Recently I visited Rinn Duin, a deserted medieval town near Lecarrow. As ashamed as I am to admit it, I hadn’t been there even once before in the three years I’ve lived in Roscommon.
My visit on a Sunday afternoon proved that you don’t need to book a Ryanair flight to Europe in order to see some wonderful sights.
The weather even ‘played ball’ and I enjoyed a two-hour exploration of the area.
Starting off at St. John’s House B&B, I negotiated a field of cattle before passing through a gate, which led to the site of the old ‘hospital’.
Medical care is a touchy subject in modern Roscommon and it was interesting to note that things haven’t changed much since medieval times. This ‘hospital’ was established on the outskirts on Rinn Duin and basically acted as the social welfare of its day. It catered for the sick, elderly and poor, and even housed orphans. The care it provided in terms of curing the sick was questionable and it was said to basically relieve suffering to those who couldn’t be cured.
To the rear of the hospital lies a graveyard with headstones dating back through the centuries – some are so old that it is difficult to make out names and dates. Usually I find graveyards to be eerie places, but there’s something quite peaceful about the graveyard in Rinn Duin.
Over a couple of walls and through a sheep-filled field and I found myself walking along Lough Ree. There were people fishing on the far side of the lake and walkers making their way around the old ruins. A group of German visitors bid a cheerful hello as they enjoyed the Roscommon countryside.
I stumbled across the ruins of the old church and other remains from the old medieval town as I looped around Warren Point and back through the sheep before it began to rain. All the time thinking that it was no wonder visitors from all over the world enjoy visiting places like this in Ireland.
It was really coming down by the time I got to the car; Irish weather never plays ball for long. I suppose if we had the weather to go with beautiful sites like Rinn Duin, we’d struggle to find rooms for all the Germans who’d want to visit us!