Roscommon

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Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin, meaning "Saint Coman's wood") is the county town of County Roscommon in Ireland. It's population at the 2006 census stood at 8,657 (including rural area). The town is located near the junctions of the N60, N61 and N63 roads.

Contents

History

The name Roscommon is derived from Coman mac Faelchon who built a monastery there in the 5th century. The woods near the monastery became known as Saint Coman's Wood (Ros Comáin). This was later anglicised to Roscommon. The town is the location of a notable archaeological find in 1945 when a lunula, a gold necklace, and two discs were discovered. Both items are dated to the period 2,300 and 1,800 BC.

It was the homeland of The Connachta dynasty, and included such kingdoms as Uí Maine, Delbhna Nuadat, Síol Muirdeach, and Moylurg. In addition, it contained areas known as Trícha cét's, Túath and is the homeland of surnames such as Ó Conchobhair (O'Connor), Mac Diarmada (McDermott), Ó Ceallaigh (Kelly), Ó Birn (Beirne, Byrne, Burns), Mac Donnchadha (McDonough).

This market town once had a hangwoman called Lady Betty, as well as a Dominican friary, founded in 1253 by King Felim of Connacht (see abbeys and priories in Ireland). Roscommon Castle, built in 1269, is an Anglo-Norman fortress.

Places of Interest

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).[1] Dr. Hyde Park, 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 25 m (82 ft)deck level pool with a learner swimming pool and spectator gallery and fully equipped gymnasium. Situated next to the swimming pool is the home of Roscommon's most successful sport - St Coman's handball club. Established in 1930 the club has produced many All-Ireland and even World championship winning handballers. Mote Park, approximately 1.6 km (1 mi) from the town centre is a woodland area covering several miles and is popular with walkers.

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