Dublin is the Republic of Ireland's capital and largest city, named from the Irish dubh linn, meaning "black pool". The name comes from the fact that the site of the city was formerly a black, slimy expanse of mud through which the River Liffey flowed sluggishly to the sea. It now has a pleasant setting on the east coast of the Irish Sea, looking out over Dublin Bay, with a long, sandy shoreline to its north.
Granite mountains form the southern boundary of the county, and the city is bisected by the River Liffey. It's a cultural city with theaters, cinemas, galleries and museums, and many historic sites worth seeing. It also has an excellent range of shops, restaurants, pubs, and clubs plus all types of accommodations. Louth, the smallest county on the island, is on the east coast, on the border halfway between Dublin and Belfast. It's named after Lugh, the great god of the Celts, and its Cooley peninsula was the legendary home of the giant Finn McCool and the setting of Ulster's greatest saga, the Táin. That's the epic folk tale of the hero Cúchullain, the Red Branch Knights of Ulster, wicked Queen Maeve of Connaught, and the mighty Brown Bull of Cooley.
Despite its size, Louth offers a great choice of activities - sailing and scuba diving, sea and river fishing, horseback riding, hill walking, rock climbing, golf, exploring historical sites, and great traditional hospitality in its many pubs, restaurants, inns, guesthouses, and hotels. Among the many interesting places to visit is the site of the Battle of the Boyne, which changed Irish history and influences events even today. Known as "the Garden of Ireland," Wicklow has wonderful scenery, with mountains, wooded valleys, and lakes.
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