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town, County Westmeath, Ireland. It lies on the River Shannon just south of Lough (lake) Ree. Located at a major east-west crossing of the Shannon, it has always been an important garrison town. In the 12th century the area, previously fortified by the kings of Ui Maine and Connaught (Connacht), was seized by the Anglo-Normans. Their motte (palisade) castle was built in 1210 and underwent repairs in 1547. It was besieged several times during the 17th century.