Leitrim

Leitrim

Located in the north western region, dividing the provinces of Ulster, Leinster and Connacht, Leitrim has the smallest coastline in Ireland, just 5km, but is mostly an inland county.

Leitrim is divided into north and south by the waterways of the River Shannon and Lough Allen. The county originally formed part of the old Gaelic Kingdom of Breifne and was ruled by the O'Rourke Clan. When the Anglo Normans invaded in the 13th Century they secured south Leitrim, but the O'Rourke's held the north of the county for another two centuries.

Leitrim is a quiet and sparsely populated county. Its soil quality is said to be the worst in Ireland and Leitrim has one of the lowest population densities in the country. Leitrim has a collection of small market towns the largest is the county town Carrick-on-Shannon and Jamestown, built by 17th Century settlers loyal to King James I of Britain.

The Shannon-Erne Waterway, opened in 1994, runs through much of Leitrim, from the upper Shannon, by Carrick-on-Shannon to upper Lough Erne at Belleck in County Fermanagh. This is Europe's longest navigable inland waterway.

Famous people with Leitrim connections include actors James Cagney and Patrick McGoohan, descended from the county and Sean MacDiarmuda, one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising born in Kiltyclogher, Co. Leitrim.

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