Roscommon Main Towns


It is one of the three villages in Kilronan Parish. For over two hundred years it was the coal-mining capital of Ireland. The Arigna valley is green and beautiful, and not in any way the kind of bleak and dusty place one associates with coal-mining activity.

Athleague lies on the N68 in Roscommon. There are a number of good fishing waters in the vicinity.

Ballaghaderreen is a busy town situated near the end of the Lung River, which empties into Lough Gara. Beyond rises a chain of sandstone hills, stretching northeastward to the shores of Lough Key.

Ballintober Castle was built by the O’Connor’s of Connacht and was their chief seat after the Anglo-Norman invasion until the beginning of the 18th century.

Located to the south of an area of forests and small mountains is Ballyfarnan.

Boyle nestles at the foot of the Curlieu Mountains on the N4, Dublin to Sligo road. It has many historical buildings of national importance including King House, Frybrook House and Boyle Abbey, all of which are open to the public. It is also renowned as an excellent shopping town. The surrounding lakes make the area one of the most popular angling destinations in the country. The famous hospitality and friendliness of the people will ensure you have an enjoyable visit.

Carrowreagh is found on the eastern side of the River Suck. Within the Suck Valley there is the opportunity to enjoy the peace and tranquility of this green and pleasant Valley in the company of warm and friendly people.

A thriving market town, Castlerea is the third most important town in the county and is beautifully situated in wooded country on the bank of the Suck. It was the birthplace of Sir William Wilde, father of the celebrated dramatist and wit, Oscar Wilde.

Creggs is a village situated 14 kilometres from Roscommon town, 14km from Glenamaddy and 10 kilometres from Ballygar. With approximately a population of a hundred the village comprises of a National School, Post Office, a Garage, six Public Houses, a Hardware, a Butcher, Grocery shops and a Heritage Centre. The village of Creggs was once a popular centre, with a monthly Fair, dancing, football and Feisheanna (music competition). Its pubs bear witness to its popularity! It was the scene of the last public speech of Charles Stuart Parnell, the great Irish Parliamentary leader of the 1880s only two weeks before his death in 1891. Opposite the ruined Protestant church is a monument to him erected in 1946, the centenary of his birth, by Eamon DeValera.

Situated 16 kilometres to the south of Boyle, Elphin takes its name from “Ailfinn” meaning white stone. This refers to a large obelisk, which stood by a well here and is recorded as having fallen down in 1675AD. The town owes its origins to the pre-Christian druid house known as “Imleach-Ono”.

Frenchpark is home to the demesne of Lord de Freyne and close by are the remains of the 13th century Dominican Cloonshanville Abbey, built on the site of an ancient church attributed to St Patrick. On the outskirts of Frenchpark is Ratra House, the home of Douglas Hyde, and father of the Gaelic League and elected first President of Ireland in 1938.

Keadue, the 1993 National Award Winner in Bord Failte Tidy Towns Competition, is situated on the Arigna Mountains scenic drive. The area around has fine lakes and the village itself has traditional houses, stone walls and colourful gardens and window boxes. The last of the Irish bards, Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738), is buried in the McDermott Roe vault in the Abbey in Kilronan Cemetery, 2 kilometres outside the village. There is a Memorial Park to his music and musicianship in the centre of Keadue.

(cnoc an Chrochaire), the Hangman’s Hill, is so called from an elevated mound east of the village, which was once a place of execution. The village was once noted for the manufacture of clay pipes from clay imported from England. Beyond the village is Galey Bay near the shore of which stands Galey Castle, built in the 14th century. Out in the lake is the island of Inishcleraun named after a sister of Queen Maeve, Clothra. Queen Maeve is said to have been killed here by an enemy while she was bathing. This island is the site of a monastery founded by St. Diarmait in 540 and on it are the remains of aix churches.

Lecarrow is found on the N61 just to the south west of Lough Ree.

Roosky is located on a stretch of the River Shannon between Lough Bofin and Lough Forbes. Roosky is easily accessible via the N4.

The county town, Roscommon gets its name from Ros, meaning a wooded or pleasant height, and Coman, from the famous Irish saint and bishop. It was famous in early Christian days as the seat of Abbot Coman, and had close ties with Clonmacnoise and Saint Ciaran. The Dominican priory was founded in 1253, by Felim O Connor, King of Connaught and is now in ruins. Roscommon Castle to the north of the town was built in 1269 by the Normans, but four years later was captured by the Irish and razed to the ground. It was rebuilt in 1280. In the main street is the beautifully renovated Bank of Ireland, once the courthouse and served as a catholic church until 1903. The Sacred Heart Church is worth a visit, and contains a replica of the Cross of Cong.

The prize for the greatest breadth to length ratio in any Irish town or village street must surely be awarded to Strokestown where, with local hyperbolic pride, the second Lord Hartland wanted to make his village thoroughfare even larger than the Ringstrasse in Vienna. At one end of it lies an inspired and be-spired octagonal church and, at the other, Strokestown House, with it’s impressive Famine Museum. The county genealogy centre is based in the above building in the town. (Strokestown – meaning The Ford of the Blows)