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Aran Inspired

Tullaghan Stone Cross

The Tullaghan Stone Cross was transplanted to the small village of Tullaghan, in County Leitrim, from a long-dissolved monastery on the coast. Leitrim is a mostly inland county, except for a two and a half miles (4 kilometres) strip of a coastline, where the Rivers Duff and Drowse form the boundaries with counties Sligo and Donegal respectively. On this tiny coastal strip lies Tullaghan, the site of an ancient High Cross, which faces the N15 road that runs between Sligo and Donegal. Tall (10.5 feet / 3.21 metres) plain and crooked with stumpy arms, the dark grey cross leans heavily to one side from its sandstone base.

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Creevlea Franciscan Friary

Located near Parkes Castle and Lough Gill, this was the last monastery to be founded by the Franciscan Order prior to the suppression. The O’Rourke family was instrumental in its establishment circa 1508. The ruins that exist on the site today include that of a tower, transept, nave, windows, and nearby tombs, along with some domestic buildings. Carvings are visible on the pillars of what was once the cloister. They depict scenes of St. Francis and the stigmata, as well as the saint communicating with various animals. The Friary was occupied in some form until the end of the 17th century.

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Ballinamore/Ballyconnell Canal

Building on the canal began in 1845, with the intended dual purpose of a famine relief project and a navigation and drainage necessity. The canal joins the Shannon and Erne Rivers at Leitrim Village and Aghalane. The original locks were completed in 1852. The market house conducted canal business in Ballinamore. The canal underwent restoration from 1991-1994 and the locks are now modern and automatically operated. It is considered one of the finest waterways in Europe and is located in an area of considerable natural beauty.

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Cloonmorris Church and Ogham Stone

Located in the village of Mohill, this church was connected to the Augustinian priory here. It is a church of simple design from around 1200, with lancet windows and mouldings decorated with the figures of upturned heads. The north doorway appears to have been added in the 15th century. There is an Ogham stone standing near the attached graveyard, with a single recognizable inscription that reads ‘Qenuven.’ Ogham Stones are marker stones inscribed with the Ogham alphabet, which was named after Ogham, the god of eloquence. The alphabet originated around the fifth century and contained 25 different letters.

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Fenagh Abbey

The tiny village of Fenagh is also the site of one of the oldest monastic communities in Ireland. St. Caillan founded the monastery here in the fifth century. According to the Book of Fenagh, he came from Dunmore in County Galway. The O’Rourke family gave him the land for the monastery. The Journals of the Four Masters indicate that Fenagh Abbey was once the site of a divinity school that was famous across the whole of Europe. The site is now occupied by the ruins of a church from the late medieval period. The Book of Fenagh tells the story of Caillin, and was commissioned by the coarab of the monastery in 1516. It was written in Irish by a man named O’Maolchonaire and is now housed at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin.

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Glencar Waterfall and Lake

The beautiful, romantic Glencar Waterfall in County Leitrim is well hidden off the road between Sligo and Manorhamilton/Enniskillen, at the bottom of Kings mountain. With a drop of about 50 feet, it is a small but enchanting cascade -- its lush foliage and craggy, layered rocks offering offering a "lost world" atmosphere. The waterfall has two stages, with the shallower, stepped pool the first you will encounter as you begin ascending the slope. A charming walkway and wooden handrail helps you climb towards the top so no special footwear is required, although there are a lot of steps involved, which may be difficult for those with mobility problems.

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