A Dictionary of Roscommon Biography is a unique and distinguished volume which tells the story of County Roscommon through the lives of its people.  It is an essential book, both for those who wish to understand the impact which an overlooked county in the west of Ireland has had on the world, and for those with an interest in local history. 


This Biography contains a masterful collection of 5,000 individual entries which chronicles the lives of the men and women who have left their mark on the county.  It describes the careers of people in all fields of endeavour, including politics, religion, law, literature, journalism, business, trades, medicine, sport, engineering, painting, music and entertainment.

All reported Roscommon-born centenarians have been recorded, as have many who were killed or died as a result of World War 1, the War of Independence and the Civil War.


With a few exceptions, the oldest entries begin in the 17th century and they continue up to January 1st 2020.  One of the exceptions is the O'Conor family, the former Kings of Connacht and High Kings of Ireland.  While the family can trace its lineage back to the 5th century, the Dictionary tracks the family from the death of Teige O'Conor in 954 to the split into the O'Conor Don and O'Conor Roe septs in 1384, and from there up to the death of Denis Armar O'Conor Don in 2000.      


A Dictionary of Roscommon Biography is an extraordinary achievement, written with admirable clarity and in a manner which breaths live back into the story of its subjects.  This scholarly record is a monument to the people of Roscommon   

The criteria for inclusion used by the compiler were people who were:

  • born in Roscommon with careers in Roscommon;

  • born in Roscommon with careers outside Roscommon;

  • born outside Roscommon with significant careers in Roscommon;

  • born outside Roscommon of Roscommon parentage and with prominent careers outside Roscommon.


Several ‘Roscommon’ people included in the Dictionary were not born within the administrative boundaries of County Roscommon. They were natives of parishes and districts around Carrick-on-Shannon (Co. Leitrim), Lanesboro (Co. Longford), Athlone (Co. Westmeath), Ballinasloe and Ballymoe (both in Co. Galway), which are close to or straddle the county borders of Roscommon. Similarly, people from the Ballaghaderreen area are included, even though prior to 1898 they were natives of County Mayo.

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