Tag Archives: 1930s

Emigration and Education Statistics, 1931, Co. Tyrone

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From Thom’s Directory of Ireland, 1931

Tyrone an inland county in the province of Ulster, is bounded on the north by Londonderry, on the east by Lough Neagh and Armagh, on the south by Monaghan and Fermanagh, and on the west by Donegal and Fermanagh. Length from the point where the Blackwater enters Lough Neagh to the western boundary north of Lough Derg, 55 miles; breadth from the southern corner south of Slieve Beagh to the north-eastern boundary near Oughtmore Mountain 37 ½ miles.

Name and Former Divisions

The name of the county was derived from that of Owen, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, being the shortened form of the Irish, Tir-Eoghain, the territory of Owen. The whole of the present county was with Londonderry and part of Donegal, the principality of the O’Neills.

Physical Features:

Near Coalisland, there is a small coalfield which was the richest in the country. Lignite or wood coal was found along the shore of Lough Neagh.

The Mountains lie along the north and north western-eastern boundary, and in the south and western extremity of the county. In the north the principle are Slievekirk (1,219), on the Londonderry boundary. The Sperrin mountains lie north east of Newtown Stewart, the chief summits are Crockrour (1,200), Craignagapple(1,082) and Balix Hill (1,333): near Strabane is Knockavo (972); to the east of these is Mullaghclogha (2,088) and Tornnoge (923); Dart (2,040), Sawel (2,240), Meenard (2,061) and Oughtmore (1,878), and they are on the Londonderry boundary. South and south east of these, beside the valley of the Gleanelly river, and Munterlony Mountains, the chief points of which are Craignamaddy (1,264), Munterlony Mountain (1,456) and Carnanelly (1,851); Mullaghturk (1,353), and separated from it by a valley is Beleevnamore (1,257); Bessy Bell (1,367), and Mary Gray (828), are near Newtown Stewart and Omagh. Slieve Beagh is on the boundary where the counties Tyrone, Monaghan and Fermanagh meet. The Starbog Hills run between Ballygawley and Omagh, the highest being Slievemore (1,033). Ballynes mountain (958) stands tothe north of Fivemiletown. Brocker Mountain (1,046) lies to the west of these. Cross Hill (1,024) and Sturrin (814) are in the west of the county. Dooish (1,119) and Tappaghan (1,112) are in the most southerly part of the county.

The rivers are the Finn and its continuation the Foyle, which forms the boundary with Donegal for 16 miles, and joining the Mourne at Lifford forms the river Foyle; the Burn Dennett and Glenmoran streams join the Foyle below Strabane. The Mourne is formed by a number of small tributaries, the chief of which are the Derg (with its tributaries the Mourne, Beg and the Glendergan river), the Strule (with tributaries, the Fairywater, the Drumragh, and tributary the Owenragh, and the Camowen, with tributary the Cloghfin). The Owenkillew which joins the Strule at Newtown Stewart has tributaries, the Glenelly river, the Glenlark, the Coneyglen, the Broughderg, and the Owenreagh. The Blackwater rises near Fivemiletown, and flows across the southern part of the county and falls into Lough Neagh; its chief tributaries are the Torrent, the Oona water, the Ballygawley water and the Fury river. The Ballinderry river rises north-west of Pomeroy, flows east by Cookstown, and falls into Lough Neagh.

Lough Neagh forms part of the eastern boundary; Lough Fea is on the north-eastern border; Lough Fingrean and Loughmacrory are north-west of Pomeroy; Lough Catherine, Lough Fanny and Lough Mary are near Newtown Stewart; Moor Lough is east of Strabane.

ANALYSIS OF THE CENSUS FOR COUNTY Tyrone, 1821-1926


Year

Males

Females

Total Pop.

1821
126,990 134,875 261,865

1831
149,410 155,058 304,468

1841
153,463 159,493 312,956

1851
126,130 129,531 255,661

1861
116,961 121,539 238,500

1871
105,146 110,620 215,766

1881
96,466 101,253 197,719

1891
84,596 86,805 171,401

1901
74,290 76,277 150,567

1911
71,738 70,297 142,665

1926
67,136 65,655 132,792

Families and Houses in 1926

The number of families in the county was 30,430, the average number in each family being 4.32. The number of inhabited houses was 30,215, showing an average of 4.35 persons to each house. The special inhabitants of public institutions are omitted from these calculations.

There were in the county 21,473 Occupiers or Heads of Families, who were in occupation of less than five rooms, being 71.6% of the total for the county. Of these 848 or 2.8% of the families in the county occupied one room; 7,024 or 23.4%, two rooms; 7,576 or 25.3%, three rooms; and 6,025 or 20.1%, occupied four rooms.

There were in the county 394 tenements in which the room had only one occupant; 327 cases where the room had 2-4 occupants, 108 cases in which there were 5-7 occupants and 19 cases where the occupants of one room exceeded 7 in number, including one case where ten persons occupied the same room.

Birthplace of Inhabitants

Of the population in 1926, 85.3% were born in the county, 6.9% in other counties in N. Ireland; 5% in the Republic of Ireland; 1.18% in Great Britain, and 0.5% were born abroad.

Education

In 1911 there were in the county 118,793 persons aged 9 years and upwards; of these 98,194 or 82.7% could read and write; 6,814 or 5.7% could read only and 13,785 or 11.6% were illiterate. As this census is the starting point where the age was raised from 5 years to 9 years; no comparison can be made with previous figures from other censuses. The report states that the percentage of those of 5 years and upwards who were unable to read and write was 17.4% in 1891, 14.2% in 1901 and in 1911 had fallen to 13.7%.

IRISH SPEAKING (1861-1911)

No.
of people
1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911

Irish only
206 130 22 7 2 0

Irish & English
10,654 6,421 9,796 6,680 6,452 7,584

Irish Total
10,860 6,551 9,818 6,687 6,454 7,584
% of
population
4.5 3.0 5.0 3.9 4.3 5.3

RELIGIONS, 1871-1926 (% of population)


Religion
1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926

Presbyterian
19.5 19.5 19.6 19.7 18.58 18.6

Church of Ireland
22.8 22.4 22.8 22.51 22.7 22.4

Roman Catholic
55.6 55.5 54.6 54.73 55.39 55.5

Methodist
1.5 1.8 2.0 2.13 2.01 2.0

Others
0.6 0.8 1.00 0.93 1.32 1.5

EMIGRATION (1861-1911)

1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
39,629 23,722 29,674 28,960 12,598 10,539
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Emigration and Education Statistics, 1931, Co. Meath

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Thom’s Directory of Ireland, 1931

BOUNDARIES AND DIMENSIONS

Meath, a maritime county in the province of Leinster, is bounded on the north by counties Cavan, Monaghan and Louth, and on the east by the Irish Sea and county Dublin, on the south by counties Dublin, Kildare and Offaly (King’s), and on the west by Westmeath. Its greatest length from Delvin River to Lough Sheelin is about 48 miles and its greatest breadth from Yellow River to Ballyhoe Lake is 40 miles.

NAME AND FORMER DIVISIONS

The ancient name was Midhe (Middle), the old province being the middle one of Ireland. The present county was part of the ancient Kingdom of Meath. The two baronies of Deece were formerly occupied by the Desi who lived in the district south of Tara. The baronies of Upper and Lower Slane was anciently called Hy-Criffan. Three well known places in Meathare historic. Tara, the residence of the Kings of Ireland lies six miles south of Navan. Taillteun (now Teltown) was the scene of the old Irish Olympic games and Tiachta, now the Hill of Ward, lies near Athboy.

PHYSICAL FEATURES

Mountains: Meath is mostly level with large tracts of rich pasture land. The highest point in the county is Carnbane (904’) in the Slieve na Calliagh or Loughcrew Range, east of Oldcastle. Slieve Gullion (640’) and Seafin (661’) have fine views. Four miles north of Slane is Slieve Bregh (753’) forms part of the range running through county Louth.

The Boyne River coming from counties Offaly (King’s) and Kildare forms the boundary of the county for 8 miles from the Yellow River. It passes by Trim, Navan and Slane before it disappears into Louth. It has several tributaries: the Blackwater joins it at Navan, the Mattock at Oldbridge, the Tremblestown near Athboy, the Stoneyford, the Dale and the Yellow River. In the north part of the county the Dee flows into Louth. The Nanny Water which rises near Navan flows almost parallel with the Boyne and south of it, and passes near Duleek. The Delvin River forms the boundary between counties Meath and Dublin for 8 miles before falling into the sea at Gormanstown. The Broad Meadow, the Swords, the Tolka and the Rye Water have parts of their courses in the county of Meath.

Lakes: A portion of Lough Sheelin belongs to county Meath. Lough Ervey is on the boundary with Cavan, Lough Rahan and Ballhoe is on that with Monaghan, and on the Westmeath boundary are several lakes which partly belong to county Meath, among them being Lough Bane, White Lough and Lough Naneagh. The lakes in the interior do not call for any notice.

ANALYSIS OF THE CENSUS FOR COUNTY, 1821-1926

Year Males Females Total Pop.
1821 79,778 79,405 159,183
1831 88,993 87,833 176,826
1841 92,494 91,334 183,828
1851 70,813 69,935 140,748
1861 55,800 54,573 110,373
1871 48,437 47,121 95,558
1881 44,315 43,154 87,469
1891 39,224 37,763 76,987
1901 34,757 32,740 67,497
1911 33,934 31,157 65,091
1926 33,005 29,904 62,969

Families and Houses in 1926

The number of families in the county was 14,393 the average number in each family being 4.2 The number of inhabited houses was 14,398, showing an average of 4.4 persons to each house. The special inhabitants of public institutions are omitted from these calculations.

There were in the county 10,823 Occupiers or Heads of Families, who were in occupation of less than five rooms, being 75.2% of the total for the county. Of these 310 or 2.2% of the families in the county occupied one room; 1,729 or 12%, two rooms; 3,901 or 27.1%, three rooms; and 4,883 or 33.9%, occupied four rooms.

There were in the county 156 tenements in which the room had only one occupant; 119 cases where the room had 2-4 occupants, 31 cases in which there were 5-7 occupants and 4 cases where the occupants of one room exceeded 7 in number, including one case where nine persons occupied the same room.

Birthplace of Inhabitants

Of the population in 1926, 79.99% were born in the county, 17.28% in other counties in Saorstat Eireann. 0.99% in Northern Ireland, 1.29% in Great Britain, and 0.45% were born abroad.

Education:

In 1911 there were in the county 54,239 persons aged 9 years and upwards; of these 48,182 or 88.9% could read and write; 1,745 or 3.2% could read only and 4,312 or 7.9% were illiterate. As this census is the starting point where the age was raised from 5 years to 9 years; no comparison can be made with previous figures from other censuses. The report states that the percentage of those of 5 years and upwards who were unable to read and write was 16.3% in 1891, 12.5% in 1901 and in 1911 had fallen to 10.5%.

IRISH SPEAKING (1861-1911)

No.
of people
1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911

Irish only
2 37 0 0 0 0

Irish & English
5,414 2,165 3,531 1,492 1,357 2,447
% of
population
4.9 2.3 4.0 1.9 2.0 3.8

RELIGIONS, 1871-1926 (% of population)


Religion
1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926

Roman Catholic
93.3 93.45 93.12 92.81 93.19 94.93

Church of Ireland
6.1 6.05 6.25 6.51 6.06 4.59

Presbyterians
0.4 0.37 0.48 0.49 0.54 0.29

Methodists
0.1 0.08 0.09 0.10 0.09 0.02

Others
0.1 0.05 0.06 0.09 0.12 0.17

EMIGRATION (1861-1911)

1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
23,297 15,557 10,521 11,264 4,358 3,416
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Londonderry or Derry City Tourism, 1939

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From “Ulster the official publication of the Ulster Tourist Development Association Ltd. 1939”

Visit the ancient and historic City of Londonderry and make a circuit of its old grey walls, erected in 1617, from which, in 1689, a King turned away disappointed and broken. Spend half-an-hour in the venerable Cathedral of St. Columb, erected in the year 1633, and replete with Memorials of the Siege, ascend its Tower from which in a clear atmosphere a charming and comprehensive view of the City and surrounding country may be obtained. In the Cathedral Churchyard may be seen the Apprentice Boys\’ Mound wherein repose the ashes of the mighty dead. Traverse its streets that once resounded to the tramp of the thirteen Apprentice Boys who closed the City Gates against the vanguard of the army of King James. See where across the flowing Foyle was stretched the Boom of timber and chains designed to bar the passage of the squadron that eventually brought relief to the beleaguered City. Visit the Guildhall which contains interesting Statuary and an exceedingly fine range of historical stained glass windows, also St. Eugene\’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, one of the 1argest in Northern Ireland, and the Long Tower Roman Catholic Church in the churchyard of which is St. Columba\’s Stone upon which the Saint is said to have knelt in prayer. In addition to the foregoing are a number of fine churches attached to the various denominations.

Londonderry is the centre from which well-appointed Motor Buses radiate, not only throughout the County Donegal-to the North-West and Central Highlands of which it forms the gateway-but also to Belfast, Sligo and throughout the Counties Londonderry and Tyrone.

The London, Midland and Scottish Railway connects Londonderry with Belfast, and also with South and West Donegal.
The Great Northern Railway of Ireland connects Londonderry with Belfast and Dublin.
The Londonderry and Laugh Swilly Railway connects Londonderry with North and West Donegal.

LONDONDERRY
Rev. R.G.S. King

History

Derry, so called from the oaks with which the banks of the Foyle here were anciently clad, was founded by St. Columba in 546. This famous missionary Saint, through whose labours and those of his followers Scotland and Northern England were converted to Christianity, was born at Gartan, Co. Donegal, on December 7th, 521. He was a member of the reigning family of Ireland and of British Dalriada. Censured by an Irish Synod for having stirred up strife, he left his country, with 12 companions, in the year 563 and settled in (Hy) lona off the coast of Scotland. But to the end, his love for Derry was intense.

No traces of his monastery remain, the site of which is now occupied by the Long Tower Roman Catholic Church. Here also stood the ancient Cathedral, the Teampul Mor (i.e., Great Church) , built in 1164. A Cistercian Nunnery was built on the south side of the city in 1218, a Dominican Abbey and Church on the north side in 1274, and Augustinian Friary and Church, where S. Augustine\’s Church now stands, about the end of 13th century, and a F ranciscan Friary , the date of which is uncertain, where Abbey Street now runs. S. Brecan\’s Church inside the grounds of S. Columb\’s, at the Waterside, is the most ancient ruin inside the city boundary. It was used by Primate Colton at his visitation in 1397.

Unfortunately Derry proved attractive to the Danes, both on account of its ecclesiastical treasures and its safe harbourage. The Irish Annals record a number of their onslaughts between 832 and 1100. They also relate the burning of the city on at least seven occasions, by accident or in strife, before the year 1200.

After the Danes came the Anglo-Normans, whose mania for plundering churches is frequently referred to by the old annalists. In 1195, 1197 and 1198 John de Courcy and Rotsel Peyton plundered the churches of Derry. But, alas, our own countrymen were little better, for in 1197 a Mac Etig of Co. Derry robbed the altar of the Cathedral of \”the four richest goblets in Ireland,\” and in 1213 Thomas MacUchtry and Rory MacRandal from Coleraine plundered the town. After the de Courcys came in the 13th century de Lacys, and in the 14th de Burgos, who built fortresses – Green Castle, White Castle, etc.- on the shores of Lough Foyle.

In 1566, during the Rebellion of Shane O\’Neill, Derry was chosen for the headquarters of the forces sent against him. But on April 24, 568, the magazine which contained ammunition for the English Army in the north blew up, destroying the town and fort, and causing great loss of life. After this it was abandoned by the military until 1600, when Sir Henry Docwra, sent by Queen Elizabeth, selected it as the site of his camp. Docwra built a fort at Culmore, and another five miles up the river, at Dunnalong, to protect his camp and the city which he proposed to build. He was actually constituted Provost for life of the City of Derry in 1604, by a charter of King James I., but shortly afterwards left the district. His successor, Sir George Paulett, having by his injustice and insults goaded Sir Cahir O\’Doherty, the young chief of Inishowen, into rebellion, was surprised and slain by Sir Cahir, and the city once more laid in ruins. After the suppression of this rising, King James began to entertain projects for the plantation of the district with settlers from England, with the result that in 1613 he formed by charter a new county, to be called the County of Londonderry, and to comprise all the old County of Coleraine, part of the County of Tyrone, part of the County of Antrim ( Coleraine and its liberties) , part of the County of Donegal (Derry and its liberties) , and also the whole of Lough Foyle, with the ground or soil thereof, from the high seas unto the town of Lifford. The charter also created the Borough and Corporation of the City of Londonderry. It conveyed the whole county thus formed to \”six and twenty honest and discreet citizens of our City of London\” who shall be called \”The Society of the Governor and Assistants, London; of the new plantation in Ulster, within the realm of the Kingdom of Ireland.\” Thus the name of the city was changed to Londonderry, and thus the Irish Society was formed to promote religion, education and industry in the newly constituted county.

The Governor of the Irish Society must be an Alderman of the City of London. The Recorder of London is ex-officio a member of the Society, and the twenty-four Assistants are Aldermen or Common Councillors of the city. The Society divided the agricultural land among twelve great London companies – the Grocers, Merchant Tailors, Drapers, Vintners, Goldsmiths, etc., some of whom sub-divided portions of their shares with the smaller companies so that some 40 London companies were concerned with the plantation of the county. But the Irish Society retained in their own hands the towns of Londonderry and Coleraine and the valuable fisheries on the Foyle and Bann, which they hold to this day. They are the ground landlords of these towns, they own the Walls of Derry, and they visit and inspect their property every year .

The building of a city here was no easy task and proceeded slowly. The Walls, happily preserved entire, were completed by 1619 at a cost of £8,357. In 1628 the Irish Society reported that 265 houses had been built. In 1633 S. Columb\’s Cathedral was completed.

In 1641 the country was again in a state of warfare and bloodshed. The city was crowded with refugees. From these and from the inhabitants seven regiments were formed, which kept the enemy at a distance and preserved the country around from the massacres which occurred in other northern counties. In 1649 the city suffered from a siege lasting twenty weeks, being held by Sir Charles Coote for the Parliament, and besieged by Lord Montgomery of the Ardes and General Robert Stewart, leaders of the Royal Forces. Coote hired Owen Roe O\’Neill to come to his assistance and compelled the besieging forces to withdraw.

In 1688 the Earl of Tyrconnel sent over to England to support the cause of King James II. the best troops then in Ireland, among the number, those who garrisoned Derry. Lord Antrim was ordered to occupy the city with his regiment, but was delayed by the difficulty of getting sufficient recruits. Meanwhile the citizens were alarmed by rumours of an impending massacre, similar to that of 1641.When Lord Antrim\’s regiment arrived on December 7th, and was being ferried across the river, two officers entered the city, demanding admission and billets for the troops. There was a hot debate in the Corporation; and considerable delay ensued. The soldiers, waiting outside, were becoming impatient, when the young men of the city took the matter into their own hands, overpowered the guards, locked the gates, and threatened to fire on the advancing soldiers which caused them hastily to retreat. After this daring exploit, the citizens took stock, they found their cannon ill-mounted and without ammunition, they had only 300 men within the city who had ever borne arms, and they had few weapons for those who had experience of war; however, they set to work to repair the fortifications and to procure what arms, ammunition and assistance they could. On the 18th of April, 1689, King James and his army invested the city. James fled, when having advanced contrary to the terms of an armistice, a cannon fired from the Cathedral Tower killed an officer and several men near him. Then commenced what Lord Macaulay terms \”the most memorable siege in the annals of the British Isles.\” To his history we must refer those wishing to learn the particulars of that heroic defence which has made the city famous. The siege lasted 105 days, 7,000 persons perished within the walls, and the defenders were reduced to the last extremities of starvation. On the 28th of July three relieving ships with the Dartmouth, a man-of-war, entered the river at Culmore, the Mountjoy leading. An immense boom of floating beams roped together was cut by the crew of the longboat of the Swallow, the Mountjoy, striking the severed boom, ran ashore and was subjected to heavy fire from the forts at each end of the boom, her commander, Captain Browning, and several of the crew being killed, but the rising tide, aided by the recoil of her guns, floated her off, and with the other ships, the Jerusalem and the Phoenix, she arrived at the Quay at 10 o\’clock at night. The besieging forces marched off on August 1st.

Industries

Since these turbulent days, the pages of history record Derry progressing along more peaceful channels, and for over a century it has taken a foremost place in the world in the manufacture of shirts and collars, there being more than 30 factories engaged in this work, employing many thousands of hands. It is also famed for its hams and bacon. It has also acquired more than a local reputation in the manufacture of hosiery and kindred apparel. Today (1939), Derry is the second city and port of Ulster, with a population of approximately 50,000.

Situation

Striking and beautiful views of Derry and its setting can be seen from the surrounding hills. From the old Strabane road and from above the cemetery one sees in fine panorama the whole city, the river winding down to Lough Foyle, the distant hills of Benevenagh and the Keady making a beautiful picture. The city makes an excellent headquarters for touring the Counties of Londonderry and Donegal. In the immediate vicinity there is much of interest and beauty. Within six miles is the Grianan of Aileach (\”the stone house of the Sun \” ), probably one of the five places marked by Ptolemy on his map of Ireland (A.D. 55) .This was a residence of the Northern Kings of Ireland down to A.D. 1101 , when it was demolished by Murtagh O\’Brien, King of Munster. It consists today of a circular stone cashel 77 feet in diameter, with walls in some places 15 feet thick, terraced inside and pierced by galleries. A pleasant run is to the Ness Waterfall and Glen, between Derry and Dungiven, and thence to the Glens of Banagher.

Antiquities

There are now few relics of antiquity within the city boundaries. The ancient Walls with their interesting bastions and platforms survive, and on them and along the Quays may be seen many old cannon, the gifts of the London companies in 1642, St. Columb\’s Cathedral, completed by the Irish Society in 1633, contains many relics of the siege and occupies a commanding site, within the Walls, on the summit of the hill on which the city is built.

The building contains many striking memorials, including the padlocks and keys of the City Gates, locked in the face of King James\’s soldiers in 1688, and the staves and portions of silk off banners, taken from the French by Colonel Michelburne at the Battle of Windmill Hill, May 6th, 1689.

The bells in the tower are of great antiquity, one recast for the Cathedral in 1614, one in 1630, and five of them having been given by King Charles I. in 1638. In 1929 the old peal of eight bells was recast, and five new bells added by the Hon. the Irish Society and others, and in 1933 magnificent entrance gates were presented by the same Society. Just outside the city on the Moville Road, in the garden at Belmont, is St. Columb\’s stone, which has the sculptured impression of two feet, and is possibly the inauguration stone of the ancient Kings of Aileach.

Modern Buildings.

The Guildhall, completed in 1912, occupies the site of a previous one built in 1887 and destroyed by fire in 1908. The first \”T own House\” was erected in 1616 in the Diamond, and was destroyed in the Siege of 1689. The Guildhall contains a splendid series of stained glass windows, many of them gifts of the London companies, bearing their arms, and illustrating the history of Derry. Several are War Memorials, gifts of the Women Voluntary War Workers of Derry. Others were given by members of the Irish Society, and by prominent citizens. In the Guildhall is the Corporation Plate, including the Mayor\’s Medal and Chain of Office, and the Mace, presented by King William III., Mayor\’s Gold Collarette, massive Loving Cups and other interesting pieces. Here also is the Sword of State presented by the Irish Society in 1616, and that of Sir Cahir O\’Doherty. Among the records are the Charter of 1662, the Freemans Roll, the Corporation Minute Books, and other documents of historical value.

St. Eugene\’s Cathedral is a very fine Gothic building, dedicated in 1873. It has a beautiful spire, a very sweet Carillion of Bells, and an east window of splendid proportions, 54 feet in height and 23 in breadth.

Magee College is an admirably equipped and most flourishing centre of education for those pursuing a University career. Foyle College has a notable record of famous past pupils, among them Lord Lawrence, Sir Henry Lawrence, Sir Robert Montgomery, of Indian Mutiny fame.

The Craigavon Bridge, over the Foyle. is by far the largest and finest bridge in Northern Ireland, being 1,200 feet long. It cost over £250,000, and was opened in state by the Lord Mayor of London on July 18th, 1933.

Londonderry has long been a garrison city, and now has a spacious and up-to-date barracks.

Sport and Recreation.

There is a fine golf course (18 holes) at Prehen, a mile from the city on the Strabane Road, in a most picturesque setting above the river, and at Lisfannon, 10 miles from the city, near Buncrana, are the popular links of the North-West Club. The city is well provided with Municipal Bowling Greens and Tennis Courts in Brooke Park.

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Ulster for Your Holiday, 1939

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Charles D. Trimble

Published in ‘Ulster’ the official publication of the Ulster Development Association Ltd., 1939.

When first the mists of time parted, and the story of Ireland began to take shape in the tales of the tribal seanacaides, it was of the deeds of the heroes in and around Armagh they told.

Ireland’s history was largely writ in Armagh, and the destiny of many nations was altered by the men who through the ages left the varied hills and plains of the County and City to carry their messages abroad.

To-day, there is not a parish, scarce a townland, in the county which does not bear some sign of days gone by. Flint man, bronze man, iron man, and steel man, each has left his trade mark, and those who would peer into the history of Ulster or of Ireland must come to Armagh.

The City to-day has an atmosphere all its own. Fine modern shops line the main streets, which bear names dating back fifteen hundred years, while side streets twist and curve up the steep hill to where the Cathedral of St. Patrick has stood since the day when the Saint made the City the Capital of his Church. For untold centuries before that, the ground was revered as holy by the pagan Irish. Armagh is the most beautiful inland town in Ireland; there is history in its every stone, but those who would go there should have some kindred spirit to accompany them, with whom to share the charm of the Ancient Citie.

“I found in Armagh the splendid
Meekness, wisdom and prudence blended
Fasting as Christ hath recommended
And noble councillors untranscended.”

(Prince Aldfrid’s Itinerary through Ireland, written circa 684. He was afterwards King of the Northumbrian Saxons and one of the many Englishmen who studied at the ancient School of Armagh).

Article

The City of Armagh

Just how old is the City of Armagh even archaeologists do not know. It is named after Queen Maha, but there were three Mahas, and whether Ard Maha – the Hill of Maha – is called for that famous Maha who built the great Navan Fort outside the present city, or whether her earlier namesake named the hill itself 3,000 years B.C., legend does not say with certainty. One thing is certain, there was bound to be a city on Armagh’s hills, for it is situate where the two great roads into the Ulster Basin meet. One, the famous Moyry Pass, is probably the route by which the men of the Iron Age entered to drive the earlier settlers of the Bronze Age into Counties Down and Antrim, as later it was the way by which the great road from Tara passed through the Southern Ulster Mountains from the central plain of Ireland. The other road is the Monaghan corridor between the Armagh mountains and the water-logged country about Lough Oughter and Lough Erne. One of the most beautiful of Irish cities, Armagh was about 300 B.C. the seat of the Warrior Queen Maha, who compelled her captives taken in battle to build the great palace at Emhain Maha, of which the mounds and deep ditches can still be seen to-day, girdling the high hill which became for hundreds of years the centre of government for Ulster, and gave the city that importance which probably influenced St. Patrick later to make it the ecclesiastical centre of Ireland, which it has remained ever since.

Old as Armagh is, its history is packed with legend and story, from the time when Maha first traced Emhain Maha with her brooch, until in later times the O’Neills and O’Donnells under the Red Hand Banner drove English troops in route from the Blackwater, slaying their General, Marshall Bagenal, or later still Primates expended their fortunes on the wonderful library or the Observatory or on restoring the Cathedral.

Emhain Maha became the home of the Red Branch Knights, who for hundreds of years were to Ireland what Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table were to England. Under Conor, King of Ulster, there arose heroes whose deeds vie with those of the Odyssey and whose fights were sung by the harpists.

Probably the oldest church in Ulster still in use, the old Episcopal Cathedral of Armagh stands on the site where in 445 St. Patrick built his first cathedral. Part of the present building is said by some to date from the eighth century, and the present building was commenced in the thirteenth, being restored in the eighteenth century. In the grounds beside it are buried many celebrated clerics, warriors and kings, including Benen (successor to St. Patrick) and King Brian Boru and his son Morrough O’Brian, who in 1014 were killed after defeating, at Clontarf in County Dublin, the Danes and Northmen who had ruled Armagh, sacked and burned the Cathedral, and maintained a fleet on Lough Neagh. Not half a mile from the city, on the banks of the Callan River, lies the cenotaph of King Niall Caille, drowned there in 846 when warring with those same invaders.

Grouped round the old Cathedral are many noble buildings, including the Library which Primate Robinson endowed in 1781, and which ranks amongst the first three in Ireland. Over its porch an inscription in Greek characters is typical of the spirit of the place – “Pseuches Iatreion,” the “Medicine Shop of the Soul.” From the tower of the Old Cathedral the city may be seen at its best. Close by is The Primate Alexander Memorial Hall, erected in the present century in honour of the Poet-Primate. His wife, too, is well-known as the author of the hymns, “There is a Green Hill,” and “Once in Royal David’s City.”

In the old Cathedral are monuments by famous sculptors, such as Rysbraeck, Nollekens, Chantry, Roubiliac, etc., and many old Regimental and Volunteer colours, including a French colour, the only enemy colour ever captured with-in the British Islands, and the only colour ever taken in battle by a British Regiment of Militia. It was taken from the French at Ballinamuck in 1798 by the Armagh Light Infantry, when General Humbert invaded Ireland.

Across the valley on the opposite hill are lifted high to heaven the twin spires of the National Cathedral of St. Patrick, erected by the Roman Catholic Church by National subscription “cum Gloire De agus Onorana h’Eireann” (“To the Glory of God and the Honour of Ireland”) , and as a memorial to the National Apostle.

The Observatory was founded in the year 1790 by Primate Robinson, Baron Rokeby, on Knockamel (The Hill of Honey) , from which was issued in 1859 “The Armagh Star Catalogue” still a standard reference amongst astronomers. Here is to be seen the largest telescope in Ireland, with some unique clocks and instruments. The Director welcomes visitors if he receives notice of their coming. The building itself is a remarkably fine specimen of a small Georgian house.

The Primate’s Palace, a fine old Georgian Mansion, was built by Primate Robinson. It stands in the Palace Demesne and contains many fine paintings, including portraits of all the Primates since Adam Loftus, who came to the Archiepiscopal Chair in 1562, besides a number of royal portraits.

St. Malachi was born in Armagh, and a tablet on a house in Ogle Street records that this is the traditional site of his birthplace.

On the Benburb Road, some two miles from the city, and a half mile across country from the Navan Ring, is a circle of large stones known locally as “The Druid’s Ring.” It is actually the remains of an old burial cairn, and legend has it that close by in Terreskane, Conor MacNessa, a famous king under whom the Red Branch Knights reached their greatest fame, was buried.

Beside the city at Deans Hill is a square Georgian house built in 1765. Once the residence of the Deans of Armagh, it is now occupied by Senator The Rt. Hon. H. B. Armstrong, H.M.L., whose record of public service, extending over sixty years, is equalled by few in the country.

The “Book of Armagh,” now in Trinity College Library in Dublin, is one of the few books which have come down from the early days of history. It contains a life of St. Patrick, one of the chief relics of the See of Armagh, and a copy of the New Testament; written in 807, it is a copy of a much older manuscript. The “Bell of St. Patrick” is now in the National Museum, Dublin, and was used at the recent Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. It is probably a bell of St. Patrick’s time. Its Shrine is the most interesting specimen of the kind now existing, and is of a much later date, being executed between the years 1091 and 1105.

St. Patrick founded at Armagh a School which became famous throughout Europe. To-day the Royal School, founded in 1608, carries on the work begun many years before. The great Lord Castlereagh and the historian Lecky were amongst famous pupils of the past. The first Marquis of Wellesley, Governor General of India, who triumphed over Tippoo Sahib and destroyed the Empire of Mysore, was an old boy of the School, as was Leonard Gillespie, Surgeon of the Fleet to Admiral Lord Nelson, who has left the only known account of life on Nelso’ns Flagship ‘Victory’ Of later fame is C. S. Marriott, the English cricketer, and Admiral Sir Frederick Dreyer, who is not only one of the greatest living experts on gunnery, but is also, possibly, the tallest man in the British Navy.

Beside St. Patrick’s (Roman Catholic) Cathedral is the Diocesan CoIlege, carried on by the Vincentian Fathers.

In Armagh the Golf Club welcomes visitors, and there is good trout fishing in the CaIlan and Blackwater Rivers.

Holiday makers who seek a quiet inland resort, students of history, lovers of nature and the touring motorist will be delighted with a stay at this old city. The Great Northern Railway connects the city with Belfast and Dublin via Portadown, and there are good bus services, by which it is possible to reach all parts of Ulster. Two Swimming Pools, one large and one small, have been provided by the Local Authority, and add to the holiday amenities.

On The Mall, a pretty park which contains the playing fields of the cricket and rugby football clubs, is the County Museum, in which are housed many articles illustrating various phases of the past history of the County and City, as well as articles of more general interest. Attached to it is the Regimental Museum of the Royal Ulster Rifles, in which are many and varied exhibits dealing with the Regiment and its Special Reserve Battalions, which in former days were Militia Regiments, and included the South Down Militia, heroes of the famous ballad. Armagh County Council is the first in Ireland to have a Museum of its own.

Midway between Armagh and the Navan Fort, on the old coach road, will be found St. Patrick’s Well, which is said to overflow once a year. On the eve of the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, when this miraculous event takes place, there is an immense pilgrimage to the hill side where the little pool lies at the roots of a fairy thorn, always hung with many wisps of cloth tied there by worshippers. After the pilgrimage these are more numerous than ever.

In the Palace Demesne there are the ruins of an old Franciscan Friary, founded in 1266 by Primate O’Scanlan, of which now only the western archway and some fragments of high walls remain. The Friary was amongst those suppressed by Henry VIII. in 1542, and in 1561 it was burned by Shane O’NeiIl, who at the same time destroyed the Cathedral and the houses of the City, his excuse being – he would not have the English therein. In 1596 the ground Was the scene of a struggle between the troops of Hugh O’Neill and General Norris. The interior was used as a burying ground until about 1740; Gormlaith, wife of Domhnall O’Neill, King of Ulster, Was buried in the Friary precincts on the 14th April, 1353. Tickets for admission to the Friary can be had at the County Museum.

From the Friary, a pleasant woodland path leads towards St. Brigid’s Well; it is known as Lady Anne’s Walk (Lady Anne being the sister of Primate J. G. Beresford) and gives its name to the book written by the gifted daughter of the late Primate Alexander. Past Lady Anne’s garden, now a tennis court, the path comes to a little stream and turns right to the Palace, but to reach the well the path has to be abandoned, and the route strikes out across the meadow to the clump of trees where is the well, once a place which drew considerable pilgrimages; the waters were generally used for eye troubles, though they Were considered good for all ills. The Well was formerly overhung by “gentry” bushes on which rags of all colours could be seen fluttering in the breeze. It is said that Lady Anne brought some of the waters of the well to Queen Victoria when her brother, the Primate, went to pay his respects to the Queen on her accession.

Amongst the men who left County Armagh and made their mark on history was the Rev. Wm. Tennant, founder of the Log College, one of the first Colleges in the United States; it afterwards became the College of New Jersey, and is to-day known as Princetown University. Alexander J. Porter, the American Patriot; Sir Frank Smith, the Canadian statesman; William C. Wentworth, the greatest of Australian statesmen; Martha Maria Magee, who founded Magee College in Londonderry, all came from Armagh County, whilst among famous writers there were Rev. James Seaton Reid, Colonel Valentine Blacker, the military writer, and Stuart, historian of Armagh and a son of the Primatial City. Medicine received Dr. Henry MacCormac, father of Sir William MacCormac, Bart., James Macartney, the great anatomist, while Professor Francis Hutcheson, Glasgow University, well known for his writings and teachings on moral philosophy, Joseph B. Pentland, traveller and explorer, and James Bell, F.R.S., were others who left the Orchard County to win renown, and many more are recorded in the following pages, under the places which gave them birth.

Kilmore

Half a dozen miles north of Armagh, close to the Portadown Road, is Kilmore – The Great Church. Kilmore Parish Church in antiquity yields only to the Cathedrals of Armagh and Derry, and possibly is older than either, as it is reputed to date from 422 A.D. The Square Tower has walls of immense thickness, and these are the more extraordinary in that they enclose the almost perfect round tower of the Monastery of Cill Mho’r. Little is known of the Monastery, but it is reported to have been founded by St. Mochto in the fifth century.

Maghery

A dozen miles north on the shores of Lough Neagh is Maghery, a hamlet which lies close to the fruit district. The hotel here has become in recent years the headquarters of a popular tour. Nearby is Coney Island, and old Ordnance Survey maps show “St. Patrick’s road said to run through the Lake” to the island. It was from Coney Island that Coney Island in New York Harbour gained its name, Maghery emigrants being responsible for the designation. In the graveyard attached to Maghery Chapel there are the remains of one of the old granges of the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul at Armagh.

At the Birches, in this vicinity, Thomas Jackson, father of the famous American General Stonewall Jackson, was born and lived until he emigrated to the United States.

Portadown

Once Port-ne-dun, the Port of the Fort, situated some 10 miles north-east of Armagh, on the main road to Belfast, is one of the most thriving industrial and market towns in Ulster, although in the heart of the fruit-growing country which has earned for County Armagh the title of “The garden of Ulster.” It is a great linen centre, and, by reason of its bridge over the River Bann, is the gateway through which traffic for western and south-western Ireland must pass. It is the railway junction for the main railway lines
from Belfast, Dublin, Derry, Armagh, and the Midlands. Industrially, Portadown has many linen weaving and handkerchief factories, foundries, flour mills, and a cider factory, while its roses have a world-wide reputation.

The Bann Basin with its bogs offers the sportsman fishing and shooting, while the 30 acre public park, with its pleasant river, is yearly growing in beauty as the gardener’s work develops the shrubberies and coppices through which its pleasant walks meander. A new bowling green and a pleasure garden have recently been laid out beside the centre of the town on the banks of the Bann while other amusements include football, fishing, golf and tennis, with numerous reading and recreation rooms.

Close by was born “AE” – G. W. Russell – poet, painter, economist and a remarkable journalist.

Another distinguished Portadown man was Sir Robert Hart, first Inspector General of the Imperial Customs in China, who has been described as “The most influential and most upright European the East has ever known.” By his straightforwardness he made British integrity respected in the Far East. A tablet has been erected by the Ulster Tourist Development Association, Ltd. , in Woodhouse Street to commemorate this famous Ulsterman’s birthplace. Portadown is also the native place of Sir Robert Bredon, who succeeded his fellow-townsman and is almost equally famous. A fine new school erected by the Armagh Education Authority in Portadown is named the Sir Robert Hart Memorial P .E. School.

From Portadown to Richhill, Kilmore, and Loughgall a network of roads runs through a district covered with fruit trees and bushes. You may drive through this garden by narrow lanes and broad roads, coloured and scented by the pink and white bloom of fruit trees, by schools and villages which are gardens in themselves. The centre of the district is Loughgall, a quaint old place more English than Irish in atmosphere. Its one long street runs into, a little valley and rises again, and, unlike the customary white of Ireland, most of its thatched cottages are coloured the pink of apple blossom.

At Loughgall there are two planters’ bawns, and in the very pretty lake in the manor grounds is a crannoge, or island refuge. Permission can be obtained to go through the grounds.

Between Portadown and Loughgall was fought the Battle of the Diamond, which resulted in the formation of the Orange Institution. The first meeting was held in Jackson’s house in Loughgall and the table at which the Constitution was drawn up can still be seen there.

Lurgan

Five miles from Portadown on the Belfast Road is Lurgan – The Long Ridge – one of the chief centres of the linen industry, and the home of handkerchief making and embroidery.

Once in O’Neill’s land, Lurgan, or the parish of Shankill, was forfeited to the Crown after the flight of the Earls, and in 1609 Sir William Brownlow was given 2,500 acres which included the parish to “plant” With English families he founded the town, but in the Rebellion of 1641 Sir Phelim O’Neill destroyed it, and until the reign of King Charles II. no real effort was made to rebuild. Then the War of the Revolution broke out, Mr. Brownlow opposed James II., the town being again destroyed.

After the Battle of the Boyne, King William III. granted a patent for fairs and markets, and the industry of the people in the land made these valuable. When Queen Anne was on the throne William Waring, M.P., introduced diaper manufacture, and from that time Lurgan has never looked back.

Lurgan is not a mile from Lough Neagh, so that there is good shooting and fishing, and other sports include tennis, golf, cricket, football-both Association and Rugby and hockey, and there are good bowling greens. Visitors are welcomed.

There is a splendid public park beside the town, in what was the demesne of Lord Lurgan, descendant of William Brownlow, who founded the town. The park contains a beautiful lake of 53 acres.

In Lurgan was born on 20th October, 1674, James Logan, statesman and scientist, secretary to William Penn. He afterwards became Chief Secretary of the State, Provincial Secretary and President of the Council.

Tandragee

Five miles south-east of Portadown, and ten miles east of Armagh, is of considerable antiquity. It was founded by the O’Hanlons who helped to drive the Iberian princes from the Navan Fort and from County Armagh in 332; by building their castle at Tandragee, the O’Hanlons became guards whose duty was to keep the dispossessed Iberians in Counties Down and Antrim.

The O’Hanlons lost their heritage When O’Neill and O’Donnell had to fly in the first years of the 17th century and Tandragee was given to Sir Oliver St. John, who rebuilt the town. In the Rebellion of 1641 the O’Hanlons recaptured and destroyed the castle, about which time Capt. Henry St. John was shot through the head and killed by followers of Redmond O’Hanlon, the highway-man. The present castle, now the property of the Duke of Manchester, was built a century ago to replace the old mansion of the St. John’s and their successors.

When the Parish Church, also built by Sir Oliver, was being restored in 1812, the skull of Captain St. John was found. In 1849 transepts were added to the church, and on that occasion the skull was again exposed to view, and it was stolen, but four days later was found in the church-yard wrapped in brown paper.

There is excellent fishing near the town in the Cusher River. The industries are agriculture and linen weaving.

Tandragee was the birth place of George Benn, the historian, of Belfast.

At Relicarn, an ancient graveyard on the road from Tandragee to Scarva, may be seen the burial place of O’Hanlon, one of the most romantic of the 17th century highwaymen. This burial ground is notable also because of an ecclesiastical bell found here, the earliest datable example of its kind yet discovered in Ireland.

Clare

A beautifully situated village on the Cusher, a fine trout river, and not far from Tandragee, is chiefly notable for being the site of the Earl of Bath’s mill, which in 1641 was used as a prison by Sir Phelim O’Neill, the rebel leader. The glen here is one of the prettiest in the county.

Blackwatertown and Charlemont

To the west of Armagh lie the little villages of Blackwatertown and Charlemont, now of small importance, but in the time when The Earls of Tyrone disputed ownership of Armagh with the English, very important places indeed.

At Blackwatertown there are still to be seen the ramparts of the fort built in the sixteenth century to keep Hugh, Earl of Tyrone, in his own county, on the west bank of the Blackwater River. In 1602 this fort was replaced by one at Charlemont, from whose first commander, Capt. Toby Caulfield, the Viscounts of Charlemont of to-day are descended. Some years ago this fort was destroyed by fire, but the fine entrance gate, the old clock tower, and the outer walls still remain.

At Dartrey Lodge, not far from Charlemont, was born General Sir William Olpherts, V.C., whose fiery courage during the Indian Mutiny, where he won his Cross, earned him the soubriquet of “Hellfire Jack.”

Richhill

In Plantation days Richhill district. midway between Armagh and Portadown, was granted to the Sacheverell family, who built a castle in Mulladry, destroyed in 1641 , and of which nothing now remains except an armorial stone brought to Richhill and placed in a house in the town.

The present mansion in Richhill demesne was built following the Restoration by Major Edward Richardson, who married the Sacheverell heiress. Here the Richardson family resided for many generations. The house was for a time the residence of the famous Dolly Munro, wife of William Richardson, M.P. for Armagh, whose coach, drawn by six grey horses, with outriders, was often to be seen in the City of Armagh in the latter days of the eighteenth century. The fine old gates, beautiful examples of mid-eighteenth century ironwork were taken in 1936 to the Governor’s residence at Hillsborough.

From Ahorey, close to Richhill, there went forth in 1807 Alexander Campbell and his father, Thomas Campbell, a former minister of Ahorey, to be the founders of the Baptist Church of America.

Markethill

A thriving little town, some seven miles from Armagh, has a fine linen weaving factory and a good weekly market. Here is Gosford Demesne, where there is the castle which is said to be the largest house in Ireland; built in the nineteenth century, it cost some £250,000.

Previous to that the Acheson family (now Earls of Gosford) owners of the estate, had another residence, the remains of which can still be seen. Here Dean Swift was the guest of Sir Arthur and Lady Acheson in 1728-29.

Near by is Mullabrack Church, where some fine old monuments can be seen, including one to George Lambert, V.C., of the 84th Regiment, Adjutant to his Regiment.

This officer was born in the village of Hamiltonsbawn, a mile away, and won the Cross in the Indian Mutiny. At Mullabrack, too, Admiral Lord Charles Beresford, V.C., spent many of his boyhood days, his father being Rector.

Hamiltonsbawn

Gets its name from the bawn or castle of John Hamilton, who was granted lands here in Plantation days and who died in 1633; he was buried in Mullabrack Church where his monument can still be seen, partly destroyed by ill treatment during the rebellion of 1641 .Lord Holmpatrick is the present representative of this old family.

Tynan

Eight miles from Armagh, is a village in the heart of a delightful countryside. There is a fine Celtic Cross in the village and a very fine treble ringed fort at Lislooney.

Tassagh

Between Aughnagurgall and Armagh, is a little hamlet in a very beautiful valley, and is called after St. Tassach. Here there is an ancient Culdee burial ground and a unique group of three double ringed forts.

Keady

Is a thriving market town which was once a linen centre, but now the linen business is concentrated in the village of Darkley, a couple of miles away. It is about eight miles south of Armagh, and at Listrakelt, not far away, there is the ruined church of Derrynoose, an ancient foundation mentioned in the taxation lists of 1302 and 1306. In this district there are souterrains and earthen ringed forts, whileon the Mullyard hill are the remains of a megalithic monument.

Poyntzpass

A village to the north of Newry, in one of the three ancient passes into the county, was given its name in recognition of the feat of arms of Lieutenant Charles Poyntz of the English Army, who at the head of a comparatively small force, defeated a large body of O’Neill’s men in a hand-to-hand struggle. Formerly this ancient pass, like its neighbours at Scarva and Jerretzpass, was defended by a castle, the three being built by The Duke of Albemarle.

Sir Charles’ son, Sir Toby Poyntz, in 1684 built a Church at Acton nearby, and was buried in the chancel. This church is now in ruins. In this district are Tyrone’s Ditches, the remains of an earthwork thrown up by Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, in his wars with Queen Elizabeth between 1594 and 1603.

At Poyntzpass, too, there are the remains of the Black Pig’s Dyke, a great travelling earthwork, linking up the portions in Scarva and Goraghwood, with the sections in Seafin and Aghayollogue. This was built after the defeat of the Ultonians by the Three Collas in 332 A.D. as a boundary to divide the conquerors from the vanquished. It was a great trench averaging about thirty feet wide and is still some fifteen feet deep in places. The most perfect section now remaining is in Scarva Demesne close by.

Admiral David Lucas, V.C., the first Ulsterman to win the Cross, was born at Drominargle, near this village.

Mountnorris

Is one of the prettiest villages in the county and takes its name from the fort erected here by John Norris in early Plantation times to link up the Moyry Castle with Blackwatertown and Charlemont Forts.

Newtownhamilton

An isolated village in the Fews, takes its name from the Hamilton family, who founded it in 1770, but so long as the story of Lir is remembered, Newtownhamilton will not be forgotten, as it was at Shee Fina, outside the village, that King Lir had his palace. The old coach road from Dublin came down that way and it was a great haunt of Tories in the old days. The Fews and the Black Bank Barracks were built early in the eighteenth century, one on each side of the village, to protect travellers, and from that time the trade of highwayman became too dangerous. At Harrymount in Tullyvallen and at Dorsey there are burial mounds from which bronze age burial urns have been obtained. Here is the Dorsey, an earthwork enclosing 2,678 acres, the largest entrenched enclosure of its kind in Ireland. It was probably built to guard the approaches of Emhain Maha.

At Aughnagurgan, some miles to the. west, there is a dolmen and a passage grave-and a lake full of little fighting trout; in fact this is a miniature .’lake district.”

At Ballymoyre, which is not far from Newtownhamilton, there will be found the ruins of an old church; there are two beautiful glens, the Upper and Lower, in one of which lived Florence MacMoyre, the last Keeper of the Book of Armagh. It was through this office that the family obtained the surname of MacMoyre, “Sons of the Keeper,” and they held eight townlands by virtue of this trust. These townlands comprise the parish of that name.

And now for South Armagh, where the traveller finds the character of the country completely changed. Instead of the rather flat land of the north of the county, or the rolling hills surrounding Armagh City, the slopes become steeper and steeper, until they culminate in the massive peaks of Slieve Gullion and his lesser brethren, which for thousands of years have guarded the borders of the men of Ulster.

The scenery is magnificent. From Newry a road can be taken which climbs steadily until it hangs on the steep hillside a thousand feet over the silvery waters of Carlingford Lough, with beyond it the blue slopes of the Kingdom of Mourne. At the Flagstaff, even higher up, there can be obtained one of the finest views in Ulster. On a clear day county after county is spread out like a coloured map, until the eye catches far away the hills beyond Belfast, the gleam of Lough Neagh, and the blue of the hills of Tyrone.

Bessbrook

A prosperous village, near Newry, set amid enchanting scenery, is an ideal centre from which to explore the South Armagh mountains. Bessbrook itself has earned the distinction of being looked upon as a model village. Close by is Deramore House, a picturesque thatched residence, where the Act of Union was drawn up in 1800. It was built by Isaac Corry, last Lord Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer, and it was here that he and Lord Castlereagh held the famous consultation. Close to Bessbrook, in Ballybot (now Queen Street, Newry ) , was born Lord Russell of Killowen, a famous Lord Chief Justice of England.

A short distance away, nestling in the mountains, is Camlough Lake, providing Newry town with its water supply. The surroundings are almost alpine in their picturesqueness, and a scheme of re-afforestation when completed will add still further to the beauty of this district.

In the vicinity of Camlough is Slieve Gullion, dominating the scenery for miles round, and one of the most interesting and most romantic mountains in the whole of Ireland. It is for ever linked up with Cuchullain, one of the greatest of the heroes of the Red Branch Knights.

Killevy

On the south-eastern slopes of the mountain is the ancient church of Killevy, founded by St. Moninna, who was born in the year 409. In 450 she erected a wooden church here, which is said to have been replaced in 518 by a stone building, here are the ruins of a thirteenth century building and of another many centuries earlier, with a magnificent square-headed doorway. Like Armagh, it suffered from the raids of the Norsemen who pillaged it from Carlingford Lough. There was a round tower here and there is a holy well to which there are still very large pilgrimages.

Nearby in Clonlum townland there are two important cairns, both under the protection of the Armagh County Council, and on Ballymacdermott mountain not far away there is a very perfect three chambered horned cairn.

Annaghcloughmullen, near by, is the site of the first recorded cairn of this type in Ireland.

Jonesborough

Moyry Castle was built in 1601 by Lord Mountjoy to secure the pass to the English, who had always great difficulty in forcing it. The place was a danger spot, as the surrounding hills were thickly wooded and were easily defended by a small body of men against even a very large force. It was here that in 1600 Lord Mountjoy defeated O’Neill in two battles. Immediately afterwards he cleared away some of the timber and set about building a fort and castle, and thereby made possible the Plantation of Ulster. The keep or tower remains and is a very picturesque feature in the scenery.

In the adjoining townland of Edenknappa is one of the earliest datable Christian monuments in Ireland, erected before the year 716. Locally, it is, known as Kilnasaggart Pillar Stone (The Church of the Priest) .

Towards Forkhill, the scene is ever changing. At one time the road runs, as it were, along the top of a vast basin, the bottom of which is a chess board, with vari-coloured fields, green and brown and yellow, for squares, and cattle and cottages and perhaps a little grey church for pieces. Round the board stand sentinel the mountains, with Slieve Gullion looming dark in the background. And everywhere there are the stones, the burial cairns, cashels and raths of prehistoric man. This was the country where the men of Ulster stood on guard. It was here that they turned and fought back at the later invaders from Southern seas, who had gradually driven them northward ; it was here that those same invaders, in their turn, coming north, turned and fought with the English who sought to extend their pale to St. Patrick’s City and the bushes of Tyrone. Here they made their stand, and from here right to Armagh, the country is dotted with relics of their occupation, set amidst a wild beauty of scenery.

Fathom

The best way to reach Fathom is to turn in at Cloghoge Chapel, and continue up past the Flagstaff, taking great care not to cross the Border, but turn right to the Dublin-Dundalk road. There is much to interest the antiquarian here. At Clontygora is a magnificent horned cairn and there are cashels at Lisdhu and Lisbanmore,

Forkhill

Is a beautifully situated village, with a good trout stream running through it. The village is in the midst of delightful mountain scenery, and near by is Glendhu, one of the prettiest views in the North, with Slieve Gullion in the foreground, flanked by Carrickasticken Mountain and cairn crowned Carrickbroad.

Mullaghbawn

Is another delightfully situated place in the valley of that name. It contains many places of interest, one being an old burial ground connected with St. Patrick. There are burial cairns at Lathbirget and Ballykeel.

Crossmaglen

Is a market town with a square, which is locally believed to be the largest in Europe. This is a most interesting district, and contains the parish Church of Creggan, a very ancient foundation, beautifully situated. There is good fishing in the Fane River, which here forms the Border between Northern and Southern Ireland, and near by is the ruined Glassdrurn.mond Castle, the home of the O’Neills of the Fews. It is a splendid country for earthen forts, the treble ringed example at Lisleitrim being one of the finest in the county. There are the remains of a burial cairn at Corran and a horned cairn at Annamar. On the crannoge in Lough Ross the plot for the Rebellion of 1641 was decided upon.

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Emigration and Education Statistics, 1931, Co. Antrim

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Description from Thom’s Directory, 1931.

Antrim
is a maritime county in the province of Ulster, it is bounded
on the north by the Atlantic ocean, on the east by the Northern
Channel, on the south by Belfast Lough, which it shares as far
as mid-water with County Down and on the west by Co. Derry (Londonderry).
The length of county Antrim from the “new bridge”
over the river Lagan near Lisburn to the Giant’s Causeway is
54.5 miles; and it’s breadth from Island Magee to Toome on the
river Bann is 30 miles.

NAME
AND FORMER DIVISIONS

The counties name is derived from the town of Antrim and probably
means “one tribe” or “one habitation”. The
northern part of the county was the ancient territory of Dalriada,
commonly called the Route; all south of that was part of the old
territory of Dalriada; this latter part was in later ages called
North Clannaboy, to distinguish it from South Clannaboy in Co.
Down, both of which formed the territory of the O’Neills. The
district along the coast from Larne to Ballycastle was the territory
of the MacDonnells and it is now known as “The Glens of Antrim”
which are named after the streams that run through them as follows:-
Glenshesk, Glendun, Glencorp, Glenaan,
Glenballyemon, Glenariff, Glencloy and Glenarm.

PHYSICAL
FEATURES

As regards minerals in the county, the sub-soil is basalt or trap,
which forms the Giant’s causesway on the north coast, clay-slate
and limestone; there was coal at Ballycastle, and salt mines near
Carrickfergus; and iron ore in the hill region extending from
Larne to Cushendall.
The ore was shipped from Larne, Glenarm, Carnlough and Red Bay
to the ports of Cumberland, Wales and Clyde. There are numerous
large bogs in the county.

The
chief mountain summits in the county with their height in feet
are: Slemish (1,437) near Ballymena; Trostan (1,811),
Slieveanee (1,782), Slieveanorra (1,676) and Slievenahaghan
(1,325), around Cushendall: Aganarrive (1,225) and
Crockaneel (1,321), west of Cushendun; Knocklayd
(1,695), a detached peak near Ballycastle; Collin Top (1,426),
Carncormick (1,431) and Soarns Hill (1,326) near
Glenarm; Divis (1,561), Black Mountain (1,272),
Squire’s Hill (1,230) and Cave Hill (1,188) near
Belfast; Carnhill (1,025) and Toppin (928) near
Carrickfergus.

The
chief headlands coming from the north are Bengore Head
which includes the Giant’s Causeway, Kinbane or
Whitehead
, Benmore or Fair Head, Torr Head,
Garron Point, Ballygaley Head, The Gobbins,
Black Head and White Head which is near Carrickfergus.
The islands along the coast also from the north are Rathlin; the
Skerries near Portrush; Maidens near Larne; and Muck Island off
Island Magee.

The
Bays and Harbours are: Belfast Lough between Antrim and
Down; Larne Lough (an inlet 5 miles long and bounded on
the east by the peninsula of Island Magee); and the Bays of Ballygalley,
Glenarm, Carnlough, Red, Murlough, Ballycastle
and White Park.

Lighthouses
were located at Maiden Rocks (opposite Larne Harbour);
Black Head; and Altacarry Head (north-east of Rathlin
Island).

The
principal rivers are the Bann, which for 27 miles forms
the boundary between Antrim and Derry; the Lagan for about
22 miles forms the southern boundary; the Six-Mile-Water
flowing into Lough Neagh near Antrim town. Larne Water
which flows into the sea at Larne; the Main river flowing
into Lough Neagh below Randalstown receives the waters of the
Glenwhirry and Kells rivers, also those of the river
Braid on which stands Ballymena. The Glenravel Water
and the Clogh river are also found in Antrim. The Bush
river enters the sea near the Giant’s Causeway. The river Carey
runs into the sea at Ballycastle, and the streams running through
the Glens of Antrim reach the sea at different points along the
east coast.

The
principal Lakes are Lough Neagh; Lough Beg is an
expansion of the river Bann, lying north of Lough Neagh; Lough
Guile
is near Ballymoney; Portmore Lake is close to
Lough Neagh and Lough Mourne is found to the north of Carrickfergus.

The Lagan canal connects Lough Neagh with Belfast Lough.

FAMILIES
AND HOUSES, 1926

There were 42,477 families in the county according to the 1926
Census for Ireland, the average number in each family was 4.48.
The number of ‘inhabited houses’ was 41,896 with an average of
4.54 persons to each house. The Special Inmates of Public institutions
are omitted from these figures.

There
were in the county 25,680 ‘Occupiers’ or ‘Heads of Families’ who
were in occupation of less than five rooms, this was 61.6% of
the total for the county. Of these, 849 or 2% occupied one room;
6,549 or 15.7% occupied two rooms; 7,716 or 18.3% occupied three
rooms; and 10,666 or 25.6% were in ocupation of four rooms.

There
were 374 tenements in the county in which the room had only one
occupant at that time; 375 cases where the room had two, three
or four occupants; 81 cases in which there were five, six or seven
occupants to one room, and 19 cases where the occupants of one
room exceeded 7 in number, including three cases where ten persons
occupied the same room.

ANALYSIS
OF THE CENSUS FOR COUNTY ANTRIM, 1821-1926

Year Males Females Total
Pop.
1821 111,572 122,034 233,606
1831 131,727 140,601 272,328
1841 137,533 148,034 285,567
1851 124,778 135,125 259,903
1861 122,491 134,495 256,986
1871 117,003 128,755 245,758
1881 113,464 124,274 237,738
1891 102,689 112,540 215,229
1901 94,087 102,003 196,090
1911 93,651 100,213 193,864
1926 92,596 99,047 191,643

EDUCATION

In 1911 there were in county Antrim, 157,812 people aged 9 and
upwards; of these 141,944 or 90% could read and write; 7,606 or
4.8% could read only and 8,262 or 5.2% were illiterate. As that
census was the first for which the age for consideration had been
raised from 5 years to 9 years, no comparison can be made with
figures from earlier censuses. But – the percentage of those of
five years and upwards who were unable to read and write in 1891
was 9%. By 1901 this figure was listed as 8% and in 1911 it had
fallen to 7.9%

IRISH
SPEAKING (1861-1911)

No.
of people
1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
Irish
only
11 14 27 0 0 0
Irish
& English
1,911 464 1,481 894 1,012 2,724
Irish Total 1,922 478 1,508 894 1,012 2,724
%
of population
0.7 0.2 0.6 0.4 0.5 1.4

A point to note: there are no errors in the above table, the majority
of counties in Ireland show a similar trend in numbers of Irish
speaking people between the years 1861 and 1891. The figures given
for emigration patterns show a greater number of people emigrating
in the years 1861 and 1881 and this may account for the figures
in this table.

RELIGIONS, 1871-1926(% of population)

Religion 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926
Presbyterian 52.0 51.3 42.1 50.77 50.14 49.5
Church
of Ireland
20.9 21.72 22.5
Roman Catholic 20.59 20.5 20.1
Methodist 1.4 1.5 3.3 1.91 1.97 2.6
Others 3.8 4.7 4.7 5.83 5.87 5.3

Note:
The figures for Church of Ireland and Roman Catholics in the
county for the years 1871, 1881 and 1891 will be included as
soon as possible.

EMIGRATION (1861-1911)

1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
77,516 54,670 59,431 5,469 14,946 32,804

These
figures include emigrants from the City of Belfast which was
a major port of emigration for people from other counties

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Emigration and Education Statistics, 1931, Co. Donegal

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Donegal, is a maritime county in the province of Ulster and it is bounded on the north and west by the Atlantic ocean and on the east by Lough Foyle, Counties Londonderry and Tyrone and on the south by counties Tyrone, Fermanagh and Leitrim. It’s length from Inishowen Head to Malinmore Head is 84 miles, its breadth from Bloody Foreland to the boundary south of Castlefinn is 41 miles.

NAME AND FORMER DIVISIONS

The name of the county is derived from the town of Donegal , and means the Fortress of the Galls, or foreigners, the Danes having made a settlement there at an early period. Donegal was the ancient ‘Tirconnell’ and was inhabited by Kinel Connell who was descended from Conall, son of Niall of the nine hostages, who possessed nearly the whole of Donegal. A few miles north west of Derry city is Greenan Ely, te ruins of ‘Aileagh’ the ancient palace of the O’Neills, the King’s of Ulster.

PHYSICAL FEATURES

The minerals to be found in the county included very fine marble found at Dunlevy at the base of the Errigal Mountain, and a formation of steatite near Raphoe, a kind of stone, easily carved and most durable.

The mountains of the county, beginning at the north-west are two parallel ranges called Derryveagh and Glendowan. The highest summit of the Derryveagh range is Doolish at 2,147 feet. West of Derryveagh is another irregular range containing Errigal (2,466), the highest mountain in the county. North-east of this is Mucklish (2,107). North-east of Glenties is a group of mountains of which Aghla (1,901) is the centre. In the east of the Barony of Banagh or Croaghgorm is Blaustack (2,219) and west of it are the Slieve League (1,972) and Slieveatooey (1,515) mountains, rising over the sea on the north and south coasts respectively. This range continues to the north-east towards Letterkenny and contains Gaugin (1,865), Boultipatrick (1,415) and Cark (1,205). The Inishowen peninsula is nearly all mountainous, the highest point being Slieve Snaght (2,015). On the Fanad peninsula, west of Lough Swilly is Knockalla (1,203) and Lough Salt Mountain (1,546) rises to the west of Mulroy Bay.

The headlands beginning on the north east are Inishowen and Malin Heads. Dunaff and Fanad Heads enclosing Lough Swilly; Horn Head, west of Sheep Haven; Bloody Foreland; Dawros Head, between Gweebarra Bay and Loughrosmore Bay. Malinmore and Muckross Heads with St. John’s Point and Doorin Point are in Donegal Bay. .

The islands of the county include Tory island, 8 miles from the mainland, which contains the ruins of an ancient abbey and round tower founded by St. Columba in the 7th century; Aran island which rises 750 feet above the sea; and in the same neighbourhood are numerous small islands, the principle of them being Inishsirrer, Gola, Owey, Cruit, Rutland, Inishfree and Roanish. Inch Island in Lough Swilly, culminates in Inch Top (732 feet). Rathlin O’Byrne island is near Malinmore Head. Between Tory Island and Ballyness Bay are Inishbofin, Inishdooey and Inishbeg. Inishtrahull, the most northerly land belonging to Ireland is to the north west of Malin Head.

Loughs Foyle and Swilly are the most important of Donegals bays and harbours, enclosing the Inishowen peninsula. Trawbreaga Bay is south of Malin Head; Mulroy Bay is to the south of the Fanad peninsula and is separated from Sheep Haven by Rossguill peninsula. South of Bloody Foreland are Gweedore and Inishfree Bays, and further south are those of Trawenagh and Gweebarra. Dawros Peninsula separates Gweebarra from the Bays of Loughrosmore and Loughrosbeg.. Glen Bay is in the extreme west, near Glencolumbkille and at the other side of Malinmore Head are Malin, Fintragh, MacSwyne’s and Inver Bays which are all branches of Donegal Bay.

The principal rivers are the Foyle, which separates Donegal from Derry (Londonderry) and which is formed by the rivers Finn and Mourne which join at Lifford. The Deele joins the Foyle north of Lifford. The Eask flows into Donegal Bay at Donegal. The Lowermore flows into Lough Eask, which is the source of the Eask River. Eany Water flows into Inver Bay, teh Bunlackey River into Donegal Bay at Dunkineely and the Glen River into Teelin Bay . The Owenia and Owentocher Rivers flow into Loughrosmore Bay at Ardara; the Gweebarra River flows into Gweebarra Bay and the Gweedore river into Gweedore. A river flows into Sheep Haven which has different names along the course of it’s path, these being: Owenbeagh,Owenarrow and Lackagh. The River Swilly flows into Lough Swilly at Letterkenny; the Erne River flows into Donegal Bay; the Bradogue River enters at Bundoran and the Termon enters Lough Erne.

Lakes: Lough Erne is on the south of the county; Lough Derg; Lough Esk is north-east of Donegal town; Lough Beagh; Glenlough is near Sheep Haven; Dunlewy lake and Lough Nacung are at the foot of the Errigal Mountain on one side and Lough Allen on the other side; Lough Finn is at the foot of Aghla Mountain and Loughs Muck and Barra are close to this mountain.

FAMILIES AND HOUSES, 1926

There were 30,325 families in the county according to the 1926 Census for Ireland, the average number in each family being 4.7. The number of ‘inhabited houses’ was 35,600, with an average of 4.8 persons to each house. The Special Inmates of Public institutions are omitted from these figures.

There were in the county 25,812 ‘Occupiers’ or ‘Heads of Families’ who were in occupation of less than five rooms, this was 85.4% of the total for the whole county. Of these 1,818, or 7% occupied one room; 12,226 or 47.3% occupied two rooms; 7,151 or 27.6%, occupied three rooms; and 4,647 or 18.0% were in occupation of four rooms.

There were 594 tenements in the county, in which the room had only one occupant at that time; 826 cases where the room had two, three or four occupants; 326 cases in which there were five, six or seven occupants and 72 cases where the occupants of one room exceeded 7 in number, including 13 cases where 10 persons occupied the same room; 5 cases where there are 11 and 2 cases with 12 or more persons in the same room.

ANALYSIS OF THE CENSUS FOR COUNTY DONEGAL, 1821-1926

Year
Males

Females

Total Pop.
1821 120,559 127,711 248,270
1831 141,845 147,304 289,149
1841 145,821 150,672 296,448
1851 124,723 130,435 255,158
1861 115,875 121,520 237,395
1871 106,080 112,254 218,334
1881 100,671 105,364 206,035
1891 91,478 94,157 185,635
1901 86,444 87,278 173,722
1911 84,627 83,910 168,537
1926 78,060 74,451 152,508

EDUCATION

In 1911, there were in the county 137,551 people aged 9 years and upwards; of these 102,619 or 74.6% could read and write; 6,586 or 4.8% could read only; and 28,346 or 20.6% were illiterate. As that census was the first for which the age for consideration had been raised from 5 years to 9 years, no comparison can be made with figures from earlier censuses. But – the percentage of those of five years and upwards who were unable to read and write in 1891 was 31.1%. By 1901 this figure was listed as 26% and in 1911 had fallen to 22.6%.

IRISH SPEAKING (1861-1911)

No.
of people
1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911

Irish only
3 1

Irish & English
103 89 273 187 404 1,427

Irish Total
103 89 273 190 405 1,427
% of
population
0.1 0.1 0.4 0,3 0.7 2.6

RELIGIONS, 1861-1911(% of population)


Religion
1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911

Presbyterian
0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.51 0.52

Church of Ireland
10.7 10.8 10.8 10.7 10.36 9.71

Roman Catholic
88.3 88.0 88.0 87.7 88.13 88.74

Methodist
0.5 0.5 0.5 0.8 0.73 0.68

Others
0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.27 0.35

EMIGRATION (1861-1911)

1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
19,886 9,620 9,090 13,634 4,434 2,542
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Emigration and Education Statistics, 1931, Co. Wexford

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Wexford a maritime county is in the province of Leinster. It is bounded on the North by county Wicklow on the east by St. George’s channel on the south by the Atlantic ocean and on the west by counties Waterford, Kilkanny and Carlow. It’s length from Hook Head to the boundary south-west of Arklow in county Wicklow is 55 miles and it’s breadth from Greenore Point to New Ross is 29 miles.

NAME AND FORMER DIVISIONS

The name is derived from that of the Borough of Wexford.

Croghan Kinsella is called after the ancient family of Kinsella, whose original name was Hy Kinsella and they were descended from Enna Kinsella, King of Leinster in the fourth century. The people called Hy Felimy occupied territory in county Carlow and Wexford and the branch in county Wexford took the name O’Murcada which was then anglicised to Murphy. They occupied territory corresponding to the Barony of Ballaghkeen. Another old territory, that of Fotharta also extended from Carlow into county Wexford and this gave its name to the Barony of Forth.

PHYSICAL FEATURES

There were several variations of minerals to be found in the county, copper at Kerloge near Wexford itself; lead at Caim near Enniscorthy and silver at the head of Bannow Bay.

The Wicklow Mountains extend into the northern part of county Wexford; the height in feet is given after each peak’s name here; Mount Leinster (2,610) and the Blackstairs (2,409) are on the boundary with county Carlow, Blackrock is near county Carlow but within county Wexford. Croghan Kinsella (1,987) mentioned previously is on the Wicklow border and close to this are Annagh (1,498) and Slieveboy (1,385). on the coast near Gorey is Tara (826) and Forth Mountain, near Wexford separates the south-eastern plain constituting the Baronies of Forth and Bargy from the other parts of county Wexford.

The chief headlands are Kilmichael, at the point where counties Wicklow and Wexford meet, Raven and Rosslare points mark the entrance to Wexford Harbour. Greenore marks the south end of Wexford Bay. Carnsore Point is in the extreme south-eastern point; Crossfarnoge, Clammers Point and Baginbun Head are on the west. Clammers Point and Baginbun Head mark the entrance to Bannow Bay. Hook Head is at the eastern entrance to Waterford Harbour

The Saltee Islands are off the west coast; the Keeragh islands are in Ballyteige Bay; the Bannow islands in Bannow Bay. Tuskar Rock lies south-west of Greenore Point about five miles from the coast.

The principal rivers are the Barrow which forms the western boundary with Kilkenny from its confluence with the Pollmounty river, until after receiving the waters of the Nore and the Suir and other tributaries it enters Waterford harbour. The Slaney river forms the boundary with Carlow until it enters county Wexford at Newtownbarry, and crosses the county to enter the sea at Wexford. The Cody, the Glasha, the Urrin, the Borro, the Aughnaglaur, the Derry, teh Bann, the Lask and Milltown stream are tributaries of the Slaney. The Sow river flows into Wexford harbour.

FAMILIES AND HOUSES, 1926

There were 20,607 families in the county according to the 1926 Census for Ireland, the average number in each family being 4.4. The number of ‘inhabited houses’ was 20,452, with an average of 4.7 persons to each house. The Special Inmates of Public institutions are omitted from these figures.

There were in the county 11,802 ‘Occupiers’ or ‘Heads of Families’ who were in occupation of less than five rooms, this was 57.3% of the total for the whole county. Of these 444, or 2.1% occupied one room; 1,872 or 9.1% occupied two rooms; 2,821 or 13.7%, occupied three rooms; and 6,665 or 32.3% were in occupation of four rooms.

There were 165 tenements in the county, in which the room had only one occupant at that time; 213cases where the room had two, three or four occupants; 53 cases in which there were five, six or seven occupants and 13 cases where the occupants of one room exceeded 7 in number, including 8 cases where 8 persons, 4 cases where 9 persons and 1 case where 10 persons occupied the same room.

ANALYSIS OF THE CENSUS FOR COUNTY WEXFORD, 1821-1926

Year
Males

Females

Total Pop.
1821 82,322 88,484 170,806
1831 87,995 94,718 182,713
1841 97,918 104,115 202,033
1851 86,938 93,220 180,158
1861 69,104 74,850 143,954
1871 64,199 68,467 132,666
1881 60,928 62,926 123,854
1891 54,935 56,843 111,778
1901 51,756 52,348 104,104
1911 51,568 50,705 102,273
1926 48,561 47,251 95,848

EDUCATION

In 1911, there were in the county 84,677 people aged 9 years and upwards; of these 72,271 or 85.3% could read and write; 3,123 or 3.7% could read only; and 9,283 or 11% were illiterate. As that census was the first for which the age for consideration had been raised from 5 years to 9 years, no comparison can be made with figures from earlier censuses. But – the percentage of those of five years and upwards who were unable to read and write in 1891 was 19.6%. By 1901 this figure was listed as 15.5% and in 1911 had fallen to 13.9%.

IRISH SPEAKING (1861-1911)

No.
of people
1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911

Irish only
1 1

Irish & English
240 209 512 320 1,300 2,901

Irish Total
241 210 512 320 1,300 2,901
% of
population
0.2 0.2 0.4 0.3 1.2 2.8

RELIGIONS, 1871-1926(% of population)


Religion
1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926

Presbyterian
0.3 0.2 0.2 0.26 0.25 0.15

Church of Ireland
8.5 8.2 7.9 7.55 6.89 5.34

Roman Catholic
90.7 91.1 91.4 91.67 92.31 94.04

Methodist
0.3 0.3 0.3 0.33 0.33 0.23

Others
0.2 0.2 0.2 0.19 0.22 0.24

EMIGRATION (1861-1911)

1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
27,053 16,088 13,106 11,966 3,960 2,900
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Emigration and Education Statistics, 1931, Co. Louth

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Description from Thom’s Directory of Ireland, 1931

Longford is an inland county in the province of Leinster. It is bounded on the North by counties Leitrim and Cavan, on the east and south by Westmeath and on the west by County Roscommon. It’s length from a point in the south west of Lough Rea to a point in the north-east is 30.5 miles, and its greatest width from the River Inny to Drumshanbo Lake is 18 miles.

NAME AND FORMER DIVISIONS

Longford town which gives its name to the county was formerly called Longford O’Farrell, or the fortress (longphort) of the O’Farrells who were its ancient proprietors.

The county of Longford was the ancient territory of Annaly, the hereditary possession of the O’Farrell family. In earlier times the county was called North Teffia, being in County Westmeath. The Barony of Granard which is a part of North Teffia, was called Carbery of Teffia, and this gives its name to a range of mountains called Slieve Carbery. The country around the village of Ardagh was called Calry and St. Mel (the patron saint of Longford), founded a monastery in Calry.

PHYSICAL FEATURES

There are no mountains of any importance in Co. Longford. The highest is Carn Clonhugh (912 feet) which rises in the middle of a plain south-west of Newtownforbes. Slieve Calry (or Slieve Gory) is 650 feet high and rises near Ardagh. The rest of the county is flat with a lot of bogland

The river Shannon forms the western boundary of the county for about 14 miles. The river Inny rises in County Westmeath and runs through County Longford for about 12 miles before it falls into Lough Ree. The Tang, the Rath and the Riffey are tributaries of the river Inny. The Ruin river which flows from County Leitrim falls into Lough Forbes. The Camlin flows through Longford town and joins the river Shannon near Cloondara.

Lakes: In the river Shannon are Lough Forbes which is near Newtownforbes, and Lough Ree. Lough Ree bounds County Longford on the south-west.There are many smaller lakes to be found between Loongford and Leitrim. Lough Gowna is 6 miles long and belongs partly to County Cavan, Lough Kinale is on the eastern boundary of County Longford, Glen Lough is found near Edgesworthstown. Killean and Cloonfin lie near Granard and Lough Bannow is near Lanesborough. Derry and Derrymacar Lakes are about 4 miles from Ballymahon.

The islands of Inchenagh, Clawinch and Inchcleraun are to be found in Lough Ree. Inchmore is in Lough Gowna

FAMILIES AND HOUSES, 1926

There were 7,953 families in the county according to the 1926 Census for Ireland, the average number in each family being 4.3. The number of ‘inhabited houses’ was 8,957, with an average of 4.4 persons to each house. The Special Inmates of Public institutions are omitted from these figures.

There were in the county 7,227 ‘Occupiers’ or ‘Heads of Families’ who were in occupation of less than five rooms, this was 90.8% of the total for the whole county. Of these 198, or 2.5% occupied one room; 993 or 12.5% occupied two rooms; 4,196 or 52.8%, occupied three rooms; and 1,840 or 24.4% were in occupation of four rooms.

There were 89 tenements in the county, in which the room had only one occupant at that time; 85 cases where the room had two, three or four occupants; 22 cases in which there were five, six or seven occupants and 2 cases where the occupants of one room exceeded 7 in number.

ANALYSIS OF THE CENSUS FOR COUNTY LONGFORD, 1821-1926

Year
Males

Females

Total Pop.
1821 53,215 54,355 107,570
1831 55,310 57,248 112,558
1841 57,610 57,881 115,491
1851 41,041 41,307 82,348
1861 36,044 35,650 71,694
1871 32,512 31,989 64,501
1881 30,770 30,239 61,009
1891 26,681 25,966 52,647
1901 23,814 22,858 46,672
1911 22,656 21,164 43,820
1926 20,804 19,027 39,847

EDUCATION

In 1911, there were in the county 36,606 people aged 9 years and upwards; of these 31,546 or 86.2% could read and write; 1,581 or 4.3% could read only; and 3,479 or 9.5% were illiterate. As that census was the first for which the age for consideration had been raised from 5 years to 9 years, no comparison can be made with figures from earlier censuses. But – the percentage of those of five years and upwards who were unable to read and write in 1891 was 16.9%. By 1901 this figure was listed as 13.5% and in 1911 had fallen to 11.9%.

IRISH SPEAKING (1861-1911)

No.
of people
1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911

Irish only
34 2

Irish & English
774 245 640 252 340 915

Irish Total
808 245 642 252 340 915
% of
population
1.1 0.4 1.1 0.5 0.7 2.1

RELIGIONS, 1871-1926(% of population)


Religion
1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926

Presbyterian
1.0 0.7 0.3 0.55 0.53 0.30

Church of Ireland
8.1 8.0 7.7 7.29 7.03 4.95

Roman Catholic
90.1 90.0 91.3 91.58 91.96 94.25

Methodist
0.2 0.3 0.4 0.43 0.37 0.27

Others
0.6 0.0 0.1 0.15 0.11 0.23

EMIGRATION (1861-1911)

1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
14,577 13,632 13,305 11,786 5,701 5,041
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Emigration and Education Statistics, 1931, Co. Longford

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Description from Thom’s Directory of Ireland, 1931

Longford is an inland county in the province of Leinster. It is bounded on the North by counties Leitrim and Cavan, on the east and south by Westmeath and on the west by County Roscommon. It’s length from a point in the south west of Lough Rea to a point in the north-east is 30.5 miles, and its greatest width from the River Inny to Drumshanbo Lake is 18 miles.

NAME AND FORMER DIVISIONS

Longford town which gives its name to the county was formerly called Longford O’Farrell, or the fortress (longphort) of the O’Farrells who were its ancient proprietors.

The county of Longford was the ancient territory of Annaly, the hereditary possession of the O’Farrell family. In earlier times the county was called North Teffia, being in County Westmeath. The Barony of Granard which is a part of North Teffia, was called Carbery of Teffia, and this gives its name to a range of mountains called Slieve Carbery. The country around the village of Ardagh was called Calry and St. Mel (the patron saint of Longford), founded a monastery in Calry.

PHYSICAL FEATURES

There are no mountains of any importance in Co. Longford. The highest is Carn Clonhugh (912 feet) which rises in the middle of a plain south-west of Newtownforbes. Slieve Calry (or Slieve Gory) is 650 feet high and rises near Ardagh. The rest of the county is flat with a lot of bogland

The river Shannon forms the western boundary of the county for about 14 miles. The river Inny rises in County Westmeath and runs through County Longford for about 12 miles before it falls into Lough Ree. The Tang, the Rath and the Riffey are tributaries of the river Inny. The Ruin river which flows from County Leitrim falls into Lough Forbes. The Camlin flows through Longford town and joins the river Shannon near Cloondara.

Lakes: In the river Shannon are Lough Forbes which is near Newtownforbes, and Lough Ree. Lough Ree bounds County Longford on the south-west.There are many smaller lakes to be found between Loongford and Leitrim. Lough Gowna is 6 miles long and belongs partly to County Cavan, Lough Kinale is on the eastern boundary of County Longford, Glen Lough is found near Edgesworthstown. Killean and Cloonfin lie near Granard and Lough Bannow is near Lanesborough. Derry and Derrymacar Lakes are about 4 miles from Ballymahon.

The islands of Inchenagh, Clawinch and Inchcleraun are to be found in Lough Ree. Inchmore is in Lough Gowna

FAMILIES AND HOUSES, 1926

There were 7,953 families in the county according to the 1926 Census for Ireland, the average number in each family being 4.3. The number of ‘inhabited houses’ was 8,957, with an average of 4.4 persons to each house. The Special Inmates of Public institutions are omitted from these figures.

There were in the county 7,227 ‘Occupiers’ or ‘Heads of Families’ who were in occupation of less than five rooms, this was 90.8% of the total for the whole county. Of these 198, or 2.5% occupied one room; 993 or 12.5% occupied two rooms; 4,196 or 52.8%, occupied three rooms; and 1,840 or 24.4% were in occupation of four rooms.

There were 89 tenements in the county, in which the room had only one occupant at that time; 85 cases where the room had two, three or four occupants; 22 cases in which there were five, six or seven occupants and 2 cases where the occupants of one room exceeded 7 in number.

ANALYSIS OF THE CENSUS FOR COUNTY LONGFORD, 1821-1926

Year
Males

Females

Total Pop.
1821 53,215 54,355 107,570
1831 55,310 57,248 112,558
1841 57,610 57,881 115,491
1851 41,041 41,307 82,348
1861 36,044 35,650 71,694
1871 32,512 31,989 64,501
1881 30,770 30,239 61,009
1891 26,681 25,966 52,647
1901 23,814 22,858 46,672
1911 22,656 21,164 43,820
1926 20,804 19,027 39,847

EDUCATION

In 1911, there were in the county 36,606 people aged 9 years and upwards; of these 31,546 or 86.2% could read and write; 1,581 or 4.3% could read only; and 3,479 or 9.5% were illiterate. As that census was the first for which the age for consideration had been raised from 5 years to 9 years, no comparison can be made with figures from earlier censuses. But – the percentage of those of five years and upwards who were unable to read and write in 1891 was 16.9%. By 1901 this figure was listed as 13.5% and in 1911 had fallen to 11.9%.

IRISH SPEAKING (1861-1911)

No.
of people
1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911

Irish only
34 2

Irish & English
774 245 640 252 340 915

Irish Total
808 245 642 252 340 915
% of
population
1.1 0.4 1.1 0.5 0.7 2.1

RELIGIONS, 1871-1926(% of population)


Religion
1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926

Presbyterian
1.0 0.7 0.3 0.55 0.53 0.30

Church of Ireland
8.1 8.0 7.7 7.29 7.03 4.95

Roman Catholic
90.1 90.0 91.3 91.58 91.96 94.25

Methodist
0.2 0.3 0.4 0.43 0.37 0.27

Others
0.6 0.0 0.1 0.15 0.11 0.23

EMIGRATION (1861-1911)

1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
14,577 13,632 13,305 11,786 5,701 5,041
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Emigration and Education Statistics, 1931, Co. Cavan

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Extract from Thom’s Directory, 1931.

County Cavan is an inland county in the province of Ulster. It is bounded on the north by counties Fermanagh and Monaghan, on the east by Monaghan and Meath, on the south by Meath, Westmeath and Longford, and west by Longford and Leitrim. A long thin portion extends north west from the main body of the county. The extreme length from the north west of county Cavan near Lough Macnean to the south east near Kingscourt is 57 ½ miles, and its breadth from the south-west near Lough Kinale to the north east near Cootehill is 27 miles.

NAME AND FORMER DIVISIONS

The name of the county is derived from the town of Cavan and means “”a hollow”” because of the situation of the town. The county was anciently called “”East Brefny”” or “”Brefny O’Reilly””, being the territory of the O’Reilly’s, and the county of Leitrim forming “”West Brefny”” or “”Brefny O’Rourke””. Croghan near Killeshandra, was the place where the O’Rourke’s were inaugurated Prince’s of Brefny. The plain around Ballymagauran, on the Leitrim boundary, was the ancient ‘Moy Slecht’ where the pagan Irish worshipped their chief God, ‘Crom-Cruach.’ The hilly country east and north of Balieborough was the ancient Slieve Gory

PHYSICAL FEATURES

The county has or had a portion of the Connaught coal fields which extended into the north west near Lough Allen; coal was also found near King’s Court and Shercock; land near Swanlinbar produced iron ore; and lead and copper ores were found near Cootehill.

The chief mountain summits lie on the north-west side of the county, their height begin given in feet here. Cuilcagh (2,188) has its northern slope in county Fermanagh; to the south is Binbeg (1,774), north west lies Tiltinbane (1,949) on the boundary of Fermanagh, 2 miles west of Cuilcagh; near its base the river Shannon takes its rise. Separated from these by the valley of Glengavlin on it’s south west are Benbrack (1,648), and Slievenakilla (1,793). Four miles south east of Cavan rises Slieve Glah (1,057) and Bruce Hill (851). Three miles east of Balieborough is Carnasans (1,027) with the lakelet Loughanleagh (which was celebrated for it’s medicinal qualities) on it’s eastern slope.

The rivers are the Shannon, which flows from its source for seven miles until it reaches county Leitrim; next it runs 1½ miles on the boundary between Cavan and Leitrim; then enters Leitrim. The Owenmore joins the Shannon two miles below its source; the Owenayle joins the Shannon first before it enters Lough Allen; the Claddagh rises on the south eastern slopes of the Cuilcagh Mountain, enters Fermanagh, being joined at Swanlinbar by the Blackwater. The Woodford River rising in Leitrim in its course to Lough Erne forms the boundary between Fermanagh and Cavan. The Erne rising in Lough Gowna flows through the county to where it enters Upper Lough Erne. The Annalee flows west to Lough Oughter and is joined by Drommore River on the county boundary near Cootehill and later by the Bunnoe stream. The Blackwater rises east of Benbrack Mountain, and flows near the boundary with Leitrim into Garadice Lough. The Inny flowing through Loughs Sheelin and Kinale forms for some distance the boundary with Meath and Westmeath. The Meath Blackwater flows for about 3 miles through Cavan from its source into Lough Ramor; and the Moynalty River flowing from its source near Balieborough forms for 6 miles the boundary between Cavan and Meath.

There are many small lakes in the county, especially in the centre. There is Lough Oughter broken up by promontories, peninsulas and islands; on the southern boundary is Lough Sheelin, more than half of which belongs to Cavan and Lough Kinale of which half belongs to Cavan. Lough Gowna on the south western boundary belongs in part to this county. On the north western extremity are Upper and Lower Loughs Macnean; Upper Lough Erne touches on the north of the county but belongs to Fermanagh; Lough Ramor is near the south eastern border, Loughs Sillan, Tacker and Barnagrow are near Shercock; and Brackley Lough near Bawnboy.

FAMILIES AND HOUSES, 1926

There were 17,817 families in the county according to the 1926 Census for Ireland, the average number in each family being 4.2. The number of ‘inhabited houses’ was 19,038, with an average of 4.3 persons to each house. The Special Inmates of Public institutions are omitted from these figures.

There were in the county 14,230 ‘Occupiers’ or ‘Heads of Families’ who were in occupation of less than five rooms, this was 79.5% of the total for the whole county. Of these 344, or 1.9% occupied one room; 2,375 or 13.4% occupied two rooms; 3,636 or 20.4%, occupied three rooms; and 7,875 or 44.2% were in occupation of four rooms.

There were 169 tenements in the county, in which the room had only one occupant at that time; 139 cases where the room had two, three or four occupants; 30 cases in which there were five, six or seven occupants and five cases where the occupants of one room exceeded 7 in number, including one case where twelve persons occupied the same room.

ANALYSIS OF THE CENSUS FOR COUNTY CAVAN, 1821-1926

Year
Males

Females

Total Pop.
1821 38,821 40,131 78,952
1831 40,149 41,839 81,988
1841 42,428 43,800 86,228
1851 33,016 35,062 68,078
1861 28,139 28,998 57,137
1871 25,464 26,186 51,650
1881 23,078 23,490 46,568
1891 20,552 20,384 40,936
1901 19,009 18,739 37,748
1911 18,481 17,771 36,252
1926 17,802 16,702 34,476

EDUCATION

In 1911, there were in the county 30,138 people aged 9 years and upwards; of these 26,972 or 89.4% could read and write; 970 or 3.2% could read only; and 2,241 or 7.4% were illiterate. As that census was the first for which the age for consideration had been raised from 5 years to 9 years, no comparison can be made with figures from earlier censuses. But – the percentage of those of five years and upwards who were unable to read and write in 1891 was 15.4%. By 1901 this figure was listed as 11.3% and in 1911 had fallen to 9.8%.

IRISH SPEAKING (1861-1911)

No.
of people
1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911

Irish only
202 58 9 2 0 0

Irish & English
7,425 3,300 6,995 3,408 5,425 2,968

Irish Total
7,627 3,358 7,004 3,401 5,425 2,968
% of
population
4.9 2.4 5.4 3.0 5.6 3.3

RELIGIONS, 1871-1926(% of population)


Religion
1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1926

Presbyterian
3,6 3.4 3.4 3.30 3.12 2.66

Church of Ireland
15.1 14.7 14.6 14.47 14.20 12.25

Roman Catholic
80.4 80.90 80.90 81.20 81.46 81.45

Methodist
0.70 0.80 0.90 1.01 0.86 0.57

Others
0.20 0.20 0.20 0.20 0.36 0.37

EMIGRATION (1861-1911)

1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
36,502 22,348 19,376 21,679 12,033 9,353
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