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Drumshanbo

Drumshanbo (Droim Sean Bhoth in Irish) 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 plenty of traditional pubs, shops and restaurants.

Geography

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 200 hundred years. Drumshanbo is a tidy town in South Leitrim

Economy

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. It is planned that Drumshanbo will become the food centre of excellence in Ireland through the creation of a unique Food Hub in the town over the coming months. 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. ‘People in the North West clearly recognise the value of speciality food as a backbone of rural development’. Drumshanbo is also waiting for the decentralisation of a governmental veterinary office to the town. This has a staff of about seventy which will also boost the local economy considerably.

Transport

Tourism

  • 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.

Sport

  • 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).
  • Every year on the third Sunday of October, the annual Wellie Throwing competition takes place on the bog road, towards McHanlons farm. This event is currently in its fifth year and the current holder John Guckian (of Dublin descent) holds the record of 55.34 metres. This years event will incorporate women competitors.

Events

  • Drumshanbo has a growing population of over 700. 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 nation-wide in the 1950’s by Bord Failte as a tourist promotion to encourage emigrants home. Drumshanbo is the only location in Ireland where it has survived into the twenty-first century.

Religion

Drumshanbo has three churches and a convent.

  • The Roman Catholic Church built in 1835 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, further out of town.
  • St John’s Church of Ireland dates back to 1819. It is a gothic style structure ornamented with a tower and pinnacles.
  • The present Methodist Church on the Carrick Road was built in 1808; however, there had been an earlier chapel dating back to 1716.
  • 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.
  • On the 22nd of February 2008, the Leitrim Observer reported that a number of locations in Drumshanbo were being examined as potential sites for Leitrim's first mosque.

Education

  • 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 originally built in 1895: it is now the old school building, a new school having been built in 1960.

Twinning

See also

References

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