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It was while converting the pagans here that St Patrick plucked a shamrock from the ground to explain the Holy Trinity, after which the Hill of Slane was covered in shamrocks, which was later adopted as the Irish national symbol.

Though, Bru Na Boinne and Newgrange are Ireland's most celebrated Neolithic sites, they are not the country's oldest.

The site contains some 60 dolmens, passage tombs and stones, though many are on private farmland.

Carrowmore is also linked with nearby Carrowkeel and Carrowmore is situated at a central point between ancient stone cairns on top of surrounding mountains.

Newgrange is one of a number of Neolithic sites within a hugely significant area known as Bru Na Boinne - the Boyne Palace.

Other similar burial structures can be found at Knowth and Dowth, where archaeological excavations are currently ongoing.

As well as the less famous Knowth and Dowth, Newgrange boasts the fact that it is older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Egypt, having survived over five thousand years.

In County Sligo there are the remnants of ancient burial sites predating Newgrange by 700 years.

The Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery covers some 5km square and is one of the largest Stone Age cemeteries in Europe.

A thatched replica of a Neolithic dwelling houses the Lough Gur Interpretive Centre, with a display of artefacts including a replica of the famous Lough Gur Shield (original housed in Dublin) dating back to 700BC.

Many of Ireland's ancient sites can be found in coastal areas.

Newgrange is the best example of a Stone Age passage tomb in Ireland and one of the most remarkable prehistoric sites in Europe.

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