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Follow the path leading to the Cathedral, and notice the inscriptions on the tombstones dating back to the 1700s. Although some of the names are faded and the stones are slightly worn, this intricate little cemetery situated in St. Canice’s churchyard embodies the spirit of 16th century Ireland.

St. Canice was founded in the 6th century and later rebuilt in the thirteenth. With bragging rights as the second longest Cathedral on the Emerald Isle, it can also be said that St. Canice is well preserved, and maintained with very few changes.

Once inside visitors can marvel at the deceased local gentry’s life size effigies which are beautifully carved out of limestone along the sides of the cathedral — some with touching epitaphs and memorials to their dearly departed (many of the famous Butler family are entombed here).

Although it is easy to get swept away while viewing the Gothic style arches, vaulted ceilings and rounded stained glass windows, a word of caution: Don’t neglect to notice the floor with its different colored marble, the original baptismal font located in the north transept, or the impressive carvings on the choir stall.

— Contributed by AnnMarie Koss