses in Dublin.
MERRION SQUARE...is one of Dublin's most attractive squares. Plaques on the houses
indicate famous past residents. On the corner at #1 lived Oscar Wilde's father. Others who lived here included Yeats and George Russell.
NATIONAL GALLERY...on the west side of Merrion Square, opened in 1864. It is one of
Europe's most pleasant and compact galleries. Over 2000 works are on view, including a major collection of Irish works, plus works from the 17th century French, Italian, Dutch, and Spanish. There is also an outstanding collection of paintings from the BARBIZON SCHOOL. At the entrance to the Museum, George Bernard Shaw (a benefactor) is commemorated by a statue.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM...just past Leinster House. Its most famous curiosity is a
huge skeleton of the extinct Irish Elk, whose antlers measure 10 feet.
MORNINGTON HOUSE...at 24 Upper Merrion Street is the birthplace of the Duke of
Wellington. This British leader hated being referred to as Irish, and when reminded that he was Dublin-born and therefore Irish, replied, "Being born in a stable doesn't make one a horse".
GRAFTON STREET...off the corner of the square to Trinity College is a fashionable
pedestrian shopping street.
ST. PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL: A stone marks the spot where it is said that St. Patrick
struck the ground with his staff and caused pure water to gush out so that he could baptize his many converts. That "well" is about 90 feet north of the Cathedral tower. The Cathedral dates from 1190, and is mainly Early English in style. It originally stood outside the walls of Dublin, while its close neighbor, Christ Church Cathedral, was within the walls. This is why the city now has two official cathedrals within a short walk of each other.
ARCHBISHOP MARGH'S LIBRARY...a short walk from STEPHEN'S GREEN, is the
first public library in Ireland, and was built in 1701.
DUBLIN CASTLE: The castle square is an 18th century rebuilding of the medieval structure
from the 13th century. Guided tours take one through the lavishly furnished state apartments, and provide one of the most enjoyable experiences in Dublin. These apartments are now used for visiting Heads of State
CITY HALL: Near Dame Street, this impressive Corinthian-style building was built in 1769
as the Royal Exchange, and its circular main hall successfully combines classical ornamentation with Georgian simplicity.
PHOENIX PARK...1760 acres of green open space. Until 1984, large herds of wild deer,
sheep, and cows grazed here. Today, there are only a few of the deer left. The 205 foot high OBELISK, visible from all over the park, is the WELLINGTON TESTIMONIAL. Nearby, a towering STEEL CROSS marks the site where John Paul II celebrated Mass on his arrival in 1979.
METAL BRIDGE (Halfpenny Bridge)...is the only pedestrian bridge across the Liffey. It is a
high, arched bridge and offers excellent views up and down the river.
CUSTOM HOUSE...is a splendid late 18th century structure by James Gandon. FOUR COURTS...also by Gandon, located close to where Dublin was founded. ST. MICHAN'S CHURCH...with mummified bodies in the crypt and a grand organ. DUBLIN AIRPORT...is only 6 miles from city center and a bus runs every 20 minutes,
dropping one off at the Central Bus Station. Another service stops at major hotels. Rates for taxis are posted outside the Terminals.
GUINNESS MUSEUM AND VISITORS' CENTER...on James St. Includes a 30-minute
documentary on the history of Guinness and the brewing process, plus a sample of the brew. Mon-Fri 10 - 3
TO FIND SOUVENIRS: Try FERGUS O'FARRELL's...and TOWER DESIGN CENTER,
DUN LAOGHAIRE...is the departure point near Dublin for Ferries from Ireland to
IRELAND…continued ROSSLARE: Rosslare Harbor is the departure point for ferries to Fishguard in Wales, and
Cherbourg and Le Harve in France.
This town is quite old, going back to the 2nd century. Its Irish name is LOCH GARMAN, but it passed into the English language as Wexford because the Vikings couldn't pronounce the Irish. The town is proud of its long traditions and members of the Wexford Society will conduct visitors on walking tours. A Quay runs the full length of the town. Mid-way along the Quay is a statue of Commodore John Barry, father of the American Navy. Barry was born nearby and the statue was a gift from the U.S. Most of the harbor area here has now been silted up. THE GUILLEMOT on the Quay is a floating maritime museum. Walking up Wexford's narrow hilly streets you will see WESTGATE TOWER, the only one of it's original 5 gates still standing. Nearby are the ruins of SELSKAR ABBEY. Also in the center of town are two 19th century Gothic churches. They are known as the "twin churches" because their exteriors are identical. Wexford is also associated with opera, and a famous opera festival dating back to 1951. This town is also the country's largest mussel industry. JOHNSTOWN CASTLE, 3 miles south of Wexford contains the Irish Agricultural Museum. Reconstructed stables, a dairy and typical cottage interiors give a good idea of a way of life, which has only recently disappeared.
WATERFORD: This is a prosperous port with a number of industries. It is best known,
however, for the WATERFORD GLASS FACTORY, now the largest in the world. The Town goes back almost 1000 years ago when Reginald the Dane landed and built a circular guard tower with walls 10 feet thick, and a low conical roof. It is still standing and has served as a fort, a royal residence, a mint, an ammunition magazine, a prison, and now, a museum. The CITY HALL was built on the Mall in 1788 and has a beautiful Waterford glass chandelier. The CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL on Barronstrand Street is a graceful neo-classical building completed in 1796...and with a richly decorated interior. The CHURCH OF IRELAND CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL in Cathedral Square near City Hall is mainly 19th century, but there are some remnants of the ancient crypt. A tower is virtually the only remnant of the 13th century Franciscan Friary. Another tower of the Dominican Priory is the only major surviving part of the original foundation, which dates back to 1266.
WATERFORD GLASS FACTORY: This tour is a must! Informative guides lead the way
so that you can see the skill of glass blowing, polishing and cutting. There is an excellent lobby display, but NO GLASS IS SOLD on the premises, but there are numerous shops in town.
DUNGARYAN: Picturesque fishing port. YOUGHAL: Picturesque fishing port with sandy beaches, seaside amusement facilities
and seafood restaurants. There's a rather large bay at the end of the BLACKWATER RIVER. "The first potato was planted here".
IRELAND…continued CORK CITY: This is the major metropolis of the south, and the second largest city of the
Republic of Ireland. The Irish think of it as their "cultural capital". The name means "a marshy place" and the River Lee on which the city is built is the cause of the marsh. Many buildings here have lovely Georgian facades with interesting features. The main business and shopping center of Cork lies on the island created by two diverging channels of the river.
PATRICK STREET: This is the focal point of Cork. The major statue on this street is of
Father Theobald Mathew, who led, of all things, a nation-wide temperance crusade.
ST. ANNE'S CHURCH: Located in the hilly area of the city this church incorporates the
famous SHANDON STEEPLE, the bell tower shaped like a pepper pot and which houses the bells which were immortalized in the song "The Bells of Shandon". The church is built on the site of an earlier church from 1690.
ST. MARY’S DOMINICAN CHURCH: Located on Pope's Quay. Inside is a 14th century
Flemish figure of "Our Lady of Graces"...the small statue having been brought here from Youghal where it was found on the beach, embedded in a piece of wood which had been part of the mast of a wrecked ship... some think a ship of the Spanish Armada.
ST. MARY'S PRO-CATHEDRAL: Not very interesting, but a very good place to begin to
check your Irish ancestry because their records go back to 1784.
MARKETS: The Coal Quay market is a genuine "flea market". The English Market is a
covered market with old-fashioned displays of meat and produce.
MARDYKE: This is a popular riverside walk leading to FITZGERALD'S PARK. The
Georgian mansion in the park houses Cork's public museum.
BLACKROCK CASTLE: This fortification, originally built in the 16th century, is the
dominant landmark overlooking the harbor area. It is believed that William Penn, who was born in Cork, stayed in the castle before sailing to America.
BLARNEY: Blarney is located 5 miles from CORK. Most visitors to Ireland want to kiss
the famous Blarney Stone in the hope of acquiring the "gift of gab". All that is left of BLARNEY CASTLE, where the stone is located, is its ruined central tower. The castle dates from the mid 15th century, and Queen Elizabeth I created the word "blarney" when she disagreed with the Lord of Blarney, saying "This is all Blarney, what he says, he never means". The Kissing Stone is set in the battlements. To kiss it you must lay on the walk, grasp a rail, lean your head back and kiss. It isn't as dangerous as it sounds, and the stone is scrubbed with disinfectant 4 times a day. The view from Blarney Castle is most impressive. The castle is surrounded by craft shops offering knitwear, crystal, pottery, tweed and linen. The prices here are more competitive here than anywhere else in Ireland.
IRELAND…continued TRALEE: Tralee is a busy, if not especially interesting town. It is associated with the song
"Rose of Tralee", which was inspired by the annual Rose Festival, still held in September. Tralee is also the home of SIAMSA TIRE - the Folk Theatre of Ireland. 5 miles northwest is ARDFERT, the ruins of a 13th century cathedral. TEAMPALL GRIFFIN, also nearby dates from the 15th century. Ruins of many forts indicate the early importance of Tralee.
RING OF KERRY: The RING OF KERRY is about 110 miles total, and is considered
one of the most scenic routes in all of Ireland. The major sights are:
BLENNERVILLE WINDMILL...with exhibits relating to the 19th century famines when
desperate immigrants set sail, en masse from the port of Tralee. KILLORGLIN ON DINGLE BAY: Dingle Bay is cut off by two sand spits, which enclose the harbor of CASTLEMAINE. The sand spit on the Dingle side forms the sheltered seaside resort of INCH. KILLORGLIN is a small town on a hill, and the scene of the famous PUCK FAIR, all day stint of merrymaking each August, which involves the enthroning of a goat. The film "Ryan's Daughter" was filmed in this area. GLENBEIGH...offers magnificent mountain scenery. CAHERCIVEEN: The road between here and GLENBEIGH is one of the highlights of the Ring. The road skirts the edge of Dingle Bay and gives fine views across the bay to the rugged peaks of the Dingle Peninsula. SKELLIG ROCKS...come into view as you leave Caherciveen. LITTLE SKELLIG is a Wildlife Conservancy Preserve. PUFFIN ISLAND, to the north, is also a nature reserve. SKELLIG MICHAEL, rises sharply 700 feet out of the Atlantic. Some 600 steps, shaped out of solid rock, lead to the remains of an early Christian-monk settlement...surprisingly well preserved. VALENTIA: More beautiful glimpses of the SKELLIG ROCKS from here. VALENTIA ISLAND...is now joined to the mainland by a bridge. The island was formerly the Western Union Cable Station for the 1st Transatlantic Cable. BALLINSKELLIGS...an Irish-speaking village with a fine sandy beach. WATERVILLE...is famous as an angling center and its old-fashioned hotels. BERRYNANE NATIONAL PARK...298 acres. CAHERDANIEL VILLAGE... SATIGUE FORT...one of many important archeological sites in the area. It is surrounded by an 18-foot wall enclosing a circle 90 feet in diameter. The stones are held in place without motor. CASTLECOVE...along the coast. PARKNASILLA...beautiful hotel and wooded estate. SNEEM VILLAGE...one of the prettiest in Ireland. IVERAGH PENINSULA...CAHA/SLIEVE MISKISH...BEARA PENINSULA EYERIES and ALLIHIES...magnificent seascapes. LAURAGH (Tropical gardens)...DURSEY ISLAND...KENMORE...a small market town.
IRELAND…continued KILLARNEY...is a market town which didn't even exist during the 17th century. It was
not until the late 18th century that it appeared because of its "great scenic beauty". The lakes and mountains of Killarney are considered as awe-inspiring as anything in Switzerland. While in town, one might take time to see the CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL OF ST. MARY, a fine example of the English Gothic. It was completed in 1855, using local limestone. Also see the impressive monument called AN SPEIRBHEAN (Sky Maiden), which was erected in 1940 to commemorate 4 famous Kerry poets.
THE LAKES OF KILLARNEY: The three main Lakes of Killarney lie in a valley running
south between the mountains. THE LOWER LAKE, largest of the three, is nearest the town. LOWER LAKE (Lough Leane) has many islands and MUCKROSS ABBEY and ROSS CASTLE are located on its eastern shore. It is separated from the MIDDLE LAKE by the peninsula of Muckross. A narrow channel connects the MIDDLE and UPPER LAKES. Smaller lakes and tarns can be discovered in the depths of the mountains. The lakes are all surrounded by luxuriant woods, which thrive in Killarney's mild climate. Wild orchids are widespread. Birch, holly, mountain ash, and oak are complemented by a wealth of ferns and mosses. The effect of the Ice Age is largely responsible for the scenery. The mountain mass is made of old red sandstone, while the limestone of the valleys around the Lower and Middle Lakes has eroded into strange shapes by the action of the lake waters. Part of Killarney's Lake District lies within KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK. At the heart of the park is the 10,000-acre MUCKROSS ESTATE. Cars are not allowed in the Muckross Estate, but it can be fun to take a little two-wheeled horse-drawn cart. The driver will talk non-stop, for you. Once inside the estate you will see MUCKROSS ABBEY, one of the best preserved ruins in Ireland...and what a setting.
CAHIR is a busy market town built on the River Suir at the eastern end of the GALTEE
MOUNTAINS. The Suir offers good salmon and trout fishing. CAHIR CASTLE, dating from the 15th century, has a massive keep, high enclosing walls and spacious courtyards. It is now used as an "interpretive center". If the castle looks familiar, the movie "EXCALIIBUR" was filmed here. Cahir is also the first town to which the Italian Charles Bianconi introduced his wagons to carry people and mail around Ireland. His home is preserved five miles north of Cahir.
ROCK OF CASHEL...rises imposingly to a height of 200 feet above the surrounding
plains, and is crowned with a magnificent group of ruins. The name "CASHEL" means stone fort, and that was the basic concept of the group of buildings on the rock. The kings of Munster held it as their seat for 7 centuries and St. Patrick plucked the shamrock here to explain as he preached the doctrine of the Trinity. At the base of the rock is the DOMINICAN FRIARY from the 15th century. The most prominent feature is the ROUND TOWER, standing 92 feet high, having the distinction of a doorway 12 feet above ground level.
the largest inland county in Ireland, though it lays claim to some notable waterways. In the northwest, Tipperary borders on the shores of Shannon's LOUGH DERG. Similarly, the RIVER SUIR provides much appreciated recreational assets. The hills and mountains, plains and river valleys of the area provide a rich variety of scenery. In the south are the GALTEE MOUNTAINS, extending into County Cork.
THE GOLDEN VALE...in the middle of the country...are the rich limestone-based
grasslands which provide excellent pasture for the thriving herds of cattle. It is also a great county for the breeding of horses, greyhounds, and the sports of soccer and hurling.
LIMERICK CITY...is the 3rd largest city, and is noted for its hams, bacons, and lace.
The city was founded in the 9th century by the Danes. The most colorful person to have come from Limerick and reach International fame was the dancer Lola Montez.
SHANNON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT...is a short 1/2 hour trip from Limerick. Most
visitors arrive either here or at Dublin.
ST. JOHN'S CASTLE: In 1210, King John ordered a castle and a bridge to be built. That
castle and bridge are still imposing pieces of architecture. The castle is still pockmarked by shot from the guns of military sieges of 1690 and 91. The castle is now used for Irish entertainment during the summer season.
NEW TOWN...refers to an area dominated by Georgian buildings which have been there since
the mid 18th century. Impressive buildings located in this area with wide streets are the GRANARY, built in 1774, the CUSTOMS HOUSE, and TOWN HALL.
PERY SQUARE...Suggests the Limerick of a century ago. There's a museum and an art
gallery nearby in the PEOPLE'S PARK.
ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL...built in the 12th century. ST. JOHN'S HOSPITAL: See the remnants of the city walls bearing the marks of cannon. BUNRATTY CASTLE...is a splendidly restored 15th century castle open to the public. Here
is an open-air museum with typical Shannon houses through the ages. Also see candle making, bread baking, iron forging. Each night a medieval banquet is served, along with entertainment.
ENNIS...is the friendly capital of County Clare. It's a progressive business and marketing
center, but of greater interest to the tourist are the remains of several abbeys in and around town. ENNIS ABBEY, from the 13th century, CLARE ABBEY, dates from the 12th century. KILLONE ABBEY is from the 12th century. ENNIS is located on the banks of the River Fergus.
CLIFFS OF MOHER...rise vertically out of the sea in a five-mile wall that varies in
height from 440 to lO0 feet, reaching its highest point at O’Brien's Tower, a circular structure erected in 1835. On a clear day the ARAN ISLANDS are visible. In addition, there are large sea bird colonies of guillemots, puffins, razorbills, and kittiwakes on the cliffs.
PLATEAU OF BURREN...is noted
for its rock formations. At first glance the region appears barren and lifeless...like a moonscape. But below the limestone surface lie spectacular caves, streams, with many seasonal lakes. The flowers and plants of the Burren have made it famous among Botanists. The flora is at its peak about mid-May.
on GALWAY BAY at the north end of the LOUGH CORRIB, is a busy, thriving seaport. It was founded by a Celtic king whose daughter drowned in the lake. To commemorate her, the king established a camp on the spot. That camp was transformed into Galway by the Normans. Galway City is compact, and easily explored on foot, using EYRE SQUARE as a base. Down a narrow street to the left is LYNCH'S CASTLE, an interesting 16th century town house that is now a bank. It still bears the arms of King Henry VII. On Lombard Street, the COLLEGIATE CHURCH OF ST. NICHOLAS MYRA dates back to 1320. Its interior is unusual because the aisles are wider than the nave. It is believed that Christopher Columbus prayed here before sailing to the New World. On the west bank of the river is THE CLADDAGH, said to be the oldest fishing village in Ireland.
MOYCULLEN...a stop to visit the CONNEMARA MARBLE FACTORY. The famous
marble is quarried nearby. The factory demonstrates how it is polished.
is the name of the western part of County Galway between LOUGH CORRIB and the Atlantic. It is dominated by the rocky TWELVE BENS MOUNTAINS, and is sparsely populated. The scenery is superb with dramatic changes of color and mood. The constantly changing combinations of sea, sky, mountain and lake, have inspired many famous painters and writers over the years. LOUGH CORRIB provides the largest free fishing waters in Europe. In addition, Connemara is noted for the famous CONNEMARA PONY STUD FARM at Adrahan.
KYLEMORE...is an enchanting valley with three lovely lakes. The wooded mountains
rise almost perpendicular from the lakeshore. On the lower slopes is the magnificent, manyturreted castle, which appears to have come straight from a fairy tale. It is now a convent for Benedictine nuns.
KNOCK...located in COUNTY MAYO. Its most famous site is THE SHRINE OF OUR
LADY OF KNOCK. On 21 August 1879, local people saw an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and St. John, on the wall of the parish church. Knock has been a shrine ever since. The church is huge...and is capable of holding 20,000 people.
One stops here to visit the churchyard where Yeats is buried. He actually died in the south of France, but his body was brought back to Ireland after World War 11, and was interred, as he requested, under a limestone slab "quarried near the spot". On the stone is inscribed the epitaph he wrote for himself, which ends with the lines "Cast a cold eye/On life, on Death, Horseman, pass by".
BUNDORAN...located on the southwestern shore of DONEGAL BAY...is one of Ireland's
major holiday resorts...with excellent sandy beaches. Between the cliffs of AUGHRUS HEAD and TULLAN STRAND are the FAIRY BRIDGES, strange, rock-formations caused by the action of the sea.
the head of DONEGAL BAY; was an early Viking settlement. That imposing ruin is DONEGAL CASTLE, and was rebuilt in the early 16th century, when the large tower was added. One-fourth mile south of town, on the banks of the ESKE RIVER are the ruins of a 15th century Franciscan Friary. DONEGAL'S main fame, however, rests on its manufacture of tweed. One of the best places to see it made is at MAGEE'S.
at the foot of the CURLEW MOUNTAINS between LOUGH GARA and LOUGH KEY. LOUGH KEY is one of the most beautiful lakes in Ireland, measuring about 6 miles across and studded with enticing islands. It was once part of an estate, but when the estate burned down, the area was incorporated into a forest park. Beside LOUGH GARA on the north side of the town of BOYLE are the ruins of a CISTERCIAN ABBEY. It was founded in the 12th century and took 60 years to complete. The nave, choir, and transepts are in a good state of preservation.
LONGFORD: One stops here to see CARRIGGLAS MANOR, a splendid mansion built
by Thomas Lefroy in 183l.
KILDARE: This is the small town where St. Brigid, the patron saint of Ireland (along with
St. Patrick and St. Colmcille), founded her nunnery in the 6th century.
THE CATHEDRAL has been extensively restored but retains many features of
the older buildings.
THE ROUND TOWER...nearby, also dates from the 6th century, and has battlements in
place of a conical top.
IRELAND'S NATIONAL STUD FARM is the main attraction here (and its Japanese
Garden). This farm was developed by Lord Wavertree who was rather eccentric, even consulting the birth signs and horoscopes of his horses to determine which he should train and when he should run them. In 1915 he presented his estate to the government. An interesting visit!