CategoryCounty Roscommon

Lough Key

Lough Key (Irish: Loch Cé ) is a lake in Ireland. It is in northwest County Roscommon, northeast of the town of Boyle. The Lough’s believed to be named after a mythical figure called Ce. [1]


The name Lough Key comes from the Irish Loch Cé . In Irish mythology, CE was the Druids of the god Nuada. He was wounded in the second battle of Mag Tuired and fled south until he came to Carn Corrslebe, where he rested.He envisioned a beautiful plains full of flowers. He tried to reach it, and when he did, he died. When his grave was dug there a lake burst out of it, and flooded the entire plain. It was thus named Loch Cé after him. [2]


The lake is located in the north of the River Shannon catchment area, and is fed by the Boyle River which flows from Lough Gara, through the town of Boyle, Lough Key. From there, flowing east until it reaches just above the River Shannon Carrick-on-Shannon. Its area is 843.7 hectares (2,085 acres) and its average depth is 5.1 meters (17 feet). [3] One can see a view of the lake frånN4 way it increases the Curlew mountains after passing Boyle. The view is reinforced by a modern steel sculpture of an Irish chieftain mounted on horseback (see picture).


The area around Lough Key and the nearby town of Boyle, County Roscommon, has been inhabited for thousands of years.

The lake is several kilometers across and contains over thirty wooded islands including Castle Island, Trinity Island, Orchard Island, Stag Island, Bullock Island and Drumman Island. Castle Island has had a number of structures built on it for centuries. The earliest records dating to 1184, in the Annals of Loch Ce, where a light strike is reported to have started a fire in “The Rock of Loch-CE,” a “very magnificent, royal residence.” Currently the folly castle built in the early 19th century by the king family stands on the island. Trinity Church and the Islands each has the ruins of medieval priories stands on them. [Archaeology digs from c.2005-2012 found that “folly” seems in fact to be a relic of the past several historic structures. ]

Cairrig Loch -C

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (April 2011)

17-20th centuries

The King family acquired the land around Lough Key in the 17th century Cromwellian Settlement, [4] to rename the area of Moylurg Rockingham. In 1809, Rockingham House – a mansion designed by the English architect John Nash [5] – was built. The house remained the seat of Stafford-King-Harman family until it was badly damaged by fire in 1957. [6] The latter was demolished in 1970.

Lough Key Forest Park

Immediately south of the lough is Lough Key Forest Park, a popular destination for recreational walkers. The park opened in 1972, [7] covers 865 acres (350 ha) formerly part of the Rockingham estate. The Moylurg Tower, stands on the site of the old Rockingham house, now stands overlooking the lake in the north and lawns in the south. There are many amenities in the park including boat trips, boats for rent, water sports, camping and caravan park, an outdoor playground and shop. A development in 2007 [8] added a number of new attractions including a canopy walkway and children’s play areas, to meet the “visitor 21st century.” [9]

Sir Cecil Stafford-King-Harman (1895-1987), second (and last) Baronet of Rockingham [ citation needed ] , make sure that the country went back to the people of Ireland through the Irish Land Commission, which is shared by pastures in several farms about 50 acre (20 ha) and granted them to the locals. An extensive area around the then derelict Rockingham house became Forest Park and this was taken care of by the Department of Forestry. It is currently in the care of Coillte, a semi-governmental body. The park contains the remains of the five ring fast, giving evidence of the long dwelling in this region.

The area around the lake is significant in medieval Irish literature and legend.Starting around 1000 AD, the Annals of Boyle were compiled on Trinity Island, and from 1253 to 1590 in the Annals of Lough Key continued from where Boyle annals slut.Lough Key was also the site of the legend of Una Bháin. Famous harpist Turlough O’Carolan buried at Kilronan, three miles (5 km) to the north of the lake.

annalistic references

From the Annals of the Four Masters:

  • M955.11 – The fleet of Fearghal, son of Art, at Loch-Ce.

See also

  • List of Loughs in Ireland


  1. Jump up ^ “Gods and fight for Men: Part III In the book: the great battle of Magh Tuireadh”. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  2. Jump up ^ Lady Gregory Gods and fight for Men [1]
  3. Jump up ^ NS Share [2] Depth Information for Lakes
  4. Jump up ^ “Lough Key Forest Park | Recreation sites | Coillte Outdoors “ Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  5. Jump up ^ “History | Park and Estate | Lough Key Forest and Activity Park “. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  6. Jump up ^ “Lough Key”. 09.12.2004. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  7. Jump up ^ “Speech by Minister O’Donoghue at the” turning of the sod “ceremony at Lough Key Forest Park, Co. Roscommon “. 23.02.2006. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  8. Jump up ^ “Minister Coughlan opens Lough Key Forest and Activity Park”. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  9. Jump up ^ “Home | Lough Key Forest and Activity Park “. 2011-04-09.

Strokes Park

Strokes Park House is a Palladian villa Strokes, County Roscommon is located on approximately 300 acres (120 hectares). The entrance leads directly from the city Strokes are said to be one of the widest streets in Ireland (along with O’Connell Street, Dublin and Main Street, Temple). The house is open to the public throughout the year, which is the Famine Museum due. [1]


The house was the family home of the Cromwellian “adventurers” family – the Pakenham Mahon – from the 1600s until the 1979th

In the early 18th century, the estate comprised over 11,000 acres (4,500 ha), scattered throughout the Northeast Roscommon, put together from the late seventeenth century as a result of land acquisition by Captain Nicholas Mahon around 1660. Later, his grandson, Maurice Mahon, bought several additional countries, after the elevation to the peerage of Ireland as the first Baron Hartland 1800.

Many evictions of poor sharecroppers occurred during the Great Famine.Mahon family alone in 1847 evicted 3,000 people. [2] After the killing of Major Denis Mahon in November 1847, as a direct response to the large-scale deaths of those Stoke Town Estate sent on famine ships to Canada [3] at the height of the famine, his only daughter, Grace Catherine, vowing never to return to his family seat. She was on honeymoon at the time, has been married just weeks earlier, Henry Sandford Pakenham, son Dean Henry Pakenham of Tullynally, and heir to the great Pakenham and Sandford Estates in counties Longford, Westmeath and Roscommon. Grace Catherine never returned to the Strokes, but her marriage undoubtedly saved the estate from bankruptcy. On the threshold of starvation, the farm was in debt of over £ 30,000 have arisen as a result of family dispute heritage [4] , and expensive purchases of land that had been collected from the second half of the eighteenth century. [5] The marriage alliance (of which Henry Sandford Pakenham adopted the additional surname Mahon), joined the estates of both families to encompass over 26,000 acres and Strokes property remained one of the largest in Roscommon until his death in 1893. Pakenham wealth also enabled large-scale investments in various property improvements in the Strokes property, including drainage, peat cutting and farming systems, the development of the urban market in the city Strokes. Despite the family’s fortunes improve Stoke Town continued a policy of forced emigration to the United States and land approvals for tenant families. Today Stoke Town property is synonymous with the great famine and include National Irish Famine Museum. The Famine Museum in Strokes Park twinned with, Grosse Ile, Quebec, Canada. [6] Over 5,500 Irish people who emigrated during the famine Ireland are buried in mass graves on Grosse Ile. [7] Since 1979, Strokes Park has been owned by a Roscommon- based company, west Group, which has restored the house and garden with the help of largely original furnishings. 4-acre (1.6 hectare) walled Eden was opened in 1997 by the President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, having been faithfully restored to its original glory with the help of support from the ERDF through the large gardens Ireland Restoration Programme and the FAS systems.

Strokes Park House was the setting for TV3’s 2013 documentary, The Big House .


Strokes park contains some of the best records from the time of famine. [8]The museum was built to the west of the group and all the documents on display in the museum are from the farm. The museum aims to explain the great Irish famine and to draw parallels with the prevalence of hunger in the world today.


  1. Jump up ^ Official website
  2. Jump up ^ History of Ireland (2008), History of Ireland, Volume 16 (No. 6 (November-December 2008))
  3. Jump up ^!rii=9%3A10423868%3A0%3A%3A
  4. Jump up ^!rii=9%3A10423868%3A0%3A%3A
  5. Jump up ^ History of Ireland , Volume 3, Issue 4th
  6. Jump up ^
  7. Jump up ^
  8. Jump up ^ S. Hood, “The gates of power and profit in the Strokes, County Roscommon,” the Finn-Einar Elissen and Geir Atle Ersland (ed.), Power, profit and urban land.

County Roscommon

Roscommon (Irish: Contae Ros Comain ) is a municipality in Ireland. It is located in the province of Connacht, and even the West region. It is named after the town of Roscommon .Roscommon comes from the Irish Ros means a wooded, gentle height and Coman , the name of the founder, first abbot and bishop Roscommon. Roscommon County Council ärkommunen county. The population of the county is 64,065 according to the census of 2011. [1]

Geography and political subdivisions

Roscommon is the eleventh largest of the 32 counties of Ireland by area and the fifth most sparsely populated county in Ireland. It has an area of 984 square miles. [2] It is the second least population density for Leitrim. [3] It is the third largest of Connacht five counties by size and the fourth largest in terms of population. The county borders every Connacht counties – Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim, as well as three Leinster County -Longford, Westmeath and Offaly. In 2008, said a news report statistically Roscommon has the longest life expectancy of any county in the island of Ireland. [4]Lough Key in north Roscommon is known to have thirty-two islands. The geographical center of Ireland lies in the county. [5]


There are nine historic baronies in County Roscommon.

North Roscommon

  • Boyle (North Roscommon, including Boyle and Arigna).
  • French Park (North West, including Ballaghaderreen and Frenchpark).
  • Roscommon (center northeast, including Tulsk).
  • Castlereagh (West, including Castlerea and Ballinlough).
  • Ballintober North (East including Rooskey and Tarmonbarry).

south Roscommon

  • Ballymoe shared with County Galway include Ballymoe, Creggs and Glenamaddy.
  • Ballintober South (south middle East, including Roscommon).
  • Athlone (Mid-South, including Knockcroghery and part Athlone).
  • Moycarn (far south, including some of Ballinasloe).


Rathcroghan (Rath Cruachan) near Tulsk, a complex of archaeological sites, the home of Queen Medb (Méadhbh, Maeve), was the seat of the Kings of Connacht and then högkung.Detta was the starting point for Táin Bó Cúailnge or Cattle Raid of Cooley, a epic tale in Irish mythology.

Roscommon as an administrative division originated in the Middle Ages.With the conquest and division of the Kingdom of Connacht these districts in the east retained by King John as “The King Cantreds” covered the County Roscommon, and parts of East Galway. These areas have been leased to the native kings of Connacht and eventually became the county. 1585 during the Tudor re-establishment of the counties in the composition of Connacht, Roscommon was established with the Southwest border now along the River Suck.

Ordnance Survey

John O’Donovan (1806-1861), historian and researcher, visited Roscommon 1837. He compile information on the Ordnance Survey. Enter Peter’s parish in Athlone in June 1837, he wrote: “I have now written in an area completely different from Longford, and are very pleased with the intelligence of the people. But he had big problems with the place names. He later wrote: “I am sick to death lochawns door, and it pains me to the very soul having to make these remarks, but what can I do when I can not do the usual progress? Here I am stuck in the mud in the middle of the Loughs, Turlaghs, Lahaghs and Curraghs, the names of many of which are only known to a few old men in their immediate vicinity, and I can not give many of them to speak of the way in which they spelled ” . [6] [7]

Government and politics

Main article: Roscommon County Council

Roscommon local control of the 26 member Roscommon County Council.

For the general election, Roscommon is part of the three-seat Roscommon-South Leitrim constituency.


Gaelic Football is the dominant sport in Roscommon. Roscommon GAA has won two All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 1943 and 1944 and a National Football League Division 1 1979 ochdivision 2 in 2015. Roscommon GAA playing home games at Dr. Hyde Park and are close competitors with neighboring counties page, Mayo.

Roscommon has been less success in hurling, hurling their main title is the 2007 Nicky Rackard Cup.


  • Luke O’Connor, the first soldier to receive the Victoria Cross, born in Elphin 1831st
  • Chris O’Dowd, Irish actor and comedian, born in Boyle.
  • John Fitzgibbon (1845-1919) – Member of Parliament.
  • Baron de Freyne, landlords and residents in Frenchpark House.
  • Douglas Hyde (1860-1949) – an Irish researchers Irish who served as the first President of Ireland from 1938 to 1945. He founded the Gaelic League, one of the most influential cultural organizations in Ireland.Hyde was born in Castlerea January 17, 1860 and is buried in Hyde Museum, Frenchpark, Roscommon.
  • Percy French (1854-1920) – one of Ireland’s top songwriters and entertainers. He has also become known for his watercolors.
  • Henry Gore-Browne, recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • William Griffiths, recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Sir Owen Lloyd, recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Brian O’Doherty, an Irish writer, artist and art critic in New York City, born in Ballaghaderreen
  • Maureen O’Sullivan, Ireland’s first international movie star, was born in Boyle, County Roscommon.
  • Brian Leyden, Irish writer, novelist, screenwriter and documentary
  • Thomas Heazle Parke Irish explorer, born in Clogher House.
  • Sir William Wilde, a prominent surgeon and innovator and father of Oscar Wilde. Born in Castlerea.
  • Michael Dockry, a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly


See also: List of twin town in Ireland

County Roscommon is twinned with Tucson, Arizona, and Castle Point, Essex, England. [8]

See also

  • List of abbeys and priories in Ireland (Roscommon)
  • Counties of Ireland
  • Lord Lieutenant of Roscommon
  • High Sheriff Roscommon
  • Earl Roscommon


  1. Jump up ^ Census 2011 – Roscommon Overview
  2. Jump up ^ or empty (help) | title =
  3. Jump up ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 186-191.
  4. Jump up ^ “Roscommon tops longevity study.” RTE News. Dublin: RTÉ commercial enterprises. August 12, 2008. Retrieved August nineteen in 2009.
  5. Jump up ^
  6. Jump up ^ Hunt, Roy, “Painful progress: the slow development of County Roscommon society, 1850-1914”. Unpublished Thesis, 2010, NUIG p. 8
  7. Jump up ^ John O ‘Donovan, letters containing information about the antiques in the county of Roscommon, collected during the development of the Ordnance Survey, 1837. p. 5. Special collections section of the National University of Ireland, Galway, 2009 rendered by the Rev. Michael O’Flanagan, Bray 1927
  8. Jump up ^ Twin

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