The county of Monaghan (from the Irish, Mhuineacháin) is famous for its associations with the anti-romantic, underclass poet and novelist Patrick Kavanagh, who in Ireland rates just behind W.B. Yeats. Lough Egish (around which the Cooperative movement of farmers was formed), meaning “lake of the learned man,” could be named for him. Kavanagh is buried in the local graveyard of the small village of Inniskeen, which adjoins with the commemorative Patrick Kavanagh Centre.
Castle Leslie, a very private and secluded throwback to rural Ireland contained within 1,000 acres of countryside, woodlands and lakes, is itself commemorative of its former resident, Sir Shane Leslie, an author in his own right and the first cousin of Sir Winston Churchill. Even though it functions primarily as a hotel, the castle operates a range of activities, more than enough for a day trip. Rossmore Forest Park, a few miles in the opposite direction of the county town of Monaghan, once contained the castle of Lord Rossmore, but is today notable for its abundance of Californian redwood trees.
There are six prominent state-approved nation monuments in County Monaghan. Three of them are located in the small town of Clones alone, which is otherwise badly situated on the border of the province of Ulster. These are: the unshapely Clones High Cross, the topless Round Tower and Church. The town’s saving grace is its yearly film festival and Flat Lake Festival.
Unmissable Attractions County Monaghan
1. Monaghan County Museum (Opening Times: Monday to Friday from 11.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. and Saturday from 12.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m.)
2. Patrick Kavanagh Rural and Literary Resource Centre (Opening Times: Tuesday to Friday from 11.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. and Sunday from 3.00 p.m. – 5.30 p.m.) Prices: Adults €5.00 / Senior citizens and students €3.00 / Children go free
3. Lough Egish
5. Rossmore Forest Park (Opening Times: Monday to Sunday from 8.00 a.m.) Prices: €5.00 on Saturdays and Sundays)