Maynooth, a small planned town some fifteen miles from Dublin is not normally at the top of any "to do" list in Ireland, but it is well worth a visit.
The town usually has a vibrant atmosphere as it is a university town, with associated bookshops cafes and good pubs.
The two main points of touristic interest are the castle and St Patrick's seminary. I especially enjoyed the latter, with a self guided tour.
In particular it was interesting to see the annual photographs of the trainee priests - seeing how the numbers rose and fell over the years. The 60's saw quite a reduction in numbers, I guess the miniskirt rather than the clerical robes had greater allure for young men at the time.
Interestingly the numbers seem to be on the increase again - perhaps a reflection of the current state of the world.
It's also a good game to see little touches of individuality, such as more modern haircuts creeping into some of the photos. On the other hand I didn't spot any who managed to bump up the numbers by appearing twice on the same photograph.
See more details at : www.maynoothcollege.ie
The suburban train connection is worth using - or Dublin bus (a bargain fare as it is 15 miles away)
I am going to college part-time in Maynooth, so I'm there at least once or twice a week.
It is about 25 miles west of Dublin, in North Co. Kildare.
There is not a lot to the town itself apart from the National University of Ireland and the Catholic Seminary of St. Patrick's College, where the former(the one I'm registered with) was opened to lay students in 1967 and the latter was founded in 1795.
The grounds of the seminary are very well-kept and are popular with the locals & their dogs for walks. The Royal Canal runs through the grounds as well.
Maynooth is basically a two-street commuter town with oodles of housing estates. At the top of the main street, where St. Patrick's College lies, are the ruins of Maynooth Castle, which dates from the 1200's.
So basically, if you are interested in ecclesiastical history and a quiet day in a typical Irish country town, you could spare a couple of hours in Maynooth & possibly Leixlip as well.