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Droim Sean Bhoth
Market Square, Drumshanbo
|Elevation||60 m (200 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference||G978111|
Drumshanbo (Irish: Droim Sean Bhoth: Ridge of the Old Huts) is a small town situated in the heart of County Leitrim, Ireland. The town takes its name from the Irish, Druim-Sean-Bhoth or "Ridge of the old huts". Drumshanbo is surrounded by a scenic area of soft rolling hills, woodlands, lakes and the Sliabh an Iarainn and Arigna mountains. It is a beautifully preserved traditional town with traditional pubs, shops and restaurants.
Drumshanbo is situated at the lower tip of Lough Allen the third biggest lake on the Shannon. It is overlooked by Sliabh an Iarainn, the iron mountain, which is approximately 585 metres high, with a history of iron being mined there for over three hundred years.
Local industries include: metalwork fabrication, sign-makers, plant hire and refuse disposal, tele-sales, joinery works and many small craft businesses. Laird House was developed recently and it includes offices and a crèche facility. Currently the site of the old factory premises is being redeveloped by the Community Council to house a large food production facility. Anchor tenants are already secured and it is anticipated to generate up to 100 jobs in the industry.
Drumshanbo provides fine and ample housing. Much of it is unoccupied, after the collapse of the housing market in 2007.
Drumshanbo railway station opened on 2 May 1888, but finally closed on 1 April 1959. It was part of the narrow gauge Cavan and Leitrim Railway. Today the nearest rail services may be accessed at Carrick-on-Shannon railway station around 14 km away.
Westlink Coaches operate a daily commuter service between Drumshanbo and Sligo via Carrick-on-Shannon. Drumshanbo is also served by Bus Éireann route 462 on Fridays and Saturdays linking it to Sligo and by Saturday-only route 469 linking it to Carrick-on-Shannon and Longford.
In the centre of the town there is the Sliabh an Iarann visitors' centre, where an audio-visual display takes visitors through local scenery and highlights the history of coal and iron mining in the area.
A wide variety of walks, including hill-walking, can be explored within a 5-km radius of Drumshanbo. Many walking routes around the lake have been signed posted by the Council. Also, for the more adventurous, Slí Liatroma is a 48-km walk between Drumshanbo, Dowra, and Manorhamilton.
A kilometre outside the town is the heated outdoor swimming pool at Acres Lake Amenity. Also there are tennis courts, a playground, and a jetty for cruisers which have travelled from Carrick on Shannon via Leitrim Village. The Teach Ceoil or Music House is also situated here. It is used as a venue for music sessions etc.
In 2003 the Ramada Lough Allen Hotel and Spa opened. This hotel has a shore-side location on the banks of Lough Allen and offers hotel accommodation as well as lodges and apartments.
At the Mayflower Community Centre, bingo is run every Monday night. Handball and badminton facilities are also available as well as other events such as Discos, Concerts, plays and the mobile cinema. Aras Padraig is another community premises which is used for various local groups to meet. Some classes are organised there by the local women’s group.
For the angler, Lough Allen is the largest lake in the vicinity and has a reputation for coarse angling. The lake has a plentiful supply of trout, pike, perch, rudd and roach. However there is also an abundance of good fishing at small locations all around the surrounding area. It is possible to rent cruisers to navigate the waterways and enjoy the natural unspoilt countryside of the area. Lough Allen also is ideal for wind surfing, canoeing and other water sports.
Moorlands Equestrian Centre has been established over ten years ago and it provides a comprehensive range of activities, which include all aspects of equestrian sport. It is an outstanding facility for the novice to the advanced rider. For the visitor there is pony trekking, mountain trails, lakeside rides or cross-country treks.
Drumshanbo also is an ideal base for the golfing enthusiast. There are four courses in the area. These include Carrick on Shannon (18 holes), Blacklion (9 holes), Slieve Russell (18 holes), and Ballinamore (9 holes).
Drumshanbo has a growing population of over 1,000 However this peaks the third week of July when the town hosts the Joe Mooney Summer School for Irish Music. This festival is now in its sixteenth year and attracts Irish music enthusiasts from all over the world. As the name suggests it is a memorial and tribute to the late Joseph Mooney, County Councillor and townsman who did so much to promote the cause of Leitrim and his beloved town.
The An Tostal festival in June also has an emphasis on Irish music and culture. This was established nationwide in the 1950s by Bord Failte as a tourist promotion to encourage emigrants home. Drumshanbo is the only location in Ireland where it has survived into the 21st century.
The Sliabh An Iarainn Walking Festival takes place April 11 and 12, 2015. There are two days of graded A,B,C walks for walkers of all abilities.
Drumshanbo has three churches and a convent.
The Roman Catholic Church built in 1845 is dedicated to St Patrick and commemorates his first crossing of the Shannon nearby. The old church stood on a site in the famine graveyard in 1744 further out of town.
St John’s Church of Ireland dates back to 1829. It is a gothic style structure ornamented with a tower and pinnacles.
The present Methodist Church on the Carrick Road was built in 1860; however, there had been an earlier chapel dating back to 1760s.
The Poor Clare Convent was built in 1860. The Sisters are Franciscian Poor Clares and as such observe strict enclosure, recite the Divine Office in choir and maintain Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The nuns pray around the clock and as it is an enclosed order they never leave the convent except in the event of a medical emergency. In the last refurbishment of the convent chapel, it was possible to integrate the community of nuns with the Public to a greater degree than previously.
Drumshanbo has both a large primary school and a vocational secondary school, which provide education for local children until the age of eighteen. Drumshanbo Vocational was opened in 1964, with major extensions in 1985 and 2012 and a further extension due to start in 2015. In 2014 a 50th anniversary magazine was launched with over 50 contributions from pupils and teachers from all decades, photos from same and a comprehensive list of all past pupils.
- Historic Sites
St John's Church of Ireland This gothic structure dates back to 1829.
- Famine Graveyard
Some 500 victims of the Great Famine (1845/47) are thought to have been buried here.
- Crannogs - Lough Allen
Twin towns — Sister cities
Singer songwriter and Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan has been a Drumshanbo resident since 1973.
- 2011 Census
- Drumshanbo’s housing was featured on RTÉ radio’s Saturdayview, with an interview with singer songwriter and Drumshanbo resident Charlie McGettigan. http://dynamic.rte.ie/quickaxs/209-rte-saturdayview-2009-11-07.smil
- "Drumshanbo station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-10-12.