A small and quiet country town, Clones has nevertheless made a big contribution to Irish and other cultures, and boasts several famous citizens. They include Thomas Bracken, who wrote the national anthem for New Zealand and makes his home here, Barry Mc Guigan, once the world featherweight boxing champion and popular Irish sports hero, and the novelist Patrick McCabe.
In 1997, McCabe’s book, The Butcher Boy, was made into a movie by director Neil Jordan, best known for The Crying Game and Interview with the Vampire. Jordan used the town of Clones as its principal filming location. The film is features a memorable cameo by Sinead O'Connor, who plays the part of the Virgin Mary.
Known as an Irish lace-making center, Clones is located only a kilometre from the border with Northern Ireland. Clones lace can be identified by its characteristic raised dots and intricate crochet stitch, and is available for sampling or purchase at the Clones Lace Centre in the town.
To see an attraction of historical interest, visit the ruins of the monastery founded by St. Tighernach in the 6th century. They feature an exceptional High Cross, engraved with fascinating biblical artwork, including the faces of Adam and Eve, and Isaac and Daniel, and depictions of the Crucifixion, the Wedding at Cana, and the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. The original monastery was replaced by an Abbey in the 15th century, and its remains can be found near the Round Tower, which is 75 feet tall and still standing near Abbey Street. The nearby graveyard contains some interesting readable stones from the 17th and 18th century, which explain the professions of their occupants in both words and pictures.
on the N54, roughly halfway between Cavan (20km to the south) and Monaghan (20km to the north).