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Ahoghill
Ahoghill main street
Ahoghill coi
St Colmanell's Church of Ireland

Ahoghill or Ahohill (/əˈhɒhɪl/ or /əˈhɒxɪl/; from Template:Etymology/lang Achadh Eochaille, meaning 'field of the yew forest') is a large village and civil parish in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, four miles from Ballymena. It is in Mid and East Antrim District Council. It had a population of 3,403 people in the 2011 Census.

In early documents, Ahoghill is referred to as Magherahoghill meaning "the plain of the yew forest."

Demography

2011 Census

It had a population of 3,403 people (1,320 households) in the 2011 Census.

2001 Census

Ahoghill is classified as an Intermediate Settlement by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with a population of between 2,250 and 4,500 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 3,055 people living in Ahoghill. Of these:

  • 23.2% were aged under 16 and 14.8% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.9% of the population were male and 51.1% were female
  • 5.8% were from a Catholic background and 92.3% were from a Protestant background;
  • 2.4% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service

History

Religious Revival

The 1859 Revival which swept through Ulster has strong connections with Ahoghill. Thousands, of ordinary folk had their lives changed at this time. Especially notable is the reports of men and women weeping in the streets of Ahoghill such was the palpable moving of the Holy Spirit. On Monday 14 March 1859 a thanksgiving service took place in the new First Ahoghill Presbyterian Meetinghouse at which some of the converts from Connor spoke. It was estimated that 3,000 people attended and the commotion was such that the minister ordered the building to be emptied out of fear of the crowded gallery giving way. The crowd spent upwards of three hours in the Diamond in the rain continuing in prayer and praise. The gallery of First Ahoghill [1] still bears the effects of this event; it is visibly sunken to one side! Today Ahoghill has three Presbyterian churches, First Ahoghill on Straid Road, Brookside (www.brooksidepc.org)on Brook Street and Trinity on Church Street. There is also St Colmanell's Church of Ireland on Church Street and the Gospel Hall on Glenhugh Road.

The Troubles

On 19 April 1977 William Strathearn (39), a Catholic shop owner was shot and killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) while at his home in Ahoghill. The murder was carried out by Billy McCaughey who was a UVF member despite also being a former police officer.

The village has seen frequent sectarian attacks, particularly in 2005 when several Catholic families left after attacks on their homes, and is considered a staunchly loyalist area.

See also UDA South East Antrim Brigade.


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