The Midlands

The largest building at Clonmacnoise, the cathedral was originally built in AD 909, but was significantly altered and remodelled over the centuries. Its most interesting feature is the intricate 15th-century Gothic doorway with carvings of Sts Francis, Patrick and Dominic. A whisper carries from one side of the door to the other – a feature believed to have been used by lepers to confess their sins without infecting the priests.

The last High Kings of Tara – Turlough Mór O'Connor (died 1156) and his son Ruairí (Rory; died 1198) – are said to be buried near the altar.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Midlands attractions

4. Temple Doolin

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These remains of an 11th-century temple are similar to nearby Temple Hurpan.

5. Temple Kelly

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Only scant foundations remain of Temple Kelly, which dates from 1167.

6. Bullaun

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This bullaun has a diameter of around 0.3m and is located near the southwestern corner of Temple Doolin. It's an ancient grinding stone supposedly used…

7. O'Rourke's Tower

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Overlooking the River Shannon is the 19.3m-high O'Rourke's Tower. Lightning blasted the top off the tower in 1135, but the remaining structure was used…

8. Temple Melaghlin

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This 12th-century historic site has Romanesque Gothic transitional windows that are unique to Ireland. It's also known as the Kings' Church, as seven…