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Castle Island in Lough Key

County Roscommon

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Castle Island in Lough Key

Irish Name: Ros Comáin: "St. Coman's Wood"

County Town: Roscommon

Nickname: The Sheepstealers, The Rossies

GAA Colors: Blue and Primrose

Famous People with Roscommon roots: First President of Ireland Douglas Hyde, Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, current Irish president Mary McAleese, Percy French, actress Maureen O'Sullivan

County Roscommon is one of the traditional counties of Ireland and is located within the province of Connacht. It was named after the town of Roscommon. The county covers an area of 983 sq miles.

Roscommon is the 11th largest of Ireland’s 32 counties in area, the fifth least populous county in Ireland and has the second least population density after Leitrim. It's the third largest of Connacht’s 5 counties in size and fourth largest in terms of population. In 2008 it was revealed that statistically, Roscommon has the longest life expectancy of any county on the island of Ireland.

Lough Key in north Roscommon is noted for having thirty-two islands. This is, coincidentally, the number of counties on the island of Ireland.

Roscommon comes from the Irish 'Ros' meaning a wooded, gentle height and 'Coman', the name of the county's famous saint and the first bishop of the see. Rathcroghan was home to the Kings of Connacht and then to the High Kings of Ireland.

Tulsk is the nearest village to the mythological site of Rath Cruachán, home of Queen Medb (Maebh, Maeve). This was the starting point of the Táin Bó Cúailgne, or Cattle Raid of Cooley, an epic tale in Irish mythology.

Dr Douglas Hyde (first Irish president) was born in County Roscommon and the GAA park in County Roscommon is named after him - Hyde Park. Strokestown Park House and Famine Museum is an award-winning museum for its portrayal of the great Irish Famine.

Common Surnames in Roscommon: Hanley, Beirne, Kelly, Brennan, Connor, Flynn, Cox, McDermott, Brady and Farrell
 

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