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Aran Inspired

Athy

Athy Heritage Town, in south county Kildare, is situated where the River Barrow meets Dublin’s Grand Canal, about an hour’s drive west of the capital. Traditionally a market town, it is one of Ireland’s most ancient. The name Athy commemorates a 2nd century battle between the Munster chieftan Ae and King Lewy. The local chieftan was killed, and the town was named Ae Ford Town, or Baile Ache Hi in Gaelic, which was later anglicised to Bally Athy, and shortened to Athy. Growing from an Anglo-Norman settlement, the town developed into Growing from an Anglo-Norman settlement, the town developed into important military outpost, marking the border of The Pale, the name given to a Dublin-centred region on the east coast that was ruled by England.

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Downpatrick

Scotch Street, Downpatrick. Image by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society Near the east coast of Northern Ireland, on the southwest of Strangford Lough, Downpatrick is the traditional, ecclesiastical capital of County Down. The town, which today has a population of over 10,000, derives its name from an association with St. Patrick.

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Carlingford Town

Situated between Dublin and Belfast, the medieval town of Carlingford in county Louth sits on the north east of the island, surrounded by Slieve Foy, Carlingford Lough and the Mourne mountains. It is one of Ireland's best examples of a medieval town, and is also known for its picturesque setting.

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Galway City

Galway City prides itself on being the bohemian Irish city, where people can let their hair down. Galway is Ireland's city that never sleeps, alive with cultural heritage and celebration. With a population of about 65,000, it is considered one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. It is also the ancient capital of Connaught province, and the current capital of what is known as the Hidden Ireland. Galway stands in contrast to some of Ireland's eastern cities, which many say have been "Europeanized" by recent development efforts. Galway City has earned the distinction as the keeper of the traditional customs and culture of Ireland.

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Wexford Town

Wexford town, established by the Vikings in the 9th century, is the main town of county Wexford. With a population of around 20,000, Wexford is a small town by international standards, but it is vibrant and busy, especially during summer months. It serves an an urban hub for the many smaller towns villages in the county, and its variety of shops, restaurants, pubs and activities attracts locals as well as visitors. Wexford is a popular summer vacation spot both with overseas visitors and "staycationers" from Dublin. The area is nicknamed the Sunny Southeast, since it receives less rainfall than the rest of Ireland.

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Bray

This historic Victorian-era seaside resort features a long, golden beach and a promenade, complete with old-fashioned family amusements. You can hike or ride mountain bikes on the trails leading from the beach to Bray Head, and enjoy a breathtaking view of Dublin Bay and surrounding environs from the summit of the cliff, 791 feet into the sky.

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Kilmore Quay

Perhaps the most striking and visually pleasing thing you’ll notice about the village of Kilmore Quay is the abundance of 18th and 19th century whitewashed cottages, replete with thatched roofs – many of which are available for rental. While the atmosphere here is peaceful and rural, you’ll find plenty of enriching and inspiring ways to spend your visit. The Quay is the center of village life – here you can shop for locally created Irish crafts and art, and participate in events such as the annual seafood festival, held each July.

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Roscrea Town

 Roscrea is a picturesque town located at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. It is an old market town, with so many well preserved and restored medieval buildings that it has also earned distinction as a Heritage Town. Roscrea is part of the area nicknamed, “Ely O’Carroll Country”, named from two Irish families who controlled most of the area until the 17th century, when the English seized their land and wealth. Roscrea’s most popular attraction is the Roscrea Castle and Damer House, the latter erected within the original castle fortifications in the 18th century.

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Dungarvan

Where the Colligan River flows into the ocean, you’ll find Dungarvan, a picturesque small city set along a natural harbour. This market town is a centre of local activity, rich in history and culture. It is a popular base for those who wish to explore southeastern Ireland, with a wide variety of pleasant accommodations and easy access to Waterford city. Dungarvan offers its visitors all the needed amenities, along with the opportunity to be a part of authentic Irish life without an excessively “touristy” atmosphere.

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Clones

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.

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