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Ireland

To see a fun video John shot of our Irish night out at Hayes Pub, please click here.

Dublin, IrelandDublin  Dublin is the capital and most populous city of Ireland. The English name for the city is derived from the Irish name Dubhlinn, meaning "black pool".

Dublin is situated near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey. Originally founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island's principal city following the Norman invasion. It became the capital of the Irish Free State and the Republic of Ireland.

We spent much of our time in downtown Dublin walking along Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green and Kildare Street. We had a very nice lunch of Irish stew, a turkey sandwich and a pint of excellent Temple Brau lager at the Porterhouse Central. 


Oscar Wilde, poetOscar Wilde -  was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams, his only novel (The Picture of Dorian Gray), his plays, and the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death. Wilde's parents were successful Anglo-Irish Dublin intellectuals. Their son became fluent in French and German early in life. At university Wilde read Greats; he proved himself to be an outstanding classicist, first at Dublin, then at Oxford. He became known for his involvement in the rising philosophy of aestheticism, led by two of his tutors, Walter Pater and John Ruskin. After university, Wilde moved to London into fashionable cultural and social circles. As a spokesman for aestheticism, he tried his hand at various literary activities: he published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada on the new "English Renaissance in Art", and then returned to London where he worked prolifically as a journalist. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversation, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. At the turn of the 1890s, he refined his ideas about the supremacy of art in a series of dialogues and essays, and incorporated themes of decadence, duplicity, and beauty into his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). The opportunity to construct aesthetic details precisely, and combine them with larger social themes, drew Wilde to write drama. He wrote Salome (1891) in French in Paris but it was refused a license for England due to the absolute prohibition of Biblical subjects on the English stage. Unperturbed, Wilde produced four society comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London.

This colorful sculpture of Oscar Wilde is located in Merrion Square. It uses five exotic rock types to produce the blue, pink, green, black and grey colors of the statue. The huge rock on which Wilde is reclining is a boulder of quartz transported from the Wicklow Mountains, fifteen miles south of Dublin

O'Connell Monument memorial to Daniel O'ConnellDaniel O'Connell, (August 6, 1775 – May 15, 1847); often referred to as The Liberator, or The Emancipator, was an Irish political leader. He campaigned for Catholic Emancipation, including the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, denied for over 100 years, and repeal of the Act of Union which combined Great Britain and Ireland.

O'Connell Street  is Dublin's main thoroughfare. Located in the heart of Dublin city, O'Connell Street forms part of a grand thoroughfare created in the 18th century that runs through the center of the capital, O'Connell Bridge, Westmoreland Street, College Green and Dame Street, terminating at City Hall and Dublin Castle. Situated just north of the River Liffey, it runs close to a north-south orientation. Lined with many handsome buildings, O'Connell Street is the most monumental of Dublin's commercial streets, having been largely rebuilt in the early 20th century following extensive destruction in the struggle for Irish independence and subsequent civil war. O'Connell Street Lower has the air of an imposing 1920s boulevard O'Connell Street Upper by contrast retains something of its original 18th century character, with the western side conforming to original plot widths and some original fabric still intact. The street's layout is simple but elegant. Similar to Paris' Champs-Élysées, though more intimate in scale, it has a wide pavement each side of the street serving the retail outlets that line its length, and a parallel pair of two-lane (formerly three-lane) roadways. A paved median space runs down the center of the street, featuring monuments and statues to various Irish political leaders. The famous large London Plane trees that lined the median for the second half of the 20th century were removed in 2003 amidst some controversy.  The center of the street is dominated by the imposing presence of the 1818 General Post Office (GPO) with its hexastyle Ionic portico projecting over the west pavement, and the 393 ft Spire of Dublin, a needle-like self-supporting sculpture of rolled stainless steel erected in 2003. Both structures are addressed by a large civic plaza space, traversed by the street's two roadways. O'Connell Street has often been center-stage in Irish history, attracting the city's most prominent monuments and public art through the centuries, and formed the backdrop to one of the 1913 Dublin Lockout gatherings, the 1916 Easter Rising, the Irish Civil War of 1922, the destruction of the Nelson Pillar in 1966, and many public celebrations, protests and demonstrations through the years - a role it continues to play to this day.

St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, IrelandSt. Patrick's Cathedral - also known as The National Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Patrick, founded in 1191, is the larger of Dublin's two Church of Ireland cathedrals, and the largest church in Ireland with a 140 feet high spire.

Since 1870, the Church has designated St Patrick's as the National Cathedral for the whole island, drawing chapter members from each of the twelve dioceses of the Church of Ireland.

Built in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptized converts on his visit to Dublin. The parish church of Saint Patrick on this site was granted collegiate status in 1191, and raised to cathedral status in 1224. The present building dates from 1220. The Cathedral is today the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland.Today the Cathedral is open to all people as an architectural and historical site, but principally as a place of worship. 


Arnaldo Pomodoros Sphere Within Sphere sculptureTrinity College - formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, is the sole constituent college of the University of Dublin in Ireland. The college was founded in 1592 as the "mother" of a new university, modeled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and of Cambridge, but, unlike these, only one college was ever established; as such, the designations "Trinity College" and "University of Dublin" are usually synonymous for practical purposes.

It is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland, as well as Ireland's oldest university. Originally established outside the city walls of Dublin in the buildings of the dissolved Augustinian Priory of All Hallows, Trinity College was set up in part to consolidate the rule of the Tudor monarchy in Ireland, and it was seen as the university of the Protestant Ascendancy for much of its history. The college occupies 47 acres. The Library of Trinity College is a legal deposit library for Ireland and the United Kingdom, containing over 4.5 million printed volumes and significant quantities of manuscripts (including the Book of Kells), maps and music. Our picture is of Arnaldo Pomodoro's Sphere Within Sphere sculpture which stands outside the Berkeley Library.



The Book of Kells, Trinity College Library, IrelandBook of Kells -  is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created by Celtic monks ca. 800 or slightly earlier. It is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination. It is also widely regarded as Ireland's finest national treasure. The illustrations and ornamentation of the Book of Kells surpass that of other Insular Gospel books in extravagance and complexity. The decoration combines traditional Christian iconography with the ornate swirling motifs typical of Insular art. Figures of humans, animals and mythical beasts, together with Celtic knots and interlacing patterns in vibrant colors, enliven the manuscript's pages. The manuscript today comprises 340 folios and, since 1953, has been bound in four volumes. The leaves are on high-quality calf vellum, and the elaborate ornamentation that covers them includes ten full-page illustrations and text pages that are vibrant with decorated initials and interlinear miniatures and mark the furthest extension of the anti-classical and energetic qualities of Insular art. The manuscript takes its name from the Abbey of Kells that was its home for centuries. Today, it is on permanent display at the Trinity College Library, Dublin.  

The Old Library, Trinity CollegeThe Old Library is the largest library in Ireland. The main chamber of the Old Library is the Long Room, and at 213 feet in length, it is filled with 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books. As a "copyright library", it has legal deposit rights for material published in the Republic of Ireland; it is also the only Irish library to hold such rights for the United Kingdom.

The library is the permanent home to the famous Book of Kells. Two of the four volumes are on public display, one opened to a major decorated page and the other to a typical page of text. The volumes and pages shown are regularly changed.



Fusiliers' Arch, Dublin IrelandFusiliers' Arch -  is a monument which forms part of the Grafton Street entrance to St Stephen's Green park, in Dublin, Ireland. Erected in 1907, it was dedicated to the officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted men of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who fought and died in the Second Boer War (1899-1900). Funded by public subscription, the arch was designed by John Howard Pentland and built by Henry Laverty and Sons Thomas Drew consulted on the design and construction. The dimensions of the structure are said to be modeled on the Arch of Titus in Rome, and it is 75 ft. wide and 33 ft. high. The internal dimensions of the arch are 18 feet high by 12 ft. wide. The main structure of the arch is granite with a bronze adornment on the front of the arch. Inscriptions are carried out in limestone which list the principal battles and locations at which the fusiliers fought: Hart's Hill, Ladysmith, Talana, Colenso, Tugela Heights, and Laing's Nek. The names of 212 dead are inscribed on the underside of the arch. The construction of the arch coincided with a time of political and social change in Ireland, and the colonial and imperial background to the dedication were anathema to a burgeoning nationalist movement - who labeled the structure "Traitor's Gate". Though damaged in a cross-fire between the Irish Citizens Army and British troops during the 1916 Easter Rising, the arch remains "one of the few colonialist monuments in Dublin not blown up" in Ireland's post-independence history.



Taylor's Three Rock Irish Night and CabaretTaylor's Three Rock Irish Night and Cabaret - Taylors Irish Night delivers  a rip roaring evening of traditional Irish song and dance accompanied by a great selection of Irish food to delight your pallet.

The resident band and traditional Irish Dancers provide breathtaking performances and never fail to entertain. Their Cabaret Show has the perfect blend of top traditional entertainers presenting an evening of Irish "craic". The performers delight with well know songs, foot tapping dances, soulful ballads and side splitting mirth by their resident comedian, Noel Ginnitu.


Irish National Stud at Kildare IrelandIrish National Stud at Kildare is a Thoroughbred horse breeding facility based at Tully, Kildare, County Kildare, Ireland. To see our YouTube video of the National Stud Farm please click here.

The Stud Farm was formally established by incorporation on April 11, 1946 under the National Stud Act, 1945 and is owned by the Irish Government. The Irish National Stud belongs to the people of Ireland .

This is an attraction of outstanding natural beauty that showcases Ireland’s Thoroughbred industry and is home to some of the most magnificent horses and sumptuous gardens.

The Japanese Gardens were created in 1906 . We followed the path called the "Life of Man". It was a feast for the eye and ear with the sight and sound of trickling streams perfectly complementing the greenery and vivid colors that provide a tranquil backdrop to the beautiful Bridge of Life and Tea House.

 

Rock of CashelRock of Cashel - also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick's Rock, is an historic site located at Cashel, South Tipperary, Ireland. According to local mythology, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil's Bit, a mountain 20 miles north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock's landing in Cashel. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ua Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. Few remnants of the early structures survive; the majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries.

Tipperary IrelandTipperary - lies in the scenic surroundings of the 'Golden Vale' that is just 4 miles from the beautifully secluded Glen of Aherlow between the Galtee Mountains and the Slievenamuck Hills. The town is a 19th century market town that began as an Anglo - Norman settlement - the motte and bailey built by the Normans can still be seen today. The town grew around a castle built by King John near the end of the 12th Century and is still a rich, lush agricultural area that is perfect for farming. Architecturally, the town boasts some magnificent 19th Century buildings with generous amounts of decorative work. The name of the town and county derives from the Irish 'Tiobraid Arann' meaning the 'Well of Ara' referring to the River Ara on which the town is built. This ancient sacred well is now closed but it was located in Bridge St. just off the Main Street. The town has long been linked with the song "It's a long way to Tipperary", written by Jack Judge, it became a marching song in the first world war and sung by both sides during World War I.

Knappogue CastleKnappogue Castle- The Knappogue Castle and Walled Garden, built in 1467, is located in County Clare, Ireland. It was built by Seán Mac Conmara, and is a good example of a medieval tower house. It has a long and varied history, from a battlefield to a dwelling place. In 1571 the castle became the seat of the Mac Conmara (MacNamara) sept, the Earls of West Clancullen. Donnchadh Mac Conmara was a leader of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and Knappogue remained in Mac Conmara hands throughout the Irish Confederate Wars of the 1640s. After the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland (1649-53) it was confiscated in accord with the Adventurers' Act and its new owner was Arthur Smith. However, after the monarchy was restored in 1660, Knappogue was returned to its Mac Conmara owners. The Mac Conmara sept sold the castle to the Scotts in 1800; the latter carried out major restoration and extension work. We enjoyed a medieval castle banquet served by waiters and waitresses in medieval dress. Entertainment was provided by dancers and musicians (including a harpist) sharing their love of Irish traditions.

Limerick, IrelandLimerick  is the Republic of Ireland’s third largest city and is located at the mouth of the mighty River Shannon, where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

Conquered by the Vikings in the ninth century, this bustling modern city has a rich medieval past, which resounds around its ancient streets. As well as the internationally renowned Hunt Museum with its exceptional art collection including works from Picasso, da Vinci and Renoir, Limerick also boasts a wonderful medieval precinct with the famous 800-year-old King John’s Castle. Limerick is home to a number of higher-education institutions including the University of Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology and Mary Immaculate College.  Also, it has many shops, wonderful restaurants and is a popular small concert venue.

St Mary's CathedralSt. Mary's Cathedral -  Limerick Cathedral (St Mary's), dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded in 1168 and is the oldest building in Limerick which is in daily use.  It has the only complete set of misericords left in Ireland. These misericords are unique in Ireland as the only surviving pre-Elizabethan carvings, and probably date from 1480 when Bishop Folan restored St. Mary’s (A misericord, sometimes named mercy seat, is a small wooden shelf on the underside of a folding seat in a church, installed to provide a degree of comfort for a person who has to stand during long periods of prayer). According to tradition, Donal Mor O'Brien, the last King of Munster founded the present cathedral on the site of his palace on King's Island in 1168.  The palace had been built on the site of the Viking meeting place, or "Thingmote" the Vikings' most westerly European stronghold.   Parts of the palace may be incorporated into the present structure of the cathedral, most prominently the great West Door, which tradition claims was the original main entrance to the royal palace.  The West Door is now only used on ceremonial occasions.  According to tradition, during the many sieges of Limerick the defenders of the City used the stones around the West Door to sharpen their swords and arrows, and the marks they made in the stonework can be seen there today. The tower of St. Mary's Cathedral was added in the 14th century, and it rises to 120 feet.

St. John's Castle, Limerick, IrelandKing John's Castle - is a castle located on King's Island in Limerick, Ireland, next to the River Shannon. The walls, towers and fortifications remain today. The remains of a Viking settlement were uncovered during the construction of a visitor center at the site. The Viking sea-king, Thormodr Helgason, built the first permanent Viking stronghold on Inis Sibhtonn (King's Island) in 922. He used the base to raid the length of the River Shannon from Lough Derg to Lough Ree, pillaging ecclesiastical settlements. In 937 the Limerick Vikings clashed with those of Dublin on Lough Ree and were defeated. In 943 they were defeated again when the chief of the local Dalcassian clan joined with Ceallachán, king of Munster and the Limerick Vikings were forced to pay tribute to the clans. The arrival of the Anglo-Normans to the area in 1172 changed everything. Domhnall Mór Ó Briain burned the city to the ground in 1174 in a bid to keep it from the hands of the new invaders. After he died in 1194, the Anglo-Normans finally captured the area in 1195, under John, Lord of Ireland. In 1197, local legend claims Limerick was given its first charter and its first Mayor, Adam Sarvant. A castle, built on the orders of King John and bearing his name, was completed around 1200.  

Dunguaire Castle, IrelandDunguaire Castle - Dunguaire Castle is situated on the southeastern shore of Galway Bay in County Galway, Ireland, near Kinvarra, on a rocky outcropping right off of N67. It was built in 1520 by the O’Hynes, a family who may have been associated with the area since around 662.  The tower was restored in the 16th century.  In the early 17th century the castle passed into the hands of the Martyn’s of Galway. Richard Martyn, Mayor of Galway lived here until 1642 and the Martyn’s of Tulira Castle, owned the castle until this century. In 1924 Dunguaire was bought and repaired by Oliver St. John Gogarty, the famous surgeon and literary figure. In 1954 the castle was acquired by Christobel Lady Amptill who completed the restoration started by Oliver St. John Gogarty. Subsequently the castle became the property of Shannon Development. From April to October you can enjoy traditional Irish entertainment and locally sourced food at the castle banquet.

Cliffs of MoherCliffs of Moher - are located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland. To see our YouTube Video of the Cliffs of Moher please click here. They rise 390 ft above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and reach their maximum height of 702 ft just north of O'Brien's Tower, five miles to the north. O'Brien's Tower is a round stone tower near the midpoint of the cliffs built in 1835 by Sir Cornelius O'Brien to impress female visitors. The cliffs take their name from an old fort called Moher that once stood on Hag's Head, the southernmost point of the cliffs. The fort still stood in 1780 and is mentioned in an account from John Lloyd's a Short Tour Of Clare (1780). It was demolished in 1808 to provide material for a new telegraph tower. The present tower near the site of the old Moher Uí Ruidhin was built as a lookout tower during the Napoleonic wars. During our visit, the wind was blowing fiercely and a rainstorm was beginning to hit the area.

The BurrenThe Burren - is a karst-landscape region (limestone region) in northwest County Clare, in Ireland. The word "Burren" comes from an Irish word "Boíreann" meaning a rocky place. This is an appropriate name for a landscape of extended, exposed limestone pavement and very little soil cover. Despite the apparent harsh terrain, more than 700 different flowering plants and ferns have been recorded in the Burren. Thus, although the Burren represents only 1% of the land-mass of Ireland, 75% of the Irish native species are contained in the area. The region measures approximately 96 square miles and is enclosed roughly within the circle made by the villages Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna. It is bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay on the west and north, respectively. A small portion of the Burren has been designated as Burren National Park. It is one of only six National Parks in Ireland and the smallest in size.

Galway IrelandGalway - To see our YouTube video of Galway, please click here. Galway City, in County Galway, was originally formed from a small fishing village located in the area near the Spanish Arch called ‘The Claddagh’ where the River Corrib meets Galway Bay. Today, it is a cultural city with a bohemian flavor and it is the fourth most populous city in Ireland. It is also a popular seaside destination with beautiful beaches and a long winding promenade.

We had an opportunity to explore the bustling William Street and Shop Street area with its interesting collection of shops, boutiques and cafes. From there, we walked about Eyre Square, noting all the family names and crests on the flags.We also visited The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas, commonly known as Galway Cathedral. It’s a Roman Catholic cathedral and is one of the largest and most impressive buildings in the city. Construction began in 1958 on the site of the old city jail, in 1965

Rathbaun Farm, IrelandRathbaun Farm is situated in a rural area of Southwest County Galway in Ardrahan. Originally the home of the Burkes, now the home of the Connolly family, Fintan carries on the farming tradition on this 80 acre farm. The main livestock are sheep including a display of native Irish breeds. The land is “limestone, free-draining soil currently in permanent pasture and in organic conversion.”

Visitors to Rathbaun Farm will get a glimpse into the daily workings of a sheep-farm with plenty of time to see the animals, feed the lambs, talk to the family and explore the farmyard. Frances directed us in making scones that were not only edible, but tasty! Then we watched Fintan sheer a sheep and saw his loyal border collie round up a group of sheep in no time flat. We toured the beautiful thatched roof cottage while a peat fire burned in the fireplace and we enjoyed the décor and ambiance of a peaceful, old time farm setting.

Bunratty CastleBunratty Castle, meaning "Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty" is a large tower house in County Clare, Ireland. It lies in the centre of Bunratty village. The name Bunratty, Bun Raite (or possibly, Bun na Raite) in Irish, means the 'bottom' or end of the 'Ratty' river. This river, alongside the castle, flows into the nearby Shannon estuary. From the top of the castle, one can look over to the estuary and the airport. The castle and the adjoining folk park are run by Shannon Heritage.

Bunratty Castle, built in 1425, is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland and contains furnishings, tapestries, and works of art from the period. The castle is famous for the night time medieval banquets which operate there throughout the year. We enjoyed the Traditional Irish Night in the Corn Barn. When we arrived, we were welcomed by the ‘Fear an Ti’ who offered us a drink of Carolans Irish Cream Liqueur or a glass of mead. This was followed by a four course dinner of Irish traditional dishes while being treated to the best traditions of Ireland in music, song and dance.  Following dinner, the 40 minute show included storytelling, and more dancing and music with instrumental pieces and ballads weaving the story of Irish traditional music through the ages. It was a fine dinner with fine entertainment.

King Puck GoatKing Puck Goat - The most widely mentioned story relating to the origin of King Puck, associates him with the English Ironside Leader Oliver Cromwell. It is related that while the "Roundheads" were pillaging the countryside around Shanara and Kilgobnet at the foot of the McGillycuddy Reeks, they routed a herd of goats grazing on the upland. The animals took flight before the raiders, and the he-goat or "Puck" broke away on his own and lost contact with the herd. While the others headed for the mountains he went towards Cill Orglain (Killorglin) on the banks of the Laune. His arrival there in a state of semi exhaustion alerted the inhabitants of the approaching danger and they immediately set about protecting themselves and their stock. It is said that in recognition of the service rendered by the goat, the people decided to institute a special festival in his honor and this festival has been held ever since. Whatever its origins, the festival has long been and continues to be the main social, economic and cultural event in the Killorglin Calendar.

Killorglin, IrelandKillorglin -  is a town located in the South-West of Ireland in County Kerry. Situated on the Iveragh Peninsula on the N70 Ring of Kerry road. Killorglin stands on a hill to the south of Castlemaine Harbour headwaters, on the famous salmon fishing River Laune. The population of Killorglin is only 2085 although this expands considerably during the famous Puck Fair due to visitors and returning emigrants. The fair is held each year from August 10-12. The three days are named The Gathering Day (a horse fair), The Fair Day (a cattle fair) and The Scattering Day.We stopped long enough to take a photo of the King Puck statue..

Ring of Kerry, IrelandRing of Kerry -  is a tourist trail in County Kerry, south-western Ireland. To see our YouTube video of the Ring of Kerry, please click here. The route covers the 111 mile circular road starting from Killarney, heading around the Iveragh Peninsula and passing through Kenmare, Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen and Killorglin. Popular points include Muckross House (near Killarney), Staigue stone fort and Derrynane House, home of Daniel O'Connell. Just south of Killarney, Ross Castle, Lough Leane, and Ladies View (a panoramic viewpoint), all located within Killarney National Park, are major attractions located along the Ring.

Since we are photo buffs, for us this was one of the most enjoyable afternoons we spent on our British Isles adventure. Click here to see some pictures of the beautiful Kerry Mountains. If we could stop at every great vantage point, it would have taken us a week and 100,000 photographs to complete the Ring of Kerry. We had lunch at Scarriff Inn, which provided a great scenic backdrop. At the end of the of the loop, we took a jaunty, horse carriage ride to Ross Castle within Killarney National Park. This is truly a beautiful area in a beautiful country.

Lakes of Killarney - are a renowned scenic attraction located near Killarney, County Kerry, in Ireland. They consist of three lakes - Lough Leane, Muckross Lake (also called Middle Lake) and Upper Lake. Lough Leane (from Irish: Loch Léin meaning "lake of learning") is the largest of the three lakes. The River Laune drains Lough Leane to the north towards Killorglin and into Dingle Bay. Lakes of Killarney, IrelandThe lakes lie in a mountain-ringed valley starting in the Black Valley. The mountains include: Carrauntoohil (Ireland's highest mountain) Purple Mountain, Mangerton Mountain and Torc Mountain.

Ladies View is a scenic stopping point on the N71 road from Killarney to Kenmare that offers a view of the lakes and valleys. There are many sites of natural, historic and religious interest on the lakes which are mostly contained in the surrounding Killarney National Park.

On the shores lie Ross Castle, Muckross Abbey and Muckross House. On Lough Leane is Innisfallen Island. Ross Island, a peninsula on the eastern shore of Lough Leane, is the site of copper mines dating back 4000 years to the Bronze Age, the earliest known copper mines in the British Isles. The area was also extensively mined in the early 19th century by the Herbert family of Muckross House. Muckross Peninsula, which separates Lough Leane from Muckross Lake, contains one of the few yew woods in Europe.

Ross Castle, Killarney, IrelandRoss Castle, Killarney - This Castle may be considered a typical example of the stronghold of an Irish Chieftain during the Middle Ages.

The date of its foundation is uncertain but it was probably built in the late 15th century by one of the O'Donoghue Ross chieftains.

It is surrounded by a fortified bawn, its curtain walls defended by circular flanking towers, two of which remain.

Much of the bawn was removed by the time the Barrack building was added on the south side of the castle sometime in the middle of the 18th century.

The castle contains 16th and 17th century oak furniture.

Waterville - Waterville, historically known as Coirean (Irish: An Coireán, meaning "the crescent"), is a village in County Kerry, Ireland, on the Iveragh Peninsula. The town is sited on a narrow isthmus, with Lough Currane on the east side of the town, and Ballinskelligs Bay on the west, and the Currane River connecting the two. Waterville IrelandThe town's name in Irish refers to the river in the case of "The Little Whirlpool", or "The Sickle" refers to the shape of Ballinskelligs Bay on which the town sits; the name however has been transplanted onto the lake with the Irish name being Loch Luíoch or Loch Luidheach.

The Butler family built a house at the mouth of the River Currane in the latter part of the 18th century. They named their house and estate Waterville. The village that developed on the estate during the first half of the 19th century was also named Waterville. The town was a favorite holiday spot of Charlie Chaplin and his family who used to stay in the Butler Arms Hotel. They first visited the town in 1959 and came back every year for over ten years. There is a statue of him in the centre of the village in his memory. The community has also obtained permission from the Charlie Chaplin estate to hold the inaugural Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival in the spirit of Charlie Chaplin, the first festival was held in 2011. It is the home of Mick O'Dwyer, Gaelic footballer and former Kerry senior football manager in the 1970s and 1980s. The landowners in Waterville and its environs were the Marquess of Landsdowne, the Hartopps and the Butlers. Both the Hartopps and Butlers were considered good landlords who were helpful to tenants and created employment. The Hartopp Arms Hotel was recorded as elegant as early as 1858. This was later known as the Southern Lake Hotel. It was demolished and the Waterville Lake Hotel constructed in its place at the beginning of the 1970s.

Blarney Castle, IrelandBlarney - The castle originally dates from before 1200, when a wooden structure was believed to have been built on the site, although no evidence remains of this. Around 1210 this was replaced by a stone fortification.  It was destroyed in 1446, but subsequently rebuilt by Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, Lord of Muscry. The castle was besieged during the Irish Confederate Wars and was seized in 1646 by Parliamentarian forces under Lord Broghill. However after the Restoration the castle was restored to Donough MacCarty, who was made 1st Earl of Clancarty. During the Williamite War in Ireland in the 1690s, the then 4th Earl of Clancarty (also named Donough MacCarty) was captured and his lands (including Blarney Castle) were confiscated by the Williamites. The castle was sold and changed hands a number of times-Sir Richard Pyne, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, owned it briefly- before being purchased in the early 1700s by Sir James St. John Jefferyes, then Governor of Cork City.  Members of the Jefferyes family would later build a mansion near the keep. This house was destroyed by fire however, and in 1874 a replacement baronial mansion—known as Blarney House—was built overlooking the nearby lake.  In the mid 19th century the Jefferyes and Colthurst families were joined by marriage, and the Colthurst family still occupy the demesne. In May 2008, the present estate owner, Sir Charles St John Colthurst, Baronet, succeeded in a court action to eject a man who has lived on his land for 44 years. The man's great-grandfather was the first to occupy the estate cottage.

Cork IrelandCork and the Irish Countryside - from corcach, meaning "marsh") is a city in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and in the province of Munster. With a population of 119,230, it is the second largest city in the state and the third most populous on the island of Ireland. The city is built on the River Lee which divides into two channels at the western end of the city. The city centre is located on the island created by the channels. At the eastern end of the city centre where the channels re-converge, quays and docks along the river banks lead to Lough Mahon and Cork Harbour, which is one of the world's largest natural harbours. The city's cognomen of "the rebel city" originates in its support for the Yorkist cause during the War of the Roses. Corkonians often refer to the city as "the real capital" in reference to the city's role as the centre of anti-treaty forces during the Irish Civil War.

Waterford IrelandWaterford meaning "ram fjord"; Irish: Port Láirge, meaning "Lárag's port") is a city in Ireland. It is located in the South-East Region and is also part of the province of Munster. It is the oldest and the fifth most populous city in the country. Waterford City Council is the local government authority for the city. The city is situated at the head of Waterford Harbour (Irish: Loch Dá Chaoch or Cuan Phort Láirge). The city motto Urbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia ("Waterford remains the untaken city") was granted by King Henry VII of England in 1497 after Waterford refused to recognize the claims of the pretenders Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck to the English throne. Waterford was subjected to two sieges in 1649 and 1650, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. It withstood the first siege but surrendered during the second siege to Henry Ireton on 6 August 1650. We also had a fun Irish night out in Waterford. We went to see Richie Roberts play at Hayes Pub in Killea-Dunmore East, Ireland. Please click here to see our pictures from that evening. To see our YouTube video of our visit to Waterford, please click here.

Virginia at the House of Waterford, IrelandHouse of Waterford- Waterford Crystal is a manufacturer of crystal. It is named for the city of Waterford, Ireland. It's owned by WWRD Holdings Ltd, a luxury goods group which also owns and operates the Wedgwood and Royal Doulton brands. Waterford City has been the home of Waterford Crystal since 1783. In January 2009 its Waterford base was closed down due to the bankruptcy of the Wedgwood Group. After several difficulties and takeovers, it re-emerged later that year. In June 2010, Waterford Crystal relocated almost back to its original roots, on The Mall in Waterford City. This new location is now home to a manufacturing facility that melts over 750 tons of crystal a year. While in Waterford, we had the opportunity to take guided tour of the factory and visited their retail store, which showcased the world's largest collection of Waterford Crystal.

Rosslare IrelandRosslare Ireland is a village and Seaside resort in County Wexford, Ireland. The name Rosslare Strand is used to distinguish it from the nearby community of Rosslare Harbour, site of the Europort. Rosslare has been a tourist resort for at least 100 years. It prides itself on being the sunniest spot in Ireland, and records bear this out: Rosslare receives 300 hours more sunshine each year than the average place in Ireland. The long sandy strand is a Blue Flag beach so it attracts swimmers and families, while there are a number of good golf courses in the vicinity. Rosslare is commonly known in Ireland as being in the "Sunny South-East", and in 1959 Rosslare recorded 1,996.4 hours of sunshine, the highest recorded in Ireland. However, it is not the warmest or driest place in Ireland.

Ferry across St Georges ChannelFerry across St Georges Channel to Pembroke South Wales St George's Channel (Welsh: Sianel San Siôr, Irish: Muir Bhreatan is a sea channel connecting the Irish Sea to the north and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. Historically, the name "St Georges Channel" was used interchangeably with "Irish Sea" or "Irish Channel" to encompass all the waters between Ireland to the west and Great Britain to the east. Later it was restricted to the portion separating Wales from Leinster, sometimes extending south to the waters between the West Country of England and East Munster; the latter have since the 1970s come to be called the Celtic Sea. In Ireland "St George's Channel" is now usually taken to refer only to the narrowest part of the channel, between Carnsore Point in Wexford and St David's Head in Pembrokeshire.

We've been doing our web site for many years. Some technology comes and goes... Here are some links to flash slide shows that can be viewed on a PC but are no longer supported on iPhone or Android devices. Back when these slide shows were made, there was no way to add music... So to see some of our "historical" silent slide shows... please click on the links below.

Dublin

Oscar Wilde

Daniel O'Connell

St. Patricks Cathedral

Trinity College

Book of Kells

The Old Library

Taylor's Three Rock Irish Night and Cabaret

Irish National Stud at Kildare

Rock of Cashel

Tipperary

Knappogue Castle

St. Mary's Cathedral

King John's Castle

Dunguaire Castle

Cliffs of Moher

The Burren

Galway

Rathbaun Farm

Bunratty Castle

King Puck Goat

Killorglin

Ring of Kerry

Lakes of Killarney

Ross Castle, Killarney

Waterville

Blarney

Cork and the Irish Countryside

Waterford

House of Waterford

Rosslare Ireland

Ferry across St Georges Channel to Pembroke South Wales