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Aran Inspired

St. Theresa’s Church

This charming 18th century church is hidden away on a side alley off Grafton Street, Dublin's busiest thoroughfare. This church, begun by the Discalced Carmelites --- also known as the Barrefoot Carmelites --- has a history of service to the people of Dublin spanning more than two centuries. While the granite exterior is less impressive than some other Dublin church façades, the church's cruciform interior is both impressive and pristinely maintained.

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John’s Lane Church

Located in the Liberties district on Thomas St., this distinctive red sandstone and granite building is commonly known as John's Lane Church. In fact, its correct name is the Church of St. John the Baptist and St. Augustine --- a bit of a mouthful! Little wonder that locals preferred to name it after its location at the corner of John's Lane, a steep and narrow side-street. It is served by the Augustinian Order of monks and is a fully functioning Catholic church with all associated services.

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Garadice Lake

Located in a remote, scenic setting, Garadice Lough in County Leitrim is part of the 40 mile / 63 km Shannon-Erne waterway, traversable by boat. Renowned among fishing enthusiasts, Garadice is a medium sized lake by Irish standards, occupying roughly 1200-acres / 5 square km. The lake is 5 metres / 16 feet deep, although in places it sinks three times deeper.

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The Glens Centre

This unique, intimate arts venue (140 seats) in rural Manorhamilton, County Leitrim is located in a former Methodist Church, built in the 1820s. Throughout the year, the venue offers a programme of musical, theatre and film performances, as well as readings by local authors, for locals and visitors. Traditional Irish music is often on the "menu". On average, there are typically one or two performances at the Glens Centre on any given week.

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Navan Fort / Emain Macha

Just 2 miles (3.4km) west of Armagh city, Navan Fort is a large circular earthworks structure that is believed to have been an important site for Ireland's high kings as far back as 2,500 years ago. Surrounding a drumlin with an internal diameter of around 240 metres, Navan Fort resembles the better-known ancient mound at Newgrange. Despite its name, the site has no connection with the town of Navan in County Meath. The name Navan in this case derives from the site's original Gaelic name, Emain Macha (Ay-vawn Mack-a), thought to mean "the twins of Macha" (in Irish mythology, Macha was a goddess of war). Also deceptive is the word "fort”: the mound structure's low layout, and finds at the site, suggests it was more ceremonial than defensive.

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Ferriter's Castle

Now little more than a stump, this ruin of what was once a 15th century fortified tower house is beautiful due to its spectacular location near a cliff edge on the western tip of the Dingle Peninsula. Situated near Dingle golf club, 2 miles / 3 km to the northwest of Ballyferriter village in County Kerry, the castle's crumbling state adds to its postcard charm. Also known as Castle Sybil, Ferriter’s Castle was once the main family home of the Ferriter family, who controlled the western part of the Dingle peninsula, as well as the Blasket Islands. The castle is perhaps most famous for being the birthplace of Kerry poet and warrior Pierce Ferriter, the last Gaelic chieftain to hold out against Cromwell's New Model Army.

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Glebe House and Gallery

Glebe House and Gallery,  along with its 25 acres of beautifully tended grounds and gardens, sits on the shore of Gartan Lough, about five miles from the Donegal town of Letterkenny. Formerly the residence of artist Derek Hill, it contains a notable art collection. The house has a colourful history -- previous guests  include Greta Garbo. The entire Glebe House property, including collections, was given to the nation by Derek Hill in 1981.

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The Marble Arch Caves

The Marble Arch Cave complex at the village of Florencecourt in County Fermanagh and have a magical atmosphere, reminiscent of Stephen Speilberg's movie The Goonies. The underground Claddagh River runs through the cave's winding passages, encountering lofty chambers with huge stalagmites and stalactites, and a glorious waterfall. Visitors can take the "wet entrance" to the cave via a guided boat tour, which lasts for 10 minutes, before disembarking at the Grand Gallery, where they can explore the caves on foot. The entire tour takes around 75 minutes.

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Inchcleraun Island / Quaker Island

Just off the shore of Lough Ree, the peaceful island of Inchcleraun. Known locally as “Quaker Island”, it is one of the largest (albeit only 1 mile / 1.5 km long!) and more historically interesting islands of the many on the lake. With the remains of seven churches, including monastic settlements, Inchcleraun is an example of how Ireland got its nickname of "the land of Saints and Scholars". In the middle ages, Inchcleraun was a place of pilgrimage and religious learning. Today, the island is something of a hidden gem, since very few locals, let alone tourists, have visited its shores. Between 800 and 1300 the island and its churches were repeatedly plundered and burned by invaders, so the buildings are in ruins today.

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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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