This attractive and busy market town once had a hangwoman called Lady Betty, as well as a Dominican Friary, founded in 1253 by Felim O'Connor, King of Connacht (see abbeys and priories in Ireland). Roscommon Castle, built in 1269, is an Anglo-Norman fortress. Roscommon is situated 145 km (90 mi) west of Dublin and 75 km (47 mi) east of Galway and 32 km (20 mi) west of Athlone.
Roscommon Golf Club was founded in 1904, the course, set in parklands filled with mature sycamore, beech, whitethorn trees and ash trees, was extended to eighteen holes in 1996 and now measures 6,390 metres (6,900 yards). Dr Douglas Hyde park Roscommon with a capacity of 30,000 is an important GAA venue in Ireland and is home to the county footballers and Roscommon Gaels club. A horse racing course is situated approximately 1.6 km (1 mi) from the town centre, the track itself is an oblong right-handed track 2 km (1.25 mi) in length, the course has stabling for up to 95 horses. Roscommon has a leisure centre which opened early 2002 and has a 25m deck level pool with a learner swimming pool and spectator gallery and fully equipped gymnasium, situated next to the swimming pool is St Comans handball club established in 1930 which has produced many All-Ireland winning handballers. Moate park approximately 1.6 km (1 mi) from the town centre is a woodland area covering several miles and is popular with walkers.