Ireland is a great destination. In addition to Dublin, Galway, and Howth Ruth & I are familiar with Drogheda, Cork, and Carlingford. I would not go back to any of the last 3 but am glad I went to and explored each of them.
In County Louth north of Dublin, Drogheda, some say, is the most interesting town north of Dublin. Drogheda on the River Boyne has a city feel and some first-class attractions. Oliver Cromwell hated the Irish. When he landed in Ireland with an army of 12,000 during THE Civil War, he headed straight for Drogheda, where he encountered resistance. A 2-day battle ensued. Cromwell won it and decided to make an example of Drogheda so that other towns would not make a fuss. He slaughtered 3,000 soldiers, clergy, women, and children and sold many Droghedians into slavery. The #2 attraction is St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, where the removed-after-hanging head of archbishop and saint Oliver Plunkett is on display. Executed in 1681, Plunkett didn’t achieve sainthood until 1975. The 3rd attraction is the best and one of the finest in all of Ireland, Bru na Boinne. Similar to Stonehenge in spirit, Bru na Boinne is 1,000 years older; and Newgrange, a Stone Age passage tomb that is more than 2,000 years older, is nearby and should be part of the experience. Both are about 4 miles west of Drogheda, and the above are only some of its considerable attractions.
Cork City is the port from which my ancestors left Ireland. Ruth and I spent Christmas Eve there one year, and we were told to leave the hotel where we stayed on Christmas morning because it was closing for the holiday. This is a long story with a happy ending because we knew this would happen; but, trust me on this, you do not want to be in Cork City on Christmas or the next morning, Boxing Day.
Carlingford on the Cooley Peninsula is an unheralded treat. It’s a still small village beneath something of a mountain called Slieve Foye. Carlingford began life as a Viking settlement. King John built a strategic castle here that is now in ruins, but he spent only a couple of days in it. Rumor has it that they were important days, however, because he supposedly drafted the first couple of pages of the Magna Carta, the world’s first bill of rights, while here.
We went to Carlingford in lieu of going to Belfast, which is not too far away. I still desire to see go-go Belfast and Kilkenny and Kinsale, but we will have to get beyond coronavirus before that can happen.
PS The tunnel above is in Galway, the misty cathedral is in Limerick, and the old arch is in Drogheda, pronounced dra da with a short a sound on the 1st a.