Droim Dhá Thiar
|Elevation||51 m (167 ft)|
|Time zone||WET (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (WEST) (UTC-1)|
|Irish Grid Reference||G804316|
Dromahair lies in the hilly north west of Leitrim amid some stunning unspoiled natural landscapes. The "Sleeping Giant" mountain formation (comprising Keelogyboy, Leean and Benbo) is visible on approaches to the village, as is Lough Gill below the Slieve Daeáne and Killerry mountain. The village itself is also idyllic, located on the banks of the River Bonet, which flows into Lough Gill. Much of Dromahair was modelled on a village in Somerset by the Earl of Leitrim, and the central streetscape still follows the pattern set down by him.
It is also a town rich in history. Dromahair was once the capital of Breifne - a Gaelic kingdom that stretched from Kells in County Meath across County Cavan and north County Leitrim to County Sligo. It was the seat of the O'Rourkes - the ancient Kings of Brieifne. The ruins of the O'Rourke castle (built c. 950 AD) and banqueting hall are present in the village. It is also the place from which Devorgilla (wife of Tiernan O'Rourke) eloped with Dermot McMurrough (the King of Leinster) in 1153 to Ferns, an act which brought about a feud and McMurrough's eventual exile from Ireland. Creevelea Abbey, located on the outskirts of the village, is a Franciscan Friary which was founded in 1508 and was in use until the 17th century when the Franciscans were forced to leave by the Cromwellian army. The nave, choir, tower and transept are well preserved and it is now protected as a national monument. In addition, a castle constructed for Sir William Villiers (c. 1629) is located in the village. In 1798 General Humbert led Irish and French forces to defeat the British at battles in Castlebar and south Collooney. Humbert's forces were then pursued through Leitrim to Longford. His army is known to have rested in Dromahair and captured British artillery was thrown into the Bonet to allow faster movement of the army.
Dromahair was connected to the railway network until the late 1950s. The railway station opened on 1 September 1881 as part of the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway connecting Sligo and Enniskillen. It finally closed on the 1 October 1957 with the closure of the line.
William Butler Yeats used to visit the town regularly 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 DromahairHis heart hung all upon a silken dressAnd he had known at last some tendernessBefore earth took him to her stony care...
Local Amenities and Attractions
Dromahair boasts several pubs and restaurants. It also contains a post office, hotel and library (open Wednesdays and Fridays 3pm to 8pm) and fine dining restaurant, there are a few convenience and general shops, hairdressers, butchers, garage, national school, two historic churches (Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland) as well as a health centre. The hotel in the Main Street is currently closed. Popular attractions include Creveelea Abbey (found a short distance across the foot bridge found behind the hotel), the Tour De Humbert Cycling Trail (which passes through the village), Ard Nahoo Health Farm, Parke's Castle situated beside Lough Gill on the Sligo-Dromahair road (R286, 5 km NW of the village) and the Wild Rose Waterbus which offers tours of Lough Gill between Sligo and Parke's Castle. Castle View B&B offers accommodation, www.leitrimbandb.com
Dromahair has both men's and ladies' GAA clubs. In 2009, the men's club competed in RTÉ's Celebrity Bainisteoir competition under comedian Katherine Lynch, while the ladies' team was unlucky not to win the Connacht Junior Championship, losing the final in a replay.
- Regional Roads R286 and R287 link Dromahair with Sligo town, the R290 links it with Collooney and the R280 with Manorhamilton.
- Bus Éireann routes serving Dromahair include the 462, 469 and 470 which link Dromahair with Sligo, Drumkeeran, Manorhamilton, Carrick on Shannon and Longford.
- List of towns and villages in Ireland
- Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway
- Lough Gill