The Leitrim Genealogy Centre is organizing the return of the Leitrim Roots Festival for September 2013. The Leitrim Roots Festival hopes to attract anyone who has connections with Leitrim.  Its aim is to get visitors to spend a week in Leitrim and get to know the beauty and history of the county of their ancestors. The festival is also for visitors who want to have a genuine Irish experience and interact with local communities and it is for Leitrim people who would like to experience all that their home county has to offer.

Sinéad McDermott of the Leitrim Roots Festival ‘We are looking forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world to the this event.  The Festival will be of great interest to people young and old whose ancestors came from Co. Leitrim and people born in the county. I must highlight we also welcome people who want a genuine Irish experience’.  This will be a week to remember!’.

It is estimated that there are approximately 1,000,000 people in the United States who have Leitrim ancestry.  There are also large numbers of people in England, Canada and Australia who can trace their roots back to Leitrim. Leitrim has many famous sons and daughters such as US Actor’s such as ‘Patrick McGoohan’ from the Prisoner, the legendary ‘James Cagney’, and Actress ‘Maura Tierney’ of ER Fame, who all have family roots in the county. In 2006 the Leitrim Genealogy Centre organised the first ever Roots Festival which attracted visitors from all over the world for a week-long event.  The event was very successful and as a result the Leitrim Roots Festival returns in 2013 and aims to be the biggest and best party ever. Everyone is welcome.

For many visitors it will be a dream opportunity to visit Leitrim with a wonderful programme of events, visits, lectures and cultural events to take part in.  New for the 2013 programme is meeting people from local communities all across Leitrim. We hope that festival attendees will enjoy meeting with the many characters and experience the hospitality and warm welcome that County Leitrim is so famous for.

The Leitrim Roots festival will take place from 20th - 28th September 2013.

Some of the highlights include:

• Leitrim Ancestry with visits to both the Leitrim Genealogy Centre and the County Library in Ballinamore where you can attend a workshop on ‘Tracing your Leitrim Roots’. Staff will then be happy to help in any way that they can with your research.  A visit in the afternoon to The Glenview Folk Museum which has a collection of over 6000 items some of which may reconnect you with your Leitrim roots. 

• Famine Connections with a visit St George’s Heritage Centre in Carrick on Shannon where the exhibits and displays give an insight into Leitrim’s famine heritage.  This will be followed by a visit to the Attic Memorial in the old Workhouse where a palpable sense of the past will come hauntingly alive.  Then onto lunch to Strokestown Park House and Famine Museum which commemorates the history of famine in Ireland. 

• Walking in the footsteps of one of Ireland’s most famous poets William Butler Yeats; visiting areas that inspired him including Glencar in North Leitrim which featured in ‘The Stolen Child’ and the Lake Isle of Innisfree which features in one of Ireland’s most popular poems.  This Yeats filled day will be followed by an evening of poetry and dinner overlooking Lough Gill. 

• Leitrim Community Day sees you visit the community that you have most connections with.  Our Leitrim Ambassadors will meet with you and take you to places of particular interest and answer any questions you may have.

These are just the highlights.  There is a full seven day programme available which also includes theatre nights, traditional music entertainment, a cruise on the River Shannon, Céilís and many other events.  Please visit for more details.

Overall this will be a wonderful week in Leitrim and for some a first ever opportunity to have an in-depth look at the county. For others there will be the opportunity to visit the parishes in the county where their ancestors lived out their lives. It is anticipated that of the many people who have already had research done by Leitrim Genealogy Centre, many will take this unique opportunity to visit Leitrim. This week will also be a great opportunity for Leitrim-born people from all over the world to visit Leitrim

If you are interested in the Festival or if you have relations at home or abroad who might be interested, please visit our website

USA Visitors

Please contact S & B Canning Tours 231 Mansion Rd Wallingford CT 06492 203-288-8347 e-mail

All other enquires

Please contact Leitrim Roots Festival Office, The Old Barrel Store, Carrick on Shannon Co Leitrim, Phone, 00353 71 96 16362. e-mail

We look forward to welcoming you to ‘Lovely Leitrim’.


Welcome home to Leitrim Roots Festival 2013Leitrim Festival