Connaught

<DRAFT – PLEASE NOTE, PAGE STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION>

The ancient kingdom of Connaught comprises of the counties Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Galway and Mayo. Whilst not particularly mountainous, it is challenging cycling territory all the same

Sligo

Fionn McCool’s Stone, Easky

The large rock was deposited here by a glacier in the last ice age. According to local folklore, the rock was split by Fionn McCools sword.
Glenniff Horseshoe RoadThe Gleniff Horseshoe is not a horseshoe at all but a 10 km loop of single lane road surrounded by spectacular Dartry mountain views. An awesome sight even on cloudy days.
Mass Rock, TobercurryOne of the many restrictions of the Penal laws was that Catholics were not allowed to practice their faith. Catholic churches were closed so using large stones for alters, they met in remote, hidden locations. This one is in a particularly scenic location and is occasionally still used as it is close to a road.
Teeling MonumentBartholmew Teeling was a leader in the 1798 rebellion and an officer in the French army. French military assistance of 1500 men under General Humbert arrived in Killala Bay in support of the rebellion. While having some success they were eventually defeated. The French were returned home and the Irish executed. The monument was erected in 1898, on the centenary of the French landing.

Leitrim

Costello Memorial ChapelThe Chapel is reputed to be the smallest in Europe and the 2nd smallest in the world. Built by a successful local trader to mark the resting place of his wife. Previously the site of a court house where 19 men were hanged in 1798
James Gralton Monument, EffrinaghJames Gralton, an Irish citizen, was deported when he became an undesirable alien in 1933. His ideas and views were not acceptable to the then new Irish state and church.
Ultacht Plaque, Sliabh an IarainnThousands of catholics were displaced from the south of Armagh by gangs such as the Peep o days. Some settled here on what would have been only summer grazing. This area was inhabited until the famine. Waiting on more information from Leitrim Heritage
Farnaught Lime KilnUsed to make quicklime by heating lime stone to a very high temperature. It was used in agriculture for soil improvement. It was also used for making mortar and for whitewashing houses among may other things.

Roscommon

Arigna MinesSituated high on a hill over looking the picturesque Lough Allen. Coal was mined since the 1600’s until it ran out in 1992. The ESB was the mines biggest customer, whose nearby power station consumed 55,000 tonnes of coal per annum at its peak.
Castlestrange Stone, AthleagueA granite boulder decorated with flowing spirals in the La Tène style. The design dates from the stone age.
Donamon House, DonamonDonamon Castle is one of the oldest inhabited buildings in Ireland with the first recorded reference in the Annals of the Four Masters for the year 1154.
Sheela-na-gig Apex Stone of Ruin, TaughboyA Sheela-Na-Gig above the door entrance. These are found in other countries and their significance is not understood.

Galway

Coral StrandTrá an Dóilín (Coral Strand). This is a misnomer as the beach is made up of coral like fragments.
Inagh valleyInagh Valley is one of the most scenic valleys in Connemara. The massive quartz range of the Twelve Ben Mountains, framing the northern end of the lake, dominates the wonderful vista across the water of the Lough.
MuckanaghederdauhauliaThere are others claiming this title
Sky RoadJust off The Wild atlantic Way the sky road is a narrow scenic road with great views of Clifden bay and some of the Atlantic islands.

Mayo

Clew BayThere is supposed to be 365 islands in the bay, one for every day of the year. In folklore Grace O’Malley, ( Grainnuaile) the fearless sea pirate used this bay as her base.
Captain Boycott, Achill IslandCaptain Boycott was a land agent looking after land for an absentee landlord. With an economic downturn at this time many could not afford their rents. Many were evicted. The locals got together and refused to work for or help him. His name became a verb/noun in many languages to define social ostracism.
Doolough Valley Famine MemorialIn 1849 when the country was suffering from a severe famine, a group of people from Louisburgh were told to present themselves at 07.00 at Delphi hunting lodge. It was a 19 Kilometer walk to where the relieving officers were staying. The weather was bleek and freezing. They did not get any food. As most were already in very poor health, many perished on the way back.
The Quiet Man PubA key location for a film made by John Ford starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara

Long-distance cycling in Ireland