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The ideal travel companion, full of insider advice on what to see and do, plus detailed itineraries and

comprehensive maps for exploring this spectacular country.

Spend a weekend in Dublin, tour the North Antrim coastline or drive around the beautiful Ring of Kerry:

everything you need to know is clearly laid out within colour-coded chapters. Discover the best of Ireland

with this indispensable travel guide.

Inside DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Ireland:

- Over 30 colour maps help you navigate with ease
- Simple layout makes it easy to find the information you need
- Comprehensive tours and itineraries of Ireland, designed for every interest and budget
- Illustrations depict Bunratty Castle, Dublin's Trinity College, the Giant's Causeway and more
- Colour photographs of Ireland's scenic coastline, national parks, castles, vibrant towns and cities, and more
- Detailed chapters, with area maps, cover Dublin and beyond, southeast Ireland, Cork and Kerry, the Lower

Shannon, the west of Ireland, northwest Ireland, the Midlands and Northern Ireland
- Historical and cultural context gives you a richer travel experience: learn about the country's history,

landscape and wildlife, Celtic heritage, music and literature, sporting events and festivals
- Essential travel tips: our expert choices of where to stay, eat, shop and sightsee, plus how to get around, visa and health information

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Ireland is a detailed, easy-to-use guide designed to help you get the most from

your visit to Ireland.

Discover the best professional documents and content resources in AnyFlip Document Base.
Published by Read My eBook for FREE!, 2020-02-20 00:30:16

(DK Eyewitness) Travel Guide - Ireland

The ideal travel companion, full of insider advice on what to see and do, plus detailed itineraries and

comprehensive maps for exploring this spectacular country.

Spend a weekend in Dublin, tour the North Antrim coastline or drive around the beautiful Ring of Kerry:

everything you need to know is clearly laid out within colour-coded chapters. Discover the best of Ireland

with this indispensable travel guide.

Inside DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Ireland:

- Over 30 colour maps help you navigate with ease
- Simple layout makes it easy to find the information you need
- Comprehensive tours and itineraries of Ireland, designed for every interest and budget
- Illustrations depict Bunratty Castle, Dublin's Trinity College, the Giant's Causeway and more
- Colour photographs of Ireland's scenic coastline, national parks, castles, vibrant towns and cities, and more
- Detailed chapters, with area maps, cover Dublin and beyond, southeast Ireland, Cork and Kerry, the Lower

Shannon, the west of Ireland, northwest Ireland, the Midlands and Northern Ireland
- Historical and cultural context gives you a richer travel experience: learn about the country's history,

landscape and wildlife, Celtic heritage, music and literature, sporting events and festivals
- Essential travel tips: our expert choices of where to stay, eat, shop and sightsee, plus how to get around, visa and health information

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Ireland is a detailed, easy-to-use guide designed to help you get the most from

your visit to Ireland.



001_EW_Ireland_revised.indd 3 08/03/17 11:37 am



001_EW_Ireland_revised.indd 3 08/03/17 11:37 am

002-003_EW_Ireland_revised.indd 2 08/03/17 11:41 am



Main Contributors Lisa Gerard-Sharp and Tim Perry

002-003_EW_Ireland_revised.indd 3 08/03/17 11:41 am

Project Editor Ferdie McDonald
Art Editor Lisa Kosky Introducing Dublin Area
Editors Maggie Crowley, Simon Farbrother,
Emily Hatchwell, Seán O’Connell, Ireland by Area
Jane Simmonds
Designers Joy Fitzsimmons, Jaki Grosvenor,
Katie Peacock, Jan Richter Discovering Ireland 10 Dublin at a Glance 58
Researchers John Breslin, Andrea Holmes
Picture Researchers Sue Mennell, Putting Ireland on Southeast Dublin 60
Christine Rista the Map 16
DTP Designers Samantha Borland, Southwest Dublin 76
Adam Moore
A Portrait of Ireland 18
Contributors North of the Liffey 88
Una Carlin, Polly Phillimore, Susan Poole, The History of Ireland 34
Martin Walters Further Afield 98
Photographers Ireland Through
Joe Cornish, Tim Daly, Alan Williams
the Year 52 Shopping in Dublin 108
Draughtsman Maps, Maltings Partnership, Entertainment in
Robbie Polley
Dublin 112
Printed and bound in China
First published in the UK in 1995 by Dublin Street Finder 120
Dorling Kindersley Limited,
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, UK
17 18 19 20 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Reprinted with revisions 1996 (twice),
1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002,
2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008,
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,
2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Copyright 1995, 2017 © Dorling
Kindersley Limited, London
A Penguin Random House Company
All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in
a retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or
otherwise without the prior written
permission of the copyright owner.
A CIP catalogue record is available from
the British Library.
ISBN 978-0-24127-7728-7
Sunset over the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland

The information in this
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide is checked annually.
Every effort has been made to ensure that this book is as up-to-date as possible
at the time of going to press. Some details, however, such as telephone numbers,
opening hours, prices, gallery hanging arrangements and travel information are
liable to change. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for any consequences
arising from the use of this book, nor for any material on third party websites, and
cannot guarantee that any website address in this book will be a suitable source of
travel information. We value the views and suggestions of our readers very highly.
Please write to: Publisher, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides, Dorling Kindersley,
80 Strand, London, WC2R 0RL, UK, or email: [email protected]
Title page Inishowen Peninsula, Northwest Ireland. Front cover image Mussenden Temple, near Castlerock, Northern Ireland
Back cover image The Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary

004-005_EW_Ireland_revised.indd 4 17/03/2017 10:57


Ireland Region Travellers’ Needs Survival Guide
by Region

Ireland at a Glance 126 Where to Stay 292 Practical Information 350
Southeast Ireland 128 Where to Eat and Travel Information 360
Drink 304
Cork and Kerry 156 General Index 374
Shopping in Ireland 332
The Lower Shannon 184 Road Map
Entertainment in Inside Back Cover
The West of Ireland 204 Ireland 338

Northwest Ireland 224
The Midlands 240
Northern Ireland 258

The cast-iron Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin’s oldest pedestrian bridge

Celtic Cross Castletown House,
County Kildare

004-005_EW_Ireland_revised.indd 5 17/03/2017 10:57


This guide helps you to get the most from descriptions of all the important sights,
your visit to Ireland. It provides both expert with maps, pictures and illustrations.
recommendations and detailed practical Restaurant and hotel recommendations
information. Introducing Ireland maps can be found in Travellers’ Needs. The
the country and sets it in its historical Survival Guide has tips on everything from
and cultural context. The seven regional the telephone system to transport both in
chapters, plus Dublin Area by Area, contain the Republic and in Northern Ireland.

Dublin Area by Area DUBLIN AREA B Y AREA  77
Central Dublin is divided into SOUTHWEST DUBLIN All pages relating to Dublin have
The area around Dublin Castle was first
these old city walls can be seen at
three sightseeing areas. Each settled in prehistoric times, and it was from St Audoen’s Church. More conspicuous red thumb tabs.
reminders of the Anglo-Normans are
here that the city grew. Dublin gets its name
from the dark pool (Dubh Linn) which formed provided by the grand medieval Christ
at the confluence of the Liffey and the Church Cathedral and Ireland’s largest
has its own chapter, which Poddle, a river which once ran through the church, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. When
site of Dublin Castle. It is now channelled
the city expanded to the north and east
during the Georgian era, the narrow cobbled
underground and trickles out into the Liffey
by Grattan Bridge. Archaeological excavations streets of Temple Bar became a quarter of
opens with a list of the sights behind Wood Quay, on the banks of the skilled craftsmen and merchants. Today this A locator map shows where you
lively area of town bustles with tourists, and
Liffey, reveal that the Vikings established a
trading settlement here around 841. is home to a variety of “alternative” shops
Following Strongbow’s invasion of 1170, a
described. A fourth chapter, medieval city began to emerge; the Anglo- and cafés. The Powerscourt Centre, an are in relation to other areas of the
elegant 18th-century mansion, has been
Normans built strong defen sive walls around
converted into one of the city’s best
Further Afield, covers the the castle. A small reconstructed section of shopping centres. city centre.
Sights at a Glance
Museums and Libraries Historic Streets
suburbs and County Dublin. 2 Chester Beatty Library 5 Temple Bar
6 Wood Quay
8 Dublinia and the
Viking World
w Marsh’s Library Churches
7 Christ Church Cathedral pp84–5
Sights are numbered and Historic Buildings 9 St Audoen’s Church See also Street Finder map
1 Dublin Castle pp80–81
q Saint Patrick’s Cathedral
3 City Hall
e Whitefriar Street Carmelite
4 Powerscourt Centre Church pp122–3 Area Map For easy reference,
plotted on an Area Map. The 0 Tailors’ Hall Millennium Ha'penny Bridge 1the sights are numbered and
Sights at a Glance lists the A stunning stained-glass window in Christ Church Cathedral For map symbols see back flap
chapter’s sights by category: 78  DUBLIN AREA B Y AREA SOUTHWEST DUBLIN  79
Churches, Museums and Street-by-Street: Southwest Dublin Ha’penny Bridge O’Connell NORTH OF THE LIFFEY
Galleries, Historic Buildings, Despite its wealth of ancient buildings, such as Sunlight Chambers Bridge
Dublin Castle and Christ Church Cathedral,
were built in 1900 for
Parks and Gardens. this part of Dublin lacks the sleek appeal of the the Lever Brothers Millennium SOUTHWEST
company. The
neighbouring streets around Grafton Street.
delightful terracotta
However, redevelopment has helped to
decoration on the
rejuvenate the area, especially around Temple façade advertises SOUTHEEST
Bar, where the attractive cobbled streets are their main business of Locator Map
lined with interesting shops, galleries and cafés. soap manufacturing. See Street Finder map pp122–3
6 Wood Quay L I F F E Y T E M P L E B A R C R O W N A L L E Y 5. Temple Bar
This is where the Vikings W E L L I N G T O N Q U AY This arts and
established their first F O W N E S S T entertainments
permanent settlement
Street-by-Street Map in Ireland around 841. district occupies a
maze of nar row,
cobbled streets.
2This gives a bird’s-eye E S S E X Q U AY E S S E X S T E A S T E U S TA C E S T R E E T T E M P L E L A N E
view of the key area in PA R L I A M E N T S T R E E T C R A N E L A N E S Y C A M O R E S T D A M E S T R E E T Central Bank
of Ireland
each chapter. 7. Christ Church Cathedral F I S H A M B L E S T E S S E X S T W E S T between Drury Street and
George’s Street Arcade
Huge family monuments D A M E S T R E E T South Great George’s Street is
including that of the a popular spot for buying
19th Earl of Kildare can be second-hand clothes and
found in Ireland’s oldest D A M E C T antique jewellery.
cath edral, which also
L O R D E D W A R D S T S T H G T G E O R G E ’ S S T E X C H E Q U E R S T 4 Powerscourt
has a fascinating crypt.
This shopping
A suggested route for a walk C H R I S T C H U R C H P L C A S T L E S T W I L L I A M S T S O U T H Centre
centre is one
of the best places
in Dublin to
is shown in red. find fashion
acces sories and
arts and crafts.
St Werburgh’s Church, built D R U R Y S T
in the 18th-century, has an To Grafton Street
ornate interior hiding behind
its somewhat drab exterior.
3 City Hall
Originally built as the Royal
82  DUBLIN AREA B Y AREA SOUTHWEST DUBLIN  83 Exchange in 1779, the city’s
muni cipal headquarters is Key 0 metres 50
fronted by a huge
1960s turned it into a centre of premises to young artists and 8 Dublinia and the bustling market and the inside Corinthian portico. Suggested route 0 yards 50
specialist galleries, antique to record, clothing and book Viking World of a merchant’s kitchen.
shops, jewellery stalls, cafés and shops. The area developed an Medieval Dublin and the Major events in Dublin’s
other shop units. The enclosed “alternative” identity, and when Vikings are the subjects history, such as the Black Death
1. Dublin Castle
central courtyard, topped by a the development plans were of this interactive and the rebellion of Silken The Long Hall is a magnificent, old-
The Drawing Room, with its Waterford
glass dome, is a popular scrapped the artists and retailers museum, located in the Thomas (p42) are also crystal chandelier, is part of a suite of fashioned pub with a great atmosphere.
meeting place with Dubliners. stayed on. Described by some former Synod Hall of portrayed here as well as a Behind the narrow room’s long bar stands
luxurious rooms built in the 18th
The centre can also be reached cynics as the city’s “officially the Church of Ireland. large­scale model of Dublin
a bewildering array of antique clocks.
century for the Viceroys of Ireland.
from Grafton Street down the designated arts zone”, Temple For hotels and restaurants in this region see pp296–7 and pp308–11
circa 1500. An interactive
Johnson Court alley. Bar today is an exciting place archaeology room highlights
with bars, restaurants, shops excavations at nearby Wood
and several galleries. Stylish Quay (see p82).
5 Temple Bar residential and commercial The 60­m (200­ft) high St
development is contributing 078-079_EW_Ireland.indd All Pages Michael’s Tower offers one of 11/01/2016 12:52
Map C3. Temple Bar Information further to the area’s appeal. the best vantage points for
Tel 677 2255. See also Entertainment in
Dublin p118. Project Arts Centre: Highlights include the Project Former Synod Hall, now home to the Dublinia exhibition views across the city.
39 East Essex Street. Tel 881 9613. Arts Centre, a highly respected
Irish Film Institute: 6 Eustace Street. venue for avant­garde perform­ 7 Christ Church Neo­Gothic Synod Hall, which,
Central courtyard of Powerscourt Tel 679 5744. _ Diversions, (May– ance art; and the Irish Film Cathedral up until 1983, was home to the
Townhouse Shopping Centre Sep). ∑ Institute, which shows art See pp84–5. ruling body of the Church Stars indicate the sights that
house and inde pen dent films,
of Ireland. The building and
4 Powerscourt Some of Dublin’s best night and has a popular restaurant/ the hump­backed bridge
Centre spots, restaurants and unusual bar and shop. 8 Dublinia and the linking it to Christ Church
shops line these narrow, cobbled Nearby Meeting House
Cathedral date from the 1870s.
South William St. Map D4. Tel 679 streets running between the Square is one of the venues Viking World Before Dublinia was established no visitor should miss.
4144. Open 10am–6pm Mon–Fri (8pm Bank of Ireland (see p64) and for Diversions, a summer in 1993, the Synod Hall
Thu), 9am–6pm Sat, noon–6pm Sun. Christ Church Cathedral. In programme of free outdoor St Michael’s Hill. Map B3. Tel 679 4611. was used as a nightclub.
See also Shopping in Ireland pp332–3. the 18th century the area was concerts, theatre and film Open Mar–Sep: 10am–5pm; Oct–Feb: The exhibition is entirely
∑ home to many insalubrious screenings. The National 10am–4:30pm. Closed 17 Mar & interactive, encouraging the
23–26 Dec. & charge to enter Christ
Completed in 1774 by Robert characters – Fownes Street was Photographic Archive and Church Cathedral via bridge. 7 visitor to become an investi­
Mack, this grand mansion was noted for its brothels. It was also Gallery of Photography are also ∑ gator of Dublin’s past. Visitors
built as the city home of the birthplace of parliamentarian on the square and there is an enter via the basement where
Viscount Powerscourt, who also Henry Grattan (see p44). Skilled excellent organic food market The Dublinia exhibition covers the Viking World exhibition tells
had a country estate at craftsmen and artisans, such as here on Saturdays, where you the formative period of Dublin’s the story of the notorious Tower of St Audoen’s Church Detailed Information
Enniskerry (see pp138–9). Granite clockmakers and printers, lived can sample oysters, salmon, history from the arrival of the Scandianavian settlers. The 9 St Audoen’s
from the Powerscourt estate and worked around Temple Bar cheese and other local produce. Anglo­Normans in 1170 to the exhibition continues on the
was used in its construc tion. until post­war industrialization closure of the monasteries in ground floor, where a medieval Church 3The sights in Dublin are
Today the building houses one led to a decline in the the 1540s (see p42). The city is depicted through life­size High St, Cornmarket. Map B3.
of Dublin’s best shopping area’s fortunes. exhibition is housed in the recon structions including a Tel 677 0088. Open May–Oct
centres. Inside it still features the In the 1970s, the CIE (the 9:30am–5:30pm. 8
original grand mahogany national transport authority) The Vikings in Dublin described individually with
staircase, and detailed plaster­ bought up parcels of land in this Designated a national monu­
work by Michael Stapleton. area to build a major bus depot. Viking raiders arrived in Ireland in the late 8th century and founded ment and open for visitors
The building became a drap­ Before building, the CIE rented The Temple Bar pub, established in 1840, Dublin in 841. They built a fort where the River Poddle met the Liffey throughout the summer
at a black pool (Dubh Linn), on the site of Dublin Castle. They also
ery warehouse in the 1830s, and out, on cheap leases, some of located on Temple Bar established a settlement along the banks of the Liffey at Wood Quay months, St Audoen’s is the addresses, telephone numbers
major restoration during the the old retail and warehouse (see p82). Much of their trade was based on silver, slaves and piracy. earliest surviving medieval
6 Wood Quay church in Dublin.
Following their defeat by Brian Ború at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014
Map B3. (see p38), the Vikings integrated fully with the local Irish, adopting The 15th­century nave and information on opening
remains intact and the three
Christian beliefs. After Strongbow’s Anglo­Norman invasion in 1170
Named after the timber (see p40), the flourishing Hiberno­Viking trading community declined, bells date from 1423. The church
supports used to reclaim the and many were banished to a separate colony called Oxmanstown, stands in an attractive church­
land, Wood Quay has just north of the river. yard with well­maintained lawns
undergone excavations and shrubs. To the rear of the hours and admission charges.
revealing the remains of one churchyard, steps lead down to
of the earliest Viking villages St Audoen’s Arch, the only
in Ireland (see p83). The remaining gateway of the old
excavated area opened to city. Flanking the gate are
public view in 2008. restored sections of the
Valuable and informative 13th­century city walls.
Viking artifacts that were Next door stands St Audoen’s
discovered can be seen Roman Catholic Church, which
at the Dublinia exhibition was built in the 1840s. The two
(see p83) and at the National Artist’s impression of a Viking ship in Dublin Bay Pacific clam shells by the front
Strolling through the streets of Temple Bar Museum (see pp70–71). door hold holy water. Story boxes highlight note worthy
For hotels and restaurants in this region see pp296–303 and pp308–25
features of the sights.
006-007_EW_Ireland.indd 6 08/03/17 11:04 am

Clare • Limerick • Tipperary
In the three counties which flank the lower reaches of the
Shannon, Ireland’s longest river, the scenery ranges from the
rolling farm land of Tipperary to the eerie limestone plateau
of the Burren. The Shannon’s bustling riverside resorts draw Ireland Region by Region
many visitors, and there are medieval strongholds and Introduction The
atmospheric towns of great historic interest. The region
also boasts a vibrant music scene. 1landscape, history and
The River Shannon has long made this Ormonde, who held much land in Apart from Dublin, Ireland has
area an attractive prospect for settlers. Tipperary, and the Fitzgeralds, the main character of each region
There are several important Stone Age land owners in the Limerick area. From the
sites, including a major settlement by Middle Ages, Limerick was often at the been divided into seven regions,
Lough Gur. From the 5th century, the centre of events in the Lower Shannon. In is described here,
region lay at the heart of Munster, one of 1691, the army of William of Orange laid
Ireland’s four Celtic provinces. The Rock of siege to the town, heralding the Treaty of each of which has a separate
Cashel, a remarkable fortified abbey in Limerick that triggered the Catholic showing how the area
county Tipperary, was the seat of the Kings nobility’s departure for Europe – the
of Munster for more than 700 years. so-called “Flight of the Wild Geese”. chapter. The most interesting
The Vikings penetrated the Shannon in Lush grassland, which has turned the has developed over the
the 10th century, but Gaelic clans put up Lower Shannon into prime dairy coun try,
stern resistance. During the Norman is typical of the region. In places this gives
period, the chieftains of these clans built way to picturesque glens and mountains, centuries and what it towns and places to visit in each
Bunratty Castle and other fortresses that such as the Galty range in southern
were impressive enough to rival the Tipperary. The region’s most dramatic offers to the visitor today.
strongholds erected by the Anglo-Irish scenery, however, is found along the coast area have been numbered on
dynasties. Foremost among the latter of Clare, a county otherwise best known
families were the Butlers, the Earls of for its thriving traditional music scene.
a Regional Map.
186  IRELAND REGION B Y REGION THE L OWER SHANNON  187 Each region of Ireland can be
Exploring the Lower Shannon quickly identified by its colour
The central location of Limerick city makes it a natural focus for
visitors to the region. However, there are many charming towns coding, shown on the inside
that make pleasanter bases, such as Adare, Cashel and also
Killaloe, which is well placed for exploring the River Shannon.
Most places of interest in Tipperary lie in the southern part of front cover.
the county, where historic towns such as Clonmel and Cahir
overlook the River Suir. County Clare’s small villages are full of
Ruins of Dysert O’Dea monastery in County Clare with an outstanding 12th-century High Cross
character and some, such as Doolin, are renowned for
traditional music. The county is also home to Bunratty Castle
Abbey Street in the charming town of Ennis, County Clare Boats sailing on Lough Derg near Mountshannon
and the Burren.
Galway Banagher Key
Galway Motorway
Sights at a Glance Murroogh Burren Shannon Birr Motorway under construction
Black Head
1 The Burren pp190–92 Ballyvaughan Tullamore Major road Regional Map This shows
2 Cliffs of Moher Aillwee Cave Portumna Secondary road
3 Kilrush Lisdoonvarna Carrigahorig Minor road
4 Glin Doolin THE BURREN Borrisokane Shinrone Scenic route
5 Foynes CLIFFS OF Mullaghmore Maghera 399m Coolbaun Borris in Major railway 2the road network and gives
6 River Shannon MOHER Kilfenora Whitegate ROSCREA Ossory
7 Dysert O’Dea Ennistymon Corofin Crusheen Scarriff Minor railway
8 Ennis Liscannor DYSERT O'DEA CLARE Lough MOUNTSHANNON Portlaoise County border an illustrated overview of the
9 Knappogue Castle Milltown Inagh CRAGGAUNOWEN Derg Moneygall Summit
0 Craggaunowen Malbay ENNIS KILLALOE
q Mountshannon Mutton Clare Abbey Dolla Templemore
w Killaloe Island Quilty KNAPPOGUE CASTLE Birdhill Johnstown Portlaoise whole region. All interesting
e Bunratty Castle & Folk Park BUNRATTY CASTLE Slievekimalta
pp196–7 Creegh Silver Mine Mountains Borrisoleigh
r Limerick Kilkee Doonbeg Knockalough Shannon Milestone Thurles Urlingford
t Adare Killadysert RIVER SHANN ON LIMERICK Slievefelim Mountains places to visit are numbered
y Lough Gur Carrigaholt KILRUSH Killimer Mulke ar Pallas HOLY CROSS ABBEY
u Roscrea Scattery Island Labasheeda Askeaton M aigue Mungret TIPPERAR Y
i Holy Cross Abbey Tarbert FOYNES Ballyneety Green Dundrum Killenaule Callan Kilkenny and there are also useful tips
o Cashel pp199–201 Loop Head Kilbaha GLIN Rathkeale ADARE
p Athassel Priory LIMERIC K LOUGH GUR Golden CASHEL
a Glen of Aherlow Tralee Athea Bruff Tipperary ATHASSEL Fethard Ninemile
s Chair Newcastle Ballingarry Bansha PRIORY house on getting around the region
d Clonmel West Deel Bruree Knocklong AHERLOW Slievenamon Ahenny
f Carrick-on-Suir Feale Killmallock Galbally CLONMEL
Abbeyfeale Rath Luirc Galtymore Mountain CAHIR
Kilkinlea Galty Mountains Kilcommon Waterford by car and train.
Mullaghareirk Dromcolliher CARRICK-
Killarney Brosna Mountains Clogheen Suir
Rockchapel Mitchelstown Ballymacarbry
Mount Melleray
Cork 793m
Getting Around Cork
Roads extend from Limerick into every corner of the
region, providing good access for motorists; the car ferry
from Tarbert in Kerry to Killimer, near Kilrush in Clare, is a
convenient route across the Shannon. Trains from
Limerick serve Cahir, Clonmel and Carrick, but in other
areas you must rely on the bus network. This is rather 0 kilometres 20
limited, especially in County Clare, although buses to the 0 miles 20
Burren from Limerick pass the Cliffs of Moher. Some of
Looking up at the Cliffs of Moher the most popular sights, such as Bunratty Castle and the Painted pub sign in Cashel
Burren, can be reached on bus tours from Limerick.
For hotels and restaurants in this region see pp296–303 and pp308–25 For additional map symbols see back flap
and Chantry Chapel, two o Cashel
evocative 12th-century ruins. Road map C5. Co Tipperary.
Getting Around gives tips on The grace ful 15th-century * 11,400. @ n Heritage Centre,
Franciscan Friary, however, is
Town Hall, Main St (062 62511).
surround ed by the golf course,
travel within the region. though it can be seen clearly The great attraction of the town
from the pathway.
is the magnificent medieval
In the heart of the village is
the elegant Dunraven Arms Rock of Cashel (see pp200–201).
Hotel (see p299) from where the A private path leads to the rock
local hunt rides to hounds. from Cashel Palace Hotel (see
Some of the nearby cottages, p299), an opulent Queen Anne
originally built by the Earl of residence that was once the
Dunraven in 1828 for his Façade of Cashel Palace Hotel Bishop’s Palace. Nearby, the
remnant of a 12th-century
estate workers, have been
Detailed Information All Typical thatched cottage in the village of Adare over-restored by the first Earl of converted into pleasant cafés foundations. The interpretive i Holy Cross Abbey castle has been turned into
centre, which is housed in mock
Kearney Castle Hotel. In the
and restaurants.
t Adare
Road map C5. Thurles, Co Tipperary.
evening you can sample
Stone Age huts on the site of
Tel 0504 43124. £ @ to Thurles.
Road map B5. Co Limerick. * 2,000. Dunraven; it is now a Catholic y Lough Gur the original settlement, offers a Open 9am–8pm daily. traditional Irish culture at the
Brú Ború Cultural Centre.
3the important towns and @ n Heritage Centre, Main St by a stone-arched bridge, is Road map B5. Co Limerick. Heritage models of stone circles, burial & 8 7 ∑ Named after Brian Ború, the
church and convent. Opposite,
range of audiovisual displays,
(061 396666). Open daily.
10th-century king of
the Washing Pool, a restored
chambers and tools and weapons.
Founded in 1169 by the
Centre: Tel 061 385186. Open 10am–
Munster (see pp38–9), the
Benedictines, Holy Cross
wash-house site.
As well as the various pre-
5pm Mon–Fri; 12–6pm weekends &
other places to visit are Adare is billed as Ireland’s By the main bridge, on the bank hols. & 7 limited. - historic sites scattered all over was supposedly centre offers
the Knockadoon Peninsula, there endowed with
prettiest village. Cynics call it the Limerick road, is the Augus­
folk theatre,
prettiest “English” village since
a splinter
tinian Priory which was
are two castle ruins from more
its manicured perfection is at founded by the Fitzgeralds in This Stone Age settlement, recent times beside the lough – from the True music, banquets,
described individually. They odds with normal notions of 1316. Also known as Black 21 km (14 miles) south of the 15th-century Bourchier’s Cross, hence its name. and a craft shop. At the
Now it has been re stored,
foot of the Rock is the
Abbey, this well-restored priory
Castle and Black Castle, a
Limerick, was extensively
national beauty. Originally a fief
in habited in 3000 BC. Today the
has a central tower, subtle car-
of the Fitzgeralds, the Earls of
and the church is
13th-century seat of the Earls
13th-century Dominican
Friary. This austere sand-
are listed in order, following Kildare, Adare owes its present vings, delightful cloisters and a horseshoe-shaped lough and of Desmond. once again a popular tower and lancet windows.
surrounding hills enclose an
stone church has a fine
appearance more to the Earls of
graceful sedilia – a carved triple
place of worship and
west door, a 15th-century
seat. Just over the bridge, from
archaeological park. All around
Dunraven, who restored the
pilgrimage. Most of
the present structure
u Roscrea
village in the 1820s and 1830s.
Lough Gur are standing stones
where it is best viewed, is
the numbering on the The village is a picture of neat Desmond Castle, a13th-century and burial mounds, including Road map C4. Co Tipperary. * 4,600. dates from the 15th Crucifixion carving On farmland outside
feudal castle set on the banks of megalithic tombs. One of the
century. It was built by
stonework and thatched roofs
Cashel lie the scant
£ @ n Heritage Centre, Castle St
punctuated by pretty ruins,
remains of Hore
the River Maigue – tickets are
most impressive sights is the
the Cistercians, who
all in a woodland setting. available from the Heritage Grange Stone Circle, dating (0505 21850). Open Easter–Sep: daily. took over the abbey at Holy Cross Abbey Abbey, a 13th-century
in 1180. This gracious
Cistercian foundation.
Centre (Jun–end Sep).
Regional Map. Within each Heritage Centre, which includes Nearby stands the main gate the park, by the Limerick– This monastic town on the cruciform church, embellished The abbey was remodelled and
The tourist office is at the
back to 2,200 BC, just outside
banks of the River Bunnow has
with mullioned win dows
a tower added in the 15th
a good exhibition on Adare’s
to Adare Manor, a luxury hotel
Kilmallock road. Excavations
in the 1970s unearthed
century, but the barrel-vaulted
an interesting historic centre.
and sculpted pillars, is one
and golf course (see p299).
monastic history. Next door is
town or city, there is detailed the Trinitarian Priory, founded Within its 900 ha (2,220 acres) of rectangular, oval and rounded The 13th-century Anglo- of the finest examples of late sacristy, the nave and chapter
parkland lie St Nicholas Church Stone Age huts with stone
by the Fitzgeralds in 1230 and
Norman Roscrea Castle consists Gothic architecture in Ireland.
house are all original.
of a gate tower, curtain walls
Nearby, Farney Castle is
and two corner towers. In the the only round tower in F Brú Ború Cultural Centre
information on important courtyard stands Damer House, Ireland that is occupied as Cashel. Tel 062 61122. Open mid-Jun–
Aug: Tue–Sat; Sep–mid-Jun: Mon–Fri.
a Queen Anne-style residence
a family home. It was built
Closed 24 Dec–2 Jan. 7 =
with a magni ficent staircase and in 1495 and is currently the
buildings and other sights. Georgian garden. Just over the design studio and retail outlet R Dominican Friary
river lies St Cronan’s Monastery, of Irish international designer
with a High Cross, Romanesque
Dominic Street. 7 limited.
Cyril Cullen.
church gable and a truncated
round tower. There are remains
of a 15th-century Franciscan
Friary on Abbey Street and the
renovated Blackmills now
houses the St Cronan’s High
Cross and the Roscrea Pillar.
+ Roscrea Castle & Gardens
Castle Street. Tel 0505 21850. Open
Mar–Sep: 10am–6pm daily. & 7
Neo-Gothic Adare Manor, former home of the Earls of Dunraven limited. 8 ∑ Ruins of Hore Abbey (1272) with the Rock of Cashel in the background
For hotels and restaurants in this region see pp299–300 and pp316–18
This rocky stronghold, which rises dramatically out of the Tipperary plain, was a symbol 198-199_EW_Ireland.indd All Pages Practical information 11/01/2016 12:53
of royal and priestly power for more than a millennium. From the 4th or 5th century it Road Map C5. Cashel.
was the seat of the Kings of Munster, whose kingdom extended over much of southern Tel 062 61437.
Ireland. In 1101, they handed Cashel over to the Church, and it flourished as a religious Open daily. Early Jun–mid-Sep:
9am–7pm; mid-Mar–early Jun &
centre until a siege by a Crom-wellian army in 1647 culminated in the massacre of its mid-Sep–mid-Oct: 9am–5:30pm;
3,000 occupants. The cathedral, which is subject to ongoing renovation, was finally mid-Oct–mid-Mar: 9am–4:30pm. The Visitors’ Checklist
abandoned in the late 18th century. A good proportion of the medieval complex is North Transept Closed 24–26 Dec. & 7 8
still standing, and Cormac’s Chapel is one of the most outstanding examples of Panels from three 16th-century tombs in the north transept Transport provides all the practical
are decorated with remarkably fresh and intricate carvings.
Romanesque architecture in the country. This one, against the north wall, features a vine-leaf design £ to Thurles. @ to Cashel.
and strange stylized beasts.
. St Patrick’s Cross The Rock information you will need
Hall of the The carving on the east face of The 28-m (92-ft) round
Vicars’ Choral this cross is said to be of St tower, the oldest and to plan your visit to all the
This hall was built in Patrick, who visited Cashel in 450. tallest building on the
the 15th century for The cross is a copy of the rock, enabled Cashel’s
Cashel’s most privi leged original which inhabitants to scour the
choristers. The ceiling, a stood here until surrounding plain for top sights.
modern reconstruction 1982 and is now potential attackers.
based on medieval in the museum.
designs, features
several decorative
corbels including this
painted angel.
Ireland’s Top Sights These are
4given two or more full pages.
1 Limestone rock Historic buildings are dissected
2 Outer wall
3 The Museum in the under- Key to reveal their interiors. The
croft contains a display of stone 12th Century
carvings, including the original 4 St Patrick’s Cross
St Patrick’s Cross. 12 Cormac’s Chapel
4 Dormitory block most interesting towns or
5 Crossing 13 Round tower

13th Century
6 Round tower 6 Cathedral porch
7 The Choir contains the 7 Nave city centres are shown in a
17th-century tomb of Miler Magrath, 8 Crossing
who caused a scandal by being both 9 South transept
a Protestant and Catholic archbishop 10 Choir
at the same time. 11 North transept bird’s-eye view, with sights
8 Graveyard . Cathedral 15th Century
The roofless Gothic cathedral
9 The O’Scully Monument, an . Cormac’s Chapel has thick walls riddled with 1 2 Ticket office
Hall of the Vicars’
ornate memorial erected in 1870 Superb Romanesque carving adorns this hidden passages; in the north 0 metres 500 Choral (museum) picked out and described.
by a local landowning family, was chapel – the jewel of Cashel. The tympanum transept these are seen 0 yards 500 3 Dormitory
dam aged during a storm in 1976. over the north door shows a centaur in a emerging at the base of 5 Castle
helmet aiming his bow and arrow at a lion. the windows.
For hotels and restaurants in this region see pp296–303 and pp308–25
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Discovering Ireland 10–15

Putting Ireland on the Map 16–17
A Portrait of Ireland 18–33
The History of Ireland 34–51
Ireland Through the Year 52–55

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The following itineraries have been designed whole country covers many of Ireland’s must-
to take in as many of Ireland’s highlights as see sights, stopping off at cities and areas of
possible, while keeping long-distance travel great natural beauty. Extra suggestions are
manageable. First comes a two-day tour of provided for those who want to extend their
the country’s capital, Dublin. There is a three- trip to 10 days. Finally, there is a superb two-
day tour of Northern Ireland, with some time week tour of the whole country, which takes in
spent in the fascinating city of Belfast, as well all the sights of the one-week tour and more.
as a trip to the beautiful Ards Peninsula and Pick, combine and follow your favourite tours,
the Causeway Coast. A one-week tour of the or simply dip in and out and be inspired.
Horn Head Castle Giant’s Causeway
Bloody Foreland Benone Strand Old Bushmills
The Rosses DONEGAL Derry
Glencolmcille NORTHERN
Donegal IRELAND Ulster Folk and
Transport Museum
TYRONE Belfast Mount Stewart
Sligo DOWN Strangford
ARMAGH Downpatrick
Island MAYO
Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge Westport ROSCOMMON
Hanging 25 m (80 ft) above the sea, the Carrick-a-rede Kylemore LONGFORD
Rope Bridge spans a scary 20-m (65-ft) chasm across Abbey MEATH Boyne Valley
to a tiny rocky island. Connemara NP REPUBLIC OF Newgrange and Knowth
Clifden Hill of Tara
Ballyvaughan Powerscourt
• Spend a day exploring Doolin Mullaghmore Military Road
the city of Dublin, Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher LAOIS WICKLOW Wicklow
buzzing capital. CLARE Mountains
• Drive around the beautiful, Kilkee
Bunratty Castle CARLOW
Ring of Kerry, taking in sea Killimer Limerick Kilkenny
views along the way. Tarbert TIPPERARY
• See the breathtaking LIMERICK Cashel
Cliffs of Moher in the KILKENNY WEXFORD
Burren, County Clare. Peninsula Tralee
Ballyferriter Waterford
• Seek out great music in the KERRY
vibrant city of Galway.
Killarney CORK
• Explore the North Antrim Youghal
Coastline, stopping off at Ring of Kerry Kenmare Cork Midleton
the beautiful sandy beach
of Benone Strand.
Bantry Kinsale
• Stand in awe at the
magnificent Giant’s Stone Circle
Causeway in County Antrim. Baltimore
• Visit the passage tombs of
Newgrange in the Boyne Key
Valley to find out about One week in Ireland
Ireland’s prehistoric past. Two weeks in Ireland
A View of Powerscourt by George Barret the Elder (c. 1728 –84)
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Two Weeks in Ireland

• Get to know Ireland’s vibrant
capital, Dublin.
• Discover the wild Wicklow
Mountains; spend some
time shopping and eating in
the lovely city of Kilkenny.
• Visit the oldest city in Ireland –
Kilkenny Waterford – founded by
The picturesque city of Kilkenny the Vikings in 914.
Dunluce sits on the banks of the River Nore.
Horn Head Castle Giant’s Causeway • Take a tour of the scenic
Bloody Foreland Benone Strand Old Bushmills Dingle Peninsula and
Distillery spend an evening in the
The Rosses DONEGAL Derry laid-back town of Dingle.
• Walk in the beautiful
Connemara National Park;
Glencolmcille NORTHERN end the day in Westport.
Donegal IRELAND Ulster Folk and • Scramble over the weird
Transport Museum
TYRONE Belfast Mount Stewart
House and wonderful landscape
of the Giant’s Causeway
Sligo DOWN Strangford in County Antrim.
ARMAGH Downpatrick
Island MAYO Giant’s
CAVAN Dunluce Causeway
LOUTH Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Westport ROSCOMMON Benone Strand Portrush Old
LONGFORD Bushmills
Kylemore Distillery Three Days in
Abbey MEATH Boyne Valley
Connemara NP REPUBLIC OF Newgrange and Knowth Derry DERRY Northern Ireland
Clifden Hill of Tara ANTRIM
Ballyvaughan KILDARE Powerscourt TYRONE Belfast Millisle
Doolin Mullaghmore Military Road Mount Stewart
Cliffs of Moher LAOIS WICKLOW Wicklow House
CLARE Mountains DOWN Portaferry
Ennis Armagh Strangford
Kilkee Downpatrick
Bunratty Castle CARLOW ARMAGH
Killimer Limerick Kilkenny
Peninsula Tralee Three Days in Northern Ireland
Ballyferriter Waterford
Killarney CORK • Head out from Belfast • Visit the walled city of
Youghal to explore the stunning Londonderry and learn
Ring of Kerry Kenmare Cork Ards Peninsula; stop about its history at the
off to tour Mount Tower Museum.
Stewart House.
Bantry Kinsale • See the atmospheric
0 kilometres 50 • Spend an evening in ruins of Dunluce Castle
Stone Circle 0 miles 50 Belfast’s historic perched on a cliff on the
drinking palace, the Causeway Coastline.
Crown Liquor Saloon. • Explore the Giant’s
• Wander the streets of Causeway and walk the
one of Ireland’s oldest scary Carrick-a-rede
cities, Armagh. Rope Bridge.
010-011_EW_Ireland.indd 11 08/03/17 11:04 am


Two Days in Dublin End the day with a trip to the
outstanding Titanic Quarter
(p283). Visit the interactive
Ireland’s vibrant capital is Titanic Belfast attraction to learn
fairly small, but jam-packed about the construction and
with things to see and do. voyage of the ill-fated ship.
• Arriving Dublin Airport is Day 2: Armagh and
12 km (7 miles) north of the Londonderry
city. The express coach, From Belfast, travel to Armagh
or a taxi, takes around (p278), worth visiting for the
30 minutes to get to the city. planetarium set in picturesque
The grand façade of Trinity College’s School gardens with good views
of Law, Dublin over the city, and for the two
Day 1 St Patrick’s Cathedrals facing
Devote an hour to the magnif- Three Days in each other across the city.
icent National Museum – Northern Ireland The mall in the centre of the
Archaeology (pp70–71). old town makes for a fine
Afterwards, visit Trinity College • Arriving Arrive and depart stroll. Continue on through
(pp66–7) to see the breathtaking from Belfast International Fermanagh to the walled city of
Book of Kells Exhibition, and or Belfast City Airport. Londonderry (pp262–3). Visit the
take a break in the college’s • Transport A car is essential Tower Museum for an unbiased
lovely grounds. From here, it’s a for the Antrim Coast and account of the city’s history
short walk to Temple Bar (p82), the Ards Peninsula. during the Troubles. Another
a good place to stop off for exhibit, An Armada Shipwreck,
lunch. Venture a little way out • Booking ahead In the focuses on the largest ship of
of the centre to visit the height of the summer the Spanish Armada.
Guinness Storehouse (p102) pre-booking a hire car is
to find out all there is to know advisable. Pre-book a black
about the nation’s famous brew. cab tour of the Belfast murals.
Take a trip to the National
Museum of Ireland –
Decorative Arts & History Day 1: The Ards Peninsula
(p105) where the rich history of Start early and head east out of
Ireland is told through its crafts. Belfast to explore a less-visited
In the evening see a play at the area, the Ards Peninsula (p284),

wonderful Gate Theatre (p94). for its wonderful sights and
beautiful scenery. Follow the
Day 2 coast road through Bangor
Begin your day with a visit to and the pretty seaside town
architecturally eclectic Christ of Donaghadee to Millisle,
Church Cathedral (pp84–5). where the fully functional
Just across the road is Dublinia Ballycopeland Windmill makes
and the Viking World (p83), an interesting place to pause.
where the history of Viking Head westwards towards Titanica, a sculpture by Rowan Gillespie, in
Dublin is on display. Take the Strangford Lough and stop at front of Titanic Belfast
excellent tour of Dublin Castle Mount Stewart House (pp286–7)
(pp80–81) and visit the Chester with its lovely gardens and Day 3: The Causeway Coast
Beatty Library (p81) to see the excellent guided tours of the From Londonderry, the day’s
beautiful historic manuscripts. house. From here, follow the driving brings you to some of
Pick up a picnic lunch and shores of the Lough southwards the finest unspoiled coastal
stroll down Grafton Street pausing to look at the ruins of scenery in the British Isles. The
to the pretty, ancient park of Grey Abbey. Take the ferry from journey begins on the North
St Stephen’s Green (pp64–5). Portaferry and continue on to Antrim Coastline (p265). Head
Walk to Fitzwilliam Square Downpatrick (p285) where the along the shores of Lough Foyle
(p72) and stop off at no. 29 for a County Museum and Down to Benone Strand (p264) to
fascinating insight into middle- Cathedral are both well worth enjoy the fine, golden sandy
class Georgian life. Visit the a visit. From here, head back to beach. Portrush (p264) is the
National Gallery of Ireland Belfast (pp280–83) where you next stopping point, a busy but
(p74–5) to see the small but can admire the unspoiled pretty seaside town. Moving on,
significant collection of Irish Victoriana of the Crown Liquor admire the ruins of Dunluce
and international art, and in the Saloon. A drive around west Castle (p265) before stopping
evening, enjoy the craic in one Belfast reveals the city’s dark off at the Old Bushmills
of the south side’s lively pubs. history, told in its vivid murals. Distillery (p270) for a tour and
For practical information on travelling around Ireland, see pp365–73

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a whiskey sampling session.
The highlight of the day is the
wonderful landscape of the
Giant’s Causeway (pp266–7),
made up of basalt columns.
Continue on to the Carrick-a-
rede Rope Bridge (p265) – it
makes a fine adventure for
those with a strong stomach.
Relax for the rest of the day
and enjoy the stunning views
as the road follows the coast
back towards Belfast.
One Week in Ireland
The Rock of Cashel, rising dramatically out over the Tipperary plain
• Arriving Arrive and depart
from Dublin Airport or To extend your trip… Day 5: Galway to Sligo
by ferry from Liverpool Spend two days on the Head towards Clifden (pp210–
or Holyhead. beautiful Dingle Peninsula 11), through stunning lakeland
(pp162–3) and stay a night and mountain scenery. From
• Transport A car is essential here, head to Westport (pp208),
in Dingle town (p161).
for this trip. stopping off to visit Westport
House. Next, travel to Sligo
Day 4: Tralee to Galway (p238) a busy rural town with
Day 1: Dublin From Tralee head towards a vibrant arts scene.
Pick a day from the city itinerary Limerick (p195). Here, visit the
on p12. Hunt Museum, with its superb To extend your trip…
collection of antiquities, and the Visit beautiful Achill Island
Day 2: Kilkenny to Cashel beautiful St Mary’s Cathedral. (p208) in County Mayo.
Visit Kilkenny (pp146–8) for Next stop is Ennis (p193), a It is easily reached by a
some elegant architecture, the pretty, working town with some road bridge.
medieval St Canice’s Cathedral, old­fashioned restaurants. Stop
the beautifully restored Kilkenny off for lunch in Ennis before
Castle and some great shopping heading towards the coast and Day 6: Northern Ireland
opportunities. Take a tour of the stunning Cliffs of Moher From Sligo, head towards Derry
the Nicholas Mosse Pottery (p188). From here you can and spend a day exploring the
Factory (p333), in nearby follow winding coastal roads North Antrim Coastline (p265).
Bennettsbridge. Next, visit through Ballyvaughan in the Make the first stop at Benone
Cashel (p199) with its imposing Burren to Galway (pp214–5). Strand (p264), an amazing
medieval abbey. Round the day The city has lively nightlife with stretch of sandy beach. Visit the
off with a trip to the Brú Ború lots of options for traditional seaside town of Portrush (p264)
Cultural Centre, also in Cashel. and not­so­traditional music. before moving on to the ruins of
Dunluce Castle (p265). The
Day 3: Ring of Kerry highlight is the Giant’s Causeway:
Start the day in the lively town it’s easy to spend a couple of
of Killarney (p163), where you hours wandering this bizarre, but
can enjoy Irish tourism at its beautiful landscape. End the day
most flamboyant. Killarney has with dinner in Belfast (pp280–3).
many attractive features, and it
makes a good base, but it is the Day 7: The Boyne Valley
circular drive around the Ring The route back to Dublin
of Kerry (pp168–9), stopping at lies through Newgrange and
quaint villages and taking in the the Boyne Valley (pp248–9).
stunning seascapes, that really Here you will find passage
makes the trip worthwhile. graves, ancient ring forts and
End the tour in Tralee (pp160– Neolithic artwork. Admission
61), a working town steeped to the passage tombs are by
in tradi tional Irish culture. tour only and cannot be
Pay a visit to the County Kerry booked in advance. Heading
Museum, and take in a perfor­ on, leave the M1 for Balbriggan
mance of Siamsa Tíre – the The beautiful, dramatic landscape of the and follow the coastal roads
National Folk Theatre of Ireland. Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim towards Dublin.

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Two Weeks in Ireland Follow the coast road to
Youghal (p183) with its medieval
town walls and imposing clock
• Airports Arrive and depart tower. From here, travel to
from Dublin Airport or Midleton to visit the 18th-
by ferry from Liverpool century Old Midleton Distillery
or Holyhead. (p183) – it is Ireland’s largest.
• Transport A car is essential Take a tour and sample some
for this trip. of the fine whiskey produced
here. Finish your day in the city
of Cork (pp178–9) and take a
Day 1: Dublin trip out to Blarney Castle
Pick a day from the city itinerary (p175). The pretty village of
on p12. Blarney itself has some nice
pubs in which to while away
Day 2: Wicklow to Kilkenny the evening.
Head south out of the city
towards Enniskerry, where there Day 4: West Cork
are fine gardens and a house Visit the English Market (p180) Colourfully painted buildings lining a street
to explore at Powerscourt in Cork to admire the local in Dingle town
(pp138–9). From here you can cheeses and vegetables and
follow part of the Military Road perhaps pick up a picnic lunch. before driving around the
(p142) that winds through the Next, head towards Kinsale Iveragh Peninsula, traditionally
windswept Wicklow Mountains (pp176–7) and spend a morning known as the Ring of Kerry
(p143). If the weather is fine, exploring this historic town. In (pp168–9). Pause at one
forgo the pleasures of the cafés the afternoon, travel along the or two of the little villages
at Powerscourt and take a coast through tiny villages and along the way and enjoy the
picnic lunch. There are plenty of lovely seascapes towards Bantry. spectacular scenery. Spend the
stunning beauty spots en route Look out for signposts to the night in Tralee (pp160–61), a
to take a break. Leave the circuit Drombeg Stone Circle (p174) workaday, but pretty town.
at Laragh and head towards and, if there is time, take in
Kilkenny (pp146–7) where there the attractive seaside town of Day 6: Dingle Peninsula
is excellent shopping, good Baltimore (p174). Bantry (p171) Take a tour around the beautiful
restaurants and, if time allows, makes an excellent place to Dingle Peninsula (pp162–3),
Kilenny Castle (p148) to explore. stop for the night – there are and stop off in the town of
good restaurants and music Dingle (p161) for a seafood
Day 3: Kilkenny to Cork City here most nights in summer. lunch in one of the bars in the
Head towards Waterford bay. Spend a couple of hours
(pp150–51), Ireland’s oldest city. Day 5: Ring of Kerry enjoying the pleasures of this
The three Waterfront Treasures via Kenmare colourful town, then travel to
museums tell the story of the Take the stunning trip over the the Blasket Centre (p162) to
city’s rise and fall. Also take time Caha mountains via Glengarriff find out more about the islands.
to visit the Waterford Crystal to Kenmare (p170), a great base Now uninhabited, they once
Visitor Centre, where regular tours for exploring the Ring of Kerry. supported a strong Gaelic
explain the process of creating Stop for lunch at one of the community and culture. Visit
the city’s beautiful glassware. town’s gourmet restaurants Ballyferriter (p162) to watch
pots being made.
Day 7: Clare and the Burren
Making use of the Killimer-
Tarbert ferry, follow the coast
roads through Kilkee, Milltown
Malbay, the Cliffs of Moher
and Doolin (p192) for their
elemental, windswept views
and pleasant villages. Doolin
is home to some excellent
traditional music. Start your
exploration of the Burren
(pp190–92) in wild and beautiful
Mullaghmore (p192). The town
of Ennis (p193) is an excellent
place to stop for the night, not
Powerscourt House and its beautiful gardens, Wicklow least for its musical pub life.
For practical information on travelling around Ireland, see pp365–73

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Day 8: Limerick to Galway
Turning south, spend the
morning in Limerick (p195)
admiring the amazing collection
of antiquities in the Hunt
Museum, and the austere
St Mary’s Cathedral. In the
afternoon, visit the beautifully
restored Bunratty Castle & Folk
Park (pp196–7). The Folk Park
has meticulously recreated
19th­century rural life in Ireland
and is well worth a visit. Next,
move on to Galway city (pp214–
5), and spend the evening in
one of the restaurants or bars
lining Quay Street. A calm sea inlet on the Sky Road, near Clifden, County Galway
Day 9: Connemara The Rosses (p232), an area highlight of the day, however,
From Galway, follow the coast studded with lakes and inlets, is a trip to the magnificent
roads through Roundstone and and on to the Bloody Foreland Giant’s Causeway (pp266–7).
Clifden and the Sky Road (p228) named for the red hues Made up of basalt columns
(pp10–11), a circular route with of the rocks at sunset. For truly stretching out into the sea, the
spectacular ocean views. Visit stunning views, make for Horn causeway warrants a good
the organic farm of Dan O’Hara’s Head (p229), and if the weather hour’s exploration.
Homestead (p211), just east is fine, take a dip at the Killahoey
of Clifden, and the lovely lakeside Strand, the local beach. End the Day 13: Belfast and Down
castle of Kylemore Abbey day’s driving in Londonderry. Head east towards Belfast and
(p212). Walks in the beautiful the scenic Ards Peninsula
Connemara National Park Day 12: Derry to Antrim (p284). From Belfast follow the
(p212) are accessible through Spend the day on the North coast road through Bangor,
the visitor centre. End your Antrim coastline. From London­ stopping off at the Ulster Folk
day in the smart little town of derry, head north towards and Transport Museum (p284)
Westport (p208). Benone Strand (p264). Look out on the way. Further west is
for the Martello tower at the Mount Stewart House
Day 10: Mayo and Sligo western end of this beautiful, (pp286–7). Break here for lunch
Start the day with a visit to sandy stretch of beach. Continue and explore the lovely gardens.
the beautifully renovated 18th­ on to the atmospheric ruins of Continue on to Portaferry,
century Westport House (p208). Dunluce Castle (p265), perched where you can take the ferry
Next, move on to Achill Island on a crag on the Causeway across to Downpatrick (p285)
(p208), and enjoy the seascapes coastline. Next stop is the Old to visit Down Cathedral and
of the Atlantic Coast Drive. Bushmills Distillery (p270), the interesting county museum.
Head to Sligo (p238) for lunch where you can stop for a tour From here, drive back to Belfast
and check out the Model Arts & and a whiskey tasting. The for the evening.
Niland Gallery in the town
for wonderful paintings by Day 14: Boyne Valley and
Jack B Yeats. Look out for the the Midlands
statue of his brother, Ireland’s Travel south to Newgrange and
most famous poet, W B Yeats, the Boyne Valley (pp248–9),
on Stephen Street. The Sligo the spiritual heartland of
County Museum on the same Ireland. Visit the mysterious
street houses a collection of passage tombs at Newgrange
Yeats memorabilia. (pp250–51) and Knowth (p249) –
both sites are accessed via tours
Day 11: Donegal run by the visitor centre near
The coast of Donegal is one Newgrange. Be prepared for
of the least visited and most long queues. Next, head to
beautiful areas of Ireland. the Hill of Tara (p252) for a tour
Heading out from Sligo, journey of this important ancient site
towards the sleepy valley of that takes in tombs and Iron
Glencolmcille (pp232–3). Take Age hill forts. Drive back to
the narrow coastal roads –the Dublin for an evening meal
traffic will be thin and the scen­ Bronze statue of Sligo’s favourite son, and a drink in one of the city’s
ery is stunning. Drive through W B Yeats, Stephen Street, Sligo lively pubs.

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Putting Ireland on the Map
The island of Ireland covers an area of 84,430 sq km Greenock
(32,598 sq miles). Lying in the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest Islay S C OTLAN D
of mainland Europe, it is separated from Great Britain by the
Irish Sea. The Republic of Ireland takes up 85 per cent of the
island, with a population of 4.6 million. Northern Ireland, part of Arran Troon
the United King dom, has 1.8 million people. Dublin is the capital N o r t h Campbeltown
of the Republic and has good international communications. Ayr

Ballycastle C h a n n e l
City of Coleraine
SWEDEN Cairnryan
Nor th (Derry) Stranraer
NOR THERN Larne Penrith
REP. OF Workington
KINGDOM Donegal Antrim Bangor
BELGIUM Lough Belfast Belfast ENGLAND
Lower Lough Lisburn Kendal
FRANCE AUSTRIA Erne Armagh Portaferry
Atlantic SWITZ. Sligo Enniskillen Isle of Man
Ocean ITALY Sligo Upper Lough Douglas
Erne Newry
Allen Cavan Dundalk
Knock Boyle Fleetwood
Carrick-on- Preston
Key Shannon Blackpool
Westport Bolton
Motorway Kells Drogheda Ir ish Sea Southport
Major road Mask Roscommon
Minor road Lough Boyne Liverpool
Railway Clifden Mullingar Dublin Warrington
International border Athlone DUBLIN Holyhead Chester
Ferry route REPUBLIC OF Dun Laoghaire
Aran Kildare
Lough Portlaoise Wicklow
Ennis Barrow Carlow Shrewsbury
A tla n tic Kilkee Shannon Limerick Kilkenny Slaney
Ocean Enniscorthy l Aberystwyth
Tipperary n e
Wexford n WALE S
Tralee Suir Waterford Rosslare h a
Dingle Kerry Mallow Waterford C Hereford
Killarney Bla c kwater Fishguard
Lee Cork G e o r g e ' s
Cork Merthyr
S t Newport
0 kilometres 100 Bantry Pembroke Swansea
0 miles 50 Cardiff
Roscoff Cherbourg
For additional map symbols see back flap
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Greater Dublin 0 km 5
Jura Swords
Greenock 0 miles 5
Islay S C OTLAN D Airport
Royal Canal
Troon Marino Howth
Arran Liffey
Campbeltown DUBLIN
N o r t h
Ayr Lucan
Grand Canal Kilmainham Dublin
Clondalkin Ballsbridge
Rathmines Bay
Ballycastle C h a n n e l
City of Coleraine
Derry Cairnryan Tallaght Dundrum
Donegal Laoghaire
(Derry) Stranraer
NOR THERN Larne Penrith
IRELAND Workington
Donegal Antrim Bangor
Lough Belfast Belfast ENGLAND
Lower Lough Lisburn Kendal
Erne Portaferry
Enniskillen Armagh
Sligo Isle of Man
Sligo Upper Lough Douglas
Erne Newry
Allen Cavan Dundalk
Knock Boyle Fleetwood
Carrick-on- Preston
Shannon Blackpool
Westport Bolton
Kells Drogheda Ir ish Sea Southport
Mask Roscommon Liverpool
Lough Boyne
Ree Mullingar Dublin
Clifden Warrington
Athlone DUBLIN Holyhead Chester
REPUBLIC OF Dun Laoghaire
Aran Kildare
Lough Portlaoise Wicklow
Ennis Barrow Carlow Shrewsbury
A tla n tic Kilkee Shannon Limerick Kilkenny Slaney
Ocean Enniscorthy l Aberystwyth
Tipperary n e
Wexford n WALE S
Tralee Suir Waterford Rosslare h a
Dingle Kerry Mallow Waterford C Hereford
Killarney Bla c kwater Fishguard
Lee Cork G e o r g e ' s
Cork Merthyr
S t Newport
Bantry Pembroke Swansea
Roscoff Cherbourg
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Many visitors see Ireland as a lush green island, full of thatched cottages, pubs,
music, wit and poetry. Like all stereotypes, this image of the country has a basis
in truth and the tourist industry helps sustain it. The political and economic
reality is, of course, rather less ideal, but the relaxed good humour of the people
still makes Ireland a most welcoming place to visit.
Ireland, at least for the time being, is a of independence also play an important
divided island. History and religion created part in the Irish consciousness. The
a North–South divide, with two hostile heroine of W B Yeats’s play Cathleen ní
communities in the North. The IRA cease fire Houlihan inspires young men to lay down
of 1997 and the Good Friday Agreement their lives for Ireland. Her image appeared
brought new hope, however. John Hume on the first banknote issued by the newly
of the SDLP and David Trimble of the created Irish Free State in 1922.
Ulster Unionist Party were jointly awarded Yet, the Irish retain their easy-going
the Nobel Prize for Peace for their work in attitude to life, with a young, highly
the peace process, and the inaugural educated population working hard to make
meeting of the Northern Ireland Assembly its way in today’s European Union. In the
took place on 1 July 1998. Republic, 40 per cent of the population is
Ireland has had more than its fair share of under 30. Despite its high birth rate, rural
wars and disasters, culmi nating in the Great Ireland is sparsely populated and emigration
Famine of 1845–8, since when emigration to the cities and abroad in recent years
has been part of Irish life. More people of has taken its toll. The Industrial Revolution
Irish descent live in the USA than in Ireland of the 19th century barely touched the
itself. Suffering and martyrdom in the cause South and for much of the 20th century

Trinity College, Dublin, the Republic’s most prestigious university
Mural on the side of a pub, Cashel

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such as shipbuilding, declined and new
investors were scared away. However, the
election of members to the new Northern
Ireland Assembly in June 1998 ushered in
a new political and economic era for the
North. For both parts of Ireland, geo-
g raphy is still a barrier to prosperity.
Located on the periphery of Europe, the
island is isolated from its main markets
and thus saddled with high transport
costs. Subsidies from the EU have helped
improve infrastructure in the Republic.

Religion and Politics
The influence of Catholicism is still felt
but not to the extent that it once was.
Irish Catholicism runs the gamut from
missionary zeal to simple piety. In recent
years, attendance at Mass has dropped
off considerably and some estimates now
place attendance at less than 50 per cent.
Mary Robinson, the first woman to be elected president in 1990 Moral conser vatism is, however, still
most evident in attitudes to abortion.
the Republic seemed an old-fashioned The election of liberal lawyer Mary
place, poorer than almost all its fellow Robinson as President in 1990, the first
members of the European Union. woman to hold the post, was seen as
a sign of more enlightened times by
Economic Development many people, an attitude reinforced by
Tax breaks and low inflation have attracted the election of Mary McAleese as her
foreign investment to the Republic and successor in 1998. A new political
many multinationals have sub sidiaries climate has favoured the quiet spread
here. Ireland joined the single European of feminism and challenged the old
currency in 1999 and the economy paternalism of Irish politics.
boomed from the mid-1990s to
2007. The years since 2008 have
been difficult. Unemployment
fuelled emigration; property rates
dropped and the national debt
soared, but in September 2013, the
Republic officially put the Recession
behind it and the economy has
slowly improved since.
An important industry for Ireland
is tourism. The South receives over
6.5 million visitors a year and the
North receives 1.7 million visitors.
Traditionally, Northern Ireland
had far more industry than the
South, but during the 25 years of
the “Troubles”, old heavy industries, Pavement artist on O’Connell Street, Dublin

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Irish horse racing, a popular national sport
Language and Culture are followed with equal intensity,
Ireland was a Gaelic-speaking nation including the traditional Irish pursuits
until the 16th century, since when the of the Gaelic games and football.
language has steadily de clined. Today, Drinking also plays an important part
however, the Republic is officially bilingual. in Irish culture: social life centres on
Know ledge of Irish is a requirement for a the pub and the “craic” (convivial chat)
career in the public sector, and one in to be enjoyed there. Unfortunately,
three people on the island as a whole the smoking ban and the recession
has some degree of competency. have led to the closure of many pubs
Irish culture, on the other hand, is in around the country, especially in rural
no danger of being eroded. The people areas. Although there is a concern that
have a genuine love of old folk legends this may affect the traditional way of
and epic poetry and songs. Festivals, life, given the attachment to Guinness,
whether dedicated to St Patrick gossip and music, this seems unlikely.
or James Joyce, pubs or
oysters, salmon or sailing,
are an impor tant part of
community life. Music is a
national passion – from the
rock of U2 and the indie of
The Script to the folk music
of Clannad, the Chieftains
and Mary Black.
Another national passion
is horse racing. Ireland’s
breeders and trainers are
masters of their trade and
enjoy astonishing inter-
national success for such a
small country. Other sports The Temple Bar, a famous cultural landmark in Dublin

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The Landscape and The Fauna of Ireland
Wildlife of Ireland Many animals (including
snakes) did not
The landscape is one of Ireland’s greatest attractions. make it to
It varies from bogs and lakes in the central lowlands Ireland before
the Irish Sea
to mountains and rocky islands in the west. Between rose after the
these two extremes, the island has abundant lush, Natterjack toad Ice Age. Other
green pastureland, the result of plentiful rainfall, but surprising absentees
little natural woodland. Parts of the far west, where are the mole, weasel and common
the land is farmed by traditional methods, are havens toad (the natter jack, however, can
be seen). The wood mouse is the only
for threatened wildlife, including the corncrake, which small native rodent, but the once
needs undisturbed hayfields in which to nest. com mon red squirrel has now been
virtually taken over by the grey.

Rocky Coasts Lakes, Rivers and Wetlands
The Dingle Peninsula (see This watery landscape around
pp162–3) is part of a series of Lough Oughter is typical of the
rocky promontories and inlets lakelands of the River Erne
created when sea levels rose at (pp274–5). Rainfall is
the end of the Ice Age. Cliffs and high throughout
islands offer many sites for sea the year, which
birds, with some enormous Great crested grebe results in many
Chough colo nies, such as the gannets of wetlands, especially
Little Skellig (pp168–9). The chough along the Shannon (p189) and the Erne. The
still breeds on cliffs in the extreme west. Else- elegant great crested grebe breeds mainly on
where in Europe, this rare species of crow is the larger lakes in the north.
declining in numbers.

Thrift grows in Water lobelia grows in
cushion-like clumps, the shallows of stony
producing its papery lakes. Its leaves remain
pink flowerheads below the water, while
from spring right the pale lilac flowers are
through to autumn. borne on leafless stems
above the surface.

Sea campion is a
low-growing plant. Fleabane, once used to
Its large white flowers repel fleas, thrives in wet
brighten up many a meadows and marshes.
clifftop and seaside It has yellow flowers
shingle bank. like dandelions.

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Grey seals are a
common sight in
the waters off the
Atlantic coast,
feeding on fish
and occasionally
on sea birds.
Pine martens, Otters are more
though mainly likely to be seen in
nocturnal, may the shallow seas off
Red deer have been be spotted in rocky coasts than
introduced into many the Midlands and in rivers and lakes,
areas, notably the hills the east during though they live in
of Connemara. daytime in summers. both habitats.

Mountain and Blanket Bog Pastureland
As well as the raised bogs of the Rolling pastureland with grazing
central lowlands (p256), much of livestock, as seen here in the
Ireland’s mountainous ground, foot hills of the Wicklow Mountains
particularly in the west, is covered (pp142–3), is a very common
by blanket bog such as that seen sight throughout Ireland. The
here in Connemara (pp210–13). traditional farming methods
Stonechat On drier upland sites this grades employed in many parts of the
into heather moor and poor Rook island (particularly in the west)
grassl and. The stonechat, which inhabits rocky are of great benefit to wildlife.
scree and heathland, is a restless bird with an Rooks, for example, which feed on worms and
unmistakable white rump. It flits about, dipping insect larvae found in pasture, are very common.
and bobbing in pursuit of flies.
Meadow vetchling
uses its tendrils to
Bog myrtle is an clamber up grasses
aromatic shrub, and other plants. It has
common in Ireland’s clusters of pretty pale
bogs. Its leaves yellow flowers.
can be used to
flavour drinks.
Bogbean, a plant
found in fens and wet Marsh thistle is a
bogland, has attractive common flower of wet
white flowers splashed meadows and damp
with pink. Its leaves woodland. It is a tall
were once used as species with small,
a cure for boils. purple flowerheads.

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Architecture in Ireland

Ireland’s turbulent history has done incalculable damage to
its architectural heritage. Cromwell’s forces, in particular,
destroyed scores of castles, monasteries and towns in their
three-year campaign against the Irish in the mid-17th
century. However, many fascinating buildings and sites
remain, with Iron Age forts being the earliest surviving
settlements. Christianity in Ireland gave rise to mon asteries,
churches and round towers; conflict between Anglo- Locator Map
Norman barons and Irish chieftains created castles and Iron Age forts
tower houses. The later landlord class built luxurious country Round towers
mansions, while their labourers had to make do with basic, Tower houses
one-roomed cottages.
Georgian country houses
Iron Age Forts
Ring forts (raths) were Iron Age farmsteads enclosed by
an earth bank, a timber fence and a ditch to protect
against cattle-raiders. Inside, people lived in huts
with a souterrain (underground passage)
for storage and refuge. Some were in use
as late as the 17th century, but all you can
usually see today are low circular mounds.
In the west, stone was used for cahers (stone
ring forts) and promontory forts (semi-circular forts
Thatched hut Entrance built on clifftops using the sea as a natural defence).
Round Towers Round towers, often over Tower Houses
Lookout Conical 30 m (100 ft) tall, were built Machicolation
window roof between the 10th and 12th Spiral
centuries on monastic sites. staircase
They were bell towers, used Outer wall
as places of refuge and to around bawn
store valuable manuscripts.
The entrance, which could
be as high as 4 m (13 ft)
above ground, was reached
by a ladder that was hauled Tower houses were small castles or fortified
up from the inside. Other residences built between the 15th and 17th centuries.
moveable ladders connected The tall square house was often surrounded by a
the tower’s wooden floors. stone wall forming a bawn (enclosure), used for
defence and as a cattle pen. Machicolations
(projecting parapets from which to drop missiles)
Wooden floor were sited at the top of the house.
Moveable ladder
Cottages Bog-oak timbers Thatched, clay-lined
One-roomed cottages, chimney
thatched or slate-roofed,
are still a common
feature of the Irish
landscape. Built of local
stone with small
windows to retain
heat, the cottages
were inhabited
by farm workers
or smallholders.
Clay floor

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Iron Age Forts Tower Houses
1 Staigue Fort p169 w Aughnanure Castle p213
2 Dún Aonghasa p216 e Thoor Ballylee pp218–19
3 Craggaunowen p194 r Knappogue Castle p193
4 Grianán Ailigh pp230–31 t Blarney Castle p175
5 Hill of Tara p252 y Donegal Castle p234

Round Tower Georgian Country
6 Kilmacduagh p218
7 Ardmore p149 u Strokestown Park House pp222–3
8 Clonmacnoise pp254–5 i Castle Coole p276
9 Devenish Island p275 o Emo Court p257
0 Kilkenny p148 p Russborough House pp136–7 The well-preserved round
q Glendalough pp144–5 a Castletown House pp132–3 tower at Ardmore
Georgian Country Houses
Main house containing
Balustrade Pediment formal rooms
Wing containing
family rooms Blind colonnade
Doric pillar

Portico Ionic pillar

Between the 1720s and 1800, prosperous landlords commissioned Other Terms used in
Spiral palatial country mansions in the Palladian and Neo­Classical styles this Guide
staircase popular in England over that period. Castle Coole (above) has a
Palladian layout, with the main house in the centre and a colonnade Beehive hut: Circular stone
on either side leading to a small pavilion. The Neo­Classical influence building with a domed roof
can be seen in the unadorned façade and the Doric columns of the created by corbelling (laying a
colonnades. Noted architects of Irish country houses include Richard series of stones so that each
Cassels (1690–1751) and James Wyatt (1746–1813). projects beyond the one below).
Cashel: Stone ring fort.
Stucco Crannog: Defensive, partly
artificial island on a lake. Huts were
Stucco (decorative often built on crannogs (see p37).
relief plasterwork),
popular in the 18th Curtain wall: Outer wall of a
century, is found in castle, usually incorporating
many Georgian towers at intervals.
country houses as Hiberno-Romanesque: Style
well as town houses of church architecture with
and public buildings. Trompe l’oeil detail at Ceiling at Dublin rounded arches highly deco rated
The Italian Lafrancini Emo Court Writers Museum with geometric designs and
brothers were par­ human and animal forms. Also
ticularly sought after called Irish­Romanesque.
for their intricate Motte and bailey: Raised
stuccowork (notably mound (motte) topped with a
at Castletown and wooden tower, surrounded by a
Russborough) as was heavily fenced space (bailey).
Irish craftsman Built by the Normans in the
Michael Stapleton 12th century, they were quickly
(Trinity College, erected in time of battle.
Dublin and Dublin Stucco portrait at Stuccowork at
Writers Museum). Castletown House Russborough House Tympanum: Decorated space
over a door or window.

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Literary Ireland

For a land the size of Ireland to have produced four
Nobel Prize-winners in Shaw, Yeats, Beckett and
Séamus Heaney is a considerable feat. Yet it is not
easy to speak of an “Irish literary tradition” as the
concept embraces rural and urban experiences,
Protestant and Catholic traditions and the Gaelic and
English languages. Irish fiction today, as in the past,
is characterized by a sense of community and history, W B Yeats – Ireland’s most famous poet
a love of storytelling and a zest for language.

St Joan and Pygmalion, also
made London his home. This
dramatist, critic, socialist and
pacifist continued to write until
well into the 20th century.
20th-Century Writers
In 1898, W B Yeats and Lady
Gregory founded Dublin’s
Abbey Theatre (see p92). Its
The Blasket Islands, which provided inspiration for several writers opening, in 1904, heralded the
Irish Revival, which focused
Gaelic Literature born in Dublin in 1667 of on national and local themes.
English parents. Anglo­Irish Playwright John Millington
Irish literature proclaims itself literature was strong in drama, Synge drew inspiration from
the oldest vernacular literature the entertainment of the a love of the Aran Islands and
in Western Europe, dating back cultured classes, and owed Irish folklore, but the “immoral
to early monastic times when little to Irish settings or sensi­ language” of his Playboy of
Celtic folklore and sagas such bil ities. By the 1700s, Ireland the Western World caused a
as the epics of Cúchulainn (see was prod ucing an inordinate riot when first per formed at
p30) were written down for num ber of leading the Abbey Theatre. Along
the first time. The dis­ playwrights, many of with contemporaries, like
appearance of Gaelic whom were more at Sean O’Casey and W B Yeats,
literature followed the home in London. Synge influenced sub sequent
demise, in the 17th These included generations of Irish writers,
century, of the Irish Oliver Goldsmith, including novelist Seán
aristocracy for whom remembered for his O’Faolain, writer and columnist
it was written. Gaelic comedy She Stoops Flann O’Brien, and hard­
literature has had to Conquer, and drinking, quarrelsome play­
several revivals. Peig Richard Brinsley wright Brendan Behan. The
Sayers is famous for her Sheridan, whose literary revival also produced
accounts of the harsh life Novelist Maria plays include The many notable poets in the
on the Blasket Islands Edgeworth School for Scandal.
(see p162) in the early Near the end of the
20th century. century, Maria Edgeworth set a
precedent with novels such as
Anglo-Irish Literature Castle Rackrent, based on the
class divide in Irish society. The
The collapse of Gaelic culture 19th century saw an exodus to
and the Protestant Ascendancy England of Irish playwrights,
led to English becoming the including Oscar Wilde, who
dominant language. Most entered Oxford University in
literature was concerned with 1874 and later became the
the privileged classes. An early darling of London society with
Anglo­Irish writer was satirist plays such as The Importance of
Jonathan Swift (see p86), author Being Earnest. George Bernard
of Gulliver’s Travels, who was Shaw (see p104), writer of Playwright George Bernard Shaw

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mid­20th century such as
the gifted Patrick Kavanagh
and Belfast­born Louis
MacNeice, often considered
to be one of the finest poets
of his generation.

The writer Brendan Behan (left) enjoying the company in a Dublin pub
and shaped the work of Contemporary Writers
gener ations of writers.
Bloomsday, which is named Ireland’s proud literary tradition
after one of the novel’s charac­ is today upheld by a stream of
Caricature of protesters at Dublin’s Abbey ters, Leo pold Bloom, is still talented writers from both
Theatre in 1907 celebrated annually in the North and South. Among the
city. The last of the three finest are Cork­born William
Three Literary Giants literary giants, novelist and Trevor, regarded as a master of
playwright Samuel Beckett the short story. Anne Enright
From the mass of talent to (see p67), was another of (2007) and John Banville (2005)
emerge in Irish literature, three Dublin’s sons, though he later are both Man Booker Prize­
figures stand out as visionaries emigrated to France. His winners. Roddy Doyle is known
in their fields. W B Yeats (see themes of alienation, despair, for mining his working­class
p237) spent half his life outside and the futility of human origins in novels such as The
Ireland but is forever linked to existence pervade his Snapper and Paddy Clarke Ha
its rural west. A writer of best­known plays, Ha Ha. Other established
wistful, melan cholic poetry, Waiting for Irish writers are Joseph
he was at the forefront of the Godot and O’Connor, Cecelia Ahern,
Irish Revival, helping forge a Endgame. Maeve Binchy, Colum
new national cultural identity. McCann, Edna O’Brien
James Joyce (see p94) was and Colm Tóibín.
another trail blazer – his Among Ireland’s
complex narrative and stream con tem porary
of consciousness techniques poets, the late
influenced the development Séamus Heaney
of the modern novel. Ulysses and Derek Mahon
describes a day in the life The poet Patrick Kavanagh are perhaps the
of Joyce’s beloved Dublin celebrating Bloomsday most outstanding.
Ireland on Screen
Ireland has long been fertile ground for the
world’s film­makers, and its people have
been the subjects of major films, notably
The Crying Game (1992), In the Name of the
Father (1994), Michael Collins (1996), Once
(2007) and The Guard (2011). Another
popular film was The Commitments (1991).
Filmed in and around Dublin with an all­Irish
cast, it was based on a novel by Roddy
Doyle. More recently Ireland has become
a top destination for big­budget television
productions. TV shows such as Ripper
Street, Vikings and Game of Thrones were
Cast of The Commitments, written by Roddy Doyle all shot on location around the island.

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The Music of Ireland

Ireland is the only country in the world to have a musical
instrument – the harp – as its national emblem. In this
land, famous for its love of music, modern forms such as
country-and-western and rock flourish, but it is traditional
music that captures the essence of the country. Whether
you are listening to Gaelic love songs that date back to
medieval times or 17th- and 18th-century folk songs with
their English and Scottish influences, the music is Turlough O’Carolan (1670–1738)
unmistakably Irish. Dance is an equally important aspect is the most famous Irish harper.
of Irish traditional music, and some of the most popular The blind musician travelled the
country playing his songs to both
airs are derived from centuries-old reels, jigs and rich and poor. Many of O’Carolan’s
hornpipes. Nowadays these are mainly performed at melodies, such as Lament for Owen
fleadhs (festivals) and ceilís (dances). Roe O’Neill, still survive.

John F C McCormack (1884–1945) was
an Irish tenor who toured America to
great acclaim during the early part of
the 20th century. His best-loved rec-
ordings were arias by Mozart. Another
popular tenor was Derry-born Josef
Locke. A singer of popular ballads in the
1940s and 1950s, he was the subject of
the 1992 film Hear My Song.

The Current Music Scene
Ireland today is a melting pot of musical styles. Traditional Irish music has
pro duced many respected musicians, such as pipe-
players Liam Ó Floinn and Paddy Keenan from Dublin,
while groups like the Chieftains and the Fureys have
gained worldwide fame by melding old with new.
Ireland is also firmly placed on the rock’n’roll map, thanks
to singers such as Van Morrison in the 1970s and later
bands like Thin Lizzy and the Boomtown Rats. The most
famous rock band to come out of Ireland is Dublin’s U2
who, in the 1980s, became one of the world’s most
Hozier popular groups. Other international successes include
Enya, Sinéad O’Connor, Damien Rice; and bands like the
Cranberries, the Corrs, Boyzone, Westlife and Snow Patrol. Today, the Irish music
scene is dominated by acts such as Hozier and The Script. Snow Patrol

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Traditional Instruments
There is no set line-up in traditional Irish
bands. The fiddle is probably the most
common instrument used. Like the music,
some instruments, such as the uilleann pipes,
have Celtic origins.
The melodeon is a basic
version of the button
accordion. Both
these instru ments
are better suited to
Irish music than the
Traditional Irish dancing is currently piano accordion.
enjoying renewed popularity. From the
17th century the social focus in rural areas The uilleann pipes
was the village dance held every Sunday. are similar to
From these gatherings, Irish dancing bagpipes and are
became popular.
considered to be
one of the main
instruments in Irish
traditional music.
The harp has been played
in Ireland since the 10th
century. In recent years,
there has been a keen
revival of harp playing in
Irish traditional music.

The banjo comes from the
Deep South of the US and
adds a new dimension to the
sound of traditional bands.

Tin whistle
The flute and tin whistle are among
Irish folk songs, the most common instruments used in
such as this one traditional Irish music. The latter is often
about the 1916 called the penny whistle.
Easter Rising, tend
to have a patriotic
theme. But some of
the most power ful The violin is
songs have been called a fiddle by
written not just most musicians. The
about the national style of playing and
struggle, but also sound produced varies
about hardship, from region to region.
emigration and
the longing for
the homeland.

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Ireland’s Celtic Heritage

Ireland’s rich tradition of storytelling embraces a folk
heritage that abounds with myths and superstitions. Some
stories have been in written form since the 8th century, but
most originated over 2,000 years ago when druids passed
on stories orally from one generation to the next. Like the
Gaelic language itself, many of Ireland’s legends have links
with those of ancient Celtic races throughout Europe. As
well as the heroic deeds and fearless warriors of mythology, The formidable Queen Maeve
Irish folklore is also rich in tales of fairies, leprechauns, of Connaught
banshees and other supernatural beings. revenge on Cúchulainn by
using sor cerers to lure him to
his death. Today, in Dublin’s GPO
(see p93), a statue of Cúchulainn
commemorates the heroes of
the 1916 Easter Rising.
Finn McCool
The warrior Finn McCool is
the most famous leader of
the Fianna, an elite band of
troops chosen for their strength
and valour and who defended
Ireland from foreign forces.
Part of the 2,300-year-old Gundestrup Cauldron unearthed in Denmark, which depicts Finn was not only strong and
Cúchulainn’s triumph in the Cattle Raid of Cooley bold but also possessed the
powers of a seer, and could
Cúchulainn Cúchulainn, meaning the obtain great wisdom by
hound of Culainn. putting his thumb in his mouth
The most famous warrior in Before he went into battle, and sucking on it. When they
Irish mythology is Cúchu lainn. Cúchulainn swelled to magni­ were not at war, the Fianna
At the age of seven, going ficent proportions, turned spent their time hunting.
by the name of Setanta, he different colours and one of his Finn had a hound called Bran
killed the savage hound of eyes grew huge. His greatest which stood almost as high as
Culainn the Smith by slaying it victory was in the “Cattle Raid himself and is said to be the
with a hurling stick (one of the of Cooley” when Queen Maeve original ancestor of the breed
first times the sport of hurling of Connaught sent her troops known today as the Irish
is mentioned in folk lore). to capture the coveted prize wolfhound. Many of the Fianna
Culainn was upset at the loss bull of Ulster. Cúchulainn possessed supernatural powers
so Setanta volun teered to learned of the plot and and often ventured into the
guard the house, earning defeated them single­handedly. life beyond, known as the
himself the new name of However, Queen Maeve took
Fairies, Leprechauns
and Banshees
The existence of spirits, and in
particular the “little people”, plays a large
part in Irish folklore. Centuries ago, it was
believed that fairies lived under mounds of
earth, or “fairy raths”, and that touching one
of these tiny figures brought bad luck. The most
famous of the “little people” is the leprechaun.
Legend has it that if you caught one of these, he would
lead you to a crock of gold, but take your eyes off him and
he would vanish into thin air. The banshee was a female
The diminutive figure spirit whose wailing presence outside a house was said A banshee with
of the leprechaun to signal the imminent death of someone within. long flowing hair

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Otherworld. Among these Origins of Irish
was Finn’s son Ossian who
was not only a formid able Place Names
warrior, like his father, but was The names of many of
also renowned as a wise and Ireland’s cities, towns and
knowledgeable poet. Through villages today are largely
time, Finn has come to be based on ancient Gaelic
commonly por trayed as a terms for prominent local
giant. Legend has it that he landmarks, some of which
constructed the Giant’s no longer exist. Here are
Causeway in County Antrim just a few elements of the
(see pp266–7). place names the traveller
The children of King Lir being turned may come across.
into white swans
today. The end of the children’s
900­year ordeal coincided with
the coming of Christianity.
They regained human form
but were wizened and weak.
They died soon afterwards, but
not before being baptized. The fort on the Rock of Cashel that
gives the town its name
Saint Brendan
Ar, ard – high, height
Brendan the Navigator, like Ass, ess – waterfall
many other 6th­century A, ah, ath – ford
monks, travelled widely. It is Bal, bally – town
known that although he Beg – small
A 19th-century engraving of Finn McCool lived in western Ireland he Ben – peak, mountain
dressed for battle visited Wales, Scotland and Carrick, carrig – rock
France. It is likely, though, Cashel – stone fort
The Children of Lir that his most famous Crock, knock – hill
journey is fictitious. This Curra, curragh – marsh
One of the saddest tales in Irish story tells of a shipload of Darry, derry – oak tree
folklore involves King Lir, who monks who, after seven Dun – castle
so adored his four children that years of all kinds of strange Eden – hill brow
their step mother was driven encounters designed to Innis, inch – island
wild with jealousy. One day she test their faith, found the Inver – river mouth
took the children to a lake and Land of Promise. It is essen­ Isk, iska – water
cast a spell on them, turning tially a Christian retelling of Glas, glass – green
them into white swans con­ the common tales of the Glen, glyn – valley
fined to the waters of Ireland Celtic Otherworld. The Feast Kil, kill – church
for 900 years. However, as soon of St Brendan on 16 May is Lough – lake, sea inlet
as she had done the deed, she celebrated in Kerry by the Mona, mone – peat bog
became racked with guilt and climbing of Mount Brandon. Mor – great, large
bestowed upon them the gift Mullen, mullin – mill
of exquisite song. The king then Rath, raha – ring fort
decreed that no swan in Ireland Slieve – mountain
should be Toom – burial ground
killed – an Tul, tulagh – small hill
act which
is still illegal

St Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny (the
town’s name means “church of Canice”)
Engraving showing St Brendan and his monks encountering a siren

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The Sporting Year

All major international team sports are played
in Ireland, but the most popular games are
the two uniquely native ones of Gaelic football
and hurling. Most of the big games, plus soccer
and rugby internationals, are sold out well in
advance. However, if you can’t get a ticket you’ll The North West 200 is the fastest motorcycle
find plenty of com pany with whom to watch the race in the world over public roads – held
event in pubs. Horse racing, with over 240 days near Portstewart (see p264).
of racing a year, attracts fanatical support. For
those keen on participatory sports, there are
also Ireland’s famous fishing Irish Football League
waters and golf courses Cup – Northern
Ireland’s final
(see pp342–7).
Four-day national Yacht Race – held
hunt racing every two years
festival at
The Irish Grand National
is a gruelling steeplechase
run at Fairyhouse in
County Meath.

January February March April May June July

Irish Champion The International
Hurdle, run at Rally of the Lakes
Leopardstown, is a prestigious car
County Dublin rally around the
Lakes of Killarney
(see pp166–7).
The Six Nations Rugby Tournament,
Start of the salmon between Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England,
fishing season France and Italy, runs until April. Ireland play
their home games at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
The Irish Open Golf Champion ship is
held at a different course each year and
Key to Seasons attracts a world-class field to courses such
Hurling as Ballybunion in County Kerry.
Gaelic football
Flat racing
National Hunt racing
The Irish Derby,
Association football Ireland’s premier flat
Salmon fishing race, attracts many of
Equestrianism Europe’s best three-
year-olds to The
Curragh (see p135).

IR_032-033_Portrait_sport.indd 32 25/04/16 10:41 am


The All-Ireland Football
Final is held at Croke Park in
Dublin. The top two counties
play for this Gaelic football
championship. More people
watch the game than any
other event in Ireland.

Cork Week is a biennial regatta, organized
by Royal Cork Yacht Club, where crews and
boats of all classes meet and compete.

Greyhound Derby,
run at Shelbourne
Park, Dublin
The Dublin Marathon is
Ireland’s foremost marathon
Galway Race Week is one event. It attracts a huge field
of Ireland’s premier festival including top-class athletes from
meetings and a popular around the world.
social event.

June July August September October November December

Millstreet Indoor International
Football Association of showjumping event
Ireland Cup – the
Republic’s football final

The Gaelic Athletic Association
The GAA was founded in 1884 to promote
indigenous Irish sport. Today, despite heavy
competition from soccer, the most popular sport
in Ireland remains Gaelic football. Its rules are
somewhere between rugby and soccer,
though it predates both games. In
The Dublin Horse Show it, the ball can be carried and
is Ireland’s premier horse points scored over the goalpost.
show and a major event in Another intriguing GAA game is hurling, a fast
the social calendar. and physical field sport played with sticks and
said to have originated in ancient Celtic times.
Both games are played at parish and county level
on a wholly amateur basis. The season ends with
the All-Ireland finals, which draw large
All-Ireland and passionate crowds to Dublin.
Hurling Final
at Croke
Park, Dublin
Camogie, a version of hurling played by women

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Ireland’s relative isolation has cut it off their lands were confiscated and granted
from several of the major events of to Protestants from England and Scotland.
European history. Roman legions, for England’s conquest was completed with
example, never invaded and the country’s the victory of William of Orange over
early history is shrouded in myths of James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
warring gods and heroic High Kings. Repressive Penal Laws were put into place,
Nevertheless, the bellicose Celtic tribes but opposition to English rule continued.
were quick to embrace Christianity after the The Famine of 1845 to 1848 was one of
arrival of St Patrick on the island in AD 432. the bleakest periods in Irish history. About
Until the Viking invasions of the 9th 1.5 million people died, two million
century, Ireland enjoyed an era of relative emigrated, and many who stayed were
peace. Huge monasteries like lonmacnoise evicted by English landlords. A campaign
and Glendalough were founded, where for Home Rule gath ered strength, but it
scholarship and art flour ished. The Vikings was 1920 before the Government of
failed to gain control of the island, but in Ireland Act divided the island. The South
1169 the Anglo-Normans did. Many Irish became the Irish Free State, gaining full
chiefs submitted to Henry II of England, independence in 1937, while the North
who declared himself Lord of Ireland. He be came part of the UK. In the 1970s, 1980s
left in 1172, and his knights shared out and much of the 1990s, Northern Ireland
large baronies between themselves. was a battleground, with both Loyalist and
Matters changed when Henry VIII broke Republican paramilitary groups wag ing
with the Catholic church in 1532. Ireland bombing campaigns. In 1998, the Good
became a battleground between native Friday Agreement was signed, paving the
Irish Catholics and the forces of the English way for a new Northern Ireland Assembly
Crown. Where the Irish were defeated, and hopes of peace.

Map of Ireland, printed in 1592, showing the four traditional provinces
The Feast of St Kevin amid the Ruins of Glendalough by Joseph Peacock (1813)

034-035_EW_Ireland.indd 35 25/04/16 11:00 am


Prehistoric Ireland

Until about 9,500 years ago Ireland was uninhabited. The
first people, who may have crossed by a land bridge from
Scotland, were hunter-gatherers and left few traces of
permanent settlement. The 4th millennium BC saw the arrival
of Neolithic farmers and herdsmen who built stone field walls
and monumental tombs such as Newgrange. Metalworking
was brought from Europe around 2000 BC by the Bronze Age Ireland c. 8000 BC
Beaker people, who also introduced new pottery skills. The Former coastline
Iron Age reached Ireland in the 3rd century BC along with the Present-day coastline
Celts, who migrated from Central Europe, via France and Britain,
and soon established themselves as the dominant culture.

The terminal discs were
worn on the shoulders.
Gleninsheen Gorget
Many remarkable pieces of gold
jewellery were created in the late
Bronze Age. This gold collar
dates from about 700 BC.
The Iron Age Celts produced
similarly fine metalwork
and ornaments.
Three strands of
Dolmens or Portal Tombs ropework
These striking megalithic tombs date
from around 2000 BC. Legananny Dolmen
in the Mountains of Mourne (see p288)
is a fine example. Wooden Idol
This Iron Age fetish
would have played
a role in pagan
fertility rites.
Celtic Stone Idol
This mysterious
three-faced head
was found in
County Cavan.
In Celtic religion
the number
three has always Bronze Bridle Bit
had a special Celtic chiefs rode into battle
significance. on two-horse chariots with
beautifully decorated harnesses.

c. 7500 BC 5000–3000 Ireland 2500 Building
First inhabitants covered by dense of Newgrange
of Ireland woodland dominated passage tomb 1500 Major advances
by oak and elm (see pp250–51) in metalworking,
Extinct giant deer especially gold
or “Irish Elk”
8000 BC 6000 4000 2000 1000 750
6000 Date of huts
excavated at Mount- 2050 Beaker people (so-called for their
Sandel, Co London- 3700 Neolithic farmers delicate pottery vessels) reach Ireland
derry; oldest known reach Ireland; they clear at the beginning of Bronze Age
dwellings in Europe woods to plant cereals

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Palisade (fence) Thatched houses
Where to See
Prehistoric Ireland
Prehistoric sites range from
individual tombs such as
Newgrange, Brownshill
Dolmen (see p145) or Ossian’s
Grave to whole settlements,
as at Céide Fields (p208) and
Lough Gur (p198). The largest
Causeway to lake shore Stone Age cemetery is at
Carrowmore (p238). Good
Reconstruction of a Crannog reconstructions of prehistoric
Originating in the Bronze Age, crannogs were artificial structures can be seen at
islands built in lakes. At first used for fishing, they soon Craggaunowen (p194).
developed into well-protected homesteads. Some The National Museum –
remained in use up to the 17th century. Archaeology in Dublin
(pp70–71) houses the finest
The raised bands on the collar were collection of artifacts,
created by repoussé work, pushed through including wonderful gold
from the back. The delicate rope motifs were objects from the Bronze Age.
added from the front with a knife.

Bone Slip
(c. AD 50) This
may have been
used for divination
or for gambling.
Newgrange (pp250–51) is
Ireland’s finest restored Neolithic
tomb. At the entrance lie huge
spiral-patterned boulders.

Gold Boat
Part of a hoard Ossian’s Grave is a court grave,
of gold objects the earliest kind of Neolithic tomb
found at Broighter, (p271). An open court stood
before the burial mound.
County London derry, the
boat (1st century AD) was
made as a votive offering.

AD 80 Roman general Agricola 367 Roman Britain
600 First 500 Intertribal warfare; considers invasion of Ireland attacked by Irish,
wave of chieftains vie for title of from Britain Picts and Saxons
Celtic Ard Ri (High King)
1000 750 500 250 AD 1 AD 250
250 Second c. 150 Greek
Bronze goad decorated with birds wave of geographer Ptolemy
Celts, who bring draws up map and Bronze sword hilt imported
La Tène style account of Ireland from southern France
of pottery

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Celtic Christianity

Celtic Ireland was divided into as many as 100 chiefdoms, ULSTER
though these often owed allegiance to kings of larger CONNAUGHT
provinces such as Munster or Connaught. At times, there LEINSTER
was also a titular High King based at Tara (see p252). Ireland
became Christian in the 5th century AD, heralding a golden MUNSTER
age of scholarship centred on the new monasteries, while
missionaries such as St Columba travelled abroad. At the Ireland in 1000
end of the 8th century, Celtic Ireland was shattered by Viking settlements
the arrival of the Vikings. Traditional Irish provinces

Ogham Stone Celtic Monastery
The earliest Irish script, Ogham, Monasteries were large centres of population.
dates from about AD 300. The This reconstruction shows Glendalough (see
notches correspond to Roman pp144–5) in about 1100. The tall round tower
letters, like a form of Morse code.
served as a lookout for Viking raiders.

Refectory and kitchen Round Abbot’s
Craftsmen’s dwellings
tower house
St Mary’s

The watermill was used for grinding
wheat and barley.
The Magnus Domus
was a large communal St Kevin’s Church Dry-stone bridge
building used by the
abbot and the monks.
A High Cross marks the
monastery boundary.
Battle of Clontarf
After their defeat by the Irish High King, Brian Ború,
in 1014, the Vikings began to integrate more fully
with the native population. Brian Ború himself was
killed in the battle.

430 Pope 455 St Patrick founds 563 St Columba 664 Synod of Whitby
sends first church at Armagh (Colmcille), the first Irish decides that Irish
Christian missionary, founds Church should
missionary monastery on Iona conform with Rome
Palladius in the Hebrides over date of Easter
400 500 600 700
c. 550 Beginning 615 St Columbanus c.690 Book of
432 Start of of golden age of dies in Italy after Durrow (see p67)
St Patrick’s Celtic monasticism founding many completed
mission to St Patrick new monasteries
Ireland on the Continent

038-039_EW_Ireland.indd 38 08/03/17 3:03 pm


Where to See Early
Christian Ireland
Important early monastic sites
besides Glendalough include
Clonmacnoise and Devenish
Island. Churches from this period
can also be seen at Gallarus
Viking Raids and Settlements (see p161), Clonfert (p219) and
The first longships reached Ireland in 795. Though notorious for the Rock of Cashel (pp200–201),
pillaging monasteries, the Vikings introduced new farming methods while High Crosses (p247) and
and coinage. They also founded walled cities such as Dublin, round towers (p24) survive all
Waterford and Limerick. over Ireland. Dublin’s National
Museum – Archaeology (pp70–
71) has excellent ecclesiastical
(and Viking) artifacts and Trinity
College (pp66–8) houses the
finest illuminated manuscripts.
Garryduff Gold Bird
Irish metalwork in the early Christian era
was of very high quality. See this gold
ornament, a wren crafted around the
7th century, at the Cork public museum.
Gatehouse and stables
Monks’ dwellings
and barns Devenish Island has a fine 12th-
century round tower and enjoys
a peaceful setting on Lower Lough
Erne (p275).

St Kieran’s Church Clonmacnoise (pp254–5) lies on
and other important the east bank of the Shannon. This
churches were built The Crozier of the Romanesque doorway is part of the
of stone, but most Abbots of Clonmacnoise ruined Nuns’ Church.
buildings were wood. This 11th-century bishop’s staff
is decorated with an ornate
silver casing. The incised pat-
terns show Viking influence.

Viking silver brooch 1166 Dermot McMurrough,
967 Irish warriors 999 Sitric Silkenbeard, King of Leinster, flees overseas
sack Limerick and the Viking king of
795 First Viking begin military Dublin, surrenders 1134 Cormac’s Chapel
invasion of coastal campaign against to Brian Ború is built at Cashel (see
monasteries Viking overlords pp200–201)
700 800 900 1000 1100
841 A large Viking 1014 High King Brian Ború 1142 Ireland’s
fleet spends the of Munster defeats joint first Cistercian
winter at Dublin army of Vikings and the house founded
King of Leinster at Clontarf at Mellifont
807 Work starts on Kells (see p249)
Monastery (see p245) Viking coin

038-039_EW_Ireland.indd 39 08/03/17 11:05 am


Anglo-Norman Ireland

Anglo-Norman nobles, led by Richard de Clare (nicknamed
Strongbow), were invited to Ireland by the King of Leinster in 1169.
They took control of the major towns and Henry II of England
proclaimed himself overlord of Ireland. In succeeding centuries,
however, English power declined and the Crown controlled just
a small area around Dublin known as the Pale (see p136). Many of
the Anglo-Norman barons living outside the Pale opposed Ireland in 1488
English rule just as strongly as did the native Irish clans. Extent of the Pale

Carrickfergus Castle
The first Anglo-Norman forts were wooden structures,
but they soon started to build massive stone castles.
Carrickfergus (see p279) was begun in the 1180s and
by 1250 had acquired a keep and a gatehouse.

The keep contained a hall on
the first floor and, above that,
the lord’s private apartments.

The Marriage of
Strongbow and Aoife
The King of Leinster gave his
daughter to Strongbow for
helping him regain his lands. Bakery
Daniel Maclise’s painting (1854)
emphasizes Anglo-Norman
power over the Irish.

Norman Weapons
These bows and arrows,
unearthed at Waterford, may
be relics of Strongbow’s
assault on the city in 1170.

1172 Pope 1318 Bruce killed in battle
affirms 1177 John de Dermot McMurrough,
King Henry II Courcy’s forces King of Leinster, who 1260 Powerful Irish
of England’s invade Ulster invited Strongbow to chieftain Brian 1315 Scots invade
lordship over come to his aid O’Neill killed at the Ireland; Edward Bruce
Ireland Battle of Down crowned king
1200 1250 1300
1169 Strongbow’s
Anglo-Normans arrive 1224 Dominican order 1297 First
at invitation of exiled enters Ireland and Irish Parliament
King of Leinster, constructs friaries meets in Dublin
Dermot McMurrough

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Where to See Anglo-
Norman Ireland
The strength of Norman
fortifications is best seen in the
castles at Carrickfergus, Limerick
(see p195) and Trim (p252) and in
Waterford’s city walls. Gothic
cathedrals that survive include
Dublin’s Christ Church (pp84–5)
and St Patrick’s (pp86–7) and
Richard II’s Fleet Returning to England in 1399 St Canice’s (p148) in Kilkenny.
Richard made two trips to Ireland – in 1394 and 1399. On the first he There are impressive ruins of
defeated Art McMurrough, King of Leinster, and other Irish chiefs, but medieval Cistercian abbeys at
the second was inconclusive. Jerpoint and Boyle (p223).
The gatehouse was
the last addition made
Kitchen in the 13th century.
The two towers
have arrow loops
for longbowmen.

Jerpoint Abbey (p149) has a
15th-century cloister containing
carv ings of elongated figures.

The hall was where the lord Éamonn Burke
of the castle held public
court and decided cases The 14th-century Lord
brought before him. of Mayo was a typically Waterford’s Anglo-Norman city
independent chieftain walls include this sturdy watchtower
of Anglo-Norman descent.
1394 King Richard II lands with army 1496 Kildare regains Lord Deputy position
Great Charter Roll of to reassert control; returns five years 1491 Kildare supports Perkin Warbeck,
Waterford (1372) showing later but with inconclusive results pretender to the English throne
portraits of the mayors of
four medieval cities 1471 8th Earl of Kildare made Lord Deputy of Ireland
1300 1350 1400 1450
1366 Statutes of Kilkenny 1487 Kildare crowns Lambert
forbid marriage between English force (left) Simnel “Edward VI” in Dublin
Anglo-Normans and Irish confront Irish horse­ 1494 Lord Deputy Edward
men on Richard II’s Poynings forbids Irish Parliament
1348 The Black Death: one third of return expedition to meet without royal consent
population killed in three years

040-041_EW_Ireland.indd 41 08/03/17 11:05 am


Protestant Conquest

England’s break with the Catholic Church, the dissolution of
the monasteries and Henry VIII’s assumption of the title King
of Ireland incensed both the old Anglo-Norman dynasties and
resurgent Irish clans such as the O’Neills. Resistance to foreign
rule was fierce and it took over 150 years of war to establish the
English Protestant Ascendancy. Tudor and Stuart monarchs
adopted a policy of military persuasion, then Plantation. Ireland in 1625
Oliver Cromwell was even more forceful. Irish hopes were Main areas of Plantation in
the reign of James I
raised when the Catholic James II ascended to the English
throne, but he was deposed and fled to Ireland, where he
was defeated by William of Orange (William III) in 1690.

The first relief ship to reach
Londonderry was the Phoenix. For
three months English ships had been
prevented from sailing up the Foyle by
a wooden barricade across the river.

James II’s army
on the east bank
of the Foyle
attacks the ship.
Battle of the Boyne
This tapestry, from the Bank
of Ireland (see p64), shows
William of Orange leading his
troops against the army of
James II in 1690. His victory is
still celebrated by Orangemen
in Northern Ireland.

Silken Thomas Fitzgerald The artist’s depiction
Silken Thomas, head of the powerful of 17th-century
weapons and uniforms
Kildares, renounced his allegiance to is far from accurate.
Henry VIII in 1534. He was hanged
along with his five uncles in 1537.

1592 Trinity College, 1607 Flight of
1541 Henry VIII Sir Thomas Dublin founded the Earls: old
declared King of Lee, an officer Irish leaders flee
Ireland by Irish in Elizabeth I’s 1585 Ireland is to the Continent;
Henry Parliament army, dressed mapped and Plantation of
divided into
VIII in Irish fashion 32 counties Ulster
1500 1525 1550 1575 1600
1534 Silken Thomas 1582 Desmond 1603 Earl of
rebels against Henry VIII 1557 Mary I rebellion in Tyrone ends
eight years of
1504 8th Earl of Kildare 1539 Henry VIII orders first Munster war by signing
becomes master of Ireland dissolves plantations in 1588 Spanish Armada the Treaty
after victory at Knocktoe monasteries Offaly and Laois wrecked off west coast of Mellifont

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Plantation Ireland
James I realized that force alone could not
stabilize Ireland. The Plantation programme
uprooted the native Irish and gave their land to
Protestant settlers from England and Scotland.
London livery companies organized many of
the new settlements. The policy created loyal
garrisons who supported the Crown.

The Siege of Drogheda (1649)
Between 1649 and 1652 Cromwell’s army avenged
attacks on Protestant settlers with ruthless efficiency.
Here Cromwell himself directs the gunners
bombarding Drogheda.

The Walls of Derry have never been Bellaghy in County Londonderry was settled by the
breached by any attacker and many of Vintners Company. This map of the neatly planned
the original 17th-century gates and town dates from 1622.
bastions that withstood the siege of
1689 are still in place (see pp262–3).
Ship Quay Protestants emerge
St George’s flag from the besieged city
to greet the English
relieving force and to
engage the enemy.

Loftus Cup
Adam Loftus,
Chancellor of
Ireland, used his
position to enrich
his family. In 1593 he
had the Great Seal of
The Siege of Derry (1689) Ireland melted down
Some 20,000 Protestants were besieged for 105 days in and made into this
Londonderry by James II’s forces. Thousands died from silver-gilt cup.
starvation, until relief finally came from English warships.
This 18th-century painting by William Sadler II gives a
rather fanciful picture of the ending of the siege.

1607 Flight of 1690 William of Orange defeats
the Earls: old 1632 Important Irish Protestant James II at Battle of the Boyne;
Irish leaders flee history, The Annals of apprentice boys James’s army surrenders the
to the Continent; the Four Masters, written closing the gates of following year in Limerick
Plantation of by four Franciscan friars Derry before the
Ulster from Donegal siege of 1689
1600 1625 1650 1675 1700
1688 James II,
1649 Cromwell lands in deposed Catholic 1695 Penal code
Dublin; razes Drogheda king of England, severely reduces rights
and Wexford; Catholic of Roman Catholics
1641 Armed rebellion in landowners transplanted flees to Ireland and
Ulster opposes Plantation raises army
to far west 1689 Siege of Derry

042-043_EW_Ireland.indd 43 08/03/17 11:05 am


Georgian Ireland

The Protestant Ascendancy was a period of great prosperity
for the landed gentry, who built grand country houses and
furnished them luxuriously. Catholics, meanwhile, were
denied even the right to buy land. Towards the end of the
18th century, radicals, influenced by events in America and
France, started to demand independence from the English
Crown. Prime Minister Henry Grattan tried a parliamentary Ireland in 1703
route; Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen opted for armed Counties where Protestants
owned over 75 per cent
insurrection. Both approaches ultimately failed. of land

State bedroom

The saloon, the Casino’s
main room, was used for
formal entertaining. It
has a magnificent
parquet floor.

Stone lions by
Edward Smyth
The Irish House of Commons
This painting shows Irish leader Henry
Grattan addressing the house (see p64).
The “Grattan Parliament” lasted from
1782 to 1800, but was then abolished
by the Act of Union.
The basement contains the
servants’ hall, the kitchen,
pantry and wine cellar.

The 18th century saw work
begin on ambitious projects
such as the Grand Canal, new
roads and Dublin’s network of
wide streets and squares.

1731 Royal Dublin
Jonathan Swift 1724 Swift Society founded 1738 Death of Ireland’s most
(1667–1745) attacks Ireland’s to encourage famous harper, Turlough
penal code in A agriculture, art O’Carolan (see p28)
Modest Proposal and crafts
1710 1720 1730 1740 1750
1731 First issue of 1751 Dublin’s
1713 Jonathan Swift the Belfast News­ 1742 First performance Rotunda Lying-In
appointed Dean of letter, the world’s of Handel’s Messiah Hospital is first
St Patrick’s Cathedral oldest continually given in Dublin maternity hospital in
(see p86) running newspaper the British Isles

044-045_EW_Ireland.indd 44 08/03/17 11:05 am
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Linen Bleaching
Ulster’s linen industry Where to See
flourished thanks to the Georgian Ireland
expertise of Huguenot Dublin preserves many fine
weavers from France. Georgian terraces and public
The woven cloth was buildings such as the Custom
spread out in fields
or on river banks to House (see p92) and the Four
bleach it (see p272). Courts (p96). Around Dublin,
the grand houses at Castletown
(pp132–3), Russ borough and
Powerscourt (pp138–9) are
fascin ating reminders of the
The Classical urns lifestyle of the gentry. Other
on the roof conceal 18th-century country seats
open to the public include Emo
Court, Westport House (pp208–9)
The china closet was and Castle Coole (p276).
originally designed as
a bedroom.

Emo Court’s façade, with its plain
Ionic portico, is by James Gandon,
Irish Painting archi tect of many of Dublin’s public
Aristocratic patronage encouraged buildings (p257).
the development of an Irish school of
painting. This picture, by an unknown
artist, shows Leixlip Castle in an
idealized rural setting.

The hall ends in
a semi-circular
apse leading to
the saloon.
Russborough House (p136) was
Casino Marino built in 1741 by Richard Castle.
Elegant niches with Classical busts
This frivolous summer house was built in the flank the grand fireplace in the
1760s for the first Earl of Charlemont on his estate just entrance hall.
north of Dublin (see p104). Palladian architecture of
this kind was popular among the Irish aristocracy,
who followed 18th-century English fashions.
The Irish
Guinness 1782 Parliament gains Volunteers, a 1798 Rebellion
Brewery greater degree of local militia of Wolfe Tone’s
Gate which pressed United Irishmen
independence from quashed
Westminster Parliament
for reform
1750 1760 1770 1780 1790
Custom House 1791 James Gandon’s 1795 Orange
Custom House Order formed by
1759 Arthur Guinness built in Dublin Ulster Protestants
buys the St James’s Gate 1793 Limited emancipation
Brewery in Dublin for Irish Catholics

044-045_EW_Ireland.indd 45 08/03/17 11:05 am


Famine and Emigration

The history of 19th-century Ireland is dominated by the Great
Famine of 1845–48, which was caused by the total failure of
the potato crop. Although Irish grain was still being exported
to England, more than one million people died from hunger
or disease, with even more fleeing to North America. By 1900,
the pre-famine population of eight million had fallen by half.
Rural hardship fuelled a campaign for tenants’ rights which Ireland in 1851
evolved into demands for independence from Britain. Great Areas where population
fell by over 25 per cent
strides towards “Home Rule” were made in Parliament by the during the Famine
charismatic politician Charles Stewart Parnell.

The ships that brought the Irish to
Daniel O’Connell America were over crowded and fever­
Known as “The Liberator”, ridden, and known as “coffin ships”.
O’Connell organized
peaceful “monster
rallies” of up to a
million people in
pursuit of Catholic
emancipation. He
was elected MP
for Clare in 1828.

Castle Clinton was
used for processing
new arrivals to New
York prior to the con­
struction of the huge
depot on Ellis Island.

The Boycotting of Landlords
In 1880, troops guarded the crops of Captain
Boycott, the first notable victim of a campaign to
ostracize landlords guilty of evicting tenants. His
name later passed into the English language.

Charles Bianconi’s 1838 Father Mathew founds 1845 Start of
coach service, 1836 1815 First coach service temperance crusade – five million Great Famine,
begins in Ireland Irish take abstinence pledge and which lasts for
whiskey production is reduced by half four years
1817 Royal Canal
is completed
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840
1803 Uprising, led by Robert Emmet, is 1829 After a five­year campaign
crushed after feared Napoleonic by Daniel O’Connell, Catholic
invasion of England fails to materialize Emancipation Act is passed,
1800 Act of Union: Ireland giving a limited number of Father
legally becomes part of Britain Catholics the right to vote Mathew

046-047_EW_Ireland.indd 46 25/04/16 11:00 am


The Irish Abroad
One result of the Famine was the growth
of a strong Irish community in the USA.
From the lowest rung of American
society, the immigrants rose up the
social scale and became rich by Irish
Catholic standards. They sent money to
causes back home, and as a well-
organized lobby group put pressure on
the American gov ernment to influence
British policies in Ireland. A more militant
group, Clan na Gael, sent veterans of
the American Civil War to fight in the
Eviction of Irish Farmers Fenian risings of 1865 and 1867.
In the late 1870s, agricultural prices plummeted. Starving
tenant farmers fell into arrears and were mercilessly evicted.
Their plight spawned the Land League, which lobbied
successfully for reform.

New Yorkers stage a huge St Patrick’s Day parade,
17 March 1870.

The Irish
were widely
perceived as
peasants in
the USA and
often met
with a hostile

Charles Stewart Parnell
Immigrants Arrive In New York A campaigner for the Land
The Irish who survived the journey to America landed League and Home Rule, Parnell
at Castle Garden in New York, seen here in a painting saw his political career ruined in
by Samuel Waugh (1855). Although mainly country 1890, when he was cited as
people, most new arrivals settled in Manhattan, often co-respondent in a divorce case.
enduring horrific living conditions.

1845 Start of 1884 Founding of 1886 British PM
Great Famine, 1853 Dublin Exhibition Gaelic Athletic Gladstone sponsors
which lasts for is opened by Queen Victoria 1877 Parnell becomes Association, first first Home Rule
four years leader of the new group to promote Bill but is defeated
Home Rule Party Irish traditions by Parliament
1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1848 Failure of the 1867 Irish-Americans 1881 Parnell
Young Ireland Uprising – return home to fight in a 1879–82 Land War, led by is jailed in
a spontaneous response rising led by the Irish Michael Davitt’s Land League, Kilmainham 1892 Second
to insurrections Home Rule Bill
Father Republican Brotherhood, campaigns for the reform of Gaol, Dublin is defeated
Mathew elsewhere in Europe also known as the Fenians tenancy laws

046-047_EW_Ireland.indd 47 25/04/16 11:00 am


War and Independence

Plans for Irish home rule were shelved because of World War I;
however, the abortive Easter Rising of 1916 inspired new
support for the Republican cause. In 1919 an unofficial Irish
Parliament was established and a war began against the
“occupying” British forces. The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921
divided the island in two, granting independence to the
Irish Free State, while Northern Ireland remained in the Ireland in 1922
United Kingdom. There followed a civil war between Northern Ireland
pro-Treaty and anti-Treaty factions in the South. Irish Free State
The Unionist Party
Leader of the campaign
against Home Rule was
Dublin barrister Edward
Carson. In 1913 the
Ulster Volunteer Force
was formed to demand
that six counties in Ulster Sean J Heuston Major John McBride
remain part of the UK. Thomas McDonough

The 1916 Service Medal,
issued to all who fought in
the Easter Rising, depicts,
on one side, the mythical
Irish warrior

William Pearse Patrick Pearse, a
poet, read the
Proclamation of the
The Black and Tans Republic from the
steps of the GPO on
Named for their makeshift uniforms, Easter Monday.
these British troops – mostly demobbed
World War I soldiers – carried out savage
reprisals against the Irish in 1920–21.
1913 General strike 1918 Sinn Féin wins 73 seats at 1919 First
The Titanic in Dublin Westminster; Constance Markievicz meeting of the 1922 Irish Free State
elected first woman MP independent inaugurated; Michael
1912 Belfast-built parliament Collins shot dead in
Titanic sinks on her 1916 Easter (Dáil Éireann) ambush in Co Cork
maiden voyage Rising quashed
1905 1910 1915 1920
1912 Edward Carson rallies Ulster 1920 Government of
1905 Sinn Féin Protestants; solemn covenant to defeat Ireland Act proposes
(We Ourselves) Home Rule signed by 471,414 people partition of the island
party founded 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty signed; de
1904 Dublin’s Abbey Despatch bag carried by Constance Valera resigns; southern Ireland
Theatre opens Markievicz during Easter Rising plunged into civil war

048-049_EW_Ireland.indd 48 25/04/16 11:00 am
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