Sunday 19 January 2020

Dobson launches new history of Leitrim

A new history of Leitrim was launched by RTÉ broadcaster, Bryan Dobson in Carrick-on-Shannon last Friday.

Dobson, whose family roots are in Mohill, launched the book, 'Leitrim: History and Society', at Áras an Chontae.

It contains thirty-five chapters covering much of the hidden history of Leitrim from the earliest times right up to this decade. The book was edited by Monsignor Liam Kelly and historian, Dr. Brendan Scott who lives outside Drumshanbo.

The book is the most recent county history of twenty-seven county histories published over the years since 1985, which started with Tipperary.

This project of county histories is the brainchild of the general editor of the series, Professor William Nolan of UCD.

This book is no dry academic tome. The thirty-five chapters are each written in a very readable style by different people, some very distinguished academics with specialist knowledge of Leitrim, but many chapters written by local Leitrim people with unsurpassable local knowledge of the county.

Typical of these latter chapters is Tommy Moran's chapter on all aspects of sport in Leitrim since 1800.

Others include Ballinamore man, John Logan who writes on 'Leitrim and the 1914-18 war'; Mohill man, Pat McGarty on 'Leitrim Politics and Society, 1916-22'; Fr. Liam Kelly on Sean MacDiarmada and James Wrynn on Jimmy Gralton.

Máire Doyle, now sadly deceased, writes on John McGahern and Ruth McManus on the future of land use in Leitrim.

Chapters devoted to earlier periods of Leitrim history include plantations in Leitrim, the impact of the Spanish Armada, The Great Famine, sweat houses and medieval churches.

Probably few people will read all 900 pages, all written in an accessible style, but there are probably many chapters of interest to most people. Not all of the 900 pages are just text.

There are seventy photographs and over fifty tables and maps, which even if you don't read their related chapter, are of great interest.

Only five hundred copies are being printed and this is a book that will be the definitive history of Leitrim.

It will be a much sought after book in years to come. It is one for your bookshelf and will make a great Christmas present to a family or friend and to family members abroad.

Sligo Champion