The third most important town in the county, is beautifully situated in wooded country on the banks of the Suck. It was the birthplace in 1815 of Sir William Wilde, educated in the diocesan school in Elphin and father of the celebrated dramatist and wit, Oscar Wilde.
Clonalis House, just west of the town, is the ancestral home of the clan O' Conor, who gave eleven high kings to Ireland and twenty four kings to Connacht. The family traces back to Feredach the just in 75 A.D. and is Europe's oldest family. The 45 room mansion was built in 1878 and contains a priceless collection of archival material, illustrating a tradition going back 60 generations.
One of this great family, Charles O' Conor, was the first Catholic candidate to contest an American presidential election. He was defeated by Ulysses Grant in 1872.
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