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Droim ar Snámh
The ridge of the swimming
Drumsna is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°55′44″N 8°00′15″W / 53.92886°N 8.00418°W / 53.92886; -8.00418Coordinates: 53°55′44″N 8°00′15″W / 53.92886°N 8.00418°W / 53.92886; -8.00418
CountyCounty Leitrim
40 m (130 ft)
 • Total240
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceN000982
Stone bridge at Drumsna
May 2010
Plaque on bridge. 1795 rebellion
May 2010
River Shannon from Drumsna bridge
May 2010

Drumsna (Irish: Droim ar Snámh which translates as the ridge of the swimming place) is a village in County Leitrim, Ireland. It is situated 6 km east of Carrick-on-Shannon on the River Shannon and is located off the N4 National primary route which links Dublin and Sligo. The harbour dates to 1817 and was a hive of commercial waterway activity until the more northern navigation canal to Carrick-on-Shannon was opened in 1850. Today, the waterway is busy with anglers and tourist pursuits in the summer months but at a much more leisurely pace.


One ancient way of crossing a river was swimming - "ag Snámh" in Irish.

The oldest known name for Drumsna is "Snamh-Rathainn", appears in the Irish Annals at 1148AD. Its mentioned again at 1261AD when the "fortress" of Hugh O’Conor, king of Connacht, at Snamh-in-redaigh was burned.[n 1] John O'Donovan authoritatively states its "probably Drumsna, on the Shannon, on the borders of Leitrim and Roscommon”.[2][3]

In 1552AD Ferdorcha MagRaghnaill of Muintir Eolais was the Irish chieftain over Drumsna.

In the late 19th century, Drumsna was the main trading town in Leitrim with its own jail and courthouse. It was the resting place for horse-drawn carriages and the harbour was a thriving delivery port. In 1850, the construction of the Jamestown Canal led to a change of the Shannon navigation which altered the status of Drumsna.

Throughout at least the 19th and 20th centuries, a number of annual fairs were held at Drumsna on- May 20, June 22, August 25, October 7, and December 13.[4] [5] There was a Chalybeate Spa near the village in the 19th century.[6] In 1925, Drumsna village comprised 35 houses, 5 being licensed to sell alcohol.[7]

Ashfort House, near Drumsna, was originally the home of the Caulfield family. It was purchased by the Waldrons of Cartron in 1744. It was here in January 1848 that Hubert Kelly Waldron JP was murdered in a non-political incident when the local coroner attempted to serve him with a writ.[8]

Until 1996 the main N4 Dublin to Sligo road passed through the village which was then bypassed.

Natural history[edit]

In the 19th century the skull of a small ancient Irish elk was found in the Shannon, at Drumsna Bridge.


  • Admiral Sir Josias Rowley, 1st Bt., GCB, GCMG, RN (1765–1842).
  • The writer Anthony Trollope (24 April 1815 – 6 December 1882), lived in the village for a period during the 1840s, where he wrote The Macdermots of Ballycloran. Anthony Trollope was remembered in the village with the launch of the Historic Trollope Trail by President Mary McAleese in September 2008.[9]
  • Robert Strawbridge (1732–1781), one of the pioneers of Methodism in the United States, was born in Gortconnellan, Drumsna. The Wesleyan historical society erected a memorial to Robert Strawbride in Drumsna in 1992.
  • Thomas Heazle Parke, African explorer and surgeon (1857–1893), was born in Clogher House, Drumsna, Co Roscommon.

Amenities and facilities[edit]


Drumsna is widely acknowledged as an anglers' paradise. The many unpolluted lakes and rivers in the area support a huge population of wild fish. Coarse fish species include bream, roach, rudd, hybrids, tench, pike, perch and eels. The Shannon flows through the village and there are several good fishing lakes close by. The Shannon has bream, rudd, roach, tench, perch and pike. Lough Aduff just outside the village is a very good bream and roach water with good tench present to 5 lb (2.3 kg). Headford is a small lake located about 1½ mile north east of the village of Drumsna, this lake has a good stock of bream to 3 lb (1.4 kg) and some very good tench fishing can be had here, especially during the summer months.

Drumsna Roman Catholic Church[edit]

Built in 1845 and part financed from the proceeds of a trip to Rome by the then Parish Priest, Father George Geraghty, the building boasts one of the largest church bells in the country. The church also contains a statue to the Virgin Mary which was the only surviving item from Belmount House when it was destroyed by fire. Sunday mass is celebrated in the church by Father John Wall at 9:30 am.


  • Drumsna railway station opened on 1 September 1863, and finally closed on 17 June 1963.[10]
  • Drumnsa lies beside the River Shannon with its own jetty. It is a popular stopping point for boats though navigation for cruisers is not possible upstream of here. Boats are required to use the Albert Lock and Jamestown Canal which links to the Shannon upstream of Jamestown, County Leitrim

List of Townlands around Drumsna[edit]

Mullaun Ringfort, Drumsna; c. 16m in diameter.
  • Effrinagh
  • Mountcampbell
  • Foxborough
  • Lavagh
  • Lisduff
  • Dristernan
  • Gortconellan
  • Lislea
  • Drumnadober
  • Charlestown
  • Gowel
  • Liscallyroan

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]


  1. ^ In 1261AD Drumsna is called "Snam Muredaig" in the Annals of Ulster, and "Snam in Redaigh" in both the Annals of Lough Ce and Four Masters.

Primary sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: Settlements Drumsna". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  2. ^ AFM.
  3. ^ loganim.ie, p. Droim ar Snámh.
  4. ^ Longman 1819, pp. 405.
  5. ^ Watsons 1830.
  6. ^ Wright 1834, pp. 24.
  7. ^ Irish Free State 1925, pp. 31.
  8. ^ The Freeman's Journal, 28 January 1848.
  9. ^ http://www.drumsna.com
  10. ^ "Drumsna station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 12 October 2007.

Secondary sources[edit]