The Arigna Mining Experience in Co Roscommon offers an underground tour through some of the narrowest coal seams exploited anywhere in the world. Mining in the area began in the early seventeenth century with the extraction of nodules of iron ore that were smelted in a nearby blast furnace. The furnace was destroyed during warfare in 1641, but rebuilt and worked with charcoal for a time in the 1690s. It was worked again from 1788 until 1838 using coke as its fuel, but coal mining continued after its closure, and it was only in 1990 that the last coal was extracted.
The Arigna Mining Experience, located in modern buildings at the foot of waste tips, opened in 2003 and, in addition to the 45-minute underground tour, which is enhanced by lighting and sound effects, visitors can see an exhibition on the history of mining in the area, which poses questions about different sources of energy, past and future. It also shows how coal mining sustained communities in Co Roscommon during the Famine years of the late 1840s.