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Old Church Street, Manorhamilton
Old Church Street, Manorhamilton
Manorhamilton is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 54°18′23″N 8°10′34″W / 54.3064°N 8.1761°W / 54.3064; -8.1761Coordinates: 54°18′23″N 8°10′34″W / 54.3064°N 8.1761°W / 54.3064; -8.1761
Country Ireland
Province Connacht
County County Leitrim
Dáil Éireann Sligo–Leitrim
EU Parliament Midlands–North-West
Elevation 69 m (226 ft)
Population (2016)[1]
 • Total 1,466
Irish Grid Reference G885397
Dialing code 071 (within Ireland) or
+353 71 (from abroad)
7-digit local numbers

Manorhamilton (Irish: Cluainín (Uí Ruairc)) is the second largest town in County Leitrim, Ireland. It is located on the N16 between Sligo 16 miles (26 km) and Enniskillen 25 miles (40 km).


Before the Plantations of Ireland the settlement was known as Clooneen[2] (from Irish: Cluainín Uí Ruairc, meaning "Uí Ruairc's small meadow"). This lay on the west bank of the Owenbeg. Uí Ruairc (Anglicised as O'Rourke) was the local Gaelic chieftain based in nearby Dromahair whose land was seized by the English and then granted to Sir Frederick Hamilton for his services in the European wars of the 17th century. As a result of his actions Hamilton to this day is considered to have been a tyrant by the local people. He began building a new town on the east bank of the river, in the townland of Clonmullen, which he renamed Manorhamilton.[2] After the town emerged, the name Baile Hamaltuin was adopted by Irish speakers and its anglicised form Ballyhamilton was used by English speakers for a time.[2]

Manorhamilton Castle
Manorhamilton Castle.

The ruins of Manorhamilton Castle is a renovated castle ruin and tourist attraction. The Castle was erected in 1634 by Sir Frederick Hamilton who was granted land in North Leitrim by the English government. The land had been confiscated from the O'Rourkes, the ruling clan of Breifne. Hamilton was a very unpopular overlord and faced frequent native rebellion before the Castle was burned by the Earls of Clanrickard (Burkes) in 1652.[3]


Manorhamilton has several major businesses:

  • Merenda Ltd - specialist manufacturer & supplier of edgebanding and wrapping veneer products.
  • Elastometall Ireland - manufacturers of anti-vibration and rubber to metal bonded products.
  • Mirror Controls International - Automobile Mirror Actuator manufacturer
  • Manorhamilton Livestock Mart & Export Sales
  • Melvin Plastics
Main Street.
Manorhamilton Post Office

Throughout at least the 19th and 20th centuries, a number of annual fairs were held at Manorhamilton on- May 8, July 1, October 7, and November 18, with four annual fairs held at nearby Lurganboy on- May 15 (or 17th), June 21, August 21, September 23, and October 21.[4][5]

Like most rural Irish towns, Manorhamilton is seeing considerable social and physical change. Farming is still a dominant sector yet traditional industries and livelihoods are being replaced by new forms of economic activity.


The Wild Rose and Thorn Festival brings large crowds to Manorhamilton each August.[citation needed]

Manorhamilton has several pubs with music, craic and nightlife. The area is renowned for traditional Irish music and regular sessions take place in 'Biddy's, 'Heraghty's' and 'The Castle'.[citation needed]

Places of interest

Manorhamilton Castle & Heritage Centre

Manorhamilton Castle.

The ruins of Manorhamilton Castle is a renovated castle and tourist attraction. Manorhamilton Castle Heritage Centre hosts a permanent exhibition and offers guided tours of the Castle ruins and grounds.[6]

Bee Park Resource Centre

The Bee Park Resource Centre is a facility on the site of the former Community Centre. The centre has a large main hall which stages concerts and community events. The Bee Park Centre is also home to a large number of service providers in the areas of youth, sport, disability and childcare education. The North Leitrim Women's Group and The North Leitrim Men's Group are also located here.[citation needed]


Church of Ireland in Manorhamilton

A public square has been developed adjacent to Manorhamilton Castle on the former fair green. The square, which incorporates an outdoor performance platform, features an abstract sculpture, sourced from the local Leitrim Sculpture Centre.[7]

Famine graveyard

This plot is one of three graveyards opened shortly before and during the Great Famine of 1845 - 1849.[citation needed]

Megalithic sites

The North Leitrim area features many pre-historic sites of interest. Very accessible is the nearby O'Donnell's Rock plateau where many well-preserved stone forts and passage tombs are located. Cairns and other tombs are also visible on Benbo Mountain and at the summits of virtually all the surrounding mountains. On lower ground the remains of ringforts, cashels, tombs and many other structures are dotted throughout the landscape. Lisdarush Ring Fort is a well-preserved Iron Age site which can be seen just off the Rossinver road approximately 2 miles (3 km) from Manorhamilton.


Our Lady's Hospital.

Our Lady's Hospital is located on the edge of the town. This HSE hospital provides a range of services and is focused on long-stay and day-care geriatric and rheumatology services.



Manorhamilton is on the N16 national primary route. This road continues across the border and becomes the A4. The R280 road links the town to Bundoran, Co. Donegal and to Carrick-on-Shannon in Co. Leitrim. The R282 road links the town to Rossinver and continues across the border as the B53 to Garrison, County Fermanagh.

Bus and train

The town is served by a number of Bus Éireann routes including the Sligo to Enniskillen route 66, Expressway service.

The nearest railway station to Manorhamilton is Sligo railway station which is served by trains to Dublin Connolly and is operated by Iarnród Éireann. Bus Éireann services from Manorhamilton stop at Sligo bus station which is beside Sligo railway station.

Sligo Leitrim & Northern Counties Railway Service (closed)

Manorhamilton railway station opened on 1 December 1880 and formed part of the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway (SLNCR). All maintenance on the line's engines and rolling stock was carried out at the station works and the railway became a major employer locally. The administrative headquarters of the SLNCR was located in the nearby village of Lurganboy. The railway served as a major business and tourism artery to the area and developed a large trade in livestock exports. The development of the modern roads system in Ireland led to the decline of railway usage and the consolidation of railways nationwide. The SLNCR, and with it Manorhamilton Station, finally closed on 1 October 1957.[8]


There are many sports and outdoors activities available in Manorhamilton.

Gaelic football & hurling

The principal sporting and cultural organisation in the area is Glencar Manorhamilton GAA Club (Gleann an Chairthe Cluainín). The Glencar Manor senior team were the Leitrim Senior Football Champions in 1977, 1999, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.[citation needed] The club's grounds are in the Bee Park and it has a strong underage structure competing successfully at all grades of Gaelic football and hurling in the county.


Manorhamilton Rangers AFC participates in the Sligo Leitrim Junior soccer leagues.[citation needed] Manor Rangers pitch is located in the Bee Park sports grounds in the centre of the town.[9]

Tennis club

Manorhamilton Tennis Club has all-weather courts in the Bee Park sports grounds. Teams from the club also participate in the Connacht Tennis League.[citation needed]


Sean McDermott Boxing Club has a strong tradition in the town with boxers from the club having reached National Finals on several occasions.[citation needed]


The Holey Soles Hillwalking Club organise an annual North Leitrim Glens Hillwalking Festival, which attracts large numbers of walkers from all over the country.[citation needed]

Other sports

Other activities popular in Manorhamilton include fishing, athletics, basketball, Irish dancing, table tennis and badminton.


See also

Notable people


Primary sources

  1. ^ "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: Settlements Manorhamilton". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 7 March 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c Placenames Database of Ireland (see archival records)
  3. ^ "Manorhamilton Castle & Heritage Centre". 
  4. ^ Longman 1819, pp. 405.
  5. ^ Watsons 1830.
  6. ^ "Manorhamilton Castle & Heritage Centre". 
  7. ^ "Leitrim Sculpture Centre". 
  8. ^ "Manorhamilton station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  9. ^ "Manorhamilton Rangers AFC". 

Secondary sources


  • Longman (2011) [1819]. Traveller's New Guide Through Ireland, Containing a New and Accurate Description of the Roads (digitized from original in Lyon Public Library ed.). Longman. 
  • Watsons (1830). The Gentleman's and citizen's almanack ... for the year (PDF). Dublin, Printed for S. Watson [etc.] 

External links

  • Manorhamilton Methodist Church
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