The beautiful village of Roosky is a very well known and popular tourist destination along the Shannon. The old town is famous for its angling and the waterways are well stocked with perch, roach and bream. If you are in the mood for exercise there are some lovely peaceful walking trails around the area also. The harbour is well equipped with mooring points to spend the evening and there is plenty of craic to be had in the local pubs.
The village has had a history steeped in conflict. Locals are also said to have fought against the British army during the battle of Ballinamuck in the 1798 rebellion, a few miles to the northeast. This crucial battle in the rebellion resulted in a crushing defeat for the united Irish and French resistance. Afterwards, the French prisoners were returned to France where they were sent off to fight in other wars – ironically against the British – in the Pacific and mainland Europe. However, the Irish rebels were refused prisoner-of-war status and in most cases they were hanged for treason against the crown. Some of these hangings were administered via a ‘death lottery’ which took place in Carrick-on-Shannon. The soldiers were all asked to pick a docket from a drum; the docket would read ‘live’ or ‘die’. The soldier who selected the ‘die’ docket was instantly marched outside the court house and hung. Hundreds of Irish soldiers died in this way.
Not too far away stands the Cloonmorris Church and ogham stone. This church, built around 1200 AD, is a simple but impressive architectural structure. An Ogham Stone (5th to 6thcentury) has been re-erected for display at the entrance to the graveyard here. The name ‘QENUVEN’ is inscribed on it. The meaning of ancient Irish Ogham stones is still unclear but suggestions range from commemorative writings and lineage to a secret military code in order to confuse the Latin-speaking invaders who were beginning to occupy the land.
Ireland’s premier commercial fishery is located in Roosky and is good fun for experienced anglers and novices alike. This part of the country is home to some of Ireland’s more interesting scenery and there are walking trails to take you through a labyrinth of boggy areas, forestry and lakeside shores. So explore and enjoy!