One of the things John knew he wanted to go to in Cork City was Blackrock Castle. To our surprise, our host, who grew up right outside of Cork City, said he had never been. It was a pretty good place to tour while stuck in a rainstorm, except for when we got to the top of the main tower.
The “castle” was never really a castle, because no one lived in it. It was actually a gunnery used to keep pirates from coming up the River Lee beyond the reach of the British Navy. An additional tower was added so that royalty could have extravagant parties there.
The castle is now used as an observatory and research lab. Unfortunately, we missed the last planetarium show, because it was sold out. We were able to walk around the museum and see all kinds of video presentations about the nature of space and the research happening at Blackrock.