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County Leitrim
The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon - - 209499.jpg
The Dock, former courthouse which is now an arts centre.
Grid reference: M935996
Location: 53°56’38"N, 8°5’42"W
Population: 3,980  (2011)
Local Government

Carrick-on-Shannon is the county town of County Leitrim in the Republic of Ireland. It is the largest town in the county, but also the smallest main county town in the country. The town stands on a strategic crossing point of the River Shannon, across which lies County Roscommon.

The population of the town was 3,980 in 2011. It is in the Barony of Leitrim.[1]

The name of the town is not the same in origin as other towns named "Carrick", which derives from the Irish for "rock". Instead it is from Cora Droma Rúisc, meaning "Weir of the marshy ridge".


Carrick-on-Shannon is situated on a fording point of the Shannon. In the vicinity of Drumsna, on the County Roscommon border, are the remains of an Iron Age fortification,. As an ancient stronghold of the O'Rourkes of Breifne and their ofttimes rivals, the O'Raghnaills (Reynolds) of North Roscommon, the town was granted a royal charter and named a borough with its own seal in 1607.[2]

Historic buildings are the "Carrick Castle", the Workhouse and Famine Graveyard, Hatley Manor (a restored Georgian period home of the St George Family), St George's Church of Ireland and the Costello Chapel.

It is the gateway to the Shannon-Erne Waterway, Lough Key, Acres Lake and Lough Allen by way of the picturesque villages of Cootehall, Knockvicar, Jamestown, Leitrim Village, Drumshanbo and Keshcarrigan and is only a short distance away from the Glens of North Leitrim.


St Mary's
  • Church of Ireland: St George's Church in St Mary's Close. Before 1698, the parish church was at Kiltoghert, then in 1698 transferred to its present site in Carrick. It was re-built in 1829 and the interior reconstructed in the years 1910-1914.

St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, on the Main Street, built in the Neo-Gothic style, dedicated in 1879.

"The Priest's Lane" was the old name for the road at the Swan Bar leading to St Patrick's Park. This was where the Roman Catholic clergy first lived after the relaxation of the Penal Laws. It is also reputed to have been the home of Turlough Carolan, the harpist and composer when he came to Carrick as a boy with his family from Nobber, Co. Meath in 1684.[3]

Places of interest

Carrick Bridge and Quay

The Quayside

Until the early 19th Century, the head of the Shannon Navigation was Drumsna. In the 1840s the improvement of the navigation entailed extensive dredging of the river, the cutting of Jamestown Canal, the construction of locks at Drumsna and Knockvicar, and the building of a new bridge and Quays at Carrick-on-Shannon. The new bridge, built in 1846, took the place of a nine arch stone bridge, which in turn replaced a wooden structure.

For over a century, until the closing of the Grand Canal Company in 1960, Carrick was a major depot for river trade; timber, cement, hardware, and especially Guinness stout were all transported here from Dublin, Athlone and Limerick. Nearby is the clubhouse of Carrick-on-Shannon Rowing Club, which has been one of the foremost in the country since its establishment in 1827.

The annual regatta at the August Holiday was a famed highlight of the festive season in the whole North West. M.J. McManus recalls that he watched...

"In August sunshine, the eights and the fours and the pleasure boats and the turf-cots competing on Carrick's day of days."


The Very Small Gallery is located in 'The Bush Craft Yard'.

The Dock is an arts centre housed in the renovated 19th Century courthouse building. It was opened in 2005. The arts centre has a theatre, art galleries, artists' studios, workshop spaces, a coffee shop and theatre bar and The Leitrim Design House.


As its name implies, the town is located on the River Shannon, which is linked to the Erne via the Shannon-Erne Waterway. The town is located on the N4 National Primary Route, linking Dublin in the east to Sligo in the west.

The town is served by the Dublin to Sligo railway line. Carrick on Shannon railway station opened on 3 December 1862., though the station is over a mile outside town on the Roscommon side of the Shannon.

Carrick-on-Shannon, while the county town of Leitrim, straddles the river Shannon. That part of the town on the Roscommon side is called Cortober.


  • Gaelic games: St Marys GAA Club
  • Golf: Carrick on Shannon Golf Club [4]
  • Rowing: Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club,[5] founded in 1836.
  • Rugby
  • Soccer: Carrick Town FC, founded in 1976
  • Fishing. The locality has hosted National and International Fishing Competitions.

Local media

  • The Leitrim Observer

(The Leitrim Post is now defunct.)

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Carrick-on-Shannon)