ROSCOMMON Castle recalls the power of the Anglo-Normans as they pressed into Connacht — but it was in O Conor hands for two centuries. Photo: David Burke

Stone, mosaic and wood

A trip to Roscommon brings us face to face with history

IT MUST be reassuring to be a Ukrainian arriving in Roscommon in search of respite from the war at home. The county is a sea of blue and yellow, and even when word eventually gets through to the visitor that these are the county GAA colours, that cannot detract from the original impression.

Speaking of impressions, as the cliché has it you never get a second chance to make a first one. This was our first visit of 2022, and the brightness of the blue and yellow set the tone for our chosen landing places.

Our first encounter was Athleague, just over the border from Galway and a mere nine kilometres from Ballygar, and next up the road was Roscommon town. Each had put on its summer best in terms of painting and planting — more of that later.

The idea was to pick the furthermost point of our projected trip and return from there. And while Boyle and Lough Key Forest Park were contenders, the weighted dice fell in favour of Strokestown ...

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