Other sights in County Offaly
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About 3km south of Banagher off the R439 in Lusmagh is Cloghan Castle, in use for nearly 800 years. The castle has seen more than its fair share of bloodshed, beginning life as a McCoghlan stronghold and later becoming home to the mighty O’Carroll clan. Today the castle consists of a well-preserved Norman keep and an adjoining 19th-century house full of interesting antiques and armaments. Groups of up to five people can take an hour-long tour of the castle (€35) if you phone in advance. Occasional concerts are also held here. Ask at the tourist office.
Gloriously placed overlooking the River Shannon, Clonmacnoise is one of Ireland’s most important ancient monastic cities. The site is enclosed in a walled field and contains numerous early churches, high crosses, round towers and graves in astonishingly good condition.