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COUNTY ROSCOMMON

County Roscommon is an inland County 100km in length from the top of the Arigna valley in the north to Shannonbridge in the south, with a breadth of 64km at its greatest to 26km in the south of the county.

The River Shannon is the boundary in the east and the River Suck in most of the west. Two-thirds of the county is bounded by water. In the north are the largest lakes – Lough Key, Lough Gara and Lough Boderg – with the great Lough Ree in the east. The limestone foundation of the whole county and the numerous lakes make it a fisherman’s paradise.

One-third of the county is under bog, mostly in the east and west of the county. The 113,316 hectares of arable land are to be found in the centre of the county. This land is of superior quality, praised by Arthur Young and Weld in their relative publications of the 19th century, so that the principal occupation of the people is the raising of cattle and sheep.

According to the Annals of the Four Masters, Roscommon was one of the areas first populated by the foreign legions that invaded Ireland. The county abounds in burial mounds, megalithic tombs, ring forts and many traces of early colonisation – over 5,000 at the last count!

From before the dawn of history, Rathcroghan, in the heart of the county, was the home of the kings of Connaught and at later times, the home of the high kings of Ireland. The two great families of the county – the O’Conors and the MacDermotts – were amongst the leading Gaelic families of medieval Ireland.

The county’s rich grazing ranches fell prey to many cattle rustlers, notably the O’Rourkes of Breffni and the O’Donnells of Tir Conaill; they came through the Curlew Pass and

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COUNTY ROSCOMMON

Failte Ireland West
Discover Ireland Centre, Forster Street, Galway City
County Roscommon
T: 00 353 91 537700
E: irelandwestinfo@failteireland.ie
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