Leitrim, County Leitrim

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This article is about the village in County Leitrim. For other uses, see Leitrim.
Leitrim is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°59′27″N 8°03′49″W / 53.9908°N 8.0636°W / 53.9908; -8.0636Coordinates: 53°59′27″N 8°03′49″W / 53.9908°N 8.0636°W / 53.9908; -8.0636
Country Ireland
Province Connacht
County County Leitrim
Elevation 70 m (230 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 485
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference G958046

Leitrim (Irish: Liatroim) is a village in County Leitrim, Ireland.

Access and transport[edit]

It is located on the River Shannon at the junction of the R280 and R284 regional roads and is connected to the River Erne via the Shannon-Erne Waterway. Leitrim village is the gateway to the Shannon-Erne Waterway and boasts a jetty with excellent facilities for the cruising traffic which passes through. The village is just over 5 km from Carrick-on-Shannon and 155 km from Dublin.

Modern development[edit]

Leitrim village marina
May 2nd, 2010

Successive Finance Acts during the 1990s encouraged the building of hotels and holiday houses in designated deprived rural areas. The village was a large beneficiary of these tax incentives. The resultant explosive growth in the period between 2002 and 2007 saw several large complexes of self-catering apartments blocks being erected around the mariana which was itself funded by the International Fund for Ireland under the auspices of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. It is a well kept village with an excellent record in the Tidy Towns competition, and it won the title once. Leitrim village is well situated as a base from which to explore the upper and County Leitrim.7




The village had 274 residents in 1834,[1] 618 residents by 2002, and 1,033 residents by 2006.[citation needed]


From the Early modern period, County Leitrim is named after the village. Throughout at least the 19th and 20th centurys, numerous annual fairs were held at Leitrim village on- January 22, February 20, March 25, May 5, June 16, July 23, September 1 (or 3rd), October 13, and December 1.[1][2][3] The village remains a strategically important ford of the River Shannon anciently connecting Ulster and Connacht.

Irish annals[edit]

The Irish Annals makes mention of Leitrim village (Irish: Liath-druim) many times.

During the Late Middle Ages, the castle at Leitrim village was controlled by Reynolds of upper Muintir Eolais, an ally of MacDermot of Moylurg-

  • "1491: Brian, son of Mag Raghnaill ... was slain in treachery by Tadhg, ... and by two sons of Mael-Shechlainn Mag Raghnaill and the castle of the sons of Tadhg Mag Raghnaill (namely, the castle of Liath-druim) was taken from them in that place by the same people".[5]
  • "1491: Cathal, son of Mael-Shechlainn, son of Cathal Mag Raghnaill, was slain in the same castle (namely, the castle of Liath-druim), that is, by another son of Tadhg Mag Raghnaill and by the son of Mac Diarmata the Red and by Tomaltach, son of Tomaltach Mac Diarmata. And the castle itself was taken by them in Harvest of this year and Eogan, son of Tighernan, son of Tadhg, son of Tighernan Ua Ruairc, regained the same castle in the same Harvest, half for purchase and half by force".[6]
  • "1499: Mael-Shechlainn, son of Murchadh, son of Tadhg Mag Raghnaill, was taken by Conn Carrach, son of Tadhg, son of Tigernan Ua Ruairc ... And Rughraidhe, son of Toirdelbach Mag Uidhir, attacked the Lough against them and those two sons of Ua Ruairc were slain by him and the son of the Blind-eye Mag Flannchadha and his son and the son of Murchadh were brought by him to his house. And Ua Domnaill, namely, Aedh the Red, liberated them from him and the castle of Liath-druim was given to Ua Domnaill".[7]
  • "1499: Melaghlin, the son of Murrough, son of Teige Mac Rannall, was taken prisoner ..... Hugh Roe, afterwards ransomed him; and the castle of Leitrim was given up to O'Donnell".[8]
  • "1499: O'Donnell, i.e. Hugh Roe marched with an army against Mac Dermot, ... Mac Dermot, having received intelligence of this, assembled the forces of Moylurg, and of the Tuathas of Connaught, to defend the pass of the Curlieus against O'Donnell. O'Donnell, perceiving this, ... crossed the Shannon near the castle of Leitrim, and thus entered Moylurg. ... When Mac Dermot heard of this, he repaired to O'Donnell, and concluded a perpetual peace with him,".[9]
  • "1499: Ua Domnaill, namely, Aedh the Red, went with a host this year against Mac Diarmata ... And he went from that to the castle of Liath-druim and Mac Diarmata came to meet him there and peace was made...".[10]
  • "1530: An army was led by O'Donnell into the province of Connaught; ... proceeded through the Tanist's portion of Moylurg, by the Caradh-Droma-ruisc, across the Shannon, and burned and totally desolated the territory of Muintir-Eolais; some of his people were slain around the castle of Leitrim".[11]

During the Tutor conquest of Ireland the castle of Leitrim was occupied by O'Rourke c. 1540 – c. 1590.

  • "1540: The castle of Leitrim erected by O'Rourke (Brian, the son of Owen) while a great war waged against him on every side, namely, in Moylurg, Muintir-Eolais, and Breifney-O'Rourke; and his own son and a party of the men of Breifney were also at war with him. He finished the castle in a short time, destroyed a great portion of Moylurg on his opponents".[12]
  • "1560: Teige and Owen, the two sons of O'Rourke (Brian Ballagh, the son of Owen), came by untimely deaths. Owen first met his death thus: he was held in captivity by his kinsman, Teige, in the town of Leitrim; and it came to pass that, having got an opportunity of the guard, he slew the person whom Teige had appointed as his keeper, and ascending to the top of the castle, cried out that the castle was in his power, ... When a soldier, one of the people of Teige, who was outside, heard this, he laid his cheek on his gun, and took direct aim at Owen, so that the ball entered at his navel, and bereft him of life ...".[13]

Leitrim Village was attacked and burned by the English in 1590 and a long war ensued. In 1595 Hugh Roe O'Donnell and his allies celebrated Easter at Leitrim village.[n 1]

  • "1590: An immense army was sent by the governor against .. Muinter-Eolais, in the beginning of March; and they captured ten hundred cows. And they were that night in Maethail; and they went to Liatruim on the morrow, and were two nights there. ... The Breifne was burned on that hosting".[15]
  • "1595: O Domhnaill ... went across the river to Conmaicne Réin, and he encamped in Leitrim of Muinter Eólais,....".[16]
  • "1595: Another hosting was made by O'Donnell (Hugh Roe) into Connaught, on the eighteenth day of the month of April.... After this he proceeded onward with these preys and spoils, and arrived the same night in Leitrim in Muintir-Eolais. .... The brave troops of O'Donnell and Maguire marched from Sliabh-Cairbre to the River Inny, and set every place to which they came in these districts in a blaze of fire, and wrapped it in a black, heavy cloud of smoke. They took the Longford, ...., in consequence of the fury and violence that prevailed".[17]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]


  1. ^ "He went across the river to Conmaicne Rein, and he encamped in Leitrim of Muinter Eolais, and remained there with his army until they had finished the celebration of Easter, and while his enemies thought he was going to his native country, such a thing was not in his mind".[14] Eventual defeat in the Nine Years' War (Ireland) prompted the Flight of the Earls.


  1. ^ a b Wright 1834, pp. 24.
  2. ^ Longman 1819, pp. 405.
  3. ^ Watsons 1830.
  4. ^ Keating 1908, pp. 237.
  5. ^ Bambury & Beechinor 2000, pp. U1491.6.
  6. ^ Bambury & Beechinor 2000, pp. U1491.8.
  7. ^ Bambury & Beechinor 2000, pp. U1499.14.
  8. ^ AFM, pp. M1499.10.
  9. ^ AFM, pp. M1499.15.
  10. ^ Bambury & Beechinor 2000, pp. M1499.15.
  11. ^ AFM, pp. M1530.9.
  12. ^ AFM, pp. M1540.12.
  13. ^ AFM, pp. M1560.3.
  14. ^ O'Clery 1895, pp. 85.
  15. ^ Annals of Lough Ce, pp. LC1590.15.
  16. ^ Walsh 2012, pp. 89.
  17. ^ AFM, pp. M1595.9.

Primary sources[edit]

Secondary sources[edit]

Irish annals[edit]