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Aran Inspired

County Down Museum

The building that houses the County Down Museum was once a local jail dating back to 1789. Now painstakingly restored, it houses exhibits centered around the life of St. Patrick, carved crosses from the 8th and 10th centuries, a selection of audiovisual presentations, and agricultural exhibits that include old farm implements and details about animals raised on local farms. Historical items on display include Bronze Age weapons, pottery, implements and tools, along with domestic crafts from the 19th century. There is a special section focusing on artifacts from the 1798 uprising.

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Enniskillen Town Hall

The copper dome of the town hall clock tower can be seen from anywhere in the town of Enniskillen. It stands on a hilltop, a landmark in the county town and commerce centre of Fermanagh. Designed and built in renaissance style, the front of the building is made from dark limestone, while the bright cream Dungannon sandstone columns, cornices, and statues provide a decorative contrast to the appearance of the exterior. The finishing touch is applied by the hand carved oak main entrance doors. Inside, the lobby features a finely detailed floor mosaic that depicts the Enniskillen coat of arms. It survived a bomb blast in 1972, unlike the remainder of the floor, which had to be replaced.

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Castle Archdale Islands

In the northeastern part of Lower Lough Erne, just off the coast of Archdale Country Park sit a group of tiny islands. They are actually the tops of small hills, or drumlins, created during the formation of Lough Erne. The islands are a beautiful sight, especially in autumn when the rare spindle trees appear with dark red leaves and bright pink fruits, accented by the golden aspens. Garden warblers make their homes here, rare birds nesting within the dense foliage. The most common trees in the park are the oak and ash, and they stand out from the surrounding forests, which contain an abundance of conifers. These islands once had a rich agricultural potential, but are now long deserted, as evidenced by old irrigation ditches and the ruins of what were once farmhouses.

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Church Island

 Church Island, also known as Shrine Island, is located in the northwest portion of Lough Carra. According to local folklore, it was initially used as a burial place for kings. Archeological data indicates that human life existed here as long ago as 3000 B.C.

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Galway City Museum

Located near the Spanish Arch, the museum was founded in 1976. Its structure was formerly a private house, home to sculptress Clare Sheridan. The museum site is also located near the place where the original city docks were built in 1270. In addition to the Spanish Arch, there were three others - only the Blind Arch remains. The missing two arches were located at the spot where the museum now stands. A speculation is that the Arches were used to store imported goods and avoid taxation. Galway City Museum contains a variety of Irish artifacts from historical events, including the Connaught Rangers, the Civil War, and the Insurrection of 1916.

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Dingle Town

Dingle Town is a 75-minute drive from Tralee on the N86 and two hours west of Killarney via Killorglin and Castlemaine, and is situated near the edge of the eponymous Dingle Peninsula. The coastal drive offers excellent views across the bay of the Iveragh Peninsula on the other side. Weather is an important consideration when planning a visit to Dingle -- if the mist is down, consider postponing. Visitors can take a 10 minute walk from the pier up Green St. to visit the best craft shops and proceed down Main Street, and back along the Mall to the pier to find the best shops, pubs, and restaurants.

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Mt. Stewart Estate

You can find Mt. Stewart Estate just north of the Village of Greyabbey, where the mild climate of the peninsula is kind to growing exotic plants like those that flourish in its gardens. These unique beds, terraces, and walkways were laid out after WWI and are considered to be some of the finest in the country. The estate was the seat of the Marquises of Londonderry, and the manor house was built upon the remains of an earlier structure, beginning in 1804 when George Dance created the west face. William V. Morrisson designed the neoclassical main wing, added in 1845.

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Dunsink Observatory

Dunsink Observatory is one of the longest-established observatories in the world and holds the distinctive title of the oldest scientific institution in Ireland. Built on the south slope of a low hill, the observatory was established in 1785 in Dunsink near Dublin. Today, Dunsink Observatory is of interest to astronomy buffs as well as visitors from around the world. The building is located 5 miles / 8 kilometres northwest of Dublin City centre, just off exit 5 of the M50 motorway.

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Dalkey

The Village of Dalkey is currently a fashionable suburb of Dublin, although it was once a valuable port city. The fortified mansions of former shipping magnates from the 15th century still stand along its main street today. Archbold’s Castle is little more than an interesting ruin, while Goat Castle houses a visitor information centre. This picturesque village exudes a medieval flavor, and includes castles, ancient landmarks and scenic coastal views. The Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre is an award-winning establishment located in the tower house of the 15th century castle.

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W.B. Yeats Statue

This original, unusual statue of Ireland's national poet William Butler Yeats was unveiled by his son in 1989 to mark the 50th anniversary of the writer's death.

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