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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Leitrim County
Leitrim is located in the north west of Ireland. Leitrim is an undiscovered county that not many have not visited because they do not much about it. The landscape is beautiful and untouched and is a wonderful place to travel to. There is a number of lakes and rivers in the area with the River Shannon beginning close to the county. The land itself is not really good for farming and is mainly have forests in the region. There are mountains to the north of the county and glens dominate the area. Leitrim is worth a trip to because of the scenery alone.

In ancient times Leitrim formed the western half of the Kingdom of Breifne. This region was long influenced by the O'Rourke family of Dromahair, whose heraldic lion occupies the official county crest to this day. Close ties initially existed with East Breifne, now County Cavan, and the O'Reilly clan seated there. The Normans invaded in the 13th century and occupied the south of Breifne. Much of the county was confiscated from its owners in 1620 and given to Villiers and Hamilton. Their initial objective was to plant the county with English settlers. However, this proved unsuccessful. British Deputy Sir John Perrot had ordered the legal establishment of "Leitrim County" a half-century prior, in 1565. Perrott also demarked the current county borders around 1583. The County takes its name from Leitrim Village which is situated on the banks of the Shannon within Co. Leitrim. Five forests are traditionally said to have stood in Leitrim up till the 17th century. With soil suitable principally for cows and potatoes, Leitrim's 155,000 residents (as of the 1841 census) were ravaged by the Potato Famine and the population dropped to 112,000 by 1851. The population subsequently continued to decrease due to emigration. After many years, the wounds of such rapid population decline have finally started to heal. Agriculture improved over the last century. Leitrim now has the fastest growing population in Connacht.

Working of the county's rich deposits of iron ore began in the 15th century and continued until the mid 18th century. Coal mining became prominent in the 19th century to the east of Lough Allen in Sliabh an Iariann and also to the west in Arigna, on the Roscommon border. The last coal mine closed in July 1990 and there is now a visitor centre.[1] Sandstone was also quarried in the Glenfarne region. William Butler Yeats spent the turn of the twentieth century fascinated with Lough Allen and much of Leitrim. In the northwest, 11 km from Manorhamilton can be found Glencar Waterfall, which was an inspiration to Yeats and is mentioned in his poem The Stolen Child.

Leitrim has a dramatic hilly and mountainous landscape in its northwest and is relatively flat in the southeast, each separated from the other by Lough Allen in the middle of the county. It is an unspoiled, tranquil area of great natural beauty, consisting of lofty mountains, deep valleys, pastures, lakes, rolling hills and rivers. Leitrim is not a landlocked county as it has a short length of Atlantic coastline (5km) between Sligo and Donegal in the northwest. Neighbouring Leitrim are the Ulster counties of Donegal to the north, Fermanagh to the northeast, and Cavan to the east, the Leinster county of Longford to the south and, to the west, the Connacht counties of Roscommon and Sligo. Fermanagh is in Northern Ireland while all the other neighbouring counties are within the Republic. Leitrim offers scenic panoramic vistas of Lough Allen and the River Shannon. The Shannon is linked to the Erne via the Shannon-Erne Waterway.

Lough Melvin is internationally renowned for its unique range of plants and animals. Lough Allen offers amazing views, especially from the road between Leitrim Village and Drumkeeran Lough Gill is to the northwest of Dromahair; Parke's Castle is located on the lake shore. Other particularly beautiful lakes include Lough Garadice, Lough Glenade, Lough Rynn and Lough MacNean.

Carrick On Shannon
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Leitrim County
Place: Connacht
People: 28,950
Speak: English, Irish
Area: 1,588 km2
GPS: -8, 54.116667