Ermak Travel Guide


The World at your fingertips 



Feel free to leave your comments below. If you want to share your knowledge, additional information or experience in a particular place your input is more than welcome.



Ireland Destinations Travel Guide




Flag of Ireland

Language: Irish, English

Currency: Euro

Calling code: +353




Ireland is a state in Western Europe that occupies most of the island of Ireland. In the north it borders with Northern Ireland (part of Great Britain). Area - 70.2 thousand km². The name of the country comes from the Irish Éire "state".

The capital is the city of Dublin, which is home to about a quarter of the country's population (1.4 million people).

Member of organizations: Council of Europe (since 1949), UN (since 1955), OECD (since 1960), European Union (since 1973), Euratom (since 1973), European Monetary System (since 1979).



Travel Destinations in Ireland




Carlow County (Ireland)

Ballymoon Castle


Ballymoon Castle are fairly well preserved ruins of the medieval castle in the Carlow County.


Brownshill Dolmen is presumably a tomb of the ancient chieftain who was burried here several thousands years ago.
Carlow Castle


Medieval Carlow Castle located in the Carlow County is a National Monument of Ireland.

Huntington Castle aka Clonegal


Huntington Castle was constructed in 1625 by Laurence Esmonde, later Baron Esmonde as a 'plantation castle' or in other words for the defenses of the plantations in the region.

Wicklow Mountains


Wicklow Mountains or Sléibhte Chill Mhantáin cover 3000 km2 (1158 mi2) in the Counties of Wicklow, Dublin, Carlow, Wexford.



Cavan County (Ireland)

Cabra Castle


The name of Cabra Castle is given to two castles. One is medieval and lies in ruins. The other one is more recent and today is converted to luxurious hotel.



Clare County (Ireland)

Ballinalacken Castle


Magnificent Ballinalacken Castle is located in the Southeastern part of Ireland in Clare County.

Bunratty Castle


Bunratty Castle was constructed in 1425 by MacNamara family. Although the first motte and bailey castle was constructed here in 1270 by Robert De Muscegros.

Burren National Park


Burren National Park covers only small portion of unusual Irish landscape.

Caherconnell Stone Fort


Caherconnell Stone Fort is a well preserved round ancient Celtic fortification that was constructed around 500 AD.

Carrigaholt Castle


Carrigaholt Castle is a military fortification constructed at the entrance of the Moyarta River.

Cliffs of Moher


Impressive Cliffs to Moher is one of the signature places in all of Ireland.

Craggaunowen Castle


Craggaunowen Castle is a fortified tower house overlooking Craggaunowen open air archeological museum.

Doonagore Castle


Doonagore Castle ia a privately owned round 16th-century tower house with a walled enclosure.

Dromoland Castle


Dromoland Castle is a 19th century castle that was turned into a luxury hotel with a golf course.

Knappogue Castle


Knappogue Castle is a medieval castle in County Clare in Ireland. It was constructed in 1467 by Sean MacNamara.

Leamaneh Castle


Leamaneh Castle is a well preserved medieval tower house in Clare County in Ireland. It was constructed in 1467 by Sean MacNamara.



Cork County (Ireland)

Bantry House


Magnificent Bantry House or Blackrock as it was originally known was constructed in the 18th century.

Barryscourt Castle


Barryscourt Castle that is located in the southern Ireland stands on strategic location that was inhabited for several thousand years.

Belvelly Castle


Belvelly Castle is a traditional Irish tower house situated near a village of Belvelly, next to Great Island bridge in Cork County in Ireland.

Blackrock Castle

Blackrock Castle constructed by Queen Elizabeth I to defend against pirates is now changed for scientific purposes.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle is located in the South Ireland in the Cork County, not far from the town of Cork.
Carriganass Castle


Carriganass Castle was constructed in 1540 by Dermot O'Sullivan to protect eastern borders of the O'Sullivan Clan.

Castle Donovan


Castle Donovan is a medieval Irish tower house in a valley near Drimoleague in Ireland.

Drombeg Stone Circle


Drombeg Stone Circle or Druid's Altar is an ancient megalithic structure situated 2.4 km (1.5 miles) East of Glandore, County Cork.

Dunasead Castle


Dunasead Castle is a fortified house in the town of Baltimore in the Western Cork County.

Dunboy Castle


Dunboy Castle is situated on Beara Peninsula in Cork County in South Western Ireland. It was constructed 1602 by O'Sullivan Bere.

Kanturk Castle


Irish name of Kanturk Castle of Ceann Toirc or Boar's head is also a symbol that is visible in the emblem of the citadel.



Donegal County (Ireland)

Doe Castle


Doe Castle is situated in a town of Creeslough in Donegal County in Ireland. It was constructed in the 16th century.

Donegal Castle


Donegal Castle or O'Donnells Castle is situated in a town of Donegal in the Donegal County in Northwest Ireland.

Glenveagh Castle


Glenveagh Castle is located in County Donegal in Ireland. It was constructed in 1870- 73 by John George Adair.

Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh National Park is a second largest nature reserve located in Donegal County of Ireland.


Greencastle is a medieval military citadel located on a hill near a town of Greencastle, Inishowen Peninsula. It was constructed in 1305.



Dublin County (Ireland)

Ardgillan Castle


Ardgillan Castle is a pseudo medieval residence in Balbriggan, Fingal County of Ireland.

Ashtown Castle

Ashtown Castle is a traditional Irish tower house located in Phoenix Park in Dublin, Irish capital. It was constructed in the 1430's.
Clontarf Castle


Clontarf Castle is a fairly new structure located in Castle Ave, Clontarf in the outskirts of the Dublin, Irish capital.

Drimnagh Castle


Drimnagh Castle is a medieval citadel in Drimnagh on the outskirts of the Irish capital of Dublin.

Howth Castle


Howth Castle is a medieval complex situated in Howth, Fingal County in Ireland. Howth Castle was constructed in 14th century.

Malahide Castle


Malahide Castle is situated 9 mi (14 km) North of Irish capital of Dublin in a village of Malahide in a Dublin County.

Monkstown Castle


Monkstown Castle is situated in a Monkstown in a Dublin County in Ireland. This medieval citadel was constructed in 12th and 13th century.



Galway County (Ireland)

Aran Islands


Aran Islands is a group of islands that are situated on the Western side of Ireland in the County Galway.

Aughnanure Castle


Aughnanure Castle is a medieval tower house that was constructed in the 16th century by a powerful O'Flaherty clan.

Connemara National Park


Connemara National Park is a nature reserve situated in Galway County in Ireland. It covers an area of 2,957 ha.

Dunguaire Castle


Dunguaire Castle is a traditional tower house situated on the shores of the Galway Bay in Galway County. Dunguaire Castle was constructed in 1520.

Fiddaun Castle


Fiddaun Castle is an Irish tower house in a town of Tubber County Galway in Ireland. Fiddaun Castle was constructed in mid-16th century.

Kylemore Abbey


Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery was constructed in 1920 on the grounds of the former Kylemore Castle.

Oranmore Castle


Oranmore Castle is a medieval tower house in a town of Oranmore in Galway County in Ireland.

Portumna Castle


Portumna Castle is located at the shore of Lough (lake) Derg where River Shannon flows into the lake. Portumna Castle was constructed in 1610- 1618.

Thoor Ballylee


Thoor Ballylee is a Norman tower house in a town of Gort in County Galway. It was erected in 13th century by de Burgo.



Kerry County (Ireland)

Ardfert Cathedral


Ardfert Cathedral is a medieval castle in a Kerry County. It was found in the 6th century by Saint Brendan the Navigator.

Ballycarbery Castle

Ballycarbery Castle is a medieval castle situated 3 km (2 mi) West from Cahersiveen in a Kerry County in Ireland.
Carrigafoyle Castle


Carrigafoyle Castle is a medieval tower house surrounded by the wall in a County Kerry in Ireland.

Dunbeg Promontory Fort


Dunbeg Promontory Fort is abandoned fortification in Ireland from the Iron Age period.

Killarney National Park


Killarney National Park is a nature reserve near Killarney, Kerry County. Killarney National Park covers an area of 102.89 sq km.

Lakes of Killarney


Magnificent lakes of Killarney are located in a County Kerry in Ireland.

Listowel Castle


Listowel Castle is located in Kerry County in Ireland. This impressive Listowel Castle house was constructed in the 15th century.

Mount Brandon


Picturesque Mount Brandon is one most famous mountains in Ireland that was climbed by Saint Brandon.

Ross Castle


Ross Castle is a medieval castle that is found within borders of Killarney National Park. Ross Castle was erected in late 15th century by O'Donoghue clan.



Kildare County (Ireland)

Barberstown Castle


Barberstown Castle is a medieval tower house in Straffan, County Kildare in Ireland. Barberstown Castle was erected in 1288.

Castletown House


Castletown House was build in 1722 by William Conolly, the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.

Kilkea Castle


Kilkea Castle is a medieval castle in a village of Kilkea, 5 km (3 mi) Northwest of Castledermot in Kildare County.



Kilkenny County (Ireland)

Burnchurch Castle


Burnchurch Castle is a medieval Norman tower house situated in County Kilkenny in Ireland.

Dunmore Cave


Dunmore Cave is not largest or longest cave in Ireland, but it long has been associated with dark and gruesome history of Ireland.

Foulksrath Castle


Foulksrath Castle stands near a town of Jenkinstown and considered to be haunted by the locals.

Jerpoint Abbey


Jerpoint Abbey in County Kilkenny was build in 1180 on the site of the earlier Benedictine monastery build there by King of Soraige- Domnal MacGillpatraic.

Kilkenny Castle


Kilkenny Castle is a medieval residence that was erected in 1195 by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke.

Shankill Castle


Shankill Castle is a medieval citadel located in Paulstown, County Kilkenny in Ireland.



Limerick County (Ireland)

King John's Castle


King John's Castle is a massive medieval fortress on the banks of river Shannon in a city of Limerick, Limerick County.

Castle Oliver


Castle Oliver is a magnificent chateau in the south County Limerick. It was erected in 1658 by Captain Robert Oliver.

Springfield Castle


Springfield Castle stands near Newcastlewest. Springfield Castle was constructed and remodeled between 15th and 18th century.



Louth County (Ireland)

Castle Roche


Castle Roche is a medieval fortress that stands on a hill Northwest of Dundalk in County Louth in Ireland.



Mayo County (Ireland)

Ashford Castle


Ashford Castle is a beatiful medieval castle that experience several renovations during its history and now is converted to hotel.

Ballycroy National Park


Ballycroy National Park is a nature reserve in County Mayo in Ireland. Ballycroy National Park covers an area of 11,779 ha.

Croagh Patrick

Croagh Patrick is named after Saint Patrick who expelled a demon Corra from the lands who was worshipped here by the local pagan tribes.

Rockfleet Castle

Rockfleet Castle is a tower house near a town of Newport, County Mayo. Rockfleet Castle was erected in the 16th century.


Meath County (Ireland)

Dunsany Castle


Dunsany Castle is a medieval citadel in Dunsany, County Meath. Dunsany Castle was erected in 1180 by Hugh de Lacy.

Hill of Tara

Pictureque Hill of Tara is an archaeological complex in a Meath County in Ireland.


Archeological studies date the ancient structure of Newgrange to the Neolithic period to 3200 BC.

Trim Castle


Trim Castle is situated in a town of Trim in Meath County. It was erected in 11th century by Hugh de Lacy.


Offaly County (Ireland)

Birr Castle


Birr Castle is a residence situated in Birr, County Offaly. It was constructed in 17th century by Sir Laurence Parsons.

Clonony Castle


Clonony Castle is a medieval fortress that stands on R357 regional road in County Offaly. It was erected in the 16th century.

Kinnitty Castle


Kinnitty Castle was constructed on the grounds of the destroyed St. Finnian's monastery those monks still haunt its grounds.

Leap Castle


Medieval Leap Castle located in the Offaly County is considered one of the most haunted places in Ireland.


Roscommon County (Ireland)

Donamon Castle


Medieval Donamon Castle is located in Roscommon County of Ireland. Donamon Castle was constructed in 1154.

Roscommon Castle


Roscommon Castle is a medieval castle in a town of Roscommon in Roscommon County. It was constructed in 1269 by Robert de Ufford.



Sligo County (Ireland)

Ballymote Castle


Ballymote Castle is situated on the outskirts of Ballymote in County Sligo. Ballymote Castle was constructed in 14th century.

Markree Castle


Markree Castle is a former military citadel near town of Collooney in County Sligo. Markree Castle was constructed in 14th century.

Parke's Castle


Parke's Castle stand on the banks of Lough Gill. Parke's Castle was constructed in 1610 by Roger Parke.



Tipperary County (Ireland)

Athassel Priory


Athassel Priory is an Augustine monastery those ruins can be found 8 km (5 mi) West of Coshel.

Ardfinnan Castle


Ardfinnan Castle in South Tipperary County was originally constructed in 1186 to defend the river crossing in the town.

Cahir Castle


Cahir Castle stands on Castle street in County Tipperary. It was erected in 1142 by Conor O'Brien, Prince of Thomond.

Holy Cross Abbey


Holy Cross Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery situated near Thurles in a County Tipperary of Ireland.

Ormonde Castle


Ormonde Castle is a medieval residence that stands near Castle Park, County Tipperary. It was erected in 15th century.

Powerscourt Estate


Powerscourt Estate is a magnificent residence in Enniskerry, County Wicklow. It was constructed in 1731- 41.

Rock of Cashel


Medieval Rock of Cashel is one of the popular and most visited monasteries in Ireland.



Waterford County (Ireland)

Lismore Castle


Lismore Castle is a former monastery that changed hands several times with new owners adding something new to the site.



Westford County (Ireland)

  Tullynally Castle


Tullynally Castle also known as Pakenham Hall Castle is situated 2 km (1.5 mi) from Castlepollard in County Westmeath of Ireland.

Tyrrellspass Castle


Tyrrellspass Castle situated in a town of Tyrrellspass was constructed in 1411 by the Tyrrell clan.






Ancient time
The first people settled Ireland during the Mesolithic, in the IX millennium BC. e .; The oldest traces of life are Dauth, Nauth and Newgrange (now included in the list of cultural heritage of Ireland). According to genetic research, the Irish are the descendants of farmers from the Mediterranean, who destroyed the ancient population of the Emerald Isle, as well as pastoralists from the Black Sea. Black Sea immigrants are Indo-Europeans who brought their tongue and hemochromatosis genes, as well as genes that allow them to absorb lactose and drink milk. The similarity of the genomes of the people of the Bronze Age and modern Irish, Scots and Welsh suggests that already by 2000 BC the main characteristics of the “island”, different from the Gallic, Celtic genome, the descendants of which the Irish people can be considered, have developed. One of the first mentions of the civilization of Ireland is the mention of Pythaeus (end of the 4th century BC). In the Irish language there are many borrowings from the pre-Celtic population of the territory.

The name of the island in Irish is "Eriu" (Dr. Irl. Ériu, Irl. Éire). The ancient Irish lived as separate tribes - clans under the control of hereditary leaders, jointly owned land and were engaged almost exclusively in cattle breeding. Ireland was not part of the Roman Empire, but Roman historians mention it (Ptolemy, Tacitus, Juvenal). The ancient capital of Ireland (until the XII century) is Tara.

Adoption of christianity
The first Christian burial places of Ireland date back to the end of the 4th century; archaeological finds indicate that the Christianization of Ireland began more likely from the south rather than from the north, where St. Patrick acted, who is usually credited with the Christianization of Ireland; the first bishop of Ireland, according to the "Chronicle" of Prosper of Aquitaine, was the Gallo-Roman St. Palladium, who was ordained by Pope Celestine in 431. According to legend, his mission was unsuccessful - he fell ill and died when he returned to Britain.

In his Confession, Saint Patrick himself mentions thousands of baptisms he performed; he confesses that he presented gifts to kings and judges in the lands where he visited especially often, but says that he himself refused bribes and gifts. He mentions that once with his companions he was in prison for two weeks in shackles. The initial flock of Patrick, judging by the people mentioned in the Confession, consisted mainly of young people, women and slaves, that is, from fairly marginalized sections of society. The annals of the four masters mention that he founded 600 churches (according to other sources - there were 300 churches), and more than 120,000 who received the baptism of the Irish from him. In 1991, S. V. Shkunaev, referring to “The Life of St. Patrick” by Murkhu Mokka Mahteni (moccu Machtheni), suggested that the Christianization of Ireland was supported by St. Patrick by the local landowner aristocrats according to the Indian "Kshatriya Revolt" model, which contradicts the "marginal" theory of Christianization. It is difficult to judge the whole process of the early Christianization of Ireland, since the next literary monument of Irish church law, following the works of Patrick, is “The First Synod of St. Patrick’s, was composed only in the middle of the VII century.

Ireland was not affected by the civil wars and invasions of the Germans that accompanied the collapse of the Roman Empire, which contributed to the development of written culture and education in the early Middle Ages. Soon after the country's baptism, the first works in Latin appear; from the beginning of the 7th century, literature in Old Irish appears. Already in the VI century, Ireland became the center of Western scholarship; preachers of Christianity on the mainland came out of her monastery schools. One of the main cultural centers was the monastery on the island of Iona. Irish monks made a significant contribution to the preservation of Latin culture during the early Middle Ages. Ireland of this period was famous for its arts - illustrations for handwritten books, metalwork and sculpture.

Significant damage to the Irish culture, economic and political stability of the island as a whole, was caused by the Vikings raids. Soon they began to establish settlements on the shores of the island (in particular, Dublin, Limerick, Waterford). Only at the beginning of the XI century, the Irish, led by the Munster king Briand Bohr, defeated the Vikings. Brian Boru died in the decisive battle of Klontarf in 1014.

Lordship of Ireland under the rule of England

At the end of the XII century, part of the territory of Ireland was conquered by the British under King Henry II. The English barons took possession of the lands of the Irish clans and introduced English laws and a system of government. The conquered area was called the outskirts (English the Pale) and both in management and in its further development was very different from the still not conquered, the so-called Wild Ireland, in which the British constantly sought to make new conquests.

When Robert Bruce took possession of the Scottish crown and successfully waged a war with England, the Irish leaders turned to him for help against a common enemy. His brother Edward arrived with the army in 1315 and was proclaimed king by the Irish, but after a three-year war that terribly devastated the island, he died in battle with the British. However, in 1348, the “Black Death” came to Ireland, exterminating almost all the British who lived in cities where mortality was particularly high. After the plague, British power extended no further than Dublin.

Kingdom of Ireland
During the English Reformation, the Irish remained Catholics, which created a surviving split between the two islands. In 1536, Henry VIII crushed the rebellion of Silk Thomas Fitzgerald, an English protege in Ireland, and decided to re-conquer the island. In 1541, Henry declared Ireland a kingdom, and himself king of it. Over the next hundred years, under Elizabeth and Jacob I, the British strengthened control over Ireland, although they could not make the Irish Protestants, but the entire English administration consisted only of Anglican Protestants.

During the civil war in England, English control over the island was greatly weakened, and the Irish Catholics rebelled against the Protestants, temporarily creating Confederate Ireland, but already in 1649 Oliver Cromwell arrived in Ireland with a large and experienced army, taking the city of Droeda by attack near Dublin and Wexford . In Drode, Cromwell ordered the entire garrison and the Catholic priests to be killed, while in Wexford the army massacred without permission. For nine months, Cromwell conquered almost the entire island, and then transferred the command to his son-in-law Ayrton, who continued the work that had begun. Cromwell's goal was to put an end to the unrest on the island by ousting Irish Catholics, who were forced to either leave the country or move west to Connaught, while their lands were distributed to the English colonists, most of them to Cromwell’s soldiers. In 1641, more than 1.5 million people lived in Ireland, and in 1652 only 850 thousand remained (of which 150 thousand were English and Scottish new settlers).

In 1689, during the Glorious Revolution, the Irish supported the English king Jacob II, deposed by William of Orange, for which they paid again.

As a result of English colonization, the native Irish almost completely lost their land holdings; a new ruling stratum was formed, consisting of Protestants, immigrants from England and Scotland.

As part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
In 1798, with the support of France, an Irish uprising unfolded: despite the initial success, it ended in the defeat of the rebels.

In 1801, Ireland became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Irish began to be superseded by English.

At the beginning of the XIX century, about 86% of the population of Ireland was engaged in agriculture, in which dominated by bonded forms of exploitation. Ireland served as one of the sources of the accumulation of English capital and the development of industry in England.

The Great Hunger
In the mid-1840s, an agrarian coup began. The fall in bread prices (after the repeal of the "grain laws" in England in 1846) prompted landowners to begin an intensive transition from a small peasant lease system to a large pasture farm. The process of driving small tenants off the ground has intensified (the so-called cleaning of estates).

The abolition of the "bread laws" and the disease of potato, which was the main crop among the small-land Irish peasants, led to a terrible famine of 1845-1849. As a result of hunger, about 1 million people died.

Emigration increased significantly (from 1846 to 1851 1.5 million people left), which became a constant feature of the historical development of Ireland.

As a result, in 1841-1851, the population of Ireland decreased by 30%.

And in the future, Ireland was rapidly losing population: if in 1841 the population was 8 million 178 thousand people, then in 1901 - only 4 million 459 thousand

Irish Independence

In 1919, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) launched active hostilities against the British troops and police. April 15-27, 1919 on the territory of the county of the same name there is the Republic of Limerick Council. In December 1921, a peace treaty was signed between Great Britain and Ireland. Ireland gained dominion status (the so-called Irish Free State), with the exception of the six most industrially developed northeastern counties (Northern Ireland) with a predominance of Protestants who remained part of the United Kingdom. However, Britain retained military bases on the territory of Ireland, the right to receive “redemption” payments for the former possessions of English landlords. In 1937, the country adopted the official name Éire.

In 1949, Ireland was proclaimed an independent republic. The republic was announced to withdraw from the British Commonwealth. Only in the 1960s did emigration from Ireland cease and population growth was noted. In 1973, Ireland became a member of the European Economic Community.

In the 1990s, Ireland entered a period of rapid economic growth, which continued until 2007. With the onset of the global financial crisis of 2008, the Irish economy is experiencing a sharp recession associated with declining exports, problems in the construction industry and the banking sector. According to the IMF, in 2008 the country's economy experienced a decline of 3.5%, in 2009 - by 7.6%, which was the largest decline in the history of the country.

As a result of a referendum held on May 22, 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.