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Forty-odd kilometres from Ennis, KILRUSH is a graceful planned town whose broad main drag, Frances Street, leads down to a bustling marina where you can catch a ferry to Scattery Island. At the town’s core stands the Maid of Éireann statue, honouring the Manchester Martyrs, three Fenians who were executed in the English city in 1867 for a daring attempted rescue of some of their comrades arrested during a failed uprising.

The Shannon estuary is home to the country’s only resident group of bottle-nosed dolphins, whose calving season takes place between May and August, and so far more than a hundred individuals have been identified. To enjoy a sight of them take a two-hour trip from the marina on Merchants Quay (whttp://www.discoverdolphins.ie).

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