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Drumshanbo and Lough Allen

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Some 12km north of Carrick, DRUMSHANBO is a lively village at the tip of Lough Allen’s southern shore. Right in its centre, the Sliabh an Iarainn Visitor Centre is a good source of detailed background information on local customs and history, including the iron-and-coal mining industries centred on Arigna in County Roscommon, as well as a reconstruction of a typical sweathouse. Drumshanbo has a strong musical tradition and, in the third week of July, holds the seven-day Joe Mooney Summer School, offering traditional music classes and concerts. At the beginning of June it also hosts the An Tostal Festival, with a variety of music and street entertainment.

From Drumshanbo roads lead north along both eastern and western shores of Lough Allen. The western route crosses into County Roscommon and skirts the Arigna Mountains, while its alternative to the east heads up through bleak flatlands below Slieve Anierin. The waymarked 48-kilometre Leitrim Way (map available from local tourist offices) follows Lough Allen’s shoreline before taking in higher ground on its way to the remote village of Dowra, the starting point for the Cavan Way. At Ballinaglera, 13km north of Drumshanbo, the Lough Allen Adventure Centre offers a variety of activities, such as windsurfing, kayaking and hill-walking.

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