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Issue 1

Discover Leitrim




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Unit 1B Level 5 Quayside Mall Wine Street | t 071 91 47488 e

WELCOME Welcome to the very first edition of Discover Leitrim! I have found Leitrim to be an intriguing county and as we prepared this publication, meeting with business operators the length and breadth of the county, we were not just fascinated but also very encouraged by the diversity and quality of attractions, resources and activities of which Leitrim is rightly the proud home. Undoubtedly the previous months have been a tough time for many people in the recreation and tourism industries, and not just in Leitrim. Floods, snow, ice, economic down-turn, funding shortages, decline in national visitor numbers – one thing after another has hit this sector. And yet, we must take heart. Tourism, in its many guises – be they recreation, visiting family and friends, education, conferences, angling, hill-walking, waterways etc – has the ability to transform and maintain communities especially in a largely unspoilt rural county – and Leitrim is right in the heart of all this. It surely is developing a high quality tourism product range that makes it a real pearl in the midst of an international market place that so often we find predictable, mundane and commercialised, devoid of true culture. But not Leitrim! County Leitrim offers a unique environment with attractions that are of world class appeal. I am still mesmerised by the superb Shannon-Erne Waterway. If you haven’t taken a barge or cruiser on what is the longest inland waterway in Europe, then you are missing an experience that is too good to miss. John McGahern is another figure of international repute. A literary wealth awaiting fuller discovery. The Book of Fenagh; The Sean McDermot Summer School; Glencar waterfall’s delightful pastoral setting that has brought tears of delight to visitors; The human story of a Planter and ancient chieftain; The graft and sweat of Arigna mines re-presented today as a superb educational tour; Contrast this with the excellent clean air and environment of outdoor pursuits abounding throughout the county. You know, there is so much to tell. Leitrim offers an environment which is beyond clean and green. There is such an abundance in Leitrim waiting for you to discover and enjoy. So much too from which we can learn. May I encourage you, in the words of a good Leitrim friend, to take the road less travelled – go on! Discover Leitrim. We hope this publication will help you on your journey. Finally, our sincere thanks to the many businesses who have made this magazine possible. Be sure to tell them you discovered them in Discover Leitrim!

Keith McNair Discovery Tours, Loughanelton, Sligo, Ireland. | t: 071 91 47488


Contents Entertainment


Heritage & Education 14 Great Outdoors


Towns and Villages


Good Food


Where to stay


Sligo - Next Door


Disclaimer Every care is taken in producing this magazine to give a faithful impression and accurate details, and the publishers and editorial staff are in no way liable for incorrect information, but apologise unreservedly for any errors. Views/opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of Discovery Tours staff. Where contributors or their representatives have signed off proofs, no liability is accepted by Discovery Tours for incorrect details contained in ads. The publishers of Discover Leitrim Magazine wish to inform it’s readers that the views and opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors thereof and as such the publishers do not accept any responsibility or liability for those views and or opinions. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or made otherwise available on a retrieval system or submitted in any form without the express written permission of the Editor and Manager of Discover Leitrim. Editorial assistance provided by Keith McNair, Marie Conboy and Brian Leydon.

m i r t i e L ieinnvitcees aynodu to enj exper While Leitrim may have the shortest coastline of any county in Ireland, this stretch of the ocean is a paradise for surfers who want to hit the big waves. Its coast, at Tullaghan, lies at the foot of Glenade Valley between the counties of Donegal and Sligo. Also in this part of Leitrim, on the road to Manorhamilton, is Glencar Waterfall, made famous by W.B.Yeats in his poem ‘The Stolen Child’. Leitrim is also know for its lakes with Lough Melvin, Lough Allen, Lough Gill and Lough Garadice featuring on the must visit list. Lough Melvin is particularly renowned for its unique flora and fauna. Lough Allen offers scenic views particularly from the lakeshore between Leitrim Village and Drumkeeran; and Lough Gill, to the northwest of Dromahair, is world famous, with the Isle of Innisfree just off the South shore, not far from Drumahair, and further round the lake, on the North shore, Parke’s Castle perches right on water’s edge.

this stretch of the ocean is a paradise for surfers

County Leitrim is widely recognised as an excellent angling destination and has hosted numerous national and international angling competitions. The most important salmon and trout fishery in the northwest is located in the Lough Melvin area and the first salmon of the year is frequently caught in early January on the Drowse River close to Tullaghan. The county has a reputation for friendliness and hospitality. The visiting angler can be assured of enjoying Leitrim’s famous hospitality.

Walking in Leitrim’s spectacular landscape affords the walker a wide choice and range of walks; from spectacular mountains through glacial valleys to beautiful glens. The Leitrim landscape can also been seen on horseback from a number of equestrian centres that are located in the county and quiet country roads and routes make Leitrim the perfect place to cycle. There are many visitor attractions in Leitrim. Take a train ride back in time at Dromod. Take in the historic sites; a castle in Manorhamilton; an historic town trail in Carrick on Shannon; the thatched homestead of a revolutionary hero, Sean MacDiarmada in Kiltyclogher; a plantation castle on the shores of Lough Gill. These sites and attractions throughout the county reflect and interpret the many aspects of Leitrim’s heritage. Whether it’s the arts or archaeology, farming or history there are places to visit to suit everybody’s taste.

Take in the history of Leitrim with its enigmatic monuments featuring engraved stones on simple churches and numerous castle walls in ruins. There is evidence of human activity in the county from prehistoric times with a number of megalithic monuments pointing to the Neolithic period nearly 5,000 years ago. The Black Pig’s Dyke, near the Ulster border, indicates a later period and evidence of Early Christian settlement can be seen at Fenagh in the south-east of the county where in the 6th century St. Cailin established a monastery. Leitrim was originally part of the old Gaelic Kingdom of Breffni which was ruled by the O’Rourke family until the end of the sixteenth century when the Battle of Kinsale ended their reign. Their lands and castle were confiscated and resettled. Early in the 17th century Parke’s Castle, an impressive fortified manor house was constructed on the shores of Lough Gill. Leitrim Tourism invites you to explore this wealth of history throughout the county.

ceramics, glass, paper, wood, textiles, metal and jewellery. Experience Leitrim’s creative spirit through this unique expression of its culture.

Leitrim Tourism invites you to explore, experience and enjoy County Leitrim. Located in the North West of Ireland, Leitrim has so much to offer: From its coastline on the Atlantic Ocean to its lakes and rivers, from angling and walking to its attractions and historical sites and from arts and crafts to excellent entertainment.

spectacular mountains through glacial valleys to beautiful glens

Leitrim offers a wide variety of approved accommodation, ranging from ancestral castles set in acres of countryside and 4* hotels to stays in family homes where you can sample a true taste of Ireland with an Irish family. Your choice is endless, the county has something to suit all tastes and budgets. Come and stay for one of the many events taking place in 2010. These events include: An Tostal in Drumshanbo, 4th – 7th June 2010 John McKenna Traditional Festival in Drumkeeran, 10th – 13th June 2010 Sean MacDiarmada Summer School in Kiltyclogher, 18th – 20th June 2010 Joe Mooney Summer School in Drumshanbo, 17th – 24th July 2010 Anthony Trollope International Summer School in Drumsna, 27th – 29th August 2010. Whether your visit is fleeting or a much longer stay, Leitrim Tourism invites you to explore experience and enjoy the wonderful county that is Leitrim. Visit for more details.

Today, Leitrim offers its visitors the very best in design, contemporary craft and visual art, with over 250 artists working in


Discovery Tours “We really appreciate all your efforts in making this trip so successful. Every detail helped create a more complete mosaic. Thank you for creating such a unique collection of experiences for us.” Adrienne Phillips, teacher at US secondary school.

Ireland’s fascinating history, its rich and varied landscapes; dynamic, creative and diverse cultures; and of course, its welcoming people, always with time to tell their story, make Ireland uniquely endowed as a recreation and educational destination.

It’s an experience waiting to be discovered. If you hope to bring a group to Ireland, then contact Discovery Tours. Our experience as a bespoke tour organiser, built over the past decade, helps ensure you and your group get a truly rewarding experience. We delight in designing and delivering quality tour programmes that provide an array of opportunities so that each person can enjoy discovering Ireland and, in so doing, maybe discover more of themselves and each other.

We have years of experience in planning itineraries and leading tours. We know what works – and what does not! We know the realities of distances and travel times; how one attraction or activity compares against another; how to craft a tour to meet primary and diverse objectives. We ensure you get value and quality; and, very importantly, with our extensive contacts we can access that all important local knowledge, a diverse pool of local people who know what they are talking about. It all adds up to us being able to enrich any tour beyond the usual “run-of-the-mill” options. Above all, our focus is you and the tour members. We strive to put ourselves at your service to ensure your tour is a memorable and enjoyable success – and therefore we are pleased to have many customers returning year after year.


we can take care of everything for your tour in Ireland

“We enjoyed a simply terrific tour. The breadth of our program was expansive, and yet we were able to pull it off successfully thanks to Discovery Tours guidance and leadership... The trip was masterfully organized… We will definitely be taking the trip again, and we look forward to working with Discovery Tours.” Jeff Neill, Northfield Mounthermon, MA USA.

“Tell us when you will arrive, when you will leave, give us an idea of what you want to do – and we will arrange it!”

We can take care of everything for your tour in Ireland: from accommodation to coach hire; tour guides to specialist speakers; admission to visitor centres to recreational activities, such as golf, horse-riding, angling, hill walking; wine and dine in restaurants to private dinner parties to picnics or BBQs. Everything that makes a tour memorable.

We take care of the detailed work that is essential to make every tour a success and thereby we make your job as a group leader so much easier and your tour programme much more satisfying and rewarding.

with our extensive contacts we can access that all important local knowledge

Irish Cultural Studies Insti Daniel S Burt PhD Academic Director Tour programmes we have designed and delivered have covered the following interests: History – from Ireland’s pre-history through to the modern day. Literature – with a special focus on Yeats, Joyce & Synge. Peace studies & Politics – meeting with many key leaders active in building Ireland’s future. Parish holidays & Study Programmes Performance & Fine Arts – we especially enjoy setting up School Choral Tours! Sports tours – including junior golf academies and adult golf tours. Family tours – with special events, be they re-unions, wedding vow renewal or simply recreation.

Now in its sixth year the

Our clients come from throughout Ireland, IrelandSwitzerland will be sponsorin Britain, Germany, Denmark, and USA. They include Secondary schools, workshops in Irish literatu Universities, both undergraduate and Taught by master artists, w postgraduate studies; Family groups and offer an exceptional oppor Friends on recreation holidays; Cultural and sports groups,art, Parishhistory, organisations, and performan Historical Societies and even hill-walking northwest coast. clubs. From the minute you arrive in Ireland,Participan to the minute youand leave,match’ we take care of among several. you and your group.

Modern Irish Litera

“This trip was more than I ever imagined it would be …” Alyssa Skoller, CA, USA feature contemporary

Irish of the legacy of Yeats, Joyc “The experience was nothing less than Heaney, Boland, Doyle and transformative... This was a wonderful journey for all of us, and I look forward to bringing students back to see Ireland as I did” Susan Ikenberry, DC, USA

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Leitrim Map





Arigna Mining Experience



Battlebridge Paintball



Bee Park Resource Centre



Bernies Of Battlebridge



Carrick Plaza Suits



Cottage Restaurant



Coxes Steakhouse



Eunan Sweeney Photography



Glenfarne Wood Products



Island View Riding Stables & Swingle




Kilronan Castle Hotel & Douglas Hyde Rest.


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Kilticlogher Holiday Centre



King House




Leitrim Marina Hotel



Leitrim Quay Holiday Homes & Cruisers




Leitrim Sculpture Centre



Lough Allen Adventure



Lough Bran B&B



Lough Gara Stables



Lough Key Forest Park and Activity Park



Moorelands Equestrian Centre



Organic Centre



Pleasure Cruisers



Ramada Hotel & Rushes Rest.



Riversdale Barge



Shannon Key West Hotel & Kilglass Rest



Stanfords Inn



St. Georges Visitor Centre



Swan Island Outdoor Persuits



Swan Island Cottage



Tullboy Farm



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t n e n m n i a t r e t en

0 1 0 2 s t n e v e m i r leit January

Fiddler on the roof | The Corn Mill Theatre, Carrigallen Annual St. Patricks Day Parade | Carrick on shannon Fleadh Cheoil Liatroma North Leitrim Glen Hill walking Festival

March April


Cavan and Leitrim Railway Annual Vintage Rally Wise Woman Weekend | Dromahair

August Ballinaglera Annual Festival | Ballinaglera Michael Shanley Traditional Weekend | kiltyclogher Written Word Weekend | Drumshambo Carrigallen Summer Festival | Carrigallen Sliabh an Iarainn Music & Arts Festival | Dowra Ballinamore Family Festival | Ballinamore Wild Rose and Thorn Festival | Manorhamilton Anthony Trollope International Summer School | Drumsna


Carrick on Shannon Fishing Festival | Carrick on shannon



An Tostal Festival | Drumshambo Sean Mac Diarmada Annual Festival | Kiltyclogher Community and Arts Festival | Carrick on Shannon Eco Living Festival | Drumsna John McKenna Traditional Music Festival | Drumkeerin

Annual Fundraising Hill walk | Manorhamilton Walking Wild Ireland | Dromahair


Connaught Fleadh Cheoil | Mohil and Drumsna Regatta | Carrick on shannon Mohill Arts And Summertime Festival | Mohill Boyle Arts Festival | Boyle James Town Show and Heritage Festival | Jamestown The Manorhamilton Show | Manorhamilton Joe mooney Annual summer School and Festival | Drumshambo Carrick water music Festival | Carrick on Shannon The John McGahern Summer School | Mohill




t c O n 0 Ja



in Carrick on Shannon

Carrick on Shannon boasts over thirty pubs and many fine restaurants. Some offer live music from cover bands to traditional music whilst others have D.Js and rise three floors above the town. With an influx of party goers to the town – in particular stag and hen parties – the amount of pubs carries the crowds well and never loses that feeling of a welcoming Irish town, with beautiful hills in the distance and locals with a story or two to tell and enough entertainment to keep everyone going. It provides the perfect break from the city without compromising on the selection of night life. There is unlimited choice throughout the town, from Havanna offering a Latin American theme, adding warmth and a touch of the exotic to those rainy Irish nights, or Dunnes, a huge bar which has all the charm of a country local but can offer


something just a little different with live entertainment from Wednesday through to Sunday, it is always a bustling place to visit. There are countless smaller bars and each has its own charm and appeal, whilst places like The Landmark hotel offer discos on Saturday night in the hotel bar, Ferraris.

Leitrim has so much to offer any visitor looking for any type of break and is far more than just water and boats and rolling hills. In recent years Carrick on Shannon has seen a boom in groups looking to enjoy a weekend there, to celebrate a special occasion or for couples to escape for a weekend in the country. And with so many pubs and bars, theatres and even night clubs, Carrick on Shannon has something to offer everyone, even boasting a comedy club in The Dock. So what better way to relax and unwind after a busy day on Leitrim’s waterways, or after hiking around the beautiful countryside than sitting down in a quiet pub with a roaring fire surrounded by history or alternatively letting loose and dancing the night away in a lively bar.

Carrick on Shannon boasts over thirty pubs and many fine restaurants

A popular form of entertainment in Carrick on Shannon is the water and it isn’t necessarily always a day time pursuit. In fact what better way to enjoy a night out than on the Moon River Disco boat which travels the River Shannon every weekend from midnight through to the early hours and with music and a fully licensed bar it attracts all types of people, whether you are a couple or a large group, it is a unique experience and one that fits perfectly with the lifestyle of Leitrim and the waterways it boasts. For those looking to spoil themselves with a good meal and then relax in a stunning bar and listen to some music or chat with friends and family then the award winning Oarsman pub, on Bridge Street, right in the heart of the town is the place to be. This year it has been awarded the Michelin Eating out in Pubs 2010 award, one of only 17 pubs in Ireland and as well as the great

food, its casual atmosphere and fantastic interior make it a great choice for anyone searching for a place to unwind and treat themselves in Carrick on Shannon. Popular with the twenty-five to fifty-five age group and catering for birthdays and celebrations including team nights out, it has live music at the weekends and always has a great crowd from friendly locals to intrigued visitors and the friendly staff and owners really do make everyone feel welcome.

So with so much to do from dancing on a river boat to listening to live bands, enjoying the buzz of a club, or a comedy night at the dock, to simply relaxing and enjoying a night in a charming pub with great food, Carrick on Shannon has something for everyone. It truly deserves the buzz it has attracted as a vibrant town boasting both the benefits of the countryside and the entertainment of a city. Intimate 140 seater venue with excellent natural acoustics housed in a converted church. The Glens hosts a wide ranging programme including the best of contemporary, world, trad, folk and jazz music as well as a feast of theatre, readings, children’s events and world cinema. To view our current programme, please visit our website at or call our box office on 071 98 55833 Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim, Phone 071 98 55833


Seรกn Mac Diarmada Summer School Friday 18th - Sunday 20th June 2010 Contact 071 985 4030 or

Seรกn Mac Diarmada homestead

Glenfarne Wood Products Ltd. Annagh, Glenfarne, Co.Leitrim. Tel: 00353 (0) 71 98 53162 | Fax: 00353 (0) 71 98 53244


I rish Cultur al Studies Institute 9th – 17th July 2010 Daniel S Burt Ph.D. Academic Director


Now in its sixth year Discovery Tours Academic and Professional Development Summer Workshops in Ireland is offering a 9-day Irish Cultural Studies Institute based in Sligo, with workshops in Irish literature, history, music, dance, creative writing, photography, and painting. Taught by master artists, writers, and teachers, the Irish Cultural Studies Institute will offer exceptional opportunities for teachers interested in a professional development opportunity or anyone interested in experiencing the best of Irish writing, art, history, and performance in the incomparable setting of Sligo, on Ireland’s magnificent northwest coast. Participants can choose to concentrate on a single topic or “mix and match” among several. Full details, including booking information, are available at Modern Irish Literature - Based in the landscape that inspired Yeats, the workshop will feature contemporary Irish writers and experts guiding participants to a greater understanding of the legacy of Yeats, Joyce, Synge, O’Casey, Beckett and Friel, as well as the achievement of Heaney, Boland, Doyle and others.

Irish History - Roots of Conflict – Routes to Peace: Focussed primarily on the more recent “Troubles” and including meetings with key political contacts, this workshop will also draw on the Civil War, the war of Independence, the Great Famine, the years of British rule as well as Ireland and the EU. Sessions will be held at many of the important sites where history was made, led by distinguished Irish historians and experts. Irish Music & Dance - Enjoy a cultural immersion in Irish traditional music and/or dance, instructed by Irish master performers, while taking advantage of the resources of the Michael Coleman Irish Music Centre, one of Ireland’s premier venues for the cultivation and preservation of traditional Irish music, dance, and heritage. Creative Writing - Poets, fiction, and nonfiction writers can perfect their skills under the guidance of master Irish writers during a week of small group discussions, instruction, and critiques, all taking place alongside excursions around Yeats Country. Photography & Painting - Irish artists and photographers will instruct small groups of painters and photographers (at

all levels) in workshops taking advantage of Sligo’s remarkable scenery which includes mountains, lakes, rivers and miles of stunning coastline. Institute Highlights... An excursion to Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway, and Londonderry scheduled during the traditional Orange Day celebrations to view the parades and bonfires and sharpen an understanding of the sectarian divide that produced the Troubles. An excursion to the Aran Islands and an overnight stay on Inis Mean, the small island that inspired Synge.

Book on-line at

Venues for sessions as diverse as a castle and a thatched cottage, at the site of violent civil rights or sectarian riots, artist’s studio, and a writer’s study. Tour Europe’s richest collection of Megalithic tombs with local archeologists. Visit the monastic sites on Inishmurray or Devenish Islands with local experts.


‘Discovery Tours provided me with a phenomen

Opportunity for recreational activities schedule, I studied golf, set dancing and sean-nos with including world-class angling, horseback gave us historical, artistic, politi riding, and hillwalking.

Price €1,600 ‘IInstitute have been doing European tours and creative which allowed us to venture off the beaten track shades of green that comprise the Irish landscape. changes in light and color from dawn until dusk. for man

Book on-line at



Email us at

‘Discovery Tours provides participants with an ex thoughtful workshop programmi M


I found the experience nothing less than transformative. I was amazed that so much knowledge and understanding could be packed into a week. This was a wonderful journey for all of us, and I look forward to bringing students back to see Ireland as I did.” Susan Ikenberry, Georgetown Day School, DC

v Discovery Tours 15

Let’s grow together...

The Organic Centre in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim promotes organic gardening, growing and sustainable living. Demonstration Gardens – Polytunnels - Orchard We show extensive demonstration gardens and our display of polytunnels of all sizes with varied cropping is unrivalled in the country. Visitors can enjoy a huge variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit, learn about the best way of composting and get ideas for willow sculptures. Guided Tours-Team Building Days - Tailor Made Workshops We offer guided tours, team building days and tailor made workshops for community groups, garden clubs, schools and colleges, active age groups and both private and public sector organisations. What makes us special • Extensive gardens and polytunnels for learning and enjoyment • Expert lecturers with vast experience in their chosen fields • Consistent positive feedback from course participants •

Visit The Organic Centre

• Eco-Shop for all your gardening needs • Up to date course materials and handouts based on our own experience • Save money and get free advice by becoming a friend • Local eco-tourism network for accommodation, restaurants and activities • Meet like-minded people and make new friends • Have a great day out in the West in Lovely Leitrim • Discovery Trail for Children – Play Area The Eco-Shop at the centre stocks a range of eco-friendly and fair-trade products for your home and garden, including books, tools, compost and seasonal organic vegetables, seeds and herb plants. 1 and 2-day Courses We offer the widest range of environmental, organic and craft courses anywhere in Ireland and The Organic Centre venue and our extensive gardens provide a peaceful yet stimulating atmosphere. Our vegetarian Grass Roof Cafe caters for advanced group bookings only!

Light organic lunch by the Grass Roof Cafe for all course participants with fresh and seasonal ingredients from the gardens




7:25 PM

Page 89

The Arigna New Facilities in Ceoláras Coleman Mining Experience The Traditional Music & Visitor Centre Gurteen

Arigna has a long tradition of mining, dating from 1600s when Charles Coote established iron works at Crevelea and Arigna. Charcoal, made from local timber, was used in the smelting process; however, as local timber supplies reduced, it was necessary to find an alternative. It was through this search that coal was discovered in the area. In 1788 the O’Reilly brothers founded an iron foundry where, for the first time in Ireland, coal was used in the smelting process.

burned 55,000 tons of coal annually

Arigna Co Roscommon


major power generating station in Connacht. By now, the supply of top grade coal was used and the station was built to burn the semi bituminous coal with its high ash content. At its height, the power station burned The most exciting and innovative news on of thecoal Irish music and scene 55,000 tons annually is the availability of the brandemployed new exhibition anddirectly. information 60 people unit at Ceoláras Coleman in Gurteen. In one this purpose built facility However, of the primary there is a stunning audio visual presentation. In the beautifully reasons behind its construction laid out exhibition area, there are no less than ten touch screens. secure hundreds jobs of Three of these are devoted towas theto music and musicalofstyles in the local mining industry. Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Fermanagh and theByUSA. 1970’s 65%Two of the coal screens mined This is a wide but fascinatingthespectrum. touch provide a comprehensive display of photographs, a in Arigna was burned atspanning the period of half a century. Music structure and styles are Power Station.


comprehensively covered in further touch screens and there is also one dealing with archive material. The final touch screen In instruction. the 1980’s, the government deals with dancing and dancing

promised a lower grade Crow The 2009 programme has commenced withPower two very successful Coal burning Station; traditional music concerts. The summer programme is which failed to materialize.about With to get under way. There will be twice weekly sessions, commencing the winding down of the existing on the first week of July on Wednesday and Saturday nights until Power Arigna’s main There the end of August, music by local andStation, visiting musicians. source of employment was nonight will also be singing and step dancing. The shows start each Iron mining was not successful longerbookings required and in 1990 thefor. at 9pm. Admission is €10 and group will be catered in Arigna and eventually the mines closed for the final time. iron works closed permanently The annual Coleman Traditional Festival takes place from August 28-30 and the musical variety is wide. There will be an in 1838. Coal mining continued Most Arigna families were old style ‘Ramblin and, House’, a Céilí, fiddle playing competitions and to provide employment dependant onthe theautumn, mine andfurther great traditional music sessions. Into because of the availability of concerts and events are planned. the blow to the community employment, Arigna became a was significant.Today Mining relatively area Shop through Theaffluent Music/Gift in Ceoláras is renowned for its variety and is ana indication of stock. Music books,Experience instruments, full range of of CDs times quality of poverty elsewhere. theand community’s and a lovely selection of pottery craftwaredetermination are to be had at to preserve a history which Whencompetitive the O Reillyprices. brothers meant so much for so many went bankrupt, All eventsoperators take place in the comfortable 140 seat theatre at generations as well as opening Ceoláras Coleman. including the Arigna Iron & Coal up new opportunities for the Joint Stock Company managed area. Arigna Mining Experience the iron works.The Tenison family provides visitors with a unique arrived in North Connacht in insight into what coal mining the 18th century and owned life was like in Arigna since the extensive mining rights across 1700’s until closure in 1990.Take North Roscommon. Also a the 45-minute underground tour The website, number of Coleman local families and is a well rightfor upalltocurrent the coalinformation face and and designed and informative source companies played an important experience like to and also a valuable shopping experience for thewhat bestitinwas traditional role in coal mining. Over the next general music CDs and books work at keenest prices. in some of the narrowest 150 years coal was used to heat coal 2602 seams in the western world. 071 918 Fax: 071 918 homes,Tel: hospitals and2599 to power Email: steam engines. A superb experience for all the family! The ESB opened the Arigna Power Station in 1958, the first

Discover and experience the life of a coal miner through a unique underground tour in what was Ireland's last working coal mine which closed in 1990. The mines operated for 400 years and the work of a miner was exhausting and often hazardous with working conditions that were very harsh and cramped. This mine opened as a tourist attraction in 2003 and has proved very popular with visitors. The tour guides are all exminers who deliver a very interesting and informative tour. Come and take a journey underground through a part of our natural history which you have only ever been able to read about until now. Relax after your tour and have a cup of coffee in our coffee shop and enjoy the breathtaking views over Lough Allen and the Arigna Valley.

The Arigna Mining experience is open all year, seven days a week from 10am-6pm daily. For further information, please contact us at: 071 964 6466 Email: 89


Historic sites in Leitrim Leitrim ‘Liath Druim’, means the grey ridge and is a common place name in Ireland, with over forty “Leitrims” in Ireland, either as townlands, villages or streets in the country. The county was once part of the ancient Celtic kingdom of Breifne dating from 500BC. However, it was under British rule in 1583 that Lord Deputy, Sir John Perott, marked out the county’s boundaries. But man’s mark on this landscape goes back long before Briefne into millennia before, as this area has many megalithic archaeological sites. It is also rich in early Christian sites.

Dobharachu, Glenade Lough

The Costello Memorial Chapel, Carrick-On-Shannon This is the world’s 2nd smallest chapel, being 16ft long 12ft wide, covering an area of 192 sq. ft. It was built in 1879 by Edward Costello, a generous merchant, in memory of his wife who died aged 42. Husband and wife now rest side by side in the beautiful memorial. Built into the front of the chapel is the Costello coat of arms with the motto “Ne te quaesiveris extra” - ‘Seek not thyself outside thyself ’.

Parkes Castle In 1610, during the plantation period, Roger Parke completed his fortified manor house on the site of an earlier fifteenth-century O’Rourke castle. He kept the walls of the original bawn and demolished the O’Rourke tower house in the centre. It was in this tower house that Francisco de Cuellar, the shipwrecked Armada officer, was entertained by Brian O’Rourke. de Cuellar was to write of his host: “Although this chief is a savage, he is a good Christian and an enemy of the heretics and is always at war with them.” O’Rourke was eventually captured and executed for high treason in London in 1591. The Parkes, who subsequently acquired his confiscated property, remained at Newtown, or Leitrim Castle - as it was formerly known - until the end of the seventeenth century, when it was deserted. The castle had extensive and sensitive restoration carried out at the end of the 20th, using 17th century techniques. Located 5 kilometres NW of Dromahair on Sligo road R286 12k from Sligo. Open March: 17 - 20, April – October. Small admission fee and audio visual presentation. Access for visitors with disabilities to the ground floor.

Tread wearily along the shores of Glenade Lough where the legend of the Dobharachu is found. In September 1722, a local girl failed to return home after going to wash her dress on the shores of the lake. Her husband found her mangled body on the shores of the lake with the beast sleeping over it. The husband went back to the house, got his spear and stole up on the Dobharchu then drove the spear into his body. But the monster’s dying squeals woke the monsters more fierce companion and the beast chased the man home, it took the strength of many men to kill it with daggers. Today there stands the famous tombstone over a grave in the Conwell Cemetery graveyard on the Glenade side of Largydonnell Post Office on the R280 between Kinlough and Manorhamilton.


The Rose Of Innisfree, Kilmore, Five Mile Bourne, Co. Sligo, Ireland. Tel: +353(0)71 9164266 Fax: +353(0)71 9164557 Mobile: +353(0)87 2598869 Email:


Creevelea Abbey, Drumahair Creevelea Abbey should really be called a friary, as it was a Franciscan house. It was founded in 1508 by Owen O’Rourke, Lord of Breifne and his wife, Margaret O’Brian, daughter of the chieftain of Thomond. It was consecrated in 1511. It was the last Franciscan friary to be founded in Ireland before the closure of the monasteries under Cromwell.

Feenagh Abbey, Feenagh See information under towns & villages

Glencar Waterfall

between Manorhamilton & Sligo “Where the wandering water gushes from the hills above Glencar” from the Stolen Child, WB Yeats.

Black Pig’s Dyke Also known as The Dane’s Cast, this was a series of numerous defensive, discontinuous segments of ditches, built between the old rival Irish provinces of Ulster and Connacht in the 1st century AD (0 - 100 AD). Today, remnants of the ditches stretch from Lough Melvin all the way to South County Down. Its purpose is not fully clear, but is has been assumed that it was either for the vital protection of cattle between Ulster and Connacht, or for protection of warring tribes in each side of the numerous ditches. Some argue it’s symbolic of the millennia-long division in Ireland: effectively a pre-Christian Peace wall!

McLancy Castle, Kinlough Francisco de Cuellar was aboard the last group of Armada ships wrecked in Ireland, on 25 September 1588. He came ashore at Streedagh strand, north Sligo, into territory controlled by the O’Conors. Moving on into Leitrim he met with Brian O’Rourke of Breffni, before staying at the McClancy castle at Rossclogher. But not before he had to spend three months pumping bellows for a blacksmith.

where the wandering water gushes ar c n le G e v o b a ls il h e th from 19

Leitrim Outdoors Pursuits “The best hill-walking in Ireland” - that’s how a friend of mine, an internationally renowned Mountain Leader, described the North Leitrim Glens and its no small claim! Yet even the complete novice, driving through Leitrim, cannot but help notice the sheer expanse of Lough Allen and the extensive Leitrim Glens. These are two clear examples of how Leitrim’s richly endowed natural environment provides a wide range of exciting and wild adventure activities. And it’s the likes of Lough Allen Adventure that can help you experience this reality, should you be up to the challenge.

Lough Allen Adventure is “an award-winning, strongly eco-friendly, adventure centre with a decidedly chilled atmosphere, which allows you the luxury of soaking up a relaxed “outback, outdoors” Leitrim experience.” Here you can enjoy the thrill of amazing adventure programmes and reduce your carbon footprint, all at the same time. The centre hosts award-winning eco facilities and is commitment to protecting the environment, including, for example, their solar-energy powered showering facilities. Now of course, there are activities such a windsurfing, kayaking, open boating, rafting, hill walking, camping, expeditions, gorge walks, survival skills, adventure games (activities, archery, treasure hunts, team games) - and all these make Leitrim come alive.

exhilaration of windsurfing, skelping across the waves, from one end of a lake to the other

Me? I am a fan of windsurfing. Not that I am any expert and doubt if I would even fit into the wetsuit I bought 15 years ago. That is evidence enough that should compel me to get from behind my desk and get out there, much more often than I do! The sheer exhilaration of windsurfing, skelping across the waves, from one end of a lake to the other - admittedly it was another superb Leitrim lake, Lough Gill. It is true what they say about windsurfing; it is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do in your life. Why? It’s a difficult sport to master yet easy and hands-on for beginners.

Lough Allen

AD ENTURE Hill Walking, Windsurfing, Kayaking, Expeditions, Stag parties, Hen weekends, all kinds of adventure for all kinds of people!!! Why not give yourself the luxury of soaking up a relaxed “outback, outdoors” Leitrim experience. Enjoy the thrills of our amazing adventure programs in safe, beauty surroundings.....

Lough Allen Adventure, Cleighran Beg, Ballinaglera, Co Leitrim, Ireland. t: 071 96 43292 or 087 275 6495 e: w:


Sounds like a contradiction but it makes sense all the same: Equipped with a little bit of theory & a 30 minute session on the simulator, you’ll be ready to get out on the water and put the things you’ve learned into practice. It’s instantly rewarding! From then on it’s all about refinement and getting out there and doing it. (Continued page 25)

Sports clubs directory Carrick on Shannon Athletic Club John Connolly North Leitrim Athletic Club Ann Mulvaney 071 9854894 / 087 7850231 Badminton Leitrim Village Badminton Club Bernie Goldrick 087 2057578 Ballinamore Badminton Club P.J McLoughlin 0719644366 Basketball Ballinamore Basketball Club - Blazers Geraldine Reilly 071 9645557 Mohill Basketball Club Francis McGowan 071 9631418 / 086 1686030 Boxing Sean McDermott Boxing Club Proinnsíos Ó Duigneáin 071 9855238 / 087 2109060 St. Patrick’s Boxing Club Dromahair Keelan Finan 086 2483579 Camogie St. Mary’s Camogie Club Dolores Cunniffe 071 9620602 Gunclubs Leitrim Gun Clubs Chris Gavican

Gymnastics Clubs Carrick on Shannon Gymnastics Helen Kennedy


Athletics Ballinamore Athletic Club Patricia Griffin 071 9644207

Rowing Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club Mark Kelly 087 9791315 Rugby Carrick Rugby Club David O’Daly 087 2653382 Sub aqua Leitrim Sub Aqua Club Francis Jenkins Tennis Drumshanbo Community Tennis Geraldine Heeran 086 1950384 Manorhamilton Community Tennis Mary McMorrow 086 8863847 Killargue Tennis & Basketball Club Janice Raine Conick 071 9134840 Triathalon Garadice Lake Triathlon Gregory Smyth 087 22608538 Lough Key Triathlon Club Alice Reynolds 087 7853740 or areynolds@ Tug of War Gortletteragh Tug of War Frank Egan 086 8049560


Leitrim County Development Board Leitrim County Development Board in association with the FAI would like to invite applications from people who would have the time to commit to two days a week training to become a fully qualified soccer coach. The programme is open to anyone who can see the potential in becoming a part-time or full time coach. Potential participants may be currently in receipt of unemployment assistance.

“Your Goal To Work” is an exciting new initiative, the programme will consist of a 12 week course operating for two days a week and three weekends. The course will include one day coaching training and one day of ancillary training in the areas of FETAC Work Experience Module, Kickstart 1 & 2, first aid, child protection and a County Enterprise Board Self-Employment Energiser course. The course will be open to both male and female. The coaching training will take place in the schools and the ancillary training will take place in the offices of Leitrim County Council.

the programme is open to anyone who can see the potential in becoming a part-time or full time coach

If you want to find out more about this highly innovative initiative come along to the open evening in Leitrim County Council offices on Thursday, June 11th at 7pm. Application forms will be available on the evening.

Places will be limited to ten so if you would like to apply for this programme please feel free to contact Declan Boyle, Leitrim Soccer Development Officer on 086 0471901 or Nollaig Whyte, Leitrim County Development Board, on 071 9650496 or declan. or before Friday 19th June.


Following the decision of Masonite Ireland Ltd, after ten years, to step down as main sponsors, Leitrim GAA announced in January that the very popular Bush hotel, Carrick–on–Shannon would become the main sponsors for 2010 & 2011. Club Scene There is a vibrant GAA Club scene in Leitrim, with games every week from March to October at all grades from under-12 to Senior Level in Football, Hurling and Ladies football. At club level, our senior championship is sponsored by Connacht Gold co-op, our senior league by Gallogly Outdoor Catering and our intermediate championship by Glenfarne Wood Products. Handball Leitrim handball continues to grow. In 2009 Donal Wrynn from the Fenagh St. Caillin’s club won a world title at the World Handball Championships in Seattle, USA.

Gaelic Passion! Leitrim GAA players, supporters, volunteers and administrators make the Gaelic Athletic Association one of the strengths of this proud County, enjoying a high level of participation. Leitrim has the smallest population of Ireland’s 32 Counties, yet has the highest number of GAA clubs and players per capita, with 24 GAA clubs per population of 28,950, and 54 adult teams in 5 League divisions. That’s 1 team for every 42 males of football playing age resident in the County! This not matched by any other county and it is doubtful if any sporting organization in the world could come close to this level of participation! In addition to Gaelic Football is Ladies Football, Hurling, Camogie and Handball played in the County.

First Clubs The first GAA Clubs in Leitrim were founded in Dromahair and Killanumery in 1886. The first Championship was run in 1890 with Mohill beating Ballinamore in the final. The GAA died in Leitrim in 1891 with the Parnell split and it didn’t revive again until 1904. Since then the organisation has gone from strength to strength even when the county suffered severe depopulation. Today, our new seated stand, dressing rooms and ancillary buildings are testament to the pride Leitrim people have in their County. Our new Centre of Excellence at Annaduff, when complete, will provide both locals and visitors with state of the art facilitates including all weather playing pitches, gym and running track.

in Croke Park. At Senior Level, Leitrim’s finest hours came in 1927 and 1994 when the Connacht Senior Championship was won. The people of Leitrim will never forget the historic days of the summer of 1994, culminating in their All Ireland Semi-Final appearance against Dublin. Another great day for Leitrim supporters came in 2007 when our Ladies team won the All Ireland intermediate championship.

Scor Leitrim is probably the most enthusiastic county at participating in Scor - the G.A.A.’s winter talent activity. Many clubs from the county have won All-Irelands at Scor and Scor na nOg level. Cul Camps 2010 will see Leitrim GAA clubs host twelve VHI GAA Cul Camps during July. Again Leitrim has led the way with the highest participation per capita in the country - and children from all over the world have taken part while visiting our County. You can be assured of a warm welcome from everyone involved in GAA activities. For further information visit www. or contact the administration office on 071-9620441.

County Teams Success at County Level has been limited for Leitrim. The nearest the County got to a full All Ireland Title was in 1938 when they won the Junior “Home” final but, to their grief, lost the final proper to London



Bi loc Ide rth at al da ion y P fo ar r tie s


4 Purpose built gaming areas Corporate outings, stag/hen parties Clubs and colleges Hot showers

It is time to rediscover the beauty of Lough Key and all it has to offer Lough Key experience • Engaging audio journey • 19th Century servant tunnels • Moylurg viewing tower • Ireland’s only tree canopy walk

tEL: 086 1664959 w: E: Battlebridge, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Roscommon

Visit... Enjoy the atmosphere of a real working farm

• Free pony rides on Bob, • Handfeeding • Playground, • A trip on the Tullyboy Express, • Rural life museum, • Straw dive for goodies! Special events on Summer Bank holiday weekends

Tel/Fax: 071 9668031 or 087 6325293 Email: Web:


Boda Borg Questing • Unique and innovative Swedish concept • Weather independent • Fun- filled activities, puzzles and imaginative challenges • Teamwork, ingenuity, trial and error will enable you to progress through the quests • Suitable for adults and children (7 years & up) Adventure play kingdom • Outdoor play area • Stimulating activities • Entertaining equipment • Colourful and safe environment • For children of all ages and abilities Enjoy homemade delights in our Lakeside Café while relaxing on our decked terrace taking in the stunning vistas of Castle Island.

Browse our Gift Shop for a memento of your visit or the perfect present for someone special. • Boda Borg • Servant Tunnels • Moylurg Viewing Tower • Tree Canopy Walk • Adventure Play Kingdom • Gift shop • Lakeside Café • Caravan and Camping Park • Nature Education Programmes • Parkland Trails

Boyle, Co. Roscommon. Tel: 071 9673122 Web: E:

(Continued from page 20) But there is one other activity that your really should go for. Wilderness Therapy & Survival Skills. Get in touch with how our ancestors lived and feel more alive than you have done in ages on an amazing therapeutic package hosted by Lough Allen Adventure. Experience the sheer joy to be had by immersing yourself in the beauty of nature. The event is suitable for all ages; from sixteen to ninety and has been designed to help foster an appreciation for the wilderness experience, with activities from shelter building using natural materials, navigation techniques, fire-lighting using flint, open boat skills, boat loading and packing for a minimal impact expedition. Now all this might sound a little extreme. It’s not really, just get organised and get out there. Leitrim’s outdoors is waiting to be discovered. And you don’t have to be a visitor. I bet there are loads of locals who don’t know even a quarter of the walks or have never availed of the chance of water sports on one of the leitrim lakes.

But there is also so much more... Excellent horse-riding at Mooreland’s equestrian centre at Drumshanbo; Ireland’s premier paintball centre at Battlebridge, an extensive range of sport clubs, Lough Key Forest Park - and yes, Swan Island, with its own range of outdoor pursuits options; and of course, superb angling on so many different lakes.

Now, back to horse-riding: Horse riding lessons are for all ages and experience levels. The horses include well-schooled dressage schoolmasters for the more advanced riders and quiet horses and ponies for beginners and people who just want to unwind.

Just across the border in South Sligo is AIRE approved, Lough Gara Riding Stables, run by husband and wife team, Jimmy and Adrien Kneale. Simply put, this is far more than just riding stables offering horse riding, but also a range of other country pursuits in an idyllic rural setting. These additional activities include: clay pigeon shooting, pike fishing, archery and falconry, and really suit everyone from young children and teenagers to adults. They also run tailor-made events for corporate team building, school tours, family gatherings, kids’ birthday parties to stag and hen parties. Adrien’s passion is classical dressage and teaching people to ride in true harmony. Jimmy shoots for the Irish National Skeet team and he is an experienced Falconer and a lover of all country sports and nature. You can also take one of their boat trips and enjoy the peace of Lough Gara where you will rarely see another boat, just ducks, geese, herons, swans, lapwings, curlews and if you’re really lucky maybe an otter. In addition, there are Lough Gara’s Crannogs, man-made islands on which people used to live, some of which date back over 2000 years.

why not enjoy the different sign-posted walking trails throughout the county, such as the Miners Way

Throughout the year, Lough Gara is a fun place for all the family. Make a day of it! There is a range of packages that suits all experience levels and pockets and group discounts are available.

Picture by Lough Gara Stables


The essential

Enjoy the excitement of horse riding or pony trekking in the beautiful settings of Moorlands Equestrian Center on the shores of Lough Allen. All your needs are catered for with top quality facilities ensuring that all our riders have an enjoyable and memorable visit.


joy of

wit us in conta




We provide fully qualified instructors and all our horses/ponies are safe and enthusiastic. Weather is never a problem with both indoor and outdoor arenas. Showers, toilets, changing rooms, and all equipment is supplied for your convenience.


We will tailor our services to suit you, as we cater for groups of all sizes and all levels. We also cater for disabled riders and those with special needs. Drumshanbo, County Leitrim. t: 071 964 1500 e: w:

Lough Gara Stables & Country Pursuits

• Horse Riding • Clayshooting • Archery • Falconry • Boating • Fishing 071-966 4834 / 086-893 8972 Email:


Picture by Island View Stables

being t i t a h t s i s e s th hor act with the

e elements



d freedom

Horse Riding for All - in Grange, Co. Sligo The Ultimate Equestrian Experience for all the Family • 1 Hour Beach Ride • 2 or 3 hour Beach and Bog Ride • 4 hour Special Island Ride • Day rides • Lessons for all ages • Equestrian Holidays

Riding on the beach . .true! …. make your dream come Spectacular views, friendly guides and reliable horses. Booking is easy: just phone up to arrange a time (071-9166156). Beach rides and trails from 1 hour to up to 6 hours. No experience is required for the leisurely beach stroll. Keen riders can enjoy a brisk ride along the shoreline or across the shallows. Island ride A unique experience - explore miles of sandy beaches and our private island on horseback. Lessons for groups and individuals are also available. Island View has Ireland’s only Level 2 Certified Centered Riding ®(Sally Swift) instructor. Equestrian holidays, Short breaks and Atlantic trail week tailor made holidays with a variety of accommodation options.

Carriage driving:

Gentle countrnyss:ide exploratio

Rent a carriage complete with coachman to discover the little laneways, rural charm and sea views of the land beneath Benbulben. Drives around the Mullaghmore headland, pub drives, family outings. Carriage seats up to 8 adults and can be closed up in case of a shower. As well as being an equestrian center, Island View is also a family run farm. Meet a variety of pets and Rossi the miniature stallion.

Location on the N 15, 16km north of Sligo, 13 km south of Bundoran. Island View Riding Stables, Grange, Co. Sligo

Tel: 071-9166156 | Mobile: 086-1956615 Email: www: Open all year, 7 days a week. 9am – 6pm


From the horses mouth - a seasonal diary “The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful” It might well be, that is if you get time to spend in front of it!

So, on with the winter woollies - and wellies. Horses can’t be put on shelves just because the stream of riders has dried up to a seasonal trickle. The stock still want to be fed, watered, groomed, and schooled. In fact, schooling takes up a lot of our time these days, re-educating the school, trekking horses and training the young stock. This is a time of revelation: That young sport horse that we bred to sell as a potential eventer; does he really have it in him? The beautiful filly I bought 3 years ago at Ballinasloe Horse Fair, at a time when prices were at their all time high, has she developed to justify the inflated expense, now that she has dropped in value - along with the property market? The mangy pony that you got thrown-in with another deal, that you “took in” out of sheer kindness; he is actually proving to be a really smart, fun ride, displaying an athleticism you never suspected under that furry coat. We like to train our horses ourselves, be it for the business or for sale. It’s good to know what they have seen and done; that they have grown up in a herd and that


they have been allowed to “be horses”. These guys know all about listening to their leader, they trust us and it is heartwarming to see their progress day after day. As you grow fond of them, tough decisions have to be taken. Will we keep this one for the riding school or sell it? The dun mare that I bred for myself and that I have developed a special liking for; she will probably have to go. She can really jump and will go further. She also needs a lot of TLC that only a private owner can bestow on her. She is not cutout to be on-off many in a riding school, so goodbye “Flicka”, my friend.

I find I spend my winter day stuck in front of a computer screen or up to my calves in mud, which is what west of Ireland fields transform into. That’s why I have spent the last hour on eBay tracking down the “super wellies” that will see me through the season.

they’re the ones that notice, and comment, that I have a new pair of “super wellies”

Selling horses is hard, not because of the recession. It is hard because I am picky. I want these trusting creatures to go to the right person: The man, woman or child that will love them, nurture their potential and give them a home for life. There is always a

market for a well-behaved nicely schooled leisure horse, which is what we produce, but, boy, it can be hard to part with them! So, back to the computer screen to get on with the “horses for sale” page. Every year I make a resolution: “This year I will actively market these hidden gems on the world wide web!” But, guess what? I don’t want all the world to know about them. I’d rather sell them to people I already know. Your existing customers, they are the hidden gems you really need to value these days. The loyal riders that come out 52 weeks of the year, hail, rain or shine. The wintertime is when you have time for a chat, when you can go the extra mile to look after them. Those are the people that shape this place, that love and cherish our horses; that spread the word to their family and friends. They’re the ones that notice – and comment – that I have a new pair of “super wellies”! They make it all worthwhile. There’s nothing like a ride to the beach on a crisp sunny winter day in good company. I really am very lucky. I even get paid for it! So, who’d want to waste the winter in front of a fire when the weather can be so delightful. Ursula Schweiger O Connor, owner and manager of Island View Riding Stables in Grange, Co Sligo.

Equestrian Dates 2010 Co Leitrim Ballinamore Jamestown Manorhamilton Mohill

Show Date Tuesday 10-08-2010 Saturday 31/07/2010 Saturday 31/07/2010 Sunday 15/08/2010

Co Sligo Ballymote Enniscrone Mullaghmore North Sligo Grange Riverstown Strandhill

Show Date Sunday 04/07/2010 Saturday 28/08/2010 Sunday 22/08/2010 Saturday 31/07/2010 Saturday 17/07/2010 Saturday 03/07/2010

Sligo Race Days 2010 Sunday 2nd May Wednesday 19th May (E) Tuesday 29th June (E) Sunday 11th July Wednesday 4th August (E) Thursday 5th August (E) Tuesday 24th August (E) Wednesday 29th September Thursday 30th September Culleenamore Races June 2010

Picture by Moorelands Equestrian Centre


Total Relaxation

- that sums up a barge holiday on the Shannon-Erne Waterway! The River Shannon is the longest river in the British Isles. The Shannon-Erne forms the longest inland waterway in Europe! For part of its journey, almost the length of Ireland, it courses through Leitrim and is undoubtedly one of the greatest recreation resources that Ireland has to offer. Indeed more than that, it must be one of Europe’s best attractions. However, it appears, given how few boats use it, most Europeans have yet to discover this gem of the Emerald Isle! Maybe that is one of its key attractions. It’s un-crowded, wellserviced, and glides through a wonderful environment, laden with wild life and delights of nature that we ordinarily simply don’t notice.

and had what I can only describe as a superb time

I speak from personal experience. For years, I entertained the idea of taking a boat on the Shannon-Erne. But I put it off because, I concluded, surely after a few hours I would be bored. How mistaken I was! Let the facts speak for themselves. Every year for three years we have hired a barge from Riverdale Barge Holidays, outside Ballinamore, for a long weekend and had, what I can only describe as, a superb time! Except last year, we didn’t hire one barge, we hired two, with friends from Limerick, Dublin, Derry and Belfast. This year, our forth year, we are intent on hiring three or four barges. The craic is mighty! The time and space to chill, to enjoy each others company, to ridicule the others’ navigation or skill at the helm, to enjoy a glass of whiskey or a decent bottle of wine at the bow away from it all, to sit and read that book, while we chug so placidly and so contentedly along the canals, rivers and lakes. The kids love the fun and adventure of the locks. We all relish the coziness of the wood-burning stove in the kitchen – oops, galley. Card games and board games, stories and laughter as parties of all ages gather from both barges for communal lunches and breakfast, taking turns to prepare meals and wash up. Real treats must include tying up at some village – one I would skelter through in my car


on my way to Dublin – but this time we meander, so unhastened, from the quayside up into the town, with no sense of time pressure, to explore village shops, find a pub, enjoy a pint, better still, some hidden, exquisite restaurant, a long table with 14 or 15 of us enjoying delicious food, and then back to the barge in the evening light. Next night, after a day exploring lakes, stopping off at another delightful village, so rich in culture and hidden history, we tie up along the riverbank, somewhere in the middle of, well - nowhere. The birds call, the light fades, the craic gets going and I am so chilled out. Stay a weekend, a week or longer or just take a boat for a day. I know of one US couple who sold up and spend their time chugging the length of the waterway. Forgive me, I forgotten their names, but someday they will read this article, or if you take to the waterway, you will meet them. Give them my greetings! By boat you can find magnificent scenery which is not visible from road. Spend leisurely days island-hopping on the lakes. The great wide open spaces offer splendid

solitude that invite exploration and total relaxation. Cast a line into calm canal waters or the faster waters of the rivers, the deeper waters of the lake. Along this waterway are myriad activities and places to stop, but space here does not permit me to expound on all that is on offer. In a couple of months when our flotilla sets sail again, we will certainly look forward to stopping off at the Leitrim Marina Hotel, an attractive, 3 star hotel; a perfect place to enjoy a light lunch or, my preference, a decent steak for an evening meal while drinking in spectacular views of the waterway, marina and surrounding countryside, whatever the weather. If the weather is at all mild, we will delight in dining al fresco on the marina terrace. Leitrim village itself has traditional pubs with good music and food readily available. IWAI members and hire cruisers are welcome as Caroline and Robbie, (the hotel owners and IWAI members themselves), are more than eager to cater for the boating community. We will strike out for places like Swan Island where there are a range of activity sports on offer, as well as superb self-catering accommodation. The

more adventurous among us will have a go at the activities on offer, while others might just enjoy Swan Island itself. I am resolved to make more use of this glorious Shannon-Erne Waterway. It need not always be a barge trip. I have yet to experience a cruiser. Pleasure Cruisers at Rooskey, beside Flynn’s Shannon Quay West Hotel, will be an obvious port of call to hire for many nights or just a day. Likewise, Leirtrim Quay is another I have yet to explore with day boat hire and a range of holiday houses to rent. Now there’s

an idea! Maybe this summer we should holiday at home – a week on the Shannon, rent a house, have use of a boat, enjoy and explore all that’s in the area. But I have just remembered. Why oh why do we just think “summer”? Sure, haven’t we always hired the barge in the early Spring. This is not simply a summer activity. The Shannon-Erne is there, waiting to be enjoyed all year. Whats keeping you! Carrick on Shannon, Lough Key Forest Park, Acres Lake, Drumshanbo and Lough Allen, where the Ramada Hotel is perched right on the lake shore. Keshcarrigan village, near Lough Scur and Sheebeg, an ancient

pagan burial site overlooking Kesh Lake. When you return your barge to Riversdale, sad that this escape was only too short and that “the real world” looms, I guarantee you too will nosey round the other barges. You too will enquire how much they cost, and oh, could I really order one custom-built. I dream! Finally, one golden rule before you come aboard my boat: In order that your escape into this other world will be complete, Switch the mobile phone off!

d n a l s I n a w S Outdoor Pursuits Planning an Irish cruise Holiday on the Shannon? What better way than to hire a boat and cruise this magnificent waterway in the comfort of a privately owned cruiser.

Tel: 00353 (0) 86 328 4800 Email:

• Power boating • Historical boat trips • Fishing • Wakeboarding • Archery • Kayaking Email: Website: Address: Keeldrin, Corrawallen, County Leitrim Phone: 049 4333065 Mobile: 087 2605102

Leitrim Quay Riversdale Barge Holidays and Boat Building Private Mooring

Riversdale Farm Guesthouse

Cruisers for day hire

as well as 3 bedroom self catering holiday homes with cruisers in the heart of Leitrim Village. Leitrim Quay Ltd., Leitrim Village, Co. Leitrim Telephone: +353 (0)71 962 2989 Mobile: +353 (0)86 815 4692 Email:

Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim Tel: 071 964 4122 Fax: 071 964 5112


The Shannon Erne System Opening hours of Locks 09.00 to 20.00 daily (16th Mar to 31st Oct inclusive) 09.00 to 17.30 daily (1st November to 15th March inclusive)

Smart Cards available at: Bailinamore Locaboat, Supervalue, Smyth’s Gift Shop Ballyconnel Bannon’s Shop,Vivo Supermarket Belturbet Emerald Star Enniskillen Tourist Information Centre, Waterways Ireland Offices Keshcarrigan Keshcarrigan Post Office Kilclare Post Office, Padraig Lynch’s Shop (Kildare) Leitrim Village McCormacks Filling Station Lock 1 Waterway Patroller Lock 16 Waterway Patroller Newtowngore Newtowngore Post Office

Arigna Lough Allen C. ock L n o d L. Key ren a all l h C ote o C

Waterways Patrollers Kilclare Area +353 (0)87 260 3663 Lock 16 +353 (0) 87 260 8569 Ballinamore +353 87 260 2478 Ballyconnell +353 87 260 3662 Lock 1 +44 (0)28 6774 8976


tr i Le




L. Drumharlow

Drumsna L. Corry


Locks and Moveable Bridges

Battlebridge, Drumleague & Drumshanbo, Lough Allen Canal

Albert Lock, Jamestown Canal

Clarendon Lock, Knockvicar

Rooskey Lock

Paddy Joe Carty. t +353 (0)86 812 7522

Michael Bourke. t +353 (0)71 963 7715

Padraig Lynch. t + 353 (0)71 966 7011

Tony Hudson. t +353 (0)71 963 8018


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Ballyconnell Belturbet

Garadice L. Services Location






Leitrim Village


















Haughton’s Store












Lock 7






























An Angler’s Paradise The North West of Ireland is appreciated as a region of contrasts, whether it is the landscape or the fishing potential, and County Leitrim is widely acknowledged as an angler’s paradise, hosting numerous national and international angling competitions. Its many unpolluted lakes and rivers support a huge population of wild fish, and Leitrim’s fisheries are constantly monitored and maintained by the Fisheries Boards to ensure a high degree of excellence at all times with respect to water quality, angling requirement and fish stocks - excellence for which Leitrim waters are rightly renowned.

The county also has a reputation for friendliness and hospitality and the visiting angler can be assured of special attention in comfortable accommodations. Where to fish Pike: and other coarse fish: Lough Gill (Dromahair); Lough Allen (Drumshanbo); River Shannon (Carrick-on-Shannon), Glenade lake (Near Manorhamilton); River Boyle and lough Gara (Boyle). Deep sea fishing: Bundoran, Mullaghmore, Donegal. Trout: Lough Melvin; Lough Allen (Drumshamboo), Rowan lake (Ballinamore/Mohill); Drowes river (Kinlough), Bonet river (Dromahair area), Duff River (Tullaghan).

Fishing opportunities Coarse fish species include Bream, Roach, Rudd, Hybrids, Tench, Pike, Perch and Eels. Game fish species include wild Atlantic Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout. Sea fishing include Shark, Skate, Tope, Rays, Turbot, Conger, Ling, Cod, Pollack, Coley, Gurnards, John Dory, Plaice, Flounder, Dab, Megrim, Dog Fish and Wrasse.

the “King of Fish” is very well represented on the rivers of the county

Salmon Licence Fees (2010) All Districts (i.e. all Regions) Annual: €120 (incl. €60 conservation stamp) Juvenile (under the age of 18 years) All Districts Annual: €18 (incl. €9 conservation stamp) One District, Annual: €58 (incl. €29 conservation stamp) All districts, 21 Days: €46 (incl. €23 conservation stamp) All districts, 1 Day: €32 (incl. €16 conservation stamp) Area Extension €76 (incl. €38 conservation stamp)

For extra details: fishing rules, State fishing licences, fishing permits and fishing club, Geoffray Begard t 086 8556125

Salmon: Drowes Fishery (Kinlough), Duff River (Tullaghan); Bonet River (Dromahair, Manhoramilton), Garavogue and Drumcliff River (Co. Sligo), Eske and Eanny River… (Co. Donegal). For the past few years we have observed a good return of salmon in Ireland. The new 2007 regulations was worth it and the number of salmon caught on fishing line increased by 50 % between 2004 and 2008. The “King of Fish” is very well represented on the rivers of Leitrim, Sligo and Donegal but keep in mind that results are radically connected to the levels of rivers and to the fishing.



Leitrim Sculpture Centre The Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton, is a hive of activity with exciting new courses, so if you are anyway creatively inclined do not miss out!

committed to being a fully inclusive community and environmental arts resource, the centre supports experimentation and innovation across all visual arts media

The space, tranquility and diversity of social and environmental contexts, necessary for creativity to flourish are abundant in Leitrim, being such a rural part of Ireland. However, it is important that artists do not feel isolated. Manorhamilton and North Leitrim form an ideal location and environment for the Sculpture Centre and its diverse artists. The Sculpture Centre provides the environment where artists can collaborate with each other. Committed to being a fully inclusive community and environmental arts resource, the centre supports experimentation and innovation across all visual arts media, guided by the values of participation, communal support, dialogue and cultural exchange. The goal of this centre is therefore to support the practical as well as the theoretical needs of contemporary artists and local communities in North Leitrim and surrounding areas in the West of Ireland.

Leitrim has always been renowned for its creativity and mix of artists. The Leitrim Sculpture Centre offers great facilities to creative individuals and a focal point for artists who may previously have found themselves isolated. Here they can find a place where they can work together, share ideas, advance their skills, and critique each other’s work. It’s an international resource for the advancement of visual arts practice, skills and knowledge, providing artists with space, technical facilities and assistance to develop new work, undertake professional development and study or research projects.

endeavours to co-operate with artists who wish to work within the wider contexts of society

large spaces for project development and exhibitions. Besides the administrative offices, the facilities include six artists studios, a bronze foundry, metalwork area, hot glass studio, ceramics, stone and large fabrication, woodworking, mould-making and other work spaces. Sheehans provides for non-industrial work and includes eight individual artist’s studios, library and archive, digital media and traditional printmaking. All spaces are available for hire from one day to three years. The arts programme revolves around national and international artists-in-residence, workshops, exhibitions, symposia, masterclasses and site related projects. Residencies allow artists time out to explore new work or to investigate different contexts of art making.


leitrim sculpture centre

The centre operates from two buildings; a factory space on New Line, Manorhamilton and a four storey Georgian house, ‘Sheehans’, on Main Street in the town centre. The factory caters for specialized technical processes and large-scale work, offering

New Line, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim. +353 (0)71 98 55098 Wed, Thurs, Fri (9am - 2pm)


Masterclasses provide artists with opportunities to expand their practice by investigating specific technical processes or by working closely with experts in a chosen medium or field. Workshops and training are offered to artists, local communities, schools and young people initiating with the various practices and traditions of contemporary art. The centre also endeavours to co-operate with artists who wish to work within the wider contexts of society or gather expertise and public experience around a specific process or tradition.

The ‘Umha Aoise’ “Bronze Age” symposium, held in the summer of 2009, gathered archaeologists, artists, and craftspeople together pushing out the boundaries of our knowledge of Bronze Age casting. In the process they reproduced ancient forms and created new and original artworks. Charcoal-fired furnaces were made from a sticky mixture of clay and horse dung and these were used to melt copper and tin to make bronze. Another project ‘New Sites-New Field’s explored the Leitrim landscape through the contexts of place, environment, history and ecology. These projects demonstrate that participation is valued from communities as well as between the artist and the chosen environment. ‘Lough MacNean Sculpture Trail’ invited artists from the North and South to develop a Sculpture Trail in the area of Lough MacNean. Twelve artists participated and if you are touring Leitrim, this trail is well worth exploring. The international project “SENSE IN PLACE”, explored curatorial themes that addressed the social, political and environmental conditions of diverse locations across Europe including Iceland, Ireland, Poland, Latvia, Spain and Wales. See for more info. More recently, the project ‘Fields of Vision’ 2010 has been initiated to address key issues arising from the EU Peace III programme. The project invites artists and local schools to explore the human geographies of the border landscape though visual arts practice. The first stage engages with ten local schools on a cross community basis through workshops and exhibitions led by four contemporary Irish artists. The centre also offers a diverse selection of workshops and short courses across twenty-five separate areas from January to June 2010. The courses include a wide range from digital and design graphics, woodcarving, stone lettercutting, digital printmaking, metal fabrication, bronze casting, ceramic construction, glassblowing, sand casting with hot glass, environmental film and video course, mould making for artists and architects, live drawing and photography. Potential candidates should visit or call the office (071) 9855 098 between Wednesday and Friday.


Sligo/Leitrim Craft The Cat and the Moon 4 Castle, Sligo. t: 071 914 3686 w:

Taylors Art Gallery Between Drumfin and Castlebaldwin, Sligo. t: 071 916 5138 w:

Lynda Gault Ceramics Lower Quay Street, Sligo. t: 071 911 4155 e:

Seal View Photography Raghly, Ballinfull. t: 071 916 3630 e w:

The Crafters Basket Cliffoney, Sligo. t: 071 916 6515 w:

Meadow Miniatures Bunnanadden, Ballymote, Co. Sligo. t: 071 918 9215 e: w:

Benbulben Pottery Rathcormac, Sligo. t: 071 914 6929 e: w: Sligo Picture Framing & Art Gallery Glenbrooke, Tonaphubble, Sligo. t: 071 916 0369 e: w:


Artisan Crafts & Fine Art Market Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 4772

Crafts and Fine Art

Leitrim Sculpture Centre New Line, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim. t: 071 98 55098 e: w:




Eagles Rock, Glenade. Eunan Sweeney Photography


A sign-posted walking trail through Leitrim’s historic Carrick-on-Shannon Carrick-on-Shannon is Leitrim’s vibrant capitol, full of many architectural delights and surprises. As you walk around this town, you will come across many old stone buildings that have been imaginatively restored. A neglected church renovated or an elegant parish hall modernized, an intriguing piece of historic street furniture. A busy and prosperous town, with a modest population of three thousand, takes pride in its past and has preserved many of its finest buildings. In the first decade of the 21st century many of these were given life again, in some cases being turned into cultural or arts centres, offices or restaurants, or apartment accommodation.

Our trail starts at The Old Barrel Store, currently housing Failte Ireland’s Information Office, at the Quays right on the banks of the Shannon beside the bridge on the Sligo road. For more than 160 years, Carrick-on-Shannon was a busy and important place for trade along the River Shannon. A small part of Carrick-onShannon’s past, a short 4ft high section of the remains of ‘The Castle of Carrickdrumruske’, stands by the roadside near the bridge. The castle was granted to Sir Maurice Griffith in 1611 and passed to the St. George family, the landlords of the town for the next 300 years. Across the bridge and the county boundary, on the other side of the river, is an area known as The Liberty. During the 17th century and most of the 18th Carrick was a Protestant town but Roman Catholics were permitted to live in The Liberty, on the Roscommon side of the river, outside the Borough boundary. In more recent times, this area was the site of the Rosary High School at Cortober, a secondary school for boys and girls. Return across the bridge and you will pass the birthplace of Sam Holt, a founding member of Fianna Fáil and then on to the Victoria Hall. The Victoria Hall, formerly a parochial hall, today is a stylish restaurant. Close by Victoria Hall and before you enter the Town Park is the Rowing Club.


The Rowing Club, one of the oldest in Ireland, was founded in 1836 and its first regatta took place in 1855. Through the Town Park takes you past the ‘Age to Age’ sculpture by Jackie McKenna and on to the site of the Old Gaol. The first gaol was built in 1775 and a new larger one was completed in 1822. Surrounded by the waters of the Shannon, the gaol had 80 cells, seven ‘black holes’ for solitary confinement, one condemned cell as well as a treadmill and 14 work rooms. A reminder of the severity of the penal system, Carrick jail was demolished in 1968. This area was developed as a modern marina and lead to the town becoming an important international centre for boating. St. George’s Terrace is an impressive building, which was the former Courthouse. In 2005 the Courthouse was transformed into the splendid Dock Arts Centre and many different types of dramas are now acted out. The building was sympathetically restored into Leitrim’s first integrated centre for the arts, with three galleries and an arts education room. It houses a theatre with seating for more than 100 and a café. The modern civic buildings lying farther to your left are Aras an Chondae, the Leitrim County Council offices and chamber which opened in 2000. Next door to the Dock, and at the end of St. George’s Terrace, is the striking late Georgian mansion of Hatley Manor. It stands at the end of the neat row of terraced houses with ornate doors and fanlights that makes up St. George’s Terrace, marked at one end by the Post Office, which opened in 1907. For many people, the town’s focal point is the prominent Clock Tower, or McCann Memorial Monument, at the junction of Bridge Street and Main Street. Built in 1905, the clock is in memory of Owen McCann (1851-1901) the first chairman of Leitrim County Council.

Carrick-on-Shannon hosts many unique bistro bars and gastro-pubs, stylish coffee shops and delis. Internet cafés and boutiques sit along side contemporary restaurants as Carrick-on-Shannon embraces the 21st century.

after some years of neglect, a local community group carefully restored the buildings

The Market Yard is one of Carrick’s architectural gems. Situated in the heart of the town beside the Clock Tower, it started life in 1839 as the Shambles when it was erected by local landlord, Manners St. George. The main business in those days, and for many decades,

was homespun linen and wool, as well as market and farm produce. In the 1990s, after some years of neglect, a local community group carefully restored the buildings and today the Yard has reinvented itself as a popular craft village with a café, restaurant and shops. Directly across the road from the main entrance to the Market Yard stands one of Carrick’s most-loved buildings, The Costello Memorial Chapel. This unique building, which is the smallest church in Ireland, was erected in 1879 by Edward Costello, a leading businessman in the town. He built it as a memorial and burial vault for his wife Mary Josephine. The Town Hall stands on the Main Street, built in 1850 following campaigns for an assembly hall by the people of the town. The County Leitrim Grand Jury built the Hall which has hosted plays, dinners, dances, and public meetings. Further along this street stands the modern day Allied Irish Bank which was once the workplace of James Gralton, who was deported from Ireland as ‘an undesirable alien’ and became the only Irishman ever to be deported from his native land. Next door to the AIB stands St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church which is an imposing Gothic building on an elevated position along Main Street. Two flights of stone steps lead up to the main entrance. The church was designed by a distinguished Dublin architect, William Hague, and dedicated on October 19th 1879.

St Mary’s Close, Carrick on Shannon.

St. George’s Heritage and Visitor Centre is situated in St. Mary’s’ Close opposite the Bush Hotel in the centre of the town of Carrick-on-Shannon. The Visitor Centre is open to the Public from Wed to Saturday. There is a lot of history associated with our Visitor Centre, in particular St George’s Church, Costello Memorial Chapel, The Famine Workhouse and Garden of Remembrance. At present on display at St. George’s Visitor Centre, are a collection of archives. The archives consist of the Geraghty collection which is of great importance to Leitrim because it consists of papers of the Clements family, Earls of Leitrim, ranging in date from the early years of the nineteenth century to the 1920s. Audio/Visual Film presentation of the history of Leitrim over 400 years St. George’s Church and Visitor Centre (1829) newly restored - rich and exciting historical display of artefacts and information Costello Memorial Chapel (1879) the smallest Chapel in Ireland and an example of one man’s deep love for his wife

Opening Hours: Wed to Fri 12 noon to 4pm Sat 11am to 5pm Tel – 071 96 21757

Workhouse Attic Memorial and Famine Graveyard (1841-1930’s) a stark reminder of those terrible years


Towns and villages

St. George’s Heritage and Visitor Centre, in St. Mary Close, is just off the Main Street. St. George’s Church of Ireland was built in 1827 on a site where two previous parish churches had stood dating from 1698. By the end of the 20th century the building was in a dilapidated state. Carrick-on-Shannon Heritage Project helped restore, not only the church, but also the Famine Workhouse Attic Memorial (a 15-minute walk away). St. Georges Church houses the Telford Organ and the Seal of Carrick on Shannon Corporation. Another highlight is the magnificent altarpiece, ‘The Adoration of the Shepherds’ which has been restored and hangs in a large gilt frame. Painted in 1831 by the Swedish artist Carl Gustave Plagemann, it was presented to the church in 1837 by Charles Manners St. George.




climb three flights of stairs to the Attic Memorial at Carrick Workhouse and step back into a tragic and harrowing time in the history of Leitrim


The Great Famine Commemoration Graveyard. Leave the Attic Memorial and a five-minute downhill walk along a tarred path takes you to another poignant location The Great Famine Commemoration Graveyard. It was opened in 1849 because the local graveyard could not cope with the large numbers of deaths. The Carrick-on-Shannon Historical Society erected a plaque in 1997 in memory of all the victims of the famine in County Leitrim with appreciation to the friends of County Leitrim in New York; another memorial stone is dedicated to the Famine Victims from the County Leitrim Society of New York.

On the way to the Attic Memorial you will pass the Site of Turlough Carolan’s House, where he lived with his family in the 1680s; Presentation House which was the former Presentation Brothers Secondary School where John McGahern was a former pupil and the site of Gallows Hill, now known as Summerhill. From here a 10 minute walk will take you to The Attic Memorial and beside it the Famine Graveyard, two of the most atmospheric locations on the Trail. Climb three flights of stairs to the Attic Memorial at Carrick Workhouse and step back into a tragic and harrowing time in the history of Leitrim. The Workhouse, one of a network across Ireland, opened in 1842 to accommodate 800 people. Designed as a place of last resort for paupers, it was funded using rates paid by landowners and administered by an elected Board of Guardians who were also landowners. But the overcrowded Workhouse was badly managed and had little money. Today, with its long rectangular rooms, bare floorboards and whitewashed walls, it looks much as it did in the 1840s. The Workhouse closed in the 1930s, later reopening as a geriatric hospital. For decades the Attic remained untouched until it was opened to the public in 2008 as an atmospheric and thoughtprovoking place for reflection and remembrance.


a quiet path through a small alder wood takes you away from the busy road to the riverbank

The final section is the Boardwalk Trail leads to the waterfront park and timber boardwalk opened in 2007. A quiet path through a small alder wood takes you away from the busy road to the riverbank. Cruising boats and pleasure craft sit hugger-mugger alongside some enchanting barges. Seating is provided on the boardwalk and is an ideal resting place to round off your walking tour, tune into your surroundings and let the river cast its slow spell. For a detailed information guidebook on the Carrick-on-Shannon Historical Town Trail contacts the Tourist Information Office, The Old Barrel Store, Carrick-on-Shannon. Tel: 071 9620170.

Destination Dromahair Adam blamed Eve and many might blame a Drumahair woman, Devorgilla, for the English invasion of Ireland. That original invasion was also part French; Henry II being king of England and France. But no-one today holds the French accountable for that action nearly a millennium past! The story goes, Dermott McMurrough, King of Leinster, kidnapped Devorgilla, the wife of Tiernan O’Rourke, Prince of Brefni, an ancient kingdom that stretched from Kells in County Meath across Cavan and north County Leitrim to County Sligo, whose seat was Drumahair. One suspects Devorgilla might have been into this bondage affair! O’Rourke avenged the supposed kidnapping by driving McMurrough from his stronghold; McMurrough then enlisted the help of Henry II – and the rest, as they say, is history!

The village is proving to be a very popular wedding location, with two very attractive churches

Maybe the two air demons, for that is what Drumahair means, (“Ridge of the two air-spirits”), were French and English! Drumahair is a quaint village, laid out in a typically English style, modeled on a village in Somerset by the Earl of Leitrim, and the central streetscape still follows the pattern set down by him [i.e. gardens to the front of the houses]. I have frequented it for more than a quarter century and whilst it has grown significantly in recent years, the core character of the village remains the same. Unfortunately, the Abbey Hotel closed recently, but may re-open soon. Stanfords Historic Inn is a delightful place to stay, where I used to stay on many occasions in previous years before I acted on my love for the northwest and moved here permanently. Stanfords promise to have their restaurant open by summer; with their delightfully cozy pub, it’s a great place for friends to gather or couples to enjoy the chat, a pint and often some music. The village is proving to be a very popular wedding location, with two very attractive churches, one Roman Catholic; the other, Church of Ireland. Of course, nearby there are popular reception venues such as Markree Castle, Castledargan, Kilronan Castle, Ramada at Drumshanbo.

walk to the 16th century, Creevylea Abbey is most enjoyable, especially on a sunny evening. WB Yeats’ Lake Isle of Innisfree is also just a short drive. Now, the French did return to Ireland. In 1798, General Humbert led Irish and French forces to defeat the British at battles in Castlebar and south Collooney. Humbert’s forces were pursued through Leitrim to Longford. His army rested in Dromahair and captured British artillery was thrown into the Bonnet River to allow faster movement of the army. Today the only French connection with arms and pikes are those they use to catch fish by the same name on nearby Lough Gill! WB frequented the town to meet the parish priest. He refers to that priest in his poem “The old priest Peter Gilligan” and to Dromahair in “The man who dreamed of Faeryland”:

He stood among a crowd at Dromahair, His heart hung all upon a silken dress, And he had known at last some tenderness, Before earth took him to her stony care.

Stanfords Village Inn

Dromahair, Co. Leitrim Tel 071 91 64140 | Six generations of the McGowan/Stanford family have run this old tavern. Three cosy bars and lounges, together with a restaurant, open fires, old stone walls and rustic setting, set a cosy atmosphere for a great pint of Guinness.

a comfortable, homely base for a midweek or weekend break

In and around the village there is a lot to enjoy. Stanfords makes a comfortable, homely base for a midweek or weekend break. A cruise on Lough Gill, Ardnahoo health farm, fishing on the Bonnet River, hill walking for the more strenuous, or even just the riverside

Our restaurant is currently being refurbished and will be open again in Spring 2010. Bed and breakfast accommodation available at the Inn together with self-catering cottages tastefully converted with modern comforts. Private fishing also offered adjacent to the old Inn and holiday cottages with excellent Atlantic salmon and brown trout.


The Road Less Travelled If you want to stray off the beaten track and find new unspoilt parts of Leitrim to explore, there are many town and villages that should be top of your ‘to do’ list. From ancient history to stunning scenery, culture and live entertainment.

BALINAMORE Known as Leitrim’s ‘friendly town’ means Mouth of the Big Ford. Ballinamore has something to offer everyone. It is a thriving rural centre for the surrounding parishes of Aughnasheelin, Aughawillan, Corraleehan, Drumreilly and Fenagh and is internationally renowned for its abundance of coarse

angling waters and Waterway, with a total of 40 lakes in a 10km radius. The town offers many activities including walking, horse-riding, golfing, and boating and is ideally located as a touring base for a range of interesting outings to, for example, the Marble Arch Caves at Florence Court, Cavan Crystal etc. It has lively evening

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walking, horse-riding, golfing, and boating and is ideally located as a touring base for a range of interesting outings

entertainment with some great pubs and good restaurants. Historic Sites of Ballinamore includes the Old Courthouse built in the 1830’s the old courthouse is a prominent cut-stone building which now houses the Leitrim County Library. The Leitrim Genealogy Centre is alongside. The Church of Ireland is the oldest building in Ballinamore and was built in the 1780’s.

restored in 1989, using highly skilled artisans and local craftsmen employing traditional techniques and materials. Of particular note are the main entrance gallery with its tripate windows and original fireplace, the extensive vaulted ceilings on all floors and the splendid main salon, which is in use once again as a superb venue for recitals and banquets. Lough Key is frequently referred to as the “Jewel of the West”. From Lough Gara, the Boyle River flows into Lough Key, before continuing its journey through to the mighty River Shannon. Lough Key Forest Park is one of the most picturesque forest parks in Ireland. There you will discover a visitor centre, camping park, bog garden, observation tower and underground tunnels, restaurant, adventure kingdom, Boda Borg and Tree Top Walking Experience. It is a beautiful hidden treasure to visit in winter or summer. Boyle Abbey is an impressive and well preserved Cistercian Monastery, founded in the 12th century. Boyle Abbey retains its ability to impress the visitor as one of the most formidable of the early Cistercian foundations in Ireland. Also the magnificent Drumanone Dolmen, built before 2,000BC, has one of the largest capstones in Ireland.

Boyle It is located at the foot of the Curlew Mountains near Lough Key in north County Roscommon, and lies alongside Leitrim. The renowned fishing lakes of Lough Arrow and Lough Gara are also close by. The town has several sites of historic and architectural interest that include the twelfth century Abbey and the 18th century King House. These attractive buildings, the traditional layout of the town centre and the presence of the Boyle River flowing through the town all combine to make Boyle an attractive place within which to live, work and visit. The Shannon Waterway was recently extended close to the town and the nearby Lough Key Forest Park has opened a Visitor Centre with a beautiful Tree Top Walk, Restaurant and an Adventure Play Kingdom. It is indeed a picturesque area of high amenity value. There is strong historical, architectural and cultural importance to King House, which was

As its name implies, Carrick On Shannon is located on the River Shannon, which is linked to the Erne via the Shannon-Erne Waterway. Also it is situated on the main Sligo Dublin N4 road. Carrick-on-Shannon nestles on a most scenic stretch of the Shannon and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful and unspoilt scenery in Ireland. A well-serviced gateway to the Shannon-Erne Waterway, Carrick is also not far from the Glens of North Leitrim, which reputedly offer the best hill-walking in Ireland. Carrick Water Music Festival began in 2005, and presents a breadth of performances from a variety of musical genres. The Dock Arts centre is a multi purpose arts centre in Carrick on Shannon with an extensive performing and visual arts programme and a vibrant community workshop programme. It is housed in a beautifully renovated 19th Century courthouse building overlooking the river Shannon. The Dock houses an intimate theatre space with regular performances of music, theatre, comedy and more. It has three art galleries with monthly exhibitions showcasing the best of local, national and international work. It also allows access to artists’ studios, workshop spaces, a coffee shop, theatre bar and The Leitrim Design House, a unique retail gallery with work from a wide array of local artists and designers. The building was completely refurbished and re-opened as an arts centre in August 2005. If its fishing you are interested in, Carrickonon-Shannon is acknowledged nationally and internationally as an Anglers Paradise, and has hosted National and International Fishing Competitions. Within a 10 km radius of the town are no fewer than 41 lakes, all of which are free unrestricted and easily

popular tourist destination in the summer, and many river cruisers stop to sample the fare in the pubs and restaurants in this riverside village. Pleasure Cruisers boat hire is based here, close to the cosey Shannon Key West Hotel.

Dromod and Roosky

Drumkeerin village is an attractive and hospitable town and boasts a fine Heritage centre. The Heritage cottage has a display of folklife artifacts and is open daily during the summer. The Café is open all year round. Around the village there are also a number of rivers and lakes for fishing.

Dromod which is built along the River Shannon is a Tidy Towns winner with a lovely harbour area which is very popular with cruiser traffic. The Bog Oak water feature in the centre of the village is entitled “The Weeping Tree’ and was made by a local craftsman from a piece of bog oak which was found nearby. The Cavan & Leitrim Railway Museum in the village is a big attraction and there are some excellent pubs and restaurants. Loughs Bofin and Boderg and Kilglass Lake in the area are renowned wildfowl sanctuaries and Derrycarne Wood, 3.5km North of Dromod features some lovely walks. Historic sites of Bornacoola include Lady Baltimore’s Statue (beside Johnston’s Bridge) Baltimore in Maryland, USA is named after a place in Bornacoola parish (Baile an Tigh Mor- the town of the big house). The family left Ireland and settled in Maryland and because of this link the statue to Lady Baltimore was sent back to Ireland in the 1970’s and erected some years later. An Ogham Stone can also be seen in the graveyard at Dromod.

Carrick On Shannon

accessible. Catchwise expect excellent Roach, Bream, Rudd, Tench, Pike, Perch, Eel or Trout. Boats, live bait, specialized fishing maps and a vast fund of local fishing knowledge and expertise are readily available throughout the town. Carrick also enjoys a lively nightlife, with a number of very good restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

the river and the nearby loughs are well stocked with coarse fish including roach, perch and bream


Visitors can enjoy walks in the forests or drive along mountain roads to enjoy the beautiful scenery. The Owengar wood, located just outside Drumkeeran is a semi-natural deciduous woodland which is especially important as it is one of the few remaining wet woodlands in the region. The sight of Creevela Iron Works is located approximately 4 miles outside Drumkeeran on the Tawnylea road. Iron was melted at this sight from 1600. The sight was in full production from 1852 with two blast furnaces, an engine house, kilns, shops, stables for thirty horses, ten workers’ cottages and two schools. Work ceased in1900; today only the blast furance remains.

Drumshanbo Drumshanbo (Droim Sean Bhoth in Irish) is a small town situated in the heart of County Leitrim. The town takes its name from the Irish, Druim-Sean-Bhoth or “Ridge of the old huts”. Drumshanbo is surrounded by a scenic area of soft rolling hills, woodlands, lakes and the Sliabh an Iarainn and Arigna

Rooskey is also an ideal destination for anglers, since the river and the nearby loughs are well stocked with coarse fish including roach, perch and bream. The village was a lively market village in the mid 20th Century. The bridge is also an important focal point as it separates the two counties Letrim and Roscommon. Rooskey is a


mountains. It is a beautifully preserved traditional town with traditional pubs, shops and restaurants, and also offers a superb Ramada Hotel, the Moorelands Equestrian centre and, just up the road, Lough Allen Adventure. In the centre of the town there is the Sliabh an Iarann visitors’ centre, where an audio-visual display takes visitors through local scenery and highlights the history of coal and iron mining in the area. A wide variety of walks, including hill-walking, can be explored within a 5-km radius of Drumshanbo. Many walking routes around the lake have been signed posted by the Council. Drumshanbo has a growing population which peaks the third week of July when the town hosts the Joe Mooney Summer School for Irish Music. This festival is now in its sixteenth year and attracts Irish music enthusiasts from all over the world. As the name suggests it is a memorial and tribute to the late Joseph Mooney, County Councillor and townsman who did so much to promote the cause of Leitrim and his beloved town. The An Tostal festival in June also has an emphasis on Irish music and culture. This was established nation-wide in the 1950’s by Bord Failte as a tourist promotion to encourage emigrants home. Drumshanbo is the only location in Ireland where it has survived into the twenty-first century. Historic Sites such as St John’s Church of Ireland displays a gothic structure which dates back to 1829. The Famine Graveyard is an historical sight where it is believed that some 500 victims of the Great Famine (1845/47) have been buried. The Crannogs (lake dwellings) on Lough Allen are near Blackrock and can be seen when the lake levels are low. These consist of stones arranged in an oval shape and circularly in a raised formation off the shoreline.

Tottenham had the wide streets laid and the first four corner houses built, including the fine Market House with its inscription “C.H.T. Sarahville 1831”. Mr Tottenham named the village Sarahville in memory of his daughter, but the local people insisted on calling it Coillteclochair, later translated as Kiltyclogher, after the district in which it was situated. The fine Market House has been tastefully restored and today houses a holiday apartment upstairs and a community playgroup downstairs.

For the historian there is a wealth of places to visit. These include the ancestral home of the 1916 Patriot, Sean Mac Diarmada, now owned and excellently maintained by the Office of Public Works.

a beautifully preserved traditional town with traditional pubs, shops and restaurants

an area of considerable natural beauty between Lough Melvin and Lough McNean

A very fine stature of the patriot stands in the village square. The megalithic tomb, Prince Connell’s Grave is situated about 1 mile from the village, while the natural stone bridge at Clackham on the Fermanagh/ Leitrim border, within walking distance of the village, is well worth a visit. Traces of the Black Pig’s Dyke which once separated Connaught from Ulster are to be found near the village. Two fine churches stand in the village including the fine Roman Catholic Church which was completed in 1930 and at the other end of the village stands the Church of Ireland, one of the finest examples of neogothic architecture in Connacht.

This tranquil village is situated in an area of considerable natural beauty between Lough Melvin and Lough McNean, two lakes renowned for their fishing. For the active visitor there are several walks including the Barr Road overlooking Lough Melvin and the round Lough Melvin walk. The village is situated on the Kingfisher Cycle Trail.

The village hosts a Traditional Music weekend during the month of August. The first Sean Mac Diarmada Summer School was held in June 2009 and was of such a high standard that it was nominated for the Chamber of Commerce Excellence Awards. It is hoped to make this an annual event. An annual eight- day Drama Festival under the auspices of the ADCI takes place in early March and attracts Drama Groups

KILTYCLOGHER Kiltyclogher is a picturesque village situated in North Leitrim on the Fermanagh border. The planned village was founded as a market town by the local landlord, Charles Henry Tottenham in 1831, near the place where his daughter Sarah was killed in a fall from a horse in 1828. Mr.


from all over the country. The village is situated just 16 miles from Bundoran and 18 miles from Rossnowlagh with their fine sand beaches and bracing Atlantic waves, renowned as centres of surfing and beautiful sea walks. The now famous organic centre at Rossinver is just five miles away, as is the Eden herb garden and nursery. The internationally renowned Marble Arch Caves are just 20 minutes away by car. With the towns of Enniskillen, Sligo and Donegal all less than an hour’s drive away, Kiltyclogher is an ideal location for touring. So whether one wants a peaceful, tranquil holiday in a beautiful setting, an active break, a base for touring some of the most spectacular scenery in Ireland or a cultural break, the village of Kiltyclogher with its fine and affordable tourist accommodation is the place to visit.

Kinlough and Rossinver Rossinver (Irish: Ros Inbhir) a village in north County Leitrim, is situated at the southern shore of Lough Melvin. The village is well known for its excellent walks in the area, in particular the mile long river walk to Fowley’s Falls on the Glenaniff River which follows a series of waterfalls. The Organic Centre located on the shores of Lough Melvin in Rossinver provides training, information and demonstrations of organic gardening, growing and farming - geared to all levels from the interested visitor to the amateur or professional grower. Local history can be found at MacClancy Castle (ruin); survivors of shipwrecked sailors from the Spanish Armada took refuge in this castle on Lough Melvin in 1588. There is a plaque at the lakeside. There is a new Ballagh centre located outside Rossinver. Originally a Church of Ireland completed in 1851, the centre was recently refurbished by the local community. The wonderful stained glass windows are of particular interest and visitors are welcome during office hours.

conjures up the atmosphere of those bygone days when the fire really was the heart of the house

Eunan Sweeney Photography

Kinlough Kinlough (Irish: Cionn Locha, lit. “head of the lake”) is a village at the head of Lough Melvin. Lough Melvin is famous for its fishing. The lake runs from Kinlough to Garrison which is in County Fermanagh. The first salmon of the year has often been caught on the river Drowes which runs from the lake. The Salmon Season opens on 1st of January on the Drowse River and the 1st May on the River Duff. The village looks up to the view of Benbulben mountain, Sligo and is a short distance from Kinlough, where Drumcliffe holds the final resting place of W. B. Yeats. Kinlough is a few square miles in an area of breathtaking scenic beauty in North Leitrim, between the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, unspoiled and largely unknown as a tourism centre.

Visitors will be spoiled for choice with old world bars, a choice of 5 watering holes and 4 eateries. A must port of call while travelling through by road or cruising by barge or boat is the Leitrim Marina Hotel, set on the river bank surrounding its own marina. This boutique hotel is a delightful place to pass some time over a coffee, satisfy your hunger with its very keenly priced cuisine or quench your thirst with a pint or two. Even on those days with more ‘traditional’ Irish weather, this hotel is gem. Leitrim Village hosts musical entertainment every weekend and ‘Discover Leitrim’ has heard rumors that the village festival is due to be restored this year. Not to be missed.

Leitrim Village Leitrim village is located on the Carrick on Shannon to Drumshanbo road and is surround by many of the areas landmark mountains such as Sliabh an Iarann, Arigna and Shemore. The majestic River Shannon passes through Leitrim village where it joins the Ballyconnell Canal which links towards Lough Erne and Enniskillen. The village itself is very historic having been the county’s focal point from which the county is named. The remains of O’Rourkes castle can still be found here nestled at the public jetty. The village is as vibrant today as it ever was.


Mohill, or Maothail Manachain, is named for St. Manachan, who founded a monastery there as early as 500AD. The Monastery was taken over by Augustinians in the 1200s and was later closed in the time of King Henry VIII. The site of the settlement is now occupied by a Protestant church and graveyard, but ruins remain nearby of a round tower. Ownership of the town passed to the Crofton family during the plantations and areas around the town were owned by the Clements family (Lord Leitrim)[1], who built the nearby Lough Rynn estate and was also the owner of what is now Áras an Uachtaráin. The town is built on a slope toward the Rinn River and is centred on a cross-road of the Main Street and the principal cross streets of Glebe Street and Hyde Street. Hyde Street is named for Douglas Hyde, first President of Ireland, whose father and grandfather lived on the street and who spent part of his childhood in the town. Currently, Mohill has a growing population and is supported by local industry and enterprise, as well as agriculture and tourism. Mohill is also closely associated with the itinerant early Irish harper, composer and singer, Turlough Carolan(1670 – 25 March 1738), the blind harpist, who lived in the town after his marriage. He is viewed as the last great Irish harper-composer and is considered by many to be Ireland’s national composer. O’Carolan was born in 1670 near Nobber, County Meath, but in 1684 he moved with his family, to Ballyfarnon, County Roscommon, where his father took

Mohill and Feenagh

progressive business town with a long reputation as a coarse angling centre

to a good harper. At the age of twenty-one, being given a horse and a guide, he set out to travel Ireland and compose songs for patrons. For almost fifty years, Carolan journeyed from one end of the country to the other, composing and performing his tunes. In 1720, O’ Carolan married Mary Maguire. He was then 50 years of age. Their first family home was a cottage on a parcel of land near the town of Mohill in Co. Leitrim, where they settled. They had seven children, six daughters and a son. In 1733 his wife Mary died. O’Carolan is buried in the McDermottroe family crypt in Kilronan Burial Ground near Ballyfarnon, County Roscommon The annual O’Carolan Harp Festival and Summer School commemorates his life and work in Keadue, County Roscommon each year. Fenagh (Fiodhnach in Irish) is a small village in County Leitrim. Where the internationally famous writer John McGahern lived, wrote and farmed here for the last 30 years of his life. Much of the inspiration for Amongst Women, That they May Face the Rising Sun and Memoir comes from there. Fenagh Abbey is one of the most ancient monastic sites in Ireland, widely believed to date back to the earliest period of Celtic monasticism The founder was St. Caillin who is thought to have arrived in Fenagh from Dunmore in County Galway in the 5th

century (according to the Book of Fenagh). The Abbey had a famous monastic school and in the Annals of the Four Masters it is stated that the monastery at Fenagh was “celebrated for its divinity school, which was resorted to by students from every part of Europe”. There are a number of prehistoric remains located in or near the village. A portal tomb, to the north of the village is said to be the burial place of the great King

Conal Gulben. Nineteen Gaelic Kings are said to be buried in the graveyard. There was a celebrated divinity school at Fang. It is believed that some kind of community life continued up to 1652 when Cromwellian soldiers sacked it. It was damaged by cannon fire during the Williamite wars in 1690 and the last service was said in 1729. The book of Fenagh was completed at the monastery in 1516 and a copy is now held at the Royal Irish Academy. A portal tomb, to the north of the village is said to be the burial place of the great King Conal Gulben.

a growing population and is supported by local industry and enterprise, as well as agriculture and tourism

a job with the MacDermottRoe family of Alderford House. Mrs. MacDermottRoe gave him an education, and he showed talent in poetry. After being blinded by smallpox, at the age of eighteen, Carolan was apprenticed by Mrs MacDermott Roe


Eunan Sweeney Photography


Manorhamilton Historical Walking Tour 5 6 7 8

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9 The Catholic Church 10 The Masterson School 11 Star Fort 12 Bee Park

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1. Market House Built in 1834 by Nathaniel Clements, Earl of Leitrim. On the wall is the Clements Coat of Arms with its moto ‘Patris virtubis - by ancestral virtues. The building also features a central carriage arch where passengers could disembark, protected from the weather. 2. Teapot lane Originally called Preaching Lane, Teapot Lane is so called because of the custom for many householders to serve teas here to visitors on market days


4. First Protestant Church The second oldest building in Manorhamilton, this church was built around 1640, the time of Hamiltons Castle. This church was vacated in 1783 when the new church was built in the grounds of the Star Fort. Its grounds continued to be used as a graveyard.

5. St. Clares Hall The building was known as St. Clare’s Hall was formerly a Catholic Church dating from 1810. After the opening of the present St. Clares Church in 1883 the old chapel was no longer used for worship. It was a post primary school until 1912, then a centre for dances, debates and concerts.

14. Sean Mac Diarmada Office One of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising & signatory to the proclamation, Sean organised the canvass for Sinn Fein for the 1908 by election from this office. That was the first election contested by the new party founded a couple of years previously founded by Aurther Griffin. 7. The Masterson School The school at the entrance gate to the church was built in 1860 to educate primary school protestant children. It was the gift of John James Masterson, a wealthy man in the area who also set up endowment.

Community Resource Centre

11. Bee Park Playing Fields The name is something of a mystery. There is a tradition that the name is really an abbreviation of Beef & that it dates back to the time when Hamilton used the are for grazing. Cricket was mostly played here in years gone by & the local team played regularly against Sligo and Enniskillen. 6. Railway Station Operating from 1881-1957 the railway played a vital role in the economy of the area. Manorhamilton station was part of a cross border service provided in the west of Northern Ireland by the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern counties railway. It met with the GSR in Sligo, & connected with the GNRI in Enniskillen via the town. 10. The Paupers Acre “Tread softly on this hallowed ground saints sleep here below. Clapped roughly in their six-by-two or a shroud. Who cared to know. Fever, famine, hunger, pain. The workhouse, harsh eviction. Poor victims solicit for us. God’s mercy and Benediction.” 12. Church of Ireland Church & Star Fort The British military lived in a barracks building in the centre of the fort & used the outer fortifications to defend against rebel attacks. In 1783 the church of Ireland parish church was built on the site of the Star Fort, with stone form the Star Fort & old barracks. 15. Glens Centre Originally a methodist church, built in 1835 & used until 1960. Until the new line road was built, it face the opposite way. After the present Methodist church was built in 1964, it fell to disuse but in 1993 it was restored & refurbished by the North Leitrim Glens Development Company as a visitors centre & thriving theatre. 8. Hamilton Castel & Sir Frederick Hamilton Sir Frederick Hamilton, a native of Paisley near Glasgow, was given 6,000 acres of land in the area in 1621 and undertook to build a castle was besieged by Irish rebels, who set fire to the town but failed to capture the castle. The castle survived until 1652 when it was burnt by the Earl of Clanrickard. 9. Catholic Church Dedicated in October 1882. William Haige, Dublin was the architect and James Clarence, Balisodare was the contractor. The churches beautiful stain glass windows are regarded as the finest in Ireland of the work for the famous artist William Arly. To the left of the church is the Parochial House built in 1889. 13. Court House One of the most important buildings in the town, as well as being a judicial centre, meetings of the Grand Jury also took place here. The courthouse also played an important role in the entertainment life of the town and in the 19th Century it was used as events and concert venue. 16. Fever Hospital & Workhouse On the site of the original workhouse you can see the old Fever Hospital built in 1850. After the famine 1845-49, the authorities were in dread of a cholera outbreak similar to epidemic of 1832 which had devastated Leitrim causing many deaths.

Bee Park community resource Centre is a newly built facility in the centre of Manorhamilton offering and excellent environment from which the following services are delivered through tenant organisations, North Connaught Youth Service, Sean Mac Dermott Boxing Club, Tiny Toppers Pre-School Play Group, Tiny Hearts Creche and Playschool, Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum, Leitrim Vocational Committee, North Leitrim Mens Group, North Leitrim Womens Centre, Simon Community North West, National Learning Network, Youth Cafe.

What we do:

• Fully equipped gymnasium • Main hail with capacity to seat 300 i.e. concerts • Main hall suitable for launches, exhibitions etc • Conference and meeting rooms • Catering area off main hall with approved holding kitchen • Building has full disabled access • Car parking facilities

The Following regular events are held weekly:

Farmers market (Bord Bia Approved), Bingo, Drama Classes, Irish Dancing Classes, Yoga, Table Tennis, Kung Fu, A.A Meetings, Men’s Health Day, Girls Brigade, Carers Meeting, Sign Language Classes, Active Age Meetings

Gerard Creamer Centre Manager, Bee Park Resource Centre, New Line, Manorhamilton 071-9856935 / 086-3855090 /

Open for bookings 7 days per week



EUNANSWEENEYPHOTOGRAPHY Eunan, a native of Ballinamore Co. Leitrim is a self taught photographer who has been involved in photography for over 25 years. Well known for his Landscape Photography Eunan also works as a commercial photographer covering events, portrait and commission work. His landscape portfolio is constantly expanding and includes a variety of work collected while travelling abroad and throughout Ireland. Many of his better known landscape photographs have been taken in the North West Region where the unspoilt countryside offers endless photographic opportunities. Eunan’s photography has been published and collected worldwide and his website is regularly updated with new work. His photographs can be purchased framed or unframed and are available in a range of sizes. Eunan develops, prints and frames all his images from his studio in County Leitrim ensuring full control over the quality of his finished photographs.

t: 0719645726 | m: 0876488660 | e: | w:


Eunan Sweeney Photography


The Cottage restaurant

Beirnes of Battlebridge Battlebridge Caravan and Camping Park Leitrim Village

Jamestown, Leitrim.

RE-OPENING MAY 2010 (Newly renovated)

t: 071 9625933 | e:

t: 071 9650824 e: w: With camping popular in Leitrim there can’t be many places better to sit and warm up or alternatively enjoy a few drinks and music before braving the elements than Beirnes of Battlebridge. Conveniently situated on the road, with the campsite and its own marina sprawling behind, this charming pub, full of artefacts and ornaments, bursting with character and heated with a traditional turf fire is the perfect place to sit and while away time with a few friends. The menu is hearty and imaginative with an array of choices from fresh hummus served with pitta bread and creamy coconut chicken curry to favourites like Irish stew and Battlebridge bangers and mash. The food is all cooked to order and the produce fresh and local. It is a great spot for families camping with great facilities, easy access to Leitrim village (a short walk) and a fantastic children’s menu. In fact all tastes are catered for and the pub serves a great vegetarian burger and organic salad. Everyone is welcome and parties are looked after with no trouble at all. It really is the place to be and has recently been filmed to appear on the new series of RTE’s No Frontiers. So why not snuggle up and enjoy some true Irish hospitality, with live entertainment, friendly locals, attentive owners and a roaring turf fire and enjoy good food and drinks before heading out to sleep beneath the stars.

Opening Hours: Thursday – Saturday 6pm - 10pm Opening Hours: Summer: 7 days a week Sat and Sun 12pm - late Monday to Friday 5pm - late Winter: Thursday to Sunday Sat and Sun 12pm - late Monday to Friday 5pm - late Friday nights have traditional music BBQ’s in the summer Awards Black & White Pub of the Year. Irish Pub of distinction. Woman’s Way restaurant award. Irish Independent top 3 campsites.

Blink and you might miss it and what a shame that would be. The Cottage Restaurant, located in Jamestown, is true to its name and full of rustic Irish charm from the outside at least. When driving into Jamestown by the weir you could easily overlook this charming restaurant believing it to be a typical one-storey white-washed cottage when in actual fact inside the solitary building guests will find a modern and sophisticated restaurant offering modern European cuisine with a touch of Asian flavour. Favoured by locals this family run restaurant is a true delight and a real hidden gem. It offers a wide ranging menu including dishes such as; baked red mullet, to pan-fried Atlantic sea scallops or Vietnamese salad and all the ingredients are fresh and local (with frequent trips by the owners to the local farmer’s market). The friendly restaurant prides itself on its Sunday Roast – a treat for the whole family.

Sunday 12pm - 4pm for Sunday Lunch 6pm - 9pm.

Sham Hanifa is making some good things to to watch. Bridgestone Guide

Cox’s Steak House

The Douglas Hyde Contact the Hotel on 071 9618000 or book online at

Dromod, Co. Leitrim. t: 071 9638234 Cox’s Steak House, situated on the main road through Dromod towards Rooskey, is a great place to visit for breakfast right through to dinner. The bar is large and offers a relaxed atmosphere with a good deal of old Irish charm whereas the one-hundred and fifty seater dining room provides a striking contrast with mahogany furnishings complimented with red and gold décor and its own bar, the essence of fine dining. The restaurant can cater for large groups and on some evenings offers the opportunity of a dinner and dance, it is ideal for families, or couples and just about any special occasion. During the day the laid back bar menu offers sandwiches, soups and more exotic choices such as duck spring rolls with sweet chilli dip or tempting desserts including homemade sherry trifle and cream. But for those looking for a special night out the restaurant is an ideal choice and specialises in steaks, using only locally sourced beef and lamb. With an extensive wine menu, charming bar, friendly staff and great food, a night at Cox’s Restaurant offers something for everyone and even vegetarians need not worry as everybody is catered for, day or night.


Open 7 days a week. Breakfast 9am -12pm Lunch 12.30pm – 5pm Dinner 5pm – 9pm Events: dinner/dances

The award winning Douglas Hyde Restaurant, named after the first President of Ireland, who was born in Castlerea, County Roscommon, offers an elegant, fine-dining experience which is unique in the region. With research and tasting of local fresh produce, our Head Chef Rory Gabriel, who has received many accolades for his culinary expertise, has created a series of Table d’Hote and A la Carte menus which use suppliers from Roscommon and the surrounding counties. The discreet service and luxurious furnishings of the Douglas Hyde Restaurant offer a perfect setting in which to enjoy the traditional art of elegant dining. Our wines have been carefully selected from vineyards across France, Italy, Spain and the New World.

The Douglas Hyde Restaurant is open daily for dinner from 6p.m. until 10p.m. & for Sunday lunch from 12.00pm until 3.30pm. Please contact us for details of our lunch and dinner menus suitable to intimate group bookings for special occasions or corporate celebrations.

Leitrim Marina Hotel Leitrim Village

Bridge Street, Carrick on Shannon, Leitrim. t: 071 962 1733 e: w:

t: 071 9623644 w: e: The Waves Bar and Lounge in Leitrim Marina Hotel prides itself on offering restaurant quality food at pub prices and with its stunning location right on the banks of the Shannon Erne waterway it is a true delight to dine there. It is the perfect place for a light lunch or evening meal and offers three courses from €19.95 The menu, created and cooked by a local French Chef, is varied and provides something for everyone including dishes such as; roasted salmon supreme with beurre blanc sauce and herb creamed potatoes, or marinated grilled chicken brochette with basmati rice and pineapple salsa, or simply a grilled gourmet burger served on an open bap with caramelised onions and cocktail sauce. There are daily specials including a vegetarian dish of the day. Children are very well catered for and also entertained. For those warmer summer days there is a fully equipped playground. So while the children play, parents can sit back and enjoy a leisurely lunch. With so much to do, such beautiful scenery and the opportunity for Al fresco dining on the grand waterfront terrace Waves Bar and Lounge is a great place to stop anytime day or night.

Food served 12noon-9pm Daily Lunch menu from €8.95 Daily specials from €10 3 courses from €19.95 5 minutes from Carrick on Shannon Caters for Parties, Conferences etc Vegetarian and Celiac menus available

The Oarsman is situated right in the heart of the lively town of Carrick on Shannon, ideally situated for everyone to enjoy any time day or night. It is a large pub bursting with character, packed to the rafters with artefacts and charm, and always busy with a great atmosphere, friendly locals and many visitors.The Oarsman is owned and managed by true professionals, Conor and Ronan Maher are the seventh generation in their family to be in the hospitality industry, so a trip to the Oarsman is more than just a night out it really does promise a memorable evening with great food and great company. Offering smart dining in a casual setting the emphasis is well and truly on service, quality & value for money and the menus are packed with tempting dishes and treats. In fact the Oarsman is a proud member of Good Food Ireland & it’s passionate about endorsing & promoting locally sourced produce & artisan suppliers. Serving Modern Irish cuisine some of the dishes on offer include, baked fillet of black cod, lemon & caper mash, minted pea puree, roasted pepper & cherry tomato salsa, or seared homemade duck liver, chicken & thyme sausage, caramelized red & green lentils, filo parcel of foie gras, baby beetroot puree, port reduction, amongst many others. The Oarsman aims to cater for everyone and families and friends often gather for relaxed celebrations and couples can enjoy an intimate dining experience.The restaurant is just one of seventeen in Ireland to be awarded the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Award and so what better excuse to enjoy a good night out with fine wine, good food and beautiful surroundings in the heart of a vibrant, popular town.

Opening Hours: Bar is open for normal licensing hours from Tuesday to Saturday and food is served Tuesday – Saturday 12.00pm – 9.00pm Restaurant: Thursday – Saturday 6.30pm – 9.30pm Awards: Bridgestone Guide Top 100 Restaurants in Ireland 2009 Michelin Eating out in Pubs 2010 UK & Ireland Waterways Ireland Hospitality Award 2009 Hospitality Ireland Awards 2009 Best Pub with Food Fully Licensed and offers a wine bar with a choice from over 60 wines

Kilglass Restaurant Ramada Lough Allen Hotel, Drumshanbo, Leitrim. t: 071 9640100

Dining at the Rushes Restaurant in the elegant surrounds of the Ramada Hotel is a real luxury. Whether you are a hotel guest or visiting to enjoy a good night out, the service is excellent and the food highly recommended. With simple décor of deep reds and light wood, not forgetting beautiful scenery – the lake out the back is one highlight and the sweeping scenery of Leitrim’s hills to the front – it really is a great place to dine. Guests can choose from an a la Carte menu which is extensive and very varied including all the favourites such as succulent steaks, salmon and great vegetarian choices, plus the menu also caters for children by participating in the IHF Food for Kids healthy eating initiative. The restaurant is cosy and the perfect setting for an intimate evening, while at the same time it is large enough to comfortably cater for groups and parties. Rushes restaurant has four Michelin recommendations and yet still offers guests the chance to enjoy a three course meal for just €27.50, making it hard to resist. The Sunday lunch is very popular with both hotel guests and locals and who can refuse for just €19.50 for three courses. So what better place to enjoy an afternoon of good food, when afterwards you can stroll in the beautiful surrounds, or a relax with a drink in the classy but comfortable Drumlin bar, which serves its own bar food and boasts open fires and views over the terrace and lake.

The Water’s Edge, Rooskey, Leitrim. t: 071 9638800 e: w: Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 6.30pm – 9.30pm Sunday 1.30pm – 3.00pm Offers: Three course meal for E27.50 Three course Sunday lunch E19.50 Awards: Four Michelin Recommendations.

Dining at the Kilglass Restaurant, in the Shannon Key West Hotel, is never disappointing and is highly recommended whether you’re a hotel guest, local or just passing through. You can choose from the relaxed atmosphere of the large bar, with its wooden interior and real traditional feel, open fires, sketches of the local area decorating the walls and hearty food, or treat yourself to some extravagance and book a meal in the Kilglass Restaurant, with its simple décor and exciting menu. Either choice is a great way to spoil yourself and indulge. The hotel prides itself on locally sourced produce and offers traditional Irish and modern European cuisine. On summer days there is nothing better than sitting out on the bar’s cobbled roof terrace and enjoying views over the Shannon. Alternatively on a Saturday and Sunday night guests can enjoy live music and soak up the lively atmosphere of the bar – one of the most popular in town! It is the perfect place for couples to escape everyday life and enjoy a meal or a night of entertainment, with great food and superb service. And for an extra treat why not stay and sample the Sunday Carvery which offers something everyone can enjoy before heading back to real life.

Georgina Campbell Award 2006/07 Opening Times: Daily 6-9 reservation only Daily 5-9 bar menu Sunday Carvery 12 -5 €39.50 for five course meal. Saturday and Sunday – music Ballroom dancing Sunday nights



“outstanding food”

Accommodation in Leitrim t: 071 9672001 e: w: €40 per person per night weekdays €50 per person per night weekends

With Carrick-on-Shannon becoming increasingly popular as a weekend destination Carrick Plaza Suites offers great, contemporary accommodation to cater for groups and those on a budget. Carrick Plaza Suites offers 10 self-catering apartments and 24 two-bedroom hotel suites, which have living space and a sofa bed (perfect for a few more guests). The rooms are inexpensive and attract younger crowds, especially with their location in the heart of the town. However, they provide comfortable accommodation with kingsize beds complete with luxury memory foam mattresses, and large comfortable sofa beds. All the rooms are ensuite and many have balconies offering fantastic views of the river and town.

The décor is clean and crisp, very modern with red leather sofa beds, large pieces of abstract art and white walls giving a real feel of luxury at a great price. Carrick Plaza Suites offers boutique accommodation perfect for those looking to get away for a night or two, maybe on a stag or hen party or any other celebration. However, it is also perfect for those needing accommodation for attending a nearby wedding, for business or even families. With prices starting from just €40 per person per night during the week and €50 per person per night at the weekend there is little more you could ask for. All the rooms are equipped with complimentary wireless broadband, a 37” flat screen digital TV and tea and coffee facilities, perfect for a lazy morning after the night before and with secure underground parking everything really is taken care of. All guests need to do is relax, have fun and enjoy everything that Carrick on Shannon has to offer. Carrick Plaza suites will even arrange activities for you ranging from spa trips to paint-balling or you can even have a go at clay pigeon shooting.


However, competition has always been a healthy, though not always painless, reality of business life and progress. From this perspective it must be clearly evident that the hotel range and diversity in Ireland, including more rural counties such as Leitrim, has greatly increased and improved, and it will be essential that each accommodation provider, be they long-established, or new-kid-on-the-block, carve out their own effective niche markets. One hotel, for example, might have obvious strengths in the wedding market; right next door, another hotel may be an ideal conference venue, and around the corner another hotel may be a great place for thoroughly relaxing short breaks.

Carrick Plaza Suites, Town Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim.

The past few years has seen almost an explosion of hotels right across Ireland, or more particularly the Republic. Whilst this obviously posses an immediate challenge to long-established operators, be they hoteliers or B&Bs, it also posses a challenge to the myriad new hotels who have to ensure profitable operation, having made significant investment.

the hotel range and diversity in Ireland, including more rural counties such as Leitrim, has greatly increased

Leitrim now is in this fortunate position. County Leitrim now can boast a range of hotels and accommodation providers that can appeal across a wide diversity of sectors and niches. And by focusing on their strongest niche and ensuring excellent quality and service - this too is how all accommodation providers - B&Bs, hostels, camping and caravanning centres - can compete and succeed in seeing Ireland’s – and Leitrim’s - tourism grow and realise its global potential. Leitrim can, in this regard, take its stand, not just on a regional or national stage, but on a global stage, because tourism and recreation is certainly one major global industry and if an area doesn’t have the facilities it simply cant compete. Leitrim now can, must and undoubtedly, will. Carrick Plaza Suites – a relatively new kid on the block, but already highly regarded - is the ideal solution for those value-orientated guests that are looking for a quality hotel in Leitrim that offers convenience, flexibility and affordable luxury. Located right in the heart of Carrick on Shannon, with views over the River Shannon and within walking distance from a large selection of bars and restaurants, Carrick Plaza Suites offers contemporary hotel suites and self-catering apartments, with rooms from €40 p.p.The rooms have complimentary wireless broadband, fully equipped kitchens in all apartment suites, flat screen digital TV’s, luxury memory-foam mattresses and secure underground parking Carrick Plaza Suites is just one example of many fine accommodation providers, old and new, right throughout Leitrim.They each offer plenty of reasons why you should enjoy the chance to get away and enjoy Discovering Leitrim! Read on to discover more!

Leitrim Marina Hotel WHERE TO STAY

Leitrim Village

enjoy great food and watch the world go by • Perfect location from which to explore the Northwest and Shannon region •

Located in Leitrim Village, 5 minutes from the bustling market town of Carrick on Shannon and 7 minutes from the majestic village of Drumshanbo

• Free Overnight Mooring for boaters • Perfect for families with a fully

From the Shannon Erne waterway the Leitrim Marina Hotel stands proudly at the water’s edge, with equipped children’s playground large glass doors leading from the outside terrace and marina to the restaurant and bar. The water • 10 spacious bedrooms and 2 fully gently laps at the river banks and the boats, moored in the hotel’s marina, make this a delightful furnished self catering apartments jewel in the county, set against the Leitrim hills rolling into the distance. This is a delightfully familiar and relaxing hotel. Its terrace and marina are spacious and perfectly located for summer days to view the waterways and enjoy a drink in the sun. For those “other days” of Irish weather make your way through the glass doors and relax in the large Waves Bar and Lounge, enjoy great food in the Point Bistro and watch the world go by outside, boats come and go, spot some local wildlife and wonder at the Irish weather while cosy in the warmth of the bar. With your boat docked you can take a short stroll right in the heart of Leitrim Village (the town the county was named after). Browse the shops, stop off at one of the village inns or simply savour this delightful village setting. Take a moment to pause and enjoy the fresh air, the quiet and stunning views behind you, boats bobbing on the water, and the merging of green and blue as the sky blends with the hills. And all this just five minutes by road from Carrick-on-Shannon.

• Free off road parking • Free Wifi • Excellent angling location

• Take the R280 from Main Street Carrick on Shannon continuing 4 klms to Leitrim Village, Time 5 mins. Take the R207 Carrick on Shannon Road from Drumshanbo for 7 klms to Leitrim Village, Time 7 mins. By Boat, The hotel is located at the junction of the River Shannon-Shannon/Erne Waterway, 30 mins north of Carrick on Shannon

Impress your Conference/ Function guests with spectacular views of the Shannon and surrounding countryside in our self contained function room.

Enhance your stay with one of our partners, wether it’s a round of golf, paintballing or a visit to ‘The Arigna Mining Experience’ we have negotiated great deals on your behalf.

t: 071- 9623644 | w: | e:


Shannon Key West, The Water’s Edge, Rooskey, Leitrim. t: 071 9638800 e: w:

Need to escape the stresses of modern life? Then there is no where better than the Shannon Key West hotel, located on the beautiful Shannon River in Leitrim, on the border of Longford and Roscommon – the perfect base for exploring all three counties! But if it’s simply relaxation you are after then the hotel will not disappoint. With 39 en-suite rooms, a cosy reception area, large bar and elegant restaurant, you don’t even need to leave the hotel. The rooms offer all basic amenities and there is also a dry cleaning service, 24hr reception, and access to internet. For those looking to pamper themselves then there is a spa which offers a range of holistic and beauty treatments or for those feeling a little more energised then the gym has all the top of the range equipment, as well as aerobics classes and even ballroom dancing on a Sunday night. The hotel has its own boat and books trips for all guests on the Shannon, as well as being located near great golf courses. Combining great three star accommodation, award winning dining, stunning scenery, local activities and not forgetting the extensive facilities within the hotel, as well as live entertainment and a roof terrace for guests to relax and admire the river, it really is a great place to escape reality for a weekend and spend a little time with those you love, or maybe just on yourself.

Leitrim Quay


3 bedroom self catering holiday homes in the heart of Leitrim Village with cruisers for day hire. Leitrim Quay Ltd., Leitrim Village, Co. Leitrim Telephone: +353 (0)71 962 2989 Mobile: +353 (0)86 815 4692 Email:


Welcomes you to Drumshano The Ramada Lough Allen Hotel, Drumshanbo, Leitrim. t: 071 9640100 | e: | w:

The luxurious four star Ramada hotel set in the beautiful Leitrim countryside is a great place to stay for a romantic weekend, a family getaway or even a business trip. In fact it caters for everyone and has so much to offer. On entering the reception guests will be greeted by friendly staff and no doubt impressed with the simple but elegant décor. Ramada Hotel and Suites offers a diverse range of accommodation with fifty-nine hotel rooms, five junior suites and fifteen two-bedroom suites, all classically styled and providing all the comfort and amenities that would be expected, with Jacuzzi baths, luxurious cosmetics, balconies, cable T.V and tea and coffee facilites, there is everything needed to relax and enjoy your break. With a Michelin recommended restaurant and the Drumlin bar which boasts the longest terrace in Ireland overlooking the lake, there is plenty to do within the hotel itself, including taking advantage of the Oshadi Spa and pool. The spa offers various beauty and holistic treatments from mud wraps to manicures and professional advice is always on hand in the fitness suite.

The hotel is a popular venue for conferences and other events and specialises in weddings where guests can celebrate their special day in the lake view banquet room, with wonderful food, fantastic service, it can accommodate up to 250 guests, so everyone can celebrate the happy day. Children are always looked after and as well as being able to enjoy many activities in the surrounding area as a family such as, horseriding and bowling the Ramada also offers a babysitting service to allow parents some time alone. And with so much on offer (and all for reasonable rates) there really is no excuse not to pack your bags and head to the beautiful Leitrim countryside and enjoy a break at the luxurious but laid back Ramada in Drumshanbo.

Contact the Hotel on 071 9618000 or book online at One of Ireland’s most luxurious Castle Hotels in Roscommon Ireland, the ancestral home of the Tennison family and the legendary Colonel King Tennison. It is one of a few Irish castle estates that can trace its history back to royal families. This secluded, luxury, Castle hotel is majestically set on the shores of Lough Meelagh, surrounded by over forty acres of breathtaking Irish scenery, lush green pastures, ancient forests and historical points of interest. Approached by a meandering drive that passes acres of magnificent lawns, the luxury Castle hotel overlooks a glistening lake which commands the panoramic beauty of the surrounds. Our World Class Spa & Leisure Centre is now open. Cocoon yourself in the tranquil surroundings of our luxurious Thermal Suite which consists of hot & cold vitality pools, aroma light therapy steam room, hydrotherapy shower, tropical rain shower, ice fountain, whirlpool, light refreshment area & relaxation suite. Our commitment is to provide the highest level of luxury, comfort and service. You will enjoy old world elegance with modern day comforts. One step inside Kilronan Castle, Roscommon and you are at home. With our warm and friendly atmosphere we will see to your every need, everything has been designed with your desires in mind. The hotel boasts 84 beautifully appointed bedrooms including a mixture of Suites, Junior Suites & Classic Kings, the award winning Douglas Hyde Restaurant & Dungeon & Drawing room Bars. The Castle can also cater for conferences & weddings of up to 320 people.

luxury, comfort.... ....and service


d n a l s I n a w S


Clochair, meaning

stoney woods...

luxury self catering lake side cottage. Situated in south Leitrim on Garadice Lake, part of the Shannon erne waterway. The cottage is a carefully restored and extended 210 year old building; it has a rustic cosy warm feeling, coupled with every modern facility. It makes for an unforgettable stay, every one of its 20 windows has a spectacular view of lake, mountains, boats, and green pastures.

Kiltyclogher Holiday Centre Kiltyclogher, Co. Leitrim E: | T: 071 9854044

• Accommodation consists of 3 lovely, modern self-catering apartments and 1 small dormitory. • Apartments are fully furnished and equipped to a high standard. • En-suite. • Private secure parking. • Large comfortable lounge area with open fire. TV/DVD. • Large recreation hall. • Fully equipped laundry room. • Travel cot & high chair. • Babysitting service available. • Linen supplied. • Village centre location Convenient to Donegal, Sligo, Enniskillen and Bundoran. • Wide range of outdoor activities available in the area. • Ideal for groups or families.


• Kitchen • Snug Lounge • Mini Bar • Dining Room Lounge • Deck area, complete with BBQ • kids play area • Three very spacious bed rooms, two with on suite, one a joining to bathroom. Each room has 3 x 3ft single beds or a 6ft double & 1 single, variations to suit different groups, each room has a TV & DVD player • Bait & equipment store just outside the back door • Games room with full size pool table On-site activities Power boating • Historical boat trips • Fishing • Wakeboarding • Archery • Kayaking Services • Sky • Broadband • Washer/dryer • Cleaning service • Babysitting service • Walk in chef service • Games room • Free delivery from local butchers /supermarket Each rental comes with a free Fishing boat • Power Boat Trip • Introduction to archery • Introduction to Kayaking • Day cruiser How far away are we • Dublin - 2 hours • Belfast – 2 hours • Sligo – 1 hour • Mullingar – 1 hour • Monaghan – 1 hour • Carrick on Shannon – 35 minutes • Enniskillen – 35 minutes • Longford – 35 minutes • Cavan – 35 minutes Email: Website Facebook Address Keeldrin, Corrawallen, County Leitrim Phone 049 4333065 Mobile 087 2605102

The Ramada Lough Allen Hotel, Drumshanbo, Leitrim. t: 071 9640100


B&B Holidays Ireland’s B&Bs as a whole are undeniably facing challenges, especially with the flood of new hotels that have been constructed in recent years. Of course many of these new hotels are superb additions to the country’s tourism and recreation industry, and yet it is important to recognise that hotels offer a different type of service to that provided by the B&B sector, and different customers look for different services.

Lough Bran House B&B Farnagh, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim.

Alan & Aileen Dean Phone/Fax 071 962 0707 In between Carrick on Shannon (4 minutes) and Leitrim Village (3 minutes). Country views, very peacefull. All rooms en-suite. T.V. and tea/coffee making facilities in all rooms. Close to many fishing lakes, and River Shannon. Drying facilities and bait fridge avaiable for anglers. Ironing facilities and hairdryers available. Price includes full Irish breakfast, 30 euros per person sharing and 40 euros single room, per night.

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The Travellers Rest & O’Briens Tavern, Proprietors Jim and Phil O’Brien provide a welcoming service at their delightful 3-Star, Bord Failte approved, family run, town centre guesthouse in Mohill right in the heart of beautiful Co. Leitrim. Phil’s home cooking is a speciality and with ‘O’Brien’s Tavern’ adjoining the guest house, there is usually some kind of lively banter underway and always a first class pint available and without need for a taxi. Because the B&B experience is so personal, and the Leitrim Bed & Breakfast homes and their operators are so individual, each stay-over is different. The intimacy of a bed and breakfast, where in essence, you experience life with an Irish family, is just one unique quality not possible to replicate in large, less personal establishments. Leitrim Bed & Breakfasts have a range of accommodation to offer visitors to County Leitrim, a service that ranges from 5 star boutique style B&Bs to budget guesthouses for budget conscience travellers. Accommodation in Leitrim is among the finest in Ireland where visitors can be confident of enjoying professional service and excellent standards.

more personal service with flexibility which offers better value for money

Lough Bran House, an impressive two storey B&B accommodation approximately 4km from Carrick on Shannon, provides this “more personal service with flexibility which offers better value for money”. From something as simple as a “safety pin”, “I have even lent a woman a pair of shoes on one occasion” says the host of Lough Bran Lodge, “we always offer people a lift into town, free of charge, something few hotels provide”.

we always offer people a lift into town

There is still a great demand for the visitor who seeks the friendly service, excellent local knowledge and that personal touch which is part and parcel of an Irish B&B – and visitors to Leitrim can relax in the knowledge that the local bed and breakfast business in the area host such a quality service. With the strong reputation of friendliness and hospitality you can be assured of special attention in comfortable accommodation.

the intimacy of a bed and breakfast, where in essence, you experience life in with an Irish family, is just one unique quality not possible to replicate


s e R s r e l l e v Tra The

Mohill, Co. Leitrim

Jim and Phil O’Brien are pleased to invite you to stay at The Travellers Rest, a delightful 3-Star, family run, town centre guesthouse in Mohill right in the heart of beautiful Co. Leitrim. t:+353 (0)71 9631174 or 353 (0)71 9631752 e: w:

Camping in Leitrim Did you ever ask yourself if you might enjoy sleeping under the stars or experience a cosy weekend in a caravan to truly escape the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life? If so then camping in Leitrim should be your choice! The beautiful county is small and not very densely populated therefore making it easy to travel around. You can see most of it in a short break and with a modest population it has retained its wildness and beauty without being ruined by large and unsightly towns. In Leitrim the towns nestle into the countryside as if they were always there and have grown into it rather than been built and this is why it is such a great place to camp and enjoy real countryside with the comfort of towns and many local attractions not that far away.

When in Leitrim you are never far from water and the campsites make the most of this with the majority of them owning their own marina. Just imagine opening your eyes to hear nothing but the sound of birds, step outside your tent, stretching out into the fresh air and as you blink awake there glistens the sparkling water of the Shannon in front of you. Blissful, natural and to be enjoyed by all visitors it is a treat to camp beside this beautiful attraction. Camping is a popular activity and the main draws are inevitably the banks of the Shannon. It is a real rural retreat with fishing, cycling, boating and watersports all near by. Battlebridge caravan & camping park, with its own Pub and restaurant, has a wide selection to offer from tranquil beauty of Leitrim to local organic produce to traditional music sessions. The awards for Battlebridge include ‘the Black and White Irish Pub of the year distinction’ and a Woman’s Way restaurant award. It is listed on the Irish Independent’s

Caravan and Camping Park Leitrim Villge t: 071 9650824 e: w:

‘Top 3 campsites’ list. Also soon to be featured on the new series of RTE’s No Frontiers show. It is just half a mile from Leitrim town and right on the banks of the River Shannon. It offers guests the real raw rural experience camping in Leitrim. It has enough facilities to keep visitors entertained with its own marina, forest and canal walks starting from the campsite, and even the opportunity to fish right from your own camping pitch. For those days (and nights) when the Irish weather is not so kind then onsite there is Beirnes of Battlebridge, a quaint old-style pub with real turf fires, a great menu and music at the weekends, even offering BBQ’s during the summer. The facility is also child friendly and dog friendly. When the weather is good caravans trail each other to the coast and tents spring up all over, ice cream vans arrive, food vans, kites fly above the temporary canvas homes and children scream and chase in-between the maze of tents and caravans, while dogs bark and adults try to relax. This is not to say it is a bad thing. People enjoying the summer weather and taking time outside of ordinary life is always enjoyable but how much more appealing is the idea of a quiet campsite, maybe near to a traditional pub or with the Shannon quietly lapping at grassy banks nearby? Being surrounded with

Leitrim has retained its wildness and beauty without being ruined by large and unsightly towns

the ultimate escape from the everyday rush of reality

other groups of campers sitting and taking advantage of the peace, or hiring a boat and then settling down for the night surrounded by the rolling hills of Leitrim? The open air is the main pull for those craving peace, relaxation and a break from crowds or for parents looking for a teenage-free weekend, then Leitrim is the ideal place. There are a number of campsites all over the county and each one offers its own charm, each one is unique. In the current economic times of less money and high stress, camping is a perfect solution. It is cheap and allows the ultimate escape from the everyday rush of reality. So take the time out to relax in the stunning surrounds of county Leitrim. Enjoy the peace and get back to nature. You will love it! In addition to Beirnes of Battlebridge camping facilities are also available at Lough Key just accross the county border in Roscommon.


Getting to County Sligo Getting to County Leitrim

Co. Donegal
















Co. Mayo Train

N4 4


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ham, Ea Luton, M st Midlands, Sta nst ancheste r, Br isto ead, l

6 Carrick-on-Shannon













M4 0



US N18





Dun Laoghaire

1 N11

Shannon Limerick Wexford


N20 N25





SLIGO ~ Gateway to the North-WestMain Visitor Centres & Parks of Surrounding Counties

Airports Ferry-ports Waterways IRELAND Co Donegal: Co Mayo: Co Roscommon Sligo | Woollen Dublin | AĂŒ Lough Derg of Pilgrimage 2. Lough Ree P Lough1.Derg - Place A Foxford Mills H Cruachan - Heritage Centre Q Slieve 3.League Sea-Cliffs 4. Lough Key B Ceide Fields House & Famine Museum Knock | J Strokestown Belfast | Lough- Boderg C Knock Shrine House Gallery & Museum Shannon & Erne Waterways Shannon | K King Larne | 5. Lough Allen 6. River Shannon - Erne Waterway D Museum of Country Life 1 Lough Derg Lough 8. Ree Co Leitrim:L The Organic Centre Dublin | Dun Laoghaire | 7. Lough Erne2Lower Lough Erne Upper E Westport House & Adventure Park 3 Lough Boderg 4 Lough Key Co Fermana gh: BelfastPatrick | Rosslare Europort | 9. Royal Canal 0. Grand Canal F Croagh Mountain 5 Lough Allen 6 River Shannon - Erne Waterway M Marble Arch Caves & Geo-park Cork | Cork | 7 Lough Erne Lower 8 Lough Erne Upper Co Galway: N Florence Court House & Demense 9 Royal Canal 0 Grand Canal Derry | G Connemara National Park O Belleek Pottery & Visitor Centre 118


of Enniskillen. Sligo’s regional airport has twice-daily flights to and from Dublin and four international airports are within 2 ½ hours drive.

the bedrooms are supremely comfortable, enjoying delightful views

Another Sligo gem is Temple House - a vast classical mansion in the Georgian style, set in the centre of a 1000-acre estate, overlooking Templehouse Lake and the 13th century castle of the Knights Templar.

Helena & Roderick Perceval, Temple House, near Ballinacarrow, Ballymote, Co Sligo t: 0719183329 | w:

County Sligo offers the world! Now before I start let me say there is far, far more to Sligo than that blessed WB Yeats. True, he was, according to many literary experts, the greatest poet of the twentieth century but he did claim: “The place that has really influenced my life most is Sligo.” The most striking thing about Sligo, for many people, is the diversity of its landscape which, apart from inspiring certain poets, so richly endows the area with a spectrum of readily available outdoor activities – worldclass golf, world-class surfing, two of Ireland’s four top equestrian trail-riding centres, superb diving and angling, the richest area in Western Europe for stone-age sites, add to that the oldest building in the world – yes, the oldest building in the world, and we name but a few of Sligo’s gems.

Couple all the above with a worldrenowned, cultural richness, and Sligo, I hold, is set apart from every other county in Ireland. Sligo truly can present itself, not just on a regional or national stage, but present itself with pride to a global audience. Getting here is easy. The best road out of Dublin is the Sligo M4, as well as the best rail service. If coming from Belfast, then Sligo is just an hour’s drive the other side

The Perceval family home since 1665, Temple House offers luxury country house accommodation, a self-catering cottage and plays host to house parties, weddings and outdoor events. Its authentic decoration and furniture from previous generations subtly merge with today’s expectations. The main reception rooms are large, bright and elegant, while the bedrooms are supremely comfortable, enjoying delightful views. Several have canopied beds, and one bedroom is so large that it is known as the “half acre”! Guests can relax in the terraced gardens or stroll down to the lake, while the more energetic can explore many miles of woodland walks, take a boat around the lake, or fish for pike and within easy reach are numerous beautiful beaches and the rest of this wonderful land, that is, Sligo. Helena & Roderick Perceval, Temple House, near Ballinacarrow, Ballymote, Co Sligo.

Castle of the Knights Templar


Festival e s u o H e l p Tem Culture ehousefest th Sept 9 -12


.templ 2010 | www

& the Arts 69

Sligo Accomodation Castle Dargon Hotel Ballygalwey, Sligo. t: 071 911 8080 | F: 071 911 8090 e: w: Sligo City Hotel Quay Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 4000 | F: 071 914 6888 e: w: Clarion Hotel Clarion Road, Sligo. t: 071 911 9000 | F: 071 911 9001 e: w: The Glasshouse Hotel Hyde Bridge, Sligo. t: 071 919 4300 e: w: Radisson Blu Hotel Balincar, Rossepoint Road, Sligo. t: 071 914 0008 | F: 071 914 0005 e: w: Sligo Park Hotel Pearse Road, Sligo. t: 071 919 0400 | F: 071 916 9556 e: w: Cawley Guesthouse Emmet Street, Tubbercurry, Sligo. t: 071 918 5025 | F: 071 918 5963 e: Ardtarmon House Near Drumcliffe, Sligo. t: 071 916 3156 e: w:

Harbour House Finisklin Road, Sligo. t: 071 917 1547 e: w:

Innisfree International College and Convention Centre Lough Gill, Sligo. t: 071 911 9911 | F: 071 914 6130 e: | w:


Sligo City Hotel on Quay Street

Sligo Accomodation Ardnua Village Self Catering Balinode, Sligo. t: 071 914 7760 e: w:

Milligan Place Self Catering Connaughton Road, Sligo. t: 071 914 6754 | M: 087 687 2406 e:

The Village (Self Catering | B&B | Full Board) Clarion Road, Ballytivnan Sligo. t: 071 913 8945 | F: 071 914 9768 e: w: Yeats Village (Self Catering | B&B | Full Board) Ballinode, Sligo. t: 071 913 8945 | F: 071 914 9768 e: w:

The Grove (Self Catering | B&B | Full Board) Ballinode, Sligo. t: 071 913 8945 | f: 071 914 9768 e: w:

Cois Re Holiday Apartments Lecarrow, Sligo. t: 071 916 867 | m: 087 957 4358 e: w: Atlantic Caravan Park Enniscrone, Co. Sligo. T: 096 36132 | F: 096 36890 e: w:

Greenlands Caravan & Camping Park Rosses Point, Sligo. t: 071 917 7113

Strandhil Caravan and Camping Strandhill, Sligo. t: 071 916 8111


Sligo Restaurants Café Fleur 18 O’ Connell Street, Sligo. T: 071 914 4406 | F: 071 914 4418 w: e:

Chez Philip Court Yard, Teeling Street, Sligo. t: 087 419 7216

Bella Vista Strandhill, Sligo. t: 071 912 2222

Drumcliffe Tea House & Craft Shop Drumcliffe, Sligo. t: 071 914 4956 | F: 071 914 8971 e:

McDermotts Bar and Restaurant Castlebaldwin, Sligo. t: 071 916 5132

The Sligo Tea Room Yeats Memorial, Hyde Bridge, Sligo. t: 087 620 6931

Poppadom 34 O’ Connell Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 7171 | F: 071 914 7474 e: w: Austies Rosses Point, Sligo. t: 071 917 7111

Quays Bar and Restaurant Sligo City Hotel, Quay Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 4000 e: w:

Bistro Bianconi 44 O Connell Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 1744 e: w:


Sligo Restaurants Café Society 3 Teeling Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 2712/3

Cleverly Mill Castlebaldwin, Sligo. t: 071 912 7424

Classiebawn Radisson Blu Hotel, Sligo. t: 071 914 0008 | F: 071 914 0005 e: w: The Hall Door Castle Dargan, Ballygalway, Sligo. t: 071 911 8080 | t: 071 911 8090 e: w:

Davis’s Drumcliffe Bridge, Sligo. t: 071 916 3117 e: w:

The Gourmet Parlour Bridge Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 4617

Kings Chinese Wine Street Carpark, Sligo. t: 071 915 1880 / 915 4910

Kates Kitchen 3 Castle Street, Sligo. e: w: t: 071 915 1880 / 915 4910 Lyons Café WIne Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 2969 t:

Riverbank Dromahair, Co. Leitrim. t: 071 916 4934 w:


Sligo Restaurants Sakura Oriental Calry, Stephen Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 9833 / 071 914 9828

Silver Apple Lord Edward Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 6779 e: w: Dine Inn 9 Upper Quayside Shopping Centre, Sligo. t: 087-2947776 e:

Shenanigans Bar Bridge Street, Sligo. t: (Bar) 071 914 6799 (Rest) 071 914 6795 w:

Sinergie Clarion Hotel, Clarion Road, Sligo. t: 071 911 9000 | F: 071 911 9001 e: Ósta Cafe and Wine Bar Garavogue Weir, Stephen Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 4639 w:

Tobergal Lane Tobergal Lane, off O’ Connell St., Sligo. t: 071 914 6599 e: w: The Venue Top Road, Strandhill, Sligo. t: 071 916 8167

The Waterfront Rosses Point, Sligo. t: 071 917 7122

Hargadons O’ Connell Street, Sligo. t: 071 915 3709 w:


Sligo Entertainment

2010 Thursday 21st–

til Monday 25th October For more details log onto

GCG Cinema Sligo Wine Street, Sligo. t: 071 916 2651 e: w:

The Clarence Hotel Wine Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 2211 w:

Tobergal Lane Cafe Tobergal Lane, Sligo. t: 071 914 6599 w:

O’Donnel’s Pub Cliffoney, Sligo. t: 071 916 6421 e:

The Stables Wine Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 2280

The Venue Top road, Strandhill, Sligo. t: 071 916 8167

The Harp Tavern Quay Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 2473 e:

Hawk’s Well Theatre Temple Street, Sligo. w: t: 071 916 1518

Coleman Centre Gurteen, Sligo. t: 071 918 2599 w:

The Model The Mall, Sligo t: 071-914 1405 e:


Sligo Activities Rula Bula JFK Parade, Sligo. t: 071 914 7528 e: w:

Sligo Regional Sports Centre Cleveragh, Sligo. t: 071 916 0539 | f: 071 915 0941 e:

Island View Riding Stables Mount Temple, Moneygold, Grange, Sligo. t: 071 916 6156 e: w:

Castle Dargan Golf Club Ballygawley, Sligo. t: 071 911 8080 (Rest) 071 911 8090 e: w:

7th ve


7th Wave Surf School Enniscrone Beach, Sligo. t: 087 971 6389 / 085 738 5399 e: Northwest Surf School Enniscrone, Sligo. t: 087 959 5556 e: w:

Learn to Surf Strandhill. t: 071 916 8483 / 087 287 0817 e: w: Voya Seaweed Baths Strandhill, Sligo. t: 071 916 8686 e: w:

Happy Days Play Cantre Cleveragh Business Park, Sligo. t: 071 913 5115



Strandhill Golf Club Strandhill, Sligo t: 071 916 8188 f: 071 916 8811 e: w:

Sligo Activities Icon Spa Castle Dargan Hotel, Ballygawley, Co. Sligo. t: 071 911 8080 e: w:

Solas Spa Wine Street, Sligo. t: 071 919 2442 w:


Sligo Services Institute of Technology Sligo Ballinode, Sligo. t: 071 915 5222 w:

Sligo County Council Riverside, Sligo. t: 071 911 1388 w:

Walking Clinic 4 Stephen Street Court, Stephen Street, Sligo. t: 071 911 0010 w:

Walking Clinic

Firefly Foot Orthoses I.T Campus, Sligo. t: 071 914 9494 | f: 071 914 4500

Heritage and Geneology Centre Temple Street, Sligo. T: 071 914 3728 e: w: leitrim • sligo • donegal e: t: 0868051390

Barton Smith Lock & Safe Stephen Street, Sligo. t: 071 914 4344 e: w:

Sligo Enterprise & Technology Centre Sligo Airport Business Park, Sligo t: 071 916 8477 e:


Sligo Services Cummins and Co Accountants Markievicz Road, Sligo. t: 071 914 6008 | t: 071 914 7991 e:

Sligo Airport

Sligo Airport Strandhill, Sligo. t: 071 916 8280 w:

Sligo Visitor Centres The Model The Mall, Sligo t: 071-914 1405 e:

Eagles Flying Ballymote, Co. Sligo. t: 071 918 9310 w:

Yeats Society Yeats Memorial Building, Hyde Bridge, Sligo. t: 087 620 6931

Sligo Shopping Barton Smith Sport Hyde Bridge, Sligo t: 071 914 2356 e:

Outerpoint Rockwood Parade, Sligo t: 071 914 6950

Glencar Water t: 071 913 5553 w:



Sligo Shopping Clifford Electrical Carroroe, Sligo t: 071 914 3766 w:

Tracey’s Surf Shop Main Street, Inniscrone t: 076 37848

Johnston Court Shopping Centre O’Connell Street, Sligo w:


Mullaney Bro’s O’ Connell Street, Sligo t: 071 914 0718 f: 071 914 4388 e:

Kate’s Kitchen 3 Castle Street, Sligo t: 071 914 3022 f: 071 914 3022 e: w: Quayside Shopping Centre Quayside, Sligo

Allure Accessories and Gifts 21 Quay Street Mall, Quayside, Sligo. t: 071 915 3353 e: w:

McCanns’ Menswear Wine Street, Sligo. t: 071 916 0041 e:

Henry Lyons Wine Street, Sligo t: 071 914 2616


Index of Members Member Allure Accesories Ardnua Village Self Catering Ardtarman House Arigna Mining Artisan Crafts and Fine Arts Austies

Page 79 71 70 17 38 72

Barton Smith Lock Barton Smith Sport Bee Park Resource Centre Bella Vista Benbulben Pottery Beirnes of Battlebridge Bistro Bianconi

77 78 55 72 38 58 72

Cafe Fluer Cafe Society Carrick Plaza Suits Castle Dargon Golf Club Castle Dargon Hotel Cat and the Moon, The Cawleys Guesthouse Chez Philip Clarence Hotel, The Clarion Hotel Classiebawn Cleverly Mill Cois Re Holiday Apartments Coleman Centre, The Cottage Restaurant, The Coxes Steakhouse Crafters Basket, The Cummins and Co Accountants Davis’s at The Yeats Tavern Dock, The Drumcliff Tea House Eagles Flying Eunan Sweeney Photography

72 73 60 76 70 38 70 72 75 70 73 73 71 75 58 58 38 78



GCG Cinema Glasshouse, The Glencar Water Glenfarne Wood Products Glenns Centre, The Gourmet Parlour, The Greenland Caravans Grove, The

75 70 79 14 13 73 71 71

Hall Door, The Harbour House Hargadons Harp Tavern, The Hawkswell Theatre, The Henry Lyons Heritage and Geneology Centre

73 70 74 75 75 79 77

Icon Spa Innsifree International College Institute of Technology Island View Riding Stables Johnston Court Shopping Centre

77 77 77 27

Kates Kitchen Kilglass Restaurant Kilronan Hotel Kiltyclogher Holiday Centre Kings Chinese King House

79 59 63 64 73 13


73 13 72 78 56

Member Learn to Surf Leitrim Marina Hotel Leitrim Sculpture Centre Leitrim Quay Holiday Homes and Cruisers Lough Allen Adventure Lough Bran B&B Lough Gara Stables Lough Key Forest Park Lynda Gault Ceramics Lyons Cafe

Page 76 61 38 31&62 20 66 26 24 38 73

MacDermotts Bar and Restaurant McCanns Menswear Meadow Minatures Milligan Place Self Catering Model, The Moorelands Equestrian Centre Northwest Surf School

72 79 38 71 75 26

Oarsman, The O’ Donnels Pub Organic Centre, The Osta Cafe Outerpoint

59 75 16 74 78

Pleasure Cruisers Poppadoms

31 72

Quays Bar Quayside Shopping Centre

72 79

Radisson Blu Hotel Ramada Riverbank Riversdale Barge Rula Bula Rushes Retaurant

70 63 73 31 76 59

Sakura Seal View Photography Shannon Key West Shenanigans Bar and Restaurant Silver Apple Sinergie Sligo Airport Sligo County Council Sligo City Hotel Sligo Enterprise & Technology Centre Sligo Park Hotel, The Sligo Picture Framing & Art Gallery Sligo Regional Sports Centre Sligo Tea Room, The Solas Spa Stables, The Stanfords Village Inn Swan Island Cottage Swan Island Outdoor Persuits

74 38 62 74 74 74 78 77 70 77 70 38 76 72 77 75 47 64 31

Taylors Art Gallery Tobergal Lane Cafe Dine Inn Tracys Surf Shop Travellers Rest B&B Tullyboy Farm

38 74 74 76 66 24

Venue, The Village, The Voya Seaweed Bath Walking Clinic Waterfront, The

75 71 76

Yeats Society Yeats Village

78 71



77 74

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“There is only so much you can do with the day” Brian Leyden on John McGahern

Equally, in McGahern’s world, the rising and the setting of the sun, the day itself, is the true unit by which we measure the experience of being alive. So that in the novel That They May Face the Rising Sun, as Declan Kiberd says, ‘the lake around which most of the character’s live, is the force which organizes and governs their days and as such it is more powerful than any person’.

In the early 1970s, John McGahern and his wife Madeline Green returned to County Leitrim ‘to make a bare living’ on a small farm overlooking a little lake at Foxfield outside the town of Mohill. At the outset especially, a close eye was kept on the author’s farming activities in the belief that whenever he sold off his stock he was ‘getting ready to write another dirty book’. The poet Seamus Heaney however has said that ‘to think of John and his wife Madeline in their house by the lakeshore was to be reassured that there was a place in the world where the best standards of living and writing would be maintained. Paying tribute to his friend of over forty years Heaney has said that McGahern was a man ‘strict in his judgment, sympathetic in his understanding, courageous in the face of personal difficulties and always capable of merriment and grace’. The eldest of seven children, John McGahern was born on the 12th November, 1934. His mother was a teacher in Lisacarn School outside Ballinamore. His father, who had fought in the Civil War, was in the Gardai and mostly lived apart from the family, twenty miles away, in the barracks at Cootehall in County Roscommon. When his mother, Susan, died from cancer just before young ‘Sean’ was ten years old, McGahern and the other children moved in with their father.

the rising and the setting of the sun, the day itself, is the true unit by which we measure the experience of being alive

In his final book, Memoir (2005) McGahern set about memorialising another unique phenomenon of rural Ireland: ‘the lanes’ of Leitrim. With an intensity of vision found in the Celtic nature poets McGahern describe these lanes as they ‘wander into one another like streams until they reach some main road’.

John McGahern censor, for ‘pornographic depravity’, obscenity, and for suggesting a clerical disposition towards child sex abuse. McGahern published two further novels and three collections of short stories, a realist who never tired of revealing the grief and tension within everyday life that ordinary incidents and exchanges barely just conceal. With the publication of Amongst Women in 1990, McGahern was short listed for the Booker Prize and won the Irish Times/ Aer Lingus Fiction Prize. Revered at last as one of Ireland’s great writers, McGahern continued to farm; though at this point the farm animals ‘were nearer to pets’ and one elderly cow all but sat in a fireside chair in the family home with a pair of glasses on reading The Leitrim Observer.

Still grieving for his mother, McGahern and his younger siblings found themselves at the mercy of their father’s petty tantrums, punishments and violent beatings: a predicament that informs the author’s first novel The Barracks (1963) whose protagonists’ lives are steeped in loss and fear.

McGahern’s deep love of rural life and his belief that ‘the universal is the local but with the walls taken away’ found its fullest expression in his 2002 novel, That They May Face the Rising Sun. Earlier McGahern work is steeped in the spirit of the great Russian writer, Anton Chekhov, whose main characters tend to be the Doctor and the Government Official. McGahern’s core characters are the Schoolteacher, the Civil Servant and the Sergeant. And whereas Chekhov’s stories have the terrifying vastness of the Great Russian Steppe behind them; at McGahern’s back there is ‘the wind from Drumshanbo’ and the bottomless dark depths of Gloria Bog.

Books borrowed from his Protestant neighbours stimulated the boy’s early imagination. Then grateful for the secondary school education he received from the Presentation Brothers in Carrick-onShannon, McGahern won a scholarship to Saint Patrick’s College in Drumcondra. He trained and worked as a primary school teacher, but he was dismissed from his teaching post on the direct orders of the Archbishop of Dublin, and had his second novel, The Dark (1965) banned by the

Religion too is a powerful force, but there is also a profound awareness that ‘Irish culture is a great deal older than Christianity’. And That They May Face the Rising Sun takes its title from the fact that country people were always buried with their heads in the westward position to face the rising sun on Judgment Day: ‘the priests might have wanted them to face the church as the centre of authority, but they always thought the sun was more powerful’.


Thanks to the poorness of the surrounding farms, little has happened to change these lanes and small fields that McGahern knew as a boy. Their high banks are still crowded according to the season with primrose, foxglove, wild strawberry, vetch and crawling briar, while in the tangled hedges of hawthorn and hazel that often close out the daylight overhead, the wild woodbine and dog rose give off a deep fragrance on summer evenings. With the result that ‘in certain rare moments over the years while walking these lanes’, McGahern writes, ‘I have come into an extraordinary sense of security, a deep peace, in which I feel that I can live forever…’ McGahern has called Memoir ‘a kind of Mass’ for his mother. Repeatedly he returns to the childhood walks to school he took with his mother along those country lanes, staring at the cinder footpath outside the front door of their now vanished home at Corramahon, Aughawillan, through the iron gate to pick wild flowers for jamjars, past Brady’s their neighbours house, past the quarry and the railway bridge, and up by Mahon’s shop and the school. And through this invocation of names and places from the past, the actual lanes and the lost lanes of memory become one. The landmarks of the writer’s Leitrim childhood take on the quality of a prayer making sacred the memory of his mother. John McGahern died on the 30th March 2006. He is buried at the gable of Aughawillan church. Brian Leyden is the author of the best selling memoir The Home Place, the novel Death and Plenty and the short story collection Departures. He is currently the writer in residence with Sligo Library Services for 2010. He wrote the libretto for composer Ian Wilson’s short opera, Humpty Dumpty which premiers at the Lancaster International Concert Series at Lancaster University on the 18th March 2010.

Some like it hot! I like it cool! But tell me, are you getting enough of it? Probably not! Even what you do get, do you like it? Is it any good? Is it really satisfying? Could it not be better?

Maybe you think you’re entitled to it, by rights. Maybe you’re the sort that takes it for granted.You just turn it on when you want it, and turn it off when you’ve had enough. Or maybe you’re the old fashioned type that wouldn’t dream of paying for it.You think that would be, well, almost immoral!

Glencar Water comes in vacuum sacks, which are so much more hygienic and safer than typical water coolers. The vacuum sack collapses as it empties, so it doesn’t suck in or catch germs from the surrounding environment. And this specially designed cooler doesn’t need to be serviced, unlike most other coolers you meet.

Let me tell you what I think. Firstly, most of us do not get enough of it. We should have more - every day! Secondly, most of us don’t really like what we do get and when you pay for it, often it isn’t really any better – it’s just had the treatment – been “dickied up”. Thirdly, the sort you sometimes get in some public places, is known to carry all sorts of diseases. Even closer to home its not that safe! Yet because there is plenty of it around, many of us take it for granted, and maybe that’s why we don’t bother to do better.

With delivery to your office, business or home, Glencar Water is exceptional value, compared to what you pay elsewhere! Best of all, its local - and the purest in Europe, probably.

Water - Glencar Water Europe’s purest, probably - is now available throughout the Northwest - and thankfully there’s lots of it to go around!

Better still, it’s now available with a specially patented cooler – ideal for the office, conference room or home – and at only €10 per month or €180* outright purchase!

Better again, the compact cooler design is discreet. It can also “multi-task” as an office fridge and is easy to refill with two vacuum sacks. So, no more struggling with those large drums, and the risk of doing your back in!

Glencar Water. Call 071 913 5553 to order today can also “multi-task” as an office fridge

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County Leitrim offers a unique environment with attractions that are of world class appeal. You know, there is so much to tell. Leitrim off...

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