Northern Westmeath, in the Midlands of Ireland, is an unspoilt landscape shaped by glaciation over 10,000 years ago, with drumlins, (low and rounded hilltops), eskers (ridges of snaking sandy spoil from glacial rivers), and several lakes.Derravaragh is the largest lake, focus of the Children of Lir christian legend, prompting a new title for the area.Between lakes and hills, several villages and one small town have served a mainly agricultural population.Each one shows evidence of the ‘plantation’ of the area from England in the 17th century, usually with the name of the founder.“Collinstown, Multyfarnham, CastlePollard, and each with a designed street layout, some with market squares.
The villages and market town, lakes, open hills, cycling and walking potential, built heritage, music, dance and the sheer beauty of its landscape enchant those who live there and those who visit to share the magic of the place. The ‘plantation’ villages and town are the inheritance of Protestant plantation, which is visible in country houses, residential streets with simple classical houses, shops and churches from 18th and 19th century. There is a sense of both continuity and change, with spectacular early evidence of 7th century Celtic churches, a mediaeval Benedictine Priory in ruins and a Franciscan Friary, all in a remarkably unspoilt rural setting.
The Children of Lir Country communities will give a warm welcome to those visitors who seek out this place to explore its magic and opportunities for active recreation; enjoying landscape, heritage, ﬁshing, pints of Guinness and timeless tradition of an enduring place. They will act together with the local authority to advance a vibrant sustainable area, ‘a good place to live in and to visit’ and one which will have local workplaces.