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Welcome to Roscommon

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Towns in Roscommon

Roscommon took its name from the ancient celtic St. Coman, who in early christian times founded a monastery in the area. With the river Shannon and Lough Rea to the east, river Suck to the west, Lough Ree to the south and Lough Key, Lough Gara and Lough Boderg to the north, two thirds of the county is bounded by water and one third is classified as bog.

On entering the town of Roscommon, there lies the remains of the Dominican Roscommon Abbey found on the southern slopes of a hill. Free to roam around, the ruin is principally a church. To the north of the town you will find Roscommon Castle, the weathered remains of this large Norman stronghold dates back to the 13th Century.

Passing through the small town of Shannonbridge you see County Roscommons natural resource, vast stretches of bogland on either side of the road. An ancient industry, bog is used in peat-fired power stations, home heating - once compressed into briquettes, and peat moss for garden use.

Three kilometres north of Boyle, the county's secondary town, lies Lough Key Forest Park, an ideal and popular place for campers, back packers, walkers and anglers.

The popular town of Boyle itself is set at the foot of the Curlieu Mountains, on the river Boyle, midway between Lough Gara and Lough Key. Lough Arrow to the north and Lough Gara to the west of the town makes Boyle a big hit for fishermen who are eager to land record Pike that are native to the region.

In the town's main street, you will come across the dominant 18th Century King Town House, home to the King family who at one time were one of the biggest and most powerful landowners in the whole country. After extensive restoration in 1994, the house which exhibits the famous Connaught Rangers, the King of Connaught and the history of the house, is now open to the public. In Boyle you can also visit one of the finest Cistercian buildings in the country, Boyle Abbey, which dates from the late 12th and early 13th Century. Why not puzzle over the carvings of animals and strange figures found in the stone columns near the western end of this abbey. These carvings have puzzled historians for some time, contradicting the Cistercian requirement for unadorned houses of prayer.

There would seem to be no better time to drop into County Roscommon. The atmosphere will be electrifying and the craic plentiful as Roscommon are said to have re-invented the cliff hanger while beating Mayo in the Mens Senior football Connaught Final of 2001.

Neighbouring Counties
Galway | Leitrim | Longford | Mayo | Offaly | Sligo | Westmeath
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