The Essential
Maynooth, situated 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 a Norman and Welsh adventurer who arrived in Ireland in 1169, they became one of Ireland's most powerful families, even serving as Governors of Ireland from 1471 to 1534. Maynooth is also famous for its seminary, the best known in Ireland.