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Glencar, Ireland (by Sean Mac Thomas)

Photo by Sean Mac Thomas.

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Killarney, IrelandKillarney is a town in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland. The town is on the northeastern shore of Lough Leane, which is part of Killarney National Park. The town and its hinterland is home to St Mary’s Cathedral, Ross Castle, Muckross House and Abbey, the Lakes of Killarney, MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, Purple Mountain, Mangerton Mountain, the Gap of Dunloe and Torc Waterfall. Owing to its natural heritage, history and its location on the Ring of Kerry, Killarney is a popular tourist destination.
Killarney was bestowed the prestigious „Best Kept Town” award in 2007 in a cross-border competition jointly organised by the Department of the Environment and the Northern Ireland Amenity Council. In 2011 it was named Ireland’s tidiest town and the cleanest town in the country by Irish Business Against Litter.


10Blarney Castle, Blarney County, Cork, IrelandBlarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland, and the River Martin. Though earlier fortifications were built on the same spot, the current keep was built by the MacCarthy of Muskerry dynasty, a cadet branch of the Kings of Desmond, and dates from 1446. The noted Blarney Stone is found among the machicolations of the castle.The castle is now a partial ruin with some accessible rooms and battlements. At the top of the castle lies the Stone of Eloquence, better known as the Blarney Stone. Tourists visiting Blarney Castle may hang upside-down over a sheer drop to kiss the stone, which is said to give the gift of eloquence. There are many legends as to the origin of the stone, but some say that it was the Lia Fáil—a magical stone upon which Irish kings were crowned.


Dun Briste, Ireland sea stackDun Briste, a spectacular sea-stack, estimated to be approximately 50 metres in height, stands 80 metres off Downpatrick Head, in the town-land of Knockaun, east of Ballycastle, Co.Downpatrick Head is where the Atlantic has gouged a huge bay from the mighty cliffs and their summits scoured of all vegetation except grass by the ceaseless ocean winds.When the weather is rough, look out for the puffing holes that spew out tall columns of sea spray. The most spectacular of these is called Poulnachantinny. Now known as Doonbriste, this lone stack of rock is crowned by an old ruined fort.The cliffs in the area, including the stack, were formed in the Lower Carboniferous period, a geological term applied to a time c. 350 million years ago, when the sea temperatures around Ireland were much higher than today. On the adjoining Downpatrick headland, several archaeological monuments may be seen, and these range in type from Bronze-Age ring-barrows, early ecclesiastical sites, the remains of a promontory fort, to a more modern coastguard watch-house of W.W.2 vintage.Each year, Downpatrick is frequented by birdwatchers, who come to observe and record the many different species which take up positions on the stratified face of the stack as the seasons change. In May and early June, the headland itself is a blaze of colour when the sea-pink comes into bloom.


The Barrack Hill Ball Roll is a unique lottery when thousands of coloured numbered balls cascade and bounce down West View in Cobh, Ireland.
The Barrack Hill Ball Roll is a unique lottery when thousands of coloured numbered balls cascade and bounce down West View in Cobh, Ireland (by KerryJordanTog).


Grande Foto del Castello di Malahide in County Dublin IrlandaMalahide Castle, parts of which date to the 12th century, lies, with over 260 acres of remaining estate parkland (the Malahide Demesne Regional Park), close to the village of Malahide, nine miles north of Dublin in Ireland.The estate began in 1185, when Richard Talbot, a knight who accompanied Henry II to Ireland in 1174, was granted the „lands and harbour of Malahide„. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 12th century and it was home to the Talbot family for 791 years, from 1185 until 1976, the only exception being the period from 1649–1660, when Oliver Cromwell granted it to Miles Corbet after the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland; Corbet was hanged following the demise of Cromwell, and the castle was restored to the Talbots. The building was notably enlarged in the reign of Edward IV, and the towers added in 1765.
The estate survived such losses as the Battle of the Boyne, when fourteen members of the owner’s family sat down to breakfast in the Great Hall, and all were dead by evening, and the Penal Laws, even though the family remained Roman Catholic until 1774.In the 1920s the private papers of James Boswell were discovered in the castle, and sold to American collector Ralph H. Isham by Boswell’s great-great-grandson Lord Talbot of Malahide.
Malahide Castle and Demesne was eventually inherited by the seventh Baron Talbot and on his death in 1973, passed to his sister, Rose. In 1975, Rose sold the castle to the Irish State, partly to fund inheritance taxes. Many of the contents, notably furnishings, of the castle, had been sold in advance, leading to considerable public controversy, but private and governmental parties were able to retrieve some. Rose Talbot,one of the last surviving members of the Talbot family died at Malahide House, Tasmania in 2009. Her closest relatives, who married into the German surname Dietsch, traveled to Canada and the United States of America. Members of the Dietsch family still live in the USA and Canada today.
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Cork, IrelandCork , 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.
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