"Bits & Pieces of Ireland" Ireland by jo104

Ireland Travel Guide: 16,389 reviews and 37,629 photos


Ireland has a long history of occupation, the Celts, the Vikings, the Normans & most recently the British.

In 1920 Ireland was divided into 2 sections being Northern Ireland & the Republic although the violence between the two started in the late 1960's.

The most remembered piece of history is the tradegy of the potato famine in 1847 resulting in the death of 800,000 inhabitants. The majority of the survivors migrated to the U.S.

Ireland is famous for Aran sweaters around since 9th centuary worn by fisherman, each stitch represents a different part of Irish life.

Delicate lace can be found in Ireland although it is relatively pricey.

Of course a nice guiness goes down well, poured slowly mind!!


My first trip to Ireland was with paddywagontours, the guides give you insight into the legends of the Ireland.

We started in Dublin & did a short city tour then made our way to Clonmacnoise. After that we made our way to Galway for our fist evening. Galway is a very lively town being a student town & we went to a pizza place & were entertained by Irish folk music. The next day we stayed in Cork & visited Blarney castle

The ancient monastic site of Clonmacnoise is situated at the crossroads of Ireland in County Offaly and dates back almost 1,500 years.

St. Ciaran, the son of an Ulsterman who had settled in Connaught, chose the site in 545 AD because of its ideal location at the junction of river and road travel in Celtic Ireland. The location borders the three provinces of Connaught, Munster and Leinster.

The monastery is on the east side of the River Shannon, in what was then the Kingdom of Meath, but occupying a position so central it was the burial-place of many of the kings of Connaught as well as those of Tara.

Saint Ciaran was educated by St. Diarmuid of Clonard and St. Finian - tutor of the ancient Saints of Ireland. After this he established his own monastery in Clonmacnois with St. Enda on the island of Inís Mór off the coast of Galway. Here, under the tutelage of the strict disciplinarian Enda, he learned Sacred Studies, Prayer and labour.

Blarney castle

Blarney Castle, as viewed by the visitor today, is the third to have been erected on this site. The first building in the tenth century was a wooden structure. Around 1210 A.D. this was replaced by a stone structure which had the entrance some twenty feet above the ground on the north face. This building was demolished for foundations. In 1446 the third castle was built by Dermot McCarthy, King of Munster of which the keep still remains standing

The gardens are amazing, there is evidence of the witches, druids, dragons and elves living here

We also travelled to the Rock of Cashel. Here we found a tower encircled in fortified stone walls, a roofless abbey, a 12th centuary chapel & a collection of high crosses.

My second Paddywagon tour was of Northern Ireland but covered bits of the Republic of Ireland on the way which is the county of ulster 3 of the 9 areas belong to the Republic and the rest is Northern Ireland territory. From Dublin we drove to Drogheda to visit Sir Oliver Plunkett, or his head at least at St Peters cathedral. Then onto the ruins on the Hill of Slane as well as a visit to Monsasterboice and ancient celtic-christian monestery.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:very green countryside
  • Cons:rain & plenty of it
  • Last visit to Ireland: Aug 2000
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (10)

Comments (4)

  • ettenaj's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2007 at 8:57 AM

    Did the castle but no kissing went on........haha

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2007 at 8:49 AM

    I take it from your packing list you had some soft weather here!!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2007 at 10:45 AM

    I have been to the Cliffs of Moher and Blarney Castle as well, but I must admit that I didn't kiss the stone. :-)

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2005 at 8:19 AM

    Nice tips on a few Irish customs! I really enjoyed the Cliffs of Moher too, as well as those circular Norman towers! It was nice to view your pics of both!


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