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Aran Inspired

Marsh's Library

Built in 1705, Dublin's Marsh's Library is one of the world's longest-surviving public libraries and is an attraction that particularly appeals to book lovers. Located not far from Christ Church Cathedral on St. Patrick's Close, almost hidden behind St. Patrick's Cathedral, the library today is still open to the public, and is one of Dublin's true hidden gems. When Archbishop of Dublin Narcissus Marsh (1638-1713) decided to open a public library, the concept -- allowing ordinary people access to expensive books for free -- was relatively radical. The idea has spread from England, where public libraries had sprouted up in industrious cities such as Bristol, Ipswich and Norwich. Chetham library in Manchester, built in 1653, has the title of the world's oldest remaining public library. Marsh's is still a library but has not added new books since the 18th century, and is more like a museum today.

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Caldragh Idols

On Boa Island on Lough Erne, in the mournful Caldragh graveyard, stand two unique carved stone idols, reminiscent of the era before Christianity reached the shores of Ireland. These two-sided figures, named Janus and Lustymore, were not always together, but were placed side-by-side here in 1939, presumably because of their similarity. Though the graveyard itself dates from the early Christian period, scholars believe that both figures independently depict pagan gods that worshipped during or before those times.

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Lough Boora Discovery Park

Set in a peat bog that feels miles from anywhere, Lough Boora Discovery Park in County Offaly is a wonderful attraction for outdoors lovers and families with kids. With 50 km (40miles) of pathways that offer routes that accommodate a short stroll to a lengthy cycle, the Lough Boora Parklands host different types of visitors. Wild, natural and peaceful, these wetlands are visited by a range of species, from dragonflies to the endangered grey partridge.

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