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Main Street
Main Street
Manorhamilton is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 54°18′23″N 8°10′34″W / 54.3064°N 8.1761°W / 54.3064; -8.1761Coordinates: 54°18′23″N 8°10′34″W / 54.3064°N 8.1761°W / 54.3064; -8.1761
CountyCounty Leitrim
Dáil ÉireannSligo–Leitrim
EU ParliamentMidlands–North-West
69 m (226 ft)
 • Total1,466
Irish Grid ReferenceG885397
Dialing code+353 (0)71

Manorhamilton (Irish: Cluainín (Uí Ruairc)) is the second-largest town in County Leitrim, Ireland. It is located on the N16 between Sligo 16 miles (26 km) and Enniskillen 25 miles (40 km).


Before the Plantations of Ireland, the settlement was known as Clooneen[2] (from Irish: Cluainín Uí Ruairc, meaning "Uí Ruairc's small meadow"). This lay on the west bank of the Owenbeg. Uí Ruairc (anglicised as O'Rourke) was the local Gaelic chieftain, based in nearby Dromahair, whose land was seized by the British and then granted to Sir Frederick Hamilton for his services in the European wars of the 17th century. As a result of his actions, Hamilton to this day is considered to have been a tyrant by the local people. He began building a new town on the east bank of the river, in the townland of Clonmullen, which he renamed 'Manorhamilton'.[2] After the town emerged, the name Baile Hamaltuin was adopted by Irish speakers and its anglicised form 'Ballyhamilton' was for a time used by English speakers.[2]

Manorhamilton Castle

The ruins of Manorhamilton Castle is a renovated castle ruin and tourist attraction. The castle was erected in 1634 by Sir Frederick Hamilton, who had been granted land in north Leitrim by the British government. The land had been confiscated from the O'Rourkes, the ruling clan of Breifne. Hamilton was a very unpopular overlord and faced frequent native rebellion before the Castle was burned by the Earls of Clanrickard (Burkes) in 1652.[3]

Economy and culture[edit]

Manorhamilton Post Office

Manorhamilton acts as a retail and services catchment for the surrounding rural area.[4] Manorhamilton is also home to several manufacturing businesses, including manufacturers of rubber, plastics, automotive and other products.[5]

Throughout at least the 19th and 20th centuries, a number of annual fairs were held at Manorhamilton on 8 May, 1 July, 7 October and 18 November, with four annual fairs held at nearby Lurganboy on 15 (or 17) May, 21 June, 21 August, 23 September and 21 October.[6][7]

Farming is still a dominant sector,[citation needed] yet traditional industries and livelihoods are being replaced by new forms of economic activity.[citation needed]

Manorhamilton has several pubs, with many hosting traditional Irish music sessions.[citation needed]

Places of interest[edit]

Manorhamilton Castle & Heritage Centre[edit]

Manorhamilton Castle

The ruins of Manorhamilton Castle is a renovated castle and tourist attraction. Manorhamilton Castle Heritage Centre hosts a permanent exhibition and offers guided tours of the Castle ruins and grounds.[8]

Bee Park Resource Centre[edit]

The Bee Park Resource Centre is a facility on the site of the former Community Centre. The centre has a large main hall which stages concerts and community events. The Bee Park Centre is also home to a large number of service providers in the areas of youth, sport, disability and childcare education. The North Leitrim Women's Group and The North Leitrim Men's Group are also located here.[citation needed]


A public square has been developed adjacent to Manorhamilton Castle on the former fair green. The square, which incorporates an outdoor performance platform, features an abstract sculpture, sourced from the local Leitrim Sculpture Centre.[9]

Famine graveyard[edit]

This plot is one of three graveyards opened shortly before and during the Great Famine of 1845 - 1849.[citation needed]

Megalithic sites[edit]

The north Leitrim area features many pre-historic sites of interest. The nearby O'Donnell's Rock plateau, where many well-preserved stone forts and passage tombs are located, is very accessible. Cairns and other tombs are also visible on Benbo Mountain and at the summits of virtually all the surrounding mountains. On lower ground, the remains of ringforts, cashels,[check spelling] tombs and many other structures are dotted throughout the landscape. Lisdarush Ring Fort is a well-preserved Iron Age site which can be seen just off the Rossinver road approximately 2 miles (3 km) from Manorhamilton.


Our Lady's Hospital

Our Lady's Hospital is located on the edge of the town. This HSE hospital provides a range of services, and is focused on long-stay and day-care geriatric and rheumatology services.[10]



Manorhamilton is on the N16 national primary route. This road continues across the border and becomes the A4. The R280 road links the town to Bundoran in County Donegal and to Carrick-on-Shannon in County Leitrim. The R282 road links the town to Rossinver and continues across the border as the B53 to Garrison, County Fermanagh.

The town is served by a number of Bus Éireann routes including the Sligo to Enniskillen route 66, Expressway service.


The nearest railway station to Manorhamilton is Sligo, which is served by trains to Dublin Connolly and is operated by Iarnród Éireann. Bus Éireann services from Manorhamilton stop at Sligo bus station, which is beside Sligo railway station.

Manorhamilton previously had its own station, Manorhamilton railway station, which opened in 1880 and formed part of the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway (SLNCR). All maintenance on the line's engines and rolling stock was carried out at the station works, and the railway became a major employer locally. The administrative headquarters of the SLNCR was located in the nearby village of Lurganboy. The railway served as a major business and tourism artery to the area and developed a large trade in livestock exports. The SLNCR, and with it Manorhamilton station, closed on 1 October 1957.[11]


The local Gaelic football and hurling club is Glencar–Manorhamilton GAA (Gleann an Chairthe–Cluainín). The Glencar Manor senior team were the Leitrim Senior Football Champions in 1977, 1999, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2019[citation needed] The club's grounds are in Boggaun.

The association football (soccer) club, Manorhamilton Rangers AFC, participates in the Sligo Leitrim Junior soccer leagues.[citation needed] Manor Rangers pitch is located in the Bee Park sports grounds in the centre of the town.[12]

Manorhamilton Tennis Club has all-weather courts in the Bee Park sports grounds. Teams from the club also participate in the Connacht Tennis League.[citation needed]

Other local sports clubs include a boxing club (Sean McDermott Boxing Club), hillwalking club (Holey Soles Hillwalking Club), and others involved in fishing, athletics, basketball, Irish dancing, table tennis and badminton.[citation needed]


Local media organisations include the Leitrim Observer newspaper, and Ocean FM radio station.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Notable people[edit]


Primary sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: Settlements Manorhamilton". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Placenames Database of Ireland (see archival records)
  3. ^ "Manorhamilton Castle & Heritage Centre". Archived from the original on 2019-04-02. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  4. ^ Leitrim County Council 2015, p. 7: "Ballinamore and Manorhamilton provide retail services akin to a tier 4 settlement in the national retail hierarchy, albeit without the relevant urban population, but with sizeable 'retail catchments'"
  5. ^ Leitrim County Council 2015, p. 63: "Asides from the service providers, the main sources of employment within the town of Manorhamilton include Mirror Controls International (MCi), Merenda Ltd., Elastometall Ireland, the HSE, Leitrim County Council, Manorhamilton Livestock Mart & Export Sales, Lock Up Alarms Ltd. and Melvin Plastics."
  6. ^ Longman 1819, pp. 405.
  7. ^ Watsons 1830.
  8. ^ "Manorhamilton Castle & Heritage Centre". Archived from the original on 2019-04-02. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  9. ^ "Leitrim Sculpture Centre".
  10. ^ "BST GIM Mayo/Sligo Hub" (PDF). Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Manorhamilton station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-11-03.
  12. ^ "Manorhamilton Rangers AFC".

Secondary sources[edit]