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Birr and the largest telescope in the world

in Buildings/Fresh

William Parsons put Offaly at the centre of global astronomy in 1845. He built the largest telescope in the world until the construction of the 100-inch (2.5 m) Hooker Telescope in California in 1917. 

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Grianan of Aileach – How to avoid the nostalgia of authenticity

in Buildings/Featured/Fresh/Prehistoric
Grianan of Aileach, Donegal

Discovering the Grianan of Aileach was a shock. Why had this impressive and beautiful structure failed to knock on the door of my general knowledge? There it curved in front of me, so extraordinarily well preserved. What a mystery! Yet a small amount of research later revealed some of the reasons why this site has…

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Dunsevrick Castle – Remains of a Kingdom

in Castles/Fresh
Dunsevrick Castle Antrim

There is not much left of Dunseverick Castle, the last fort on this location for perhaps over three thousand years. Though the historical records are sketchy, this was also a power centre for the Dal Riata kingdom which used its maritime skills parts of the north off Ireland and the west of Scotland

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Rathlin Island East Lighthouse and Robert the Bruce

in Fresh/Lighthouses/Recent
Rathlin Island East Lighthouse

The name of George Halpin seems to pop up everywhere in Ireland. And Rathlin Island did not evade his engineering pencil; he designed the lighthouse on the east end of Rathlin. Opened in 1856, it was unique by having two lights in order to improve its visibility in foggy conditions.

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St Johnspoint Church – Just a bunch of stones?

in Buildings
Ruins of Church, St Johns Point, County Down

Giovanni below was not impressed with St John’s Church. And he raises an interesting debate.

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The monks who were engineers – Nendrum monastic site

in Buildings/Featured/Fresh/Irish Sea/Prehistoric/Recent
Nendrum monastic site - Sun Dial

There are some wonderful Ireland-focused blogs. Perhaps we need an official directory of high-standard personal blogs pertaining to the island. This one is a charm – rmchapple.blogspot.com by archaeologist Robert M Chapple, which contains a wide variety of engaging topics. I certainly will not be trying to compete with someone who keeps a catalogue of Radiocarbon…

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St John’s Point Lighthouse (and Brendan Behan)

in Buildings/Fresh/Lighthouses
St John's Point, Lighthouse

St. John’s Point Lighthouse, first shone its light in 1844, and was designed by George Halpin Senior – famous for his expansion of Dublin port. It is the tallest onshore lighthouse on the Irish coast (Fastnet is the tallest offshore lighthouse)

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Sketrick Castle

in Buildings/Castles/Fresh
Sketrick Castle

Sketrick Castle is a castle on Sketrick Island near Whiterock, County Down, Northern Ireland. It is surrounded by a drumlin landscape some of which is submerged in Strangford Lough as small islands.

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LV Petrel

in Boats/Fresh/Lighthouses
LV Petrel

Though now the headquarters for a cruising club on Ballydorn Bay, at Strangford Lough, the LV Petrel was commissioned by the Commissioners of Irish Lights in 1913, and built by the Dublin Drydocks Company.

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Dun Laoighre East Lighthouse

in Dublin/Lighthouses

Dun Laoighre East Lighthouse was built in 1847. It is 17 metres and it became fully automated on 31 October 1977. This lighthouse was designed by George Halpin, that super productive engineer of the Ballast Port.

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