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Counties of Ireland - Leitrim


Coat of arms for Co. Leitrim

Coat of arms for Co. Leitrim

The least populated county in all of Ireland, sparse Co. Leitrim has only around 31,000 people living on its 1,590 square kilometres. Unsurprisingly, Leitrim is also the least known-about county in Ireland and, perhaps unfairly, doesn't really get its due.

Not that Leitrim has no draws. Poet W.B. Yeats was quite taken with the many landscapes of Leitrim and its natural beauty. One of his most famous poems, The Rose of Inishfree, is about the isle of Inishfree on Lough Gill. Yeats also penned the romantic Glencar Waterfall, which cascades just outside Manorhamilton, in The Stolen Child.

Carrick-on-Shannon is Leitrim's county town. A bustling place of fewer than 5000 residents, it, like many aspects of southern Leitrim, is defined by the stately River Shannon. The Shannon is linked to the River Erne via a canal here, while huge Lough Allen sprawls across the centre of the county, making Leitrim an ideal place for water sports and fishing.

The northwest part of the county is dominated by mountains, and eventually touches the Atlantic Ocean. The coastline here at Tullaghan is the single shortest bit of county coastline in Ireland – a mere 2.5 kilometres long. Leitrim also provides Co. Donegal's only link to the Republic of Ireland along its roughly 10 kilometre long border.

Co. Leitrim has seen its share of problems through years, particularly during the Great Famine, when the population here was devastated by starvation and emigration. Interestingly because of this, you are more likely to meet someone with Leitrim roots outside of Ireland than you are to meet someone from Leitrim within Ireland.

Actor James Cagney had family roots in Co. Leitrim, and Irish actor Patrick McGoohan of the TV series "Secret Agent/Danger Man" and Columbo fame, spent part of his childhood in Drumreilly. And 1994 Eurovision winner, Charlie McGettigan lives in Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim.


Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim


Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim

Glenview Folk Museum

Glenview Folk Museum is Leitrim's only museum and is on site with a superb private collection of over 6000 antique, historical and novel items.

Angling shop

An angling shop in Leitrim

Other Counties in Connaught

Surnames with Leitrim origins



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News from Leitrim

21st July 19:50

Some hospital residents went a month without bath

A HIQA inspection into a HSE-run community hospital in Co Leitrim criticises the facility for staff shortages and consistent failures to address shortcomings in fire management.