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Take a walk along the seafront before or after going to visit the Castle. The bracing sea breeze will certainly blow any cobwebs away! Just remember to wrap up warm when you visit Carrickfergus Castle and town - it can be chilly no matter what the time of year.
Before visiting the castle check that it is not hosting a state function - during these times
the State Apartments are closed to the public though the castle is open.
Located: Behind City Hall, its entrance off Castle Street.
Open: All Year except 24-26 Dec and Good Friday.
Tel: (01) 6777129
The Ardagh Chalice, which dates from the 5th century, was found by a farmer out digging for potatoes near a west Limerick ring fort. It is said to be one of the finest specimens of Celtic Art existing today.
It stands at 7 inches high and can hold up to 3 pints of liquid. The chalice was probably used to administer the Mass wine to 5th century Christians. It is made of gold, bronze, brass, copper and lead and has a band running round the outside of the bowl engraved with the names of Christ's twelve apostles.
The Irish potato famine lasted for five years (1845 - 1850). The potato blight had first surfaced in North America in 1844 and then in Europe in 1845, but the Irish Famine was of the longest duration. As a result of the famine, nearly one quarter of Ireland's population died as a result of starvation, fever and disease.
When in Drogheda make sure that you visit Newgrange, Ireland's greatest prehistoric monument. Dated to around 3,200 BC it is older than Stonehenge in England and the great pyramids of Egypt. It is a Passage Grave, with decorative stone pillars leading to a passage and a 3 roomed-chamber. Newgrange is the focal point of the Boyne passage grave cemetery and is visited by thousands of tourists and pilgrims annually.
Inauguration of thee Kings of Cashel and Munster took place at the base of St. Patrick's Cross, a 12th century cross with animals engraved on one side and an image of the crucifixion on the other side. St. Patrick's Cross has always been housed in the Hall of the Vicars Choral at the Rock of Cashel, where it can be visited today.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|