Newry facts for kids
Top: Newry skyline, Middle: The Buttercrane, The Quays, Newry Town Hall, Bottom Drumalane Mill, Newry Cathedral
|Population||29,946 (2008 est)|
|Irish grid reference|
|• Belfast||38 mi (61 km)|
|• Dublin||67 mi (108 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||BT34, BT35|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
Newry (//; from Irish: An Iúraigh) is a city in Northern Ireland, 34 miles (55 km) from Belfast and 67 miles (108 km) from Dublin. It had a population of 29,946 in 2011. Newry straddles counties Armagh and Down.
Newry was founded in 1144 alongside a Cistercian monastery, although there are references to earlier settlements in the area. It is one of Ireland's oldest towns. The city is an entry to the "Gap of the North", close to the border with the Republic of Ireland. It grew as a market town and a garrison and became a port in 1742 when it was linked to Lough Neagh by the first summit-level canal built in Ireland or Great Britain. In 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee celebrations, Newry was granted city status along with Lisburn.
The name Newry is an anglicization of An Iúraigh, an oblique form of An Iúrach, which means "the grove of yew trees".
The modern Irish name for Newry is An tIúr (pronounced [ən̠ʲ tʲuːɾˠ]), which means "the yew tree". An tIúr is an shortening of Iúr Cinn Trá, "yew tree at the head of the strand", which was formerly the most common Irish name for Newry. This relates to an apocryphal story that Saint Patrick planted a yew tree there in the 5th century.
The Irish name Cathair an Iúir (City of Newry) appears on some bilingual signs around the city.
There is strong evidence of continual human habitation in the area from early times, where it is seen during the Bronze Age that Newry had a factory type community who were producing in abundance very detailed jewellery for garments, three of these Newry Clasps can be found in the Ulster Museum, and a massive arm clasp from this same period was also found in Newry. In recent times the survey for the new bypass revealed a number of standing stones on a central area down the O Meath road, these like many other finds, like that of ancient cave at the top of the Dublin Road area, have seemingly been noted and forgotten about, it is estimated that as many as 130 ancient sites were discovered at the top of the Camlough Road amongst these there were 3 Neolithic homesteads were discovered at which time in the all were noted, and left to be destroyed by the New road, standing stones were also seen on at least one of these sites, they stand no more. In 820, the Danes made one of their earliest irruptions at Newry abbey, from whence they proceeded to Armagh, taking it by storm, and plundering and desolating the country around.
In A.D 835, according to O Halloran's History of Ireland, the Danes again made a sudden incursion into Newry, with a large body of Danes landed at Inbher-Chin-Tra-gha, or Newry, and committed, dreadful cruelties there. Then, they attacked Armagh, and set fire to the churches and university, plundering them of all their plate and riches and plundered all in his way setting fire to them, putting at the same time to the sword, above a thousand people, clergy and laity were slaughtered. Todd James Henthorn tells us more in his 1867 Volume, (Chronicles and memories of England and Ireland in the Middle Ages) where he tells us the abbey was attacked in 824. A small medieval town was in situ to the North and South of the abbey which was refounded in 1142 (Keating G) by King O Carroll of the Oriel on the request of Saint Malachi (Ibid). The landing stage of the abbey was situated to the North of the college in Killmorey street, from these early times it was the main pier and port of the town. It stayed as such until the construction of the new canal took place. The abbey was later converted to a collegiate church in 1543, before being surrendered to the crown in 1548. The abbey is seen to be giving its earnings to the crown almost 200 years before this date. It is described as being one of the richest and largest in Ireland. The Vikings attacked the Abbey many time, slaughtering its occupants. The town was granted its first charter between 1157 by High King of Ireland Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn. many believe that this charter is in fact a 17cent fake compiled by Ware as it reads no different that the Melifont charter there is also some argument that the latter was built before Newry which can really hold no water as Melifont was a new structure.
In 1162 the monastery was attacked and burned to some degree, by Irish clans. There is no evidence however as to how much of the abbey was burned in this attack stones don't burn so it was not completely destroyed as may be assumed. De Courcy's lordship ensured a safe spell for the abbey after he had built several castles in and around Newry, these were typical Norman affairs Motte and Baileys.
In 1539 an English mercenary, Nicholas Bagenal, fled to Ireland after murdering a man in Leek, Staffordshire, apparently with the aid of his two brothers. After some time in the employment of the O Neill he reached a high status, was granted a pardon in 1543, and became Marshal of the army. During his early years in the Louth area he lived at Carlingford where his son Henry was born. Lord Bingham is seen sending Oriel labourers to Newry in 1546 at which time Bagenal is seen restoring the castle of Newry which belonged to Hugh O Neill being first built by John De Courcy in 1186 (De Arcy McGee See also Lewis 1815) Not long after this the Marshall in 1552 is seen securing a 21-year lease on the Newry property which was confiscated from the Cistercians the Castle was then pulled to the ground by Shane O Neill who banished Bagenal from Newry in 1566.
Many of the old walls of the Abbey are still standing round the abbey fields. The nearby convent was also part of the Abbey,and is seen mentioned in the Bagenal patent. A small medieval church can be found in its grounds. It is an ancient place. The abbey site is mentioned in the rent rolls of 1575, said to consist of a 'church, a steeple, a cemetery, a chapter-house, dormitory and hall, two orchards and one garden, containing one acre, within the precincts of the college which was situated at Killmorey street on the site of the old gas works.
During the 1689 Raid on Newry Williamite forces under Toby Purcell repulsed an attack by the Jacobites under the Marquis de Boisseleau. At the period of the Battle of the Boyne, the Duke of Berwick set fire to the parts of the town which he had restructured to defend it, see Berwicks Journal, Schomberg sent troops in during the early hours of the mornings when seeing the flames, they successfully extinguished them. While it is believed that King William may have stayed at a Newry Castle,the story is a far fetched one, King William took a portable wooden bed room with him on this campaign,which he called his coach, (see The Impartial History by Rev Story) the King refused to sleep in Castles or houses, preferring to be amongst his men.
One of the main Castles of Newry at this date was an ancient abbey building which stood at Mill Street corner, it stood in the North West end of the abbey complex, its remains were finally demolished in 1965. The other abbey buildings were once used by Bagenal (30 odd years), as pig sties and stables according to the O Neill web site, these buildings lay neglected when King William passed through the town, for over 100 years they were nothing more than great massive stores or sheds in the back ground and not considered as part of the town. Isaac Corry demolished some of them in the early 1800s the ones that he didn't demolish were turned into home steads or ware houses this included the 140 feet of the great church that was constructed in 1142 he demolished the altar of the same and completely dug up the ancient grave yard that was beside the church removing ancient bones by the cart load to St Mary's at Chapel street while there was deep mourning from the Catholics of the town at these action no one complained because of Corry's status. The grave yard is currently a car park for Lidl the great church is now a museum Bagenal Castle.
By 1881 the population of Newry had reached 15,590. Newry Urban District Council was unusual in that during the period from the 1920s to the 1960s it was one of only a handful of councils in Northern Ireland which had a majority of Councillors from the Catholic/Nationalist community. (The others were Strabane UDC and a handful of rural district councils.) The reason according to Michael Farrell was that this community formed such a large majority in the town, around 80% of the population, that it was impossible to gerrymander. Also an oddity was that for a time it was controlled by the Irish Labour Party, after the left wing of the Northern Ireland Labour Party defected to them in the 1940s.
Newry saw several violent incidents during the conflict known as the Troubles. These went on into the late 1990s and even in 2010 – such as bomb scares and car bombs.
See also: The Troubles in Killeen, for information on incidents at the border and customs post at Newry on the border with the Republic of Ireland and close to Newry. In 2003, the hilltop watch towers were taken down. The Army withdrew from the area on 25 June 2007 when they closed their final base at Bessbrook. As there are no garrisons in the area the British Army has had no official presence in Newry or South Armagh since the end of Operation Banner.
Newry lies in the most south-eastern part of both Ulster and Northern Ireland. About half of the city (the west) lies in County Armagh and the other half (the east) in County Down. The Clanrye River, which runs through the city, forms the historic border between County Armagh and County Down.
The city sits in a valley, between the Mourne Mountains to the east and the Ring of Gullion to the south-west, both of which are designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Cooley Mountains lie to the south east. The Clanrye River runs through the centre of town, parallel to the Newry Canal. The city also lies at the northernmost end of Carlingford Lough, where the canal enters the sea at Victoria Locks.
Newry is within the civil parishes of Newry and Middle Killeavy. The parishes have long been divided into townlands, the names of which mainly come from the Irish language. The following is a list of townlands in Newry's urban area, alongside their likely etymologies:
|Townland||Origin (Irish unless stated)||Translation|
Aghnaveigh (alternate local name)
|Alt na bhFiach
Achadh na bhFiach
|glen of the ravens
field of the ravens
|Ballinlare||Baile na Ladhaire||townland of the fork/gap|
|Carnagat||Carn na gCat||cairn of the cats|
|Carnbane||Carn Bán||white cairn|
|Derry Beg||Doire Beag||little oak wood|
|Drumalane||An Droim Leathan||broad ridge|
|Lisdrumgullion||Lios Droim gCuilinn||fort of the holly ridge|
|Lisdrumliska||Lios Druim Loiscthe||fort of the burnt ridge|
|Townland||Origin (Irish unless stated)||Translation|
|Ballynacraig||Baile na gCreag||townland of the crags|
|Ballinaire||Baile an Iubhair||settlement of the yew tree|
|Carneyhough||Cárn Uí h-Eochadha OHaughey[s] Carn|
|Cloghanramer||Clochán Ramhar||thick stone structure/causeway|
|Commons||an English name that first appeared in 1810|
|Damolly||probably Damh Maoile||house of the round hill|
|Drumcashellone||Droim Caisil Eoghain||the ridge of Eoghan's cashel|
|Greenan||Grianán||eminent or sunny place|
Although officially a city, Newry is classified as a large town by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 18,000 and 75,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001), there were 27,433 people living in Newry. Of these:
- 26.2% were aged under 16 years and 16.0% were aged 60 and over
- 48.5% of the population were male and 51.6% were female;
- 89.6% were from a Roman Catholic background and 9.4% were from a Protestant background.
- 5.5% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.
- 99% of people are European.
As with the rest of Ireland, Newry has a temperate climate, with a narrow range of temperatures, regular windy conditions, and rainfall throughout the year.
|Climate data for Newry, United Kingdom (1981–2010 normals)|
|Average high °C (°F)||6.8
|Average low °C (°F)||1.7
|Precipitation mm (inches)||108.9
|Source: Met Office (UK)|
- The Newry Canal opened in 1742. It is the oldest Canal in Ireland or Britain and when functioning as an inland transport waterway, it ran for 18 miles to Lough Neagh. In 1777, Newry was ranked the fourth largest port in Ireland. Some surviving 18th and 19th century warehouses still line the canal, and now many houses, shops and restaurants.
- In 1885 an electric tramway was opened between Newry and Bessbrook.
- MacNeill's Egyptian Arch is a railway bridge located near Newry. It was selected for the design of the British One Pound coin to represent Northern Ireland for 2006.
- Newry is served by an Ulsterbus bus station, located in the city centre. The bus station is situation along The Mall, suspended over the Clanrye River. Services in Newry include local, regional and cross-border transport with a free shuttle bus service to the local train station and services to local schools around Newry and Mourne.
- Newry railway station, just off the Camlough road, offers cross border services on the Dublin-Belfast line as well as some regional services around areas of County Armagh and County Down. Transport to other places generally requires a change in either Belfast or Dublin. Planning permission for the construction of a new station to the east of the current station, was granted in May 2006 and the new station opened on 7 September 2009 by Northern Ireland Railways.
- Newry is on the main M1/A1 route from Dublin to Belfast. Originally the route passed through the town centre, but in the 60s was bypassed by the Abbey Link. This remained the sole relief road until 1996 when it was superseded by a single carriageway bypass round the western side of the town. By 2008 the road on either side of the town had been upgraded to motorway/high quality dual carriageway standard (southwards from Cloghogue) and low quality dual carriageway (northwards from Beechill). In July 2010 a new high quality dual carriageway with motorway characteristics was opened to bridge the gap, thus connecting Dublin with Belfast by motorway/dual carriageway for the first time. The opening of this section of Road meant that motorists could travel from Clogh in Co. Antrim to Midleton, Co. Cork by dual carriageway/motorway. Part of this older bypass is still in use between the Camlough Road (A25) and the Belfast Road (A1). Newry suffers from very heavy traffic with shoppers coming from across the border. Newry is connected with Warrenpoint by a lower quality dual carriageway, some seven miles to the south.
Saint Patrick's Church was built in 1578 on the instructions of Nicholas Bagenal, who was granted the monastery lands by Edward VI, and is considered to be the first Protestant church in Ireland.
The Cathedral of SS. Patrick and Colman on Hill Street was built in 1829 at a cost of £8,000. The structure, which consists of local granite, was designed and built by Thomas Duff, arguably Newry's greatest architect to date. Incidentally, Thomas Duff also was the architect for the Cathedral in Dundalk, a town just over the border in County Louth, and it is said that he mixed up the plans for both cathedrals and sent Dundalk Cathedral to the builders in Newry, and Newry Cathedral to the builders in Dundalk.
The city also boasts a museum and an arts centre and, in recent years, has seen a number of art galleries being opened.
The impressive Craigmore Viaduct lies just north of the city on the Northern Ireland Railways Belfast-Dublin mainline. The bridge was designed by Sir John MacNeill with construction beginning in 1849. The bridge was formally opened in 1852. The viaduct consists of eighteen arches the highest being 126 feet, the highest viaduct in Ireland. It is around a quarter of a mile long and was constructed from local granite. The Enterprise Train link from Belfast to Dublin crosses the bridge. Every week, The Newry Reporter newspaper highlights a historic building in Newry and the surrounding area, giving a brief outline of its history.
- Daisy Hill Hospital
- Cathedral of Saints Patrick and Colman, Hill Street (1825–29)
- The Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Catherine, Dominic Street (1875)
- St. Brigid's, Derrybeg (1970)
- St. Mary's, Chapel Street (1789) (formerly Newry Cathedral)
- Church of the Sacred Heart, Cloghogue (1916)
- Church of the Assumption, Drumalane (1954)
- St. Patrick's Church of Ireland (1578). Perhaps the first Protestant church ever built in Ireland. It was destroyed by fire and rebuilt.
- St. Mary's Church of Ireland (1819)
- First Presbyterian Church, Sandys Street
- Downshire Road Presbyterian Church
- Methodist Church, Sandy's Street
- Newry Baptist Church
- First Presbyterian Church (Non-Subscribing), John Mitchel Place
- Riverside Reformed Presbyterian Church, Basin Walk
- The Salvation Army, Trevor Hill
- Metropolitan Church, Edward Street
- Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, Belfast Road
Newry Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.