The name Roscommon is derived from Coman Mac Faelchon, who built a monastery near Roscommon town in the 5th century. The woods near the monastery became known as Ros Comáin (English: Coman's Wood). This was later anglicised to Roscommon. The town is the location of a notable archaeological find in 1945 when a lunula, a gold necklace, and two discs were discovered. Both items are dated to the period 2,300 and 1,800 BC. It was the homeland of The Connachta dynasty, and included such kingdoms as Uí Maine, Delbhna Nuadat, Síol Muirdeach, and Moylurg. In addition, it contained areas known as Trícha cét's, Túath and is the homeland of surnames such as Ó Conchobhair (O'Connor), Mac Diarmada (McDermott), Ó Ceallaigh (Kelly), Ó Birn (Beirne, Byrne, Burns), Mac Donnchadha (McDonough) and Brennan (Mac Branáin and Ó Branáin).
Roscommon has no real wilderness but most of its farmland is poor. The most notable feature is the river Shannon and its lakes which stetch along the eastern border of the county.
The population is sparse and the county has had a long history of decline and emigration along with most of the west of Ireland.
- Roscommon Town and Castlerea are on the Dublin Heuston - Ballina/Westport intercity line.
- Boyle is on the Dublin Connolly - Sligo intercity line.
- Roscommon is near the major road networks in Ireland (N60, N61 and N63).
- Bus Éireann runs regular bus services to other major towns.
The easiest way around the county.
- The M6 is the only motorway that runs through Roscommon. The junctions in the county are near Athlone (12 and 13) and Ballinasloe (14)
- The N4, N5, N60, N61, N63 and N83 are the main roads through the county.
- Various R roads will bring you everywhere the N ones don't.
- Roscommon Castle was Norman, re-modelled in early modern times but demolished under Cromwell.
- Also in Roscommon town see Harrison Hall and the town museum. Only the facade remains of the Old Gaol.
- Rathcroghan in the village of Tulsk, midway between Roscommon and Boyle, is an extensive archaeological site occupied from Neolithic to Iron Age times, with burial mounds, ringforts and medieval field patterns. Notable sights are the Rathcroghan Mound, the cave of Oweynagat, the Mucklaghs earthworks, and the Cairns.
- Arigna Mining Experience a centre dedicated to the coal mining history of Arigna over a period of 400 years, local geology and coal, as well as new forms of renewable energy. It is Ireland's first museum dedicated to coal mining.
- Miners Way Trail The Miners Way and Historical Trail is a long distance way marked trail which traces the route taken by the Miners through the picturesque hills and valleys of counties Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon. Sectioned maps are available on the website.
- Play golf at Roscommon and elsewhere.
- Watch a GAA match: two teams share a stadium in Roscommon.
Roscommon Town has several restaurants and fast food places.
Roscommon town has a good selection of traditional Irish pubs.
Roscommon has the best range.