Ireland: A Brief History: Part III: English Occupation

It would take England another 400 years after the Norman Invasion to subdue and consolidate Ireland completely. Wars, including the Nine Years’ War, Wars of the Three Kingdom and the Williamite War, which caused huge losses of life, both soldiers and civilians, as well as resettlement and repression led to an English stronghold. During the…

Ireland: A Brief History: Part II: the Norman Invasion

Why more isn’t written on the medieval conquest of Ireland is surprising to me. It would make for a sweeping tale. It all began 1126 when Énna Mac Murchada, King of Leinster, died unexpectedly and the throne passed to his younger brother, Diarmait Mac Murchada (anglicized to Dermot MacMurrough). Dermot was approximately 16 years old when he…

Wicklow Mountains

You’d be forgiven if you thought you just stepped into the Scottish Highlands on a visit to the Wicklow Mountains National Park, especially if you’re up on windy Wicklow Gap. The mountain range is rather unusual for Ireland, especially if you picture Ireland as green pastures, dotted with sheep, and pleasant little white cottages. It…

Ireland’s Round Towers

You might see an unusual architectural wonder in your travels around Ireland known as a round tower. They are almost exclusively an Irish medieval architectural gem, with only two known in Scotland and one in the Isle of Man, although the was a bit of a renaissance and so you can see newer ones in…

Kilkenny, Ireland

One of the most popular towns to visit in Ireland, Kilkenny has all the charm, conveniences and history you can imagine. Located in the southeast, below Dublin and on the lovely River Nore, it is perfectly situated, with a looming Anglo-Norman castle, several churches of note and a myriad of shops and eateries. The town…

Ireland in the Spring

There’s something about spring in Ireland that makes your heart glad. It’s in the Irish people, who seem to have a lighter step, if that’s possible, in the spring months. Things are greening up and a cup of tea after a day out is beyond lovely. In fact, you’ll never feel the same about tea…

In the Garden – April

It’s all change in the garden for April, as trees and perennials come alive so to does the garden. Whatever was planted in April, seed or plant, it really starts to take off as rain showers and the warmth of the sun affect the garden. April can almost seem an overwhelming month, especially if you’ve…

Kilkenny Castle

In the heart of the very popular county town Kilkenny, southeast of Dublin, Kilkenny Castle is an imposing steely-gray Anglo-Norman castle situated on the banks of the River Nore. The castle and grounds are open to the public, as the last resident of the castle sold the property to the people for £50 in 1967….