Today we had to drive from the east side of Ireland to the west side. We had a bathroom break and tea and scones at Tyrrellspass Castle (1st picture) which was built in 1411. Best scones we have had so far.
Our next stop was the monastery of Clomacnoise (pictures 2 – 6) located on the river Shannon. It was founded in 544 by St Ciaran. The strategic location of the monastery helped it become a major centre of religion, learning, craftsmanship, and trade by the 9th century and together with Clonard it was the most famous in Ireland, visited by scholars from all over Europe. Unfortunately, its prominence also drew attacks. It was attacked frequently from the 8th to the 12th centuries, mostly by the English (at least 40 times), the Irish (at least 27 times), the Vikings (at least 7 times) and Normans (at least 6 times). Each time it was attacked and burned, the monks rebuilt it. By the 12th century Clonmacnoise began to decline. The reasons were varied, but without doubt the most debilitating factor was the growth of the town of Athlone to the north of the site from the late-12th century.,
We made it to Galway in the middle of the afternoon. We had an hour to walk around before we continued a few miles to Barna, the seaport where we are staying for a few nights. Don took pictures and Leslie went shopping.