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.
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
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)
Irish & English
RELIGIONS, 1871-1926(% of population)
Church of Ireland