|Killaloe, Co Clare and Ballina, Co Tipperary
Once Capital of Ireland; now Capital of Lough Derg! Welcome to Brian Boru Country!
Killaloe/Ballina is situated on the banks of The River Shannon at the mouth of Lough
Derg. Killaloe is probably best known as the home of Brian Boru (941-1014), the High
King of Ireland, 1002-1014. The site of his Castle, Kincora, which was the seat of the
High King during his reign no longer stands, as it was levelled in 1119 by Turlough
O'Connor. On its grounds now stands St. Flannan's Catholic Church. Just on the
outskirts of Killaloe is Brian Boru's Fort which is a majestic serene location. The twin
towns of Killaloe and Ballina are amongst Ireland's most picturesque attractions. The
towns are linked by a thirteen arch bridge across The River Shannon which links not only
the two towns, but also the Counties of Clare and Tipperary. Killaloe Ballina both have
superb restaurants and pubs, many with live music. On Lough Derg there is a wide range
of activities that include swimming, fishing, canoeing, and boating. Killaloe is also host to
the annual European Pike Angling Competition. The hills in the area are covered with
thick forestry, containing many walks and picnic areas. These walks are specially routed
and cover distances to suit everyone.
For more info: Discover Killaloe and Ballina
|Holy Island (Inis Cealtra)
Holy Island (Inis Cealtra) on Lough Derg and the river Shannon is one of the most famous
monastic sites in Ireland. Its many attractions include a well-preserved Round Tower, the
ruins of six churches, a Holy Well, a unique graveyard with slabs dating from the eight
century, Bullaun Stones, a cell like structure, which is one of the most extraordinary
buildings in Ireland and a ‘bargaining’ stone where many a marriage was brokered. This
secluded position has enabled this site to survive in a wonderful state of preservation.
Like all monasteries it suffered badly from Viking attacks, the first recorded being in 836
AD. Brian Boru rebuilt the monastery and his brother Marcan was abbot there.
A boat trip from the picturesque pier at Mountshannon and a guided tour of the Island is
part of the service East Clare Heritage provides.
Lake boats can also be hired at an hourly or daily rate.
For more info: Inis Cealtra
One of Ireland’s top day visitor attractions, Bunratty Castle is the most complete and
authentic medieval castle in Ireland. Built in 1425, it was authentically restored in 1954 to
its former medieval splendour, with furnishings and tapestries capturing the mood and
style of the times. The Folk Park, set on 26 acres, recreates 19th Century Ireland. The
park features include; recreated village street, 8 farmhouses, a water mill, blacksmith’s
forge, Mac’s pub, a restaurant and a display of 19th Century agricultural machinery. A
range of activities can be organised on request - dancing and singing in Mac’s Pub,
treasure trails, demonstrations, fashion shows, etc. Famous medieval banquets are held
nightly year-round. The castle at present houses one of the best collections of 14th -17th
- century furniture and furnishings in Britain and Ireland.
The famous Durty Nelly's Pub is adjacent to the Castle
and is an experience not to be missed!
For more info: Bunratty Castle
Craggaunowen 'The Living Past' tells the story of the arrival of the Celts in Ireland and the
many changes they wrought upon daily life. Their impact is evidenced in the creation of
new tribal lake dwellings, farming and hunting methods which are explained by the
costumed animators. A major feature of the visit, is a Crannog (meaning 'young tree’)
which is a reconstructed lake-dwelling of a type found in Ireland during the Iron Age and
Early Christian periods. Though some homesteads were inhabited during the Late Bronze
Age and in some cases, were still being occupied as late as the 17th century.
The site also includes a Ring Fort, a true reproduction of a farmer's house, dating from the
4th or 5th century, an 'Iron Age Roadway' and an outdoor cooking site.
For more info: Craggaunowen
|The Cliffs of Moher
The bracing walk to the summit of the famous Cliffs of Moher is worth it for the spectacular
views from the top. With a high point of 230 metres it is possible, on a clear day, to see
Galway Bay and the Aran Islands in the distance. A must see!
Not one for those with a fear of heights!
For more info: The Cliffs of Moher
The great semi-fortified house at Portumna was built before 1618 by Richard Burke
or de Burgo, 4th Earl of Clanrickard. It was the main seat of the de Burgo family
for over 200 years, until it was gutted by fire in 1826.
The ground floor of the house is now open to the public. Exhibitions in the Castle and
Gate House. (Conservation works are ongoing).
For more info: Portumna Castle
|Adare Manor Hotel
The former family seat of the Earls of Dunraven, this magnificent Tudor, gothic-style,
building stands along the meandering river Maigue, amid 1000 acres of lush park lands. In
recent years, the Manor has been transformed into a world-class luxury hotel and now
resembles a museum of architecture with wonderful assorted woodwork and stone
carvings. Entering the grounds through the ornamental gates, long stretches of emerald
green turf, ancient ruins and majestic trees are the settings that will be found for a unique,
peaceful, atmosphere, where one can enjoy a stroll or refreshing brisk walk anytime of day.
(Many famous people have stayed in the Manor, including
President Bill Clinton, during his Irish visit in Sep. 1998).
For more info: Adare Manor Hotel
|Desmond Castle - Adare
The time-worn remains of this Anglo-Norman fortress stands on the bank of the river
"Maigue" and viewable from the bridge. This castle was erected, within an ancient
ring-fort, around the early part of the 13th century. It became a strategic fortress during the
following turbulent years. It was the property of the Earls of Kildare for nearly 300 years
until the Silken Thomas's rebellion of 1536, when it was forfeited and granted to the Earls
of Desmond (they gave the castle its present name). The castle is regarded as being one
of the most interesting examples of feudal architecture in Ireland.
For more info: Desmond Castle-Adare
The Burren, or Boireann, meaning a rocky place, is 100 square miles of limestone rock in
Co. Clare. The Burren is a wilderness, flat and sloping and broken by great hillsides of
limestone separated by cliffs like giant steps. The area is rich in archaeological sites.
There are 68 megalithic tombs (the best known is the Poulnabrone), over four hundred
ring forts and the remains of more than 800 houses or huts. It is also a botanists
paradise. Growing side by side are arctic and alpine plants, temperate climate flowers
and species from the Mediterranean. This enigma has intrigued botanists for years and is
a favourite haunt of theirs. The Burren comprises mainly of limestone formed over the
centuries from the sediments on the seabed being compressed into stone. The stone
fissures were created by rainwater which permeated the rock.
There are many underground rivers, lakes, and caverns, and one which is open to the
public is called Aillwee Cave.
For more info: The Burren
|The Hunt Museum
Located in Limerick City, The Hunt Museum exhibits one of Ireland's greatest private
collections of art and antiquities. The Collection reflects our Celtic past and also includes
masterworks by da Vinci, Yeats and Renoir. Donated to the "people of Ireland" by John
and Gertrude Hunt, this generous gift ranks as one of the most outstanding in the nation's
history. Visitors can explore the collection and the lives of the collectors in the elegant
18th Century Custom House which provides an ideal setting for an enjoyable visit. A
friendly welcome is assured and guided tours are available.
For more info: Hunt Museum
|King John's Castle
Experience eight hundred years of history brought to life through animation and interactive
effects at King John's Castle in Limerick City. Built between 1200-1210, it was repaired
and extended many times. Many features include a historical story of King John's Castle
told in dramatic fashion on two floors of the visitor centre and archaeological excavations
beneath the visitors centre building including earliest evidence of settled life in Limerick.
For more info: King John's Castle
|All content and images © Copyright 2004 - 2015 Glocca Morra B&B, Killaloe, Clare, Ireland
|The Rock of Cashel
Cashel was once the seat of the Kings of Munster and capital of this southern province.
The Rock, which rears above the plain, dominated the land routes southwards. Kings of
Ireland as well as Munster came to this spot and
St. Patrick is known to have preached on the rock and converted the local King, Aenghus,
here in the 5th Century. Brian Boru was also crowned King of Ireland on this spot in the
early 11th Century. King Cormac built his superb
Royal Chapel in the 12th century.
For more info: The Rock of Cashel
|St. Flannan's Cathedral-Killaloe
The early monastery on this site at the southern end of Lough Derg was founded by
St. Fachnan, and he was followed as Abbot by St. Flannan who died around 639.
The Cathedral was founded about 1185 by Donal Mór O Brien.
The most striking feature is the 11m high east window with its three lights. The side lights
are pointed and the central one roundheaded and rising high above the others. The
window symbolises the Trinity and the figures of Christ and the twelve apostles are
portrayed in the stained glass. Inside it is an interesting stone, one of the few in Ireland to
bear an inscription in Viking runes and one in ogham with the same meaning: "A blessing
on Thorgrim, who made this stone." Also within the precincts of the Cathedral is St
Flannan's Oratory (12th century: National Monument), a small Romanesque church with a
beautiful doorway and a well-preserved stone roof.
For more info: St. Flannan's Cathedral-Killaloe
Knappogue Castle is located in a truly picturesque setting, surrounded by the tranquil
landscapes and rolling hills of Clare. Beautiful Victorian and Walled Gardens surround
the Castle where one can relax or enjoy a peaceful stroll. The Castle was built in 1467 by
Sean MacNamara, and is a magnificent example of a medieval tower house. It has a long
and varied history ~ from a battle field to a dwelling place.
For more info: Knappogue Castle
|About the Area
Adare, "Ireland's prettiest village," is a lovely day excursion from
Glocca Morra B&B. From the thatched roof cottages on the main road to the magnificent
internationally renowned Adare Manor Hotel and championship golf course, this village
captures the essence of Ireland and photos are a must have. Don't miss the ruins of
Desmond Castle just before the village and you'll then see a span of Irish history from the
13th century to the present.
For more info: Adare
|The Brian Boru Heritage Centre and Tourist Information Office
What better way to get an insight into the Celtic and nautical significance of
Lough Derg and the River Shannon than by visiting the
Brian Boru Heritage Centre and Tourist Information Office!
The centre comprises of a tourist information office, crafts centre and an exhibition tracing
the history of Killaloe from the 10th century to the present day including its strong nautical
links with Lough Derg, the largest of the River Shannon Lakes. An important feature is
the last High King of Ireland, Brian Boru (940-1014), who was born in Killaloe. The
Heritage Centre is located on the bridge in Killaloe in what was once the lock keeper’s
residence and offers visitors details on booking accommodation, places to eat, routes to
take, maps, guides and books, places to visit, things to do and information on national and
Open May-September (061) 376866
For more info: Brian Boru Heritage Centre
|Glocca Morra B&B
Ogonnelloe Killaloe Scarriff
County Clare, Ireland
With an extraordinary history stretching back to the 5th Century, Dromoland Castle was
originally the ancestral home of one of the few families of Gaelic Royalty; direct
descendants of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland.
Approached by a meandering drive that passes acres of magnificent lawns, this luxury 5
Star Castle Hotel overlooks its own Championship Golf Course and a glistening lake
which commands the panoramic beauty of the surrounds.
A wonderful place to enjoy a drink, lunch, or dinner, this venue ensures the opulence that
one expects of a 5 Star Luxury Castle and you won't be disappointed.
For more info: Dromoland Castle
|Brian Boru Fort-Killaloe
Brian Boru's fort is located in a very serene and spectacular setting, overlooking Lough
Derg on the River Shannon, just one mile north of the picturesque village of Killaloe. Beal
Boru, as it is more commonly known, stands on a spur of land which commands the point
where the lake narrows into the River Shannon. Brian Boru (Bórumha, bóraimhe, meaning
a cattle tribute) was either born or reared at this mystical location, according to folklorist
Daithi O hOgain, and the placename, Béal Bóramha, means the 'port of the cattle tribute'.
Boru was high-king of Ireland from 1002 until his death in 1014AD. His headquarters was
the nearby Ceann Cora (in English Kincora) which is located one mile from here in the
picturesque village of Killaloe. His death came during the battle of Clontarf against the
Norsemen, a battle which was to claim Boru's life, but which he won nonetheless.
For more info: Brian Boru Fort