Welcome To Athenry


You would swear when you listen to it that “The Fields of Athenry”, a ballad featuring a tenant farmer forced to steal food for his family in Famine era Ireland, had been written in the 1840s.
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Information Athenry Ireland

However, the song that very probably makes Athenry town a household name in many an Irish American abode was actually penned by Pete St. John in the 1970s and reached the top ten in the Irish charts in 1979 when it was first recorded by folk singer Danny Doyle. The song details the stealing of corn by Michael, the fictional hero, “so the young might see the morn”. Michael is sentenced to penal servitude in Australia, sent by prison ship. The town itself has a long history, with a medieval castle after which the town may be named dating to before 1240 and was built by Meyler de Bermingham. Around the same time saw the construction of a Dominican Abbey. It survived – to a degree covertly – during the reformation and only came to be desecrated in the 1570s during the insurrections to gain independence from the Elizabethans. It suffered further damage by attacks during the invasion of Ireland by Cromwell and his allies almost a century later. The medieval town walls of Athenry are well preserved and some of the towers are still intact. Redevelopment led to the unearthing of one town gate in 2007, while the original north gate also survives. The town square features a fifteenth century Market Cross. It is a Tabernacle or Lantern type of cross and is unique in being the only one of its kind in Ireland. Furthermore, the cross is the only one to remain on its original site – many of the crosses you will see in Ireland may well be replicas today, with the originals either destroyed or housed at more salubrious locations as museum pieces.

Attractions Athenry Ireland

Athenry - Mediaval Town with Arts and Heritage Centre - Athenry

Amedieval town situated 23km from Galway City is steeped in history. Founded in the 13th century by Meiler de Birmingham, who surrounded the town with a curtain wall with towers and a moat. It is the only walled town in Ireland whose still-intact walls are clearly visible to the approaching visitor

Athenry Castle - Athenry

Athenry is one of the most notable medieval walled towns surviving in Ireland, owing its foundation to Meiler de Bermingham who built his Castle there c.1250. The great three-storey tower, surrounded by defensive walls, is entered at first-floor level through an unusual decorated doorway. Recently re-roofed, the interior contains an audio visual room and exhibition.

Aughnanure Castle Galway - Oughterard

Built by the O'Flahertys c. 1500, Aughnanure Castle lies in picturesque surroundings close to the shores of Lough Corrib. Standing on what is virtually a rocky island, the Castle is a particularly well-preserved example of an Irish tower house. In addition, visitors will find the remains of a banqueting hall, a watch tower, an unusual double bawn and bastions and a dry harbour.

Battle of Aughrim Interpretative Centre - Aughrim

Relive the bloodiest battle in Irish history fought in a small Connaught village. Move back in time and place to that fateful day in 1691 through an audio-visual show based on the moving account of Captain Walter Dalton who fought at the Battle of Aughrim.

Clifden in West Galway - Clifden

The location of the landing of the first Trans-Atlantic air crossing by Alcock and Brown. A very scenic part of Ireland.