The Essential
The small town of Maynooth, located on the Royal Canal, was for centuries the stronghold of the Fitzgeralds, who were made Earls of Kildare in 1316 and Dukes of Leinster in 1766. Descended from an adventurer with Norman and Welsh roots who arrived in Ireland in 1169, they became one of Ireland's most powerful families, even holding the post of governor of Ireland for a long time. Maynooth is also famous for its seminary, the best known in Ireland.