Irish Name: An Longfort - "The Fortification"
County Town: Longford
Nickname: The O'Farrell County, The Slashers
GAA Colors: Blue and Gold
Famous People with Longford roots: Mel Gibson, Oliver Goldsmith, born at Pallas, Abbeyshrule, County Longford; Maria Edgeworth of Edgeworthstown; Padraic Colum, born at Longford Workhouse where his father was master; Leo Casey author of The Rising of the Moon; Michael Gomez, champion professional boxer was born in an Irish Traveller family in Longford; Ray Flynn, Irish mile record holder, grew up in Longford; former Argentinean President Edel Miro O Farrell and Kitty Kiernan from Granard, fiancee of Irish Leader Michael Collins.
Longford, one of the smallest of our inland counties, is one of Irelands loveliest with much to attract and entertain the visitor. One of the great lakes on the Shannon, Lough Ree borders this peaceful county to the south, while Lough Gowna adorns its northern boundary. Renowned as the home of the famous Irish poet Oliver Goldsmith you can trace the place names of his musings through the picturesque countryside.
The lakes provide some prime sites for angling and Longford is justly famous for its fishing. The county's extensive waterways are stocked with enough variety of fish to sate even the most ambitious of anglers.
As well as the other typical delights of an Irish holiday such as walking and cruising Longford is also a delight for the flying enthusiast with an airfield at Abbeyshrule. Greyhound racing is very popular in Longford as well and a night at the dog track is a typically Longford experience.
Longford is a county with a rich heritage situated, as it is where the provinces of Connacht, Leinster and Ulster converge. The 'Black Pigs Dyke', was once the defensive boundary between Ulster and the rest of the country. It is in Longford that many of the sagas of Irish heroes took place and it is also in Longford that heroes of another generation fell in the 1798 Rebellion, the last battle of which was fought at Ballinamuck. A lively exhibition there gives the details of what took place.
At Kenagh the visitor's centre there will take you back in time to a construction project over 2,000 years old. The oak road over the boglands of Longford is believed to have been the largest of its kind discovered in Europe.
Longford's County Town, situated on the banks of the Camlin River, acts as an administrative centre for the area, and is spaciously laid out, with pleasant wide streets. A Dominican friary was founded there in 1400. St Mel's Cathedral, a 19th century Renaissance building, is worth visiting. Longford is also the site of the County Museum.
With a host of small towns and medieval structures to lure the traveller off the roads Longford's welcoming arms reach out to embrace visitors and take them into their hearts and homes.
Common Surnames in Longford: O'Farrell, Quinn, Kenny, Kiernan, Mulvey, Smith, Leavy, Kelly, Glennon, Keenan, Casey, Colum and Murphy