In this series of blogs, we will tell you more about the OUTPACE project from a North West of Ireland perspective. In this post we are taking a look at two of the pop culture opportunities in Roscommon and Leitrim.

John McGahren

In the heart of Carrick on Shannon in Co. Leitrim there is a mural dedicated to some of the most famous writers and poets from Leitrim, they Susan Mitchell, Nora Murray, Canon William Slator, John McGahren and M.J. McManus. The mural is already attracting visitors and encourages them to find out more about the writers and poets.

John McGahern (12 November 1934 – 30 March 2006) is regarded as one of the most important Irish writers of the latter half of the twentieth century. The interest in the writing of John McGahern continues, as there is annual John McGahern Book prize which is open to Irish Writers:

Closer to home Glenview Folk Park in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim has a range of items belonging to McGahern, so you can see various memorabilia that would have belonged in his house, including his range.

In Roscommon there is the recently opened museum: John Mc Gahern, The Barracks, Becoming a Writer. This boutique style museum opened in April 2021, it commemorates the Life of John Mc Gahern in the Cootehall Barracks, which was John’s former family home in the mid-1940s/1950s when his father was a sergeant there.

Moone Boy

Moone Boy ran from 2012 – 2015, comprising of 18 episodes airing on Sky One. Each episode was watched by around half a million people and sparked a huge interest in the locations it was filmed in, particularly Boyle and Roscommon. People from all over world came on holiday to Boyle to retrace the steps of Martin Moone and family on the Moone Boy Trail. There’s a lovely article here about a family who travelled to explore the area and enjoyed the sites by boat and bike: reported that the number searches for Roscommon in a six-week period from September to October, 2012 when the series aired was 185 per cent higher than they had been in the equivalent period of 2011.

Produced by Boyle Town & More and promoted by Unabhan Tourism, The Moone Boy Trail is an interactive walking/cycling trail which takes you through the various locations where on-site filming for Moone Boy took place throughout Boyle.

The Trail is accompanied with a FREE brochure pinpointing the various locations where filming took place, including QR Codes. QR codes can be scanned by using your mobile phone or Tablet (QR code scanning App must be installed on your phone or tablet) to show you edited footage of the Moone Boy series which is unique to each location.

If you’d like to find out more about the Outpace project, there is a free resource pack over on the OUTPACE website which looks at the significance of pop culture tourism, and how to harness the power of it.