Larne

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Larne
LARNE TOWN.jpg
2020 view looking south-east towards Larne Harbour, Islandmagee, and down the length of Larne Lough
Larne coat of arms.png
Larne Coat of Arms
United Kingdom Northern Ireland adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Larne
Location within Northern Ireland
Population18,755 (2011 Census)
Irish grid reference D4102
  Belfast 30 km (19 mi)
District
County
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LARNE
Postcode district BT40
Dialling code 028
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
UK
Northern Ireland
Antrim
54°51′06″N05°48′48″W / 54.85167°N 5.81333°W / 54.85167; -5.81333 Coordinates: 54°51′06″N05°48′48″W / 54.85167°N 5.81333°W / 54.85167; -5.81333

Larne (from Irish : Latharna, the name of a Gaelic territory) [1] [2] [3] is a town on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, with a population of 18,755 at the 2011 Census. [4] [5] It is a major passenger and freight roll-on roll-off port. [6] Larne is administered by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. Together with parts of the neighbouring districts of Antrim and Newtownabbey and Causeway Coast and Glens, it forms the East Antrim constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly. The civil parish is in the historic barony of Glenarm Upper. [7]

Contents

History

Larne c.1888 Larne, Co Antrim (13734113344).jpg
Larne c.1888

The coastal area around Larne has been inhabited for millennia, and is thought to have been one of the earliest inhabited areas of Ireland, with these early human populations believed to have arrived from Scotland via the North Channel. Knockdhu, north of Larne, was the site of a Bronze Age promontory fort and settlement. The early coastal dwellers are thought to have had a sophisticated culture which involved trading between the shores of the North Channel and between other settlements on the coasts of Scotland. The coast of Scotland is in fact clearly visible from here. Archaeological digs in the area have found flintwork and other artefacts which have been assigned dates from 6000 BC onwards. The term Larnian has even been coined by archaeologists to describe such flintworks and similar artefacts of the Mesolithic era (and one time to describe Mesolithic culture in Ireland as a whole). [8] [9] [10] Larnian is also currently used to refer to people from Larne.

Larne takes its name from Latharna, a Gaelic territory or túath that was part of the Ulaid minor-kingdom of Dál nAraidi . [11] The name spelt as Latharne was used at one point in reference to the Anglo-Norman cantred of Carrickfergus. [11] Latharna itself means "descendants of Lathar", with Lathar according to legend being a son of the pre-Christian king Úgaine Mór. [12] The town sprang up where the River Inver flows into Larne Lough. This area was known in Irish as Inbhear an Latharna ("rivermouth/estuary of Latharna") [13] and was later anglicised as Inver Larne or simply Inver. The loch was known as Loch Ollarbha or Inbhear nOllarbha. [14] The territorial name Latharna was only applied exclusively to the town in recent centuries.

There was Viking activity in the area during the 10th and 11th centuries AD. Viking burial sites and artefacts have been found in the area and dated to that time. [15] Ulfreksfjord was an Old Norse name for Larne Lough. According to the Norse historian Snorri Sturluson, Connor, King of Ireland, defeated Orkney Vikings at Ulfreksfjord in 1018. Later anglicised names include Wulfrichford, Wolderfirth, Wolverflete and the surviving name Olderfleet. The ending -fleet comes from the Norse fljot, meaning "inlet". [16] Older- may come from the Norse oldu, meaning "wave". [16] However, P.W. Joyce in his Irish Names of Places suggests that it comes from Ollarbha, the Irish name for the loch. [17]

Ruins of Olderfleet Castle in the late 19th century Ruins of Olderfleet Castle, Larne.jpg
Ruins of Olderfleet Castle in the late 19th century

In the 13th Century the Scots Bissett family built Olderfleet Castle at Curran Point. In 1315, Edward the Bruce of Scotland (brother of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland) landed at Larne with his 6000 strong army en route to conquer Ireland, where Olderfleet Castle was of strategic importance. Edward saw Ireland as another front in the ongoing war against Norman England.

In 1569, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen of England and Ireland, appointed Sir Moyses Hill as the governor of Olderfleet Castle. It was seen as strategically important for any Tudor conquest of Ulster. Following the 17th century Union of the Crowns of Scotland, England and Ireland under James VI & I many more settlers would have arrived to Ulster via Larne during the Plantation of Ulster. The area around County Antrim itself, however, was not part of the official 17th century Plantation; instead many Scottish settlers arrived in the area through private settlement in the 17th century (as they had also been doing for centuries before).

During the 18th century many Scots-Irish emigrated to America from the port of Larne. A monument in the Curran Park commemorates the Friends Goodwill, the first emigrant ship to sail from Larne in May 1717, heading for Boston, Massachusetts in the New England region of the modern United States of America. Boston's long standing Scots-Irish roots can be traced to Larne. The town is documented as being the first in county Antrim to be taken by United Irishmen during the ill-fated rebellion of 1798. The Protestant rebels from this area (almost entirely Presbyterian) filled Larne and engaged the government forces around 2am on the morning of 7 June. This surprise attack drove the garrison to flee the town, at which point the rebel force marched off to join up with McCracken and fight in the Battle of Antrim. [18]

In 1914, Loyalists opposed to the Home Rule Act 1914 prepared for armed resistance. In an episode known as the Larne Gun Running German, Austrian and Italian weapons with ammunition were transported into the ports of Larne and Bangor in the dead of night and distributed throughout Ulster. [19] This event marked a major step in cementing the right to Ulster Unionist self-determination, with the recognition of such a right ultimately leading to the creation of Northern Ireland.

The Troubles

Larne throughout the course of The Troubles had a significant paramilitary presence in the town, mostly through the presence of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Ulster Defence Association (UDA). For further information see UDA South East Antrim Brigade.

The town suffered a number of Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb attacks during The Troubles, notably including a large car bomb at the King's Arms hotel [20] in 1980 that caused damage to the main shopping areas, for which the IRA claimed responsibility. This incident was raised in Parliament at the time. [21]

Incidents which involved fatalities

Geography

Photograph looking north from Islandmagee illustrating the proximity to Scotland.

In the foreground is Islandmagee in Northern Ireland, followed by Stena Line ferries entering and leaving Larne, and The Maidens lighthouses.

In the background are the Scottish Paps of Jura on the left and Mull of Kintyre on the right. Sailing on the North Channel - geograph.org.uk - 312647.jpg
Photograph looking north from Islandmagee illustrating the proximity to Scotland.

In the foreground is Islandmagee in Northern Ireland, followed by Stena Line ferries entering and leaving Larne, and The Maidens lighthouses.

In the background are the Scottish Paps of Jura on the left and Mull of Kintyre on the right.

Larne sits on the western side of a narrow inlet that links Larne Lough to the sea. On the eastern side of the inlet is a peninsula called Islandmagee. To the west of Larne is the ancient volcanic formation of Antrim Plateau, with its glaciated valleys scenically sweeping down to the sea to the north of Larne in what are known as the Glens of Antrim. Larne is 25 miles from the Scottish mainland, with stunning views across the North Channel towards the Mull of Kintyre, Rhins of Galloway, Islay and Paps of Jura often visible from the Larne area – this proximity to Scotland has had a defining influence on Larne's history and culture.

The town is within the small parish of the same name. Like the rest of Ireland, this parish is divided into townlands. The following is a list of townlands within Larne's urban area, along with their likely etymologies: [31]

Many streetnames in Larne end in brae , such as 'Whitla's Brae' which comes from the Scots for "hillside".

Civil parish of Larne

The civil parish contains the following townlands: [7] Antiville, Ballyboley, Ballycraigy, Ballyloran, Blackcave North, Blackcave South, Curran and Drumaliss, Glebe, Greenland and Town Parks.

Larne from The Roddens (wide crop) (geograph 6247078).jpg
North Channel, Larne town , Islandmagee and Larne Lough from The Roddens.
Panorama of Antrim Plateau and Antrim Coast from Blackcave area of Larne - geograph.org.uk - 2526485.jpg
Panorama of the Antrim Plateau and Antrim Coast from the Blackcave area of Larne.
From left to right (panning from West to North): Craigy Hill, Agnew's Hill, Sallagh Braes, Knock Dhu, Scawt Hill, Drains Bay, Ballygally Head, North Channel

Places of interest

Looking towards Chaine Memorial Tower and north along the Antrim Coast towards the Glens Chaine Monument View - geograph.org.uk - 2092694.jpg
Looking towards Chaine Memorial Tower and north along the Antrim Coast towards the Glens
The bandstand on Larne Main Street. Removed in 2016 during upgrade work to the town centre pavements. Bandstand, Larne - geograph.org.uk - 428576.jpg
The bandstand on Larne Main Street. Removed in 2016 during upgrade work to the town centre pavements.
Maze in the shape of Northern Ireland in Carnfunnock Country Park The 'Northern Ireland Maze', Carnfunnock Country Park (detail) - geograph.org.uk - 797992.jpg
Maze in the shape of Northern Ireland in Carnfunnock Country Park

Churches

St. MacNissi's Church, Larne St. MacNissi's Church, Larne.jpg
St. MacNissi's Church, Larne

There are a number of Christian churches in Larne, including the following in alphabetical order:

Demography

On Census day (27 March 2011) there were 18,755 people living in Larne, accounting for 1.04% of the NI total. [4] Of these:

Industry and commerce

Larne in March 2007, with the FG Wilson plant dominating the top of the picture, Moyle Hospital in the centre, and the Laharna Retail Park (site of the former Invercon paper mill) at the bottom. Site of former paper mill, Larne.jpg
Larne in March 2007, with the FG Wilson plant dominating the top of the picture, Moyle Hospital in the centre, and the Laharna Retail Park (site of the former Invercon paper mill) at the bottom.

A variety of shops can be found mainly along Larne Main Street, Dunluce Street, Laharna Retail Park, and large supermarkets off the Harbour Highway near the harbour. A variety market is also held every Wednesday at the Larne Market Yard. [50]

Transport

Education

There are a number of educational establishments in the area:

Primary Schools:

Secondary Schools:

Further education:

Public services

Larne Town Hall Town Hall, Cross Street, Larne - geograph.org.uk - 2083142.jpg
Larne Town Hall

Larne Town Hall, the former headquarters of Larne Borough Council, was completed in 1870. [52] Other public facilities include:

Notable people

Notable facts

Freedom of the borough

In memory of a battle in the town of Musa Qala in Afghanistan in 2006, involving the Royal Irish Regiment, a new regimental march, composed by Chris Attrill and commissioned by Larne Borough Council, was gifted to the regiment on Saturday 1 November 2008 in Larne, during an event in which the regiment was also presented with the 'Freedom of the Borough'.

This gave the regiment the right to march through the towns of the borough with 'flags flying, bands playing and bayonets fixed'. The march was named Musa Qala. [55]

Events in the Area

Sport

Twin city

Larne is twinned with Clover, South Carolina, which has named one of its schools, Larne Elementary School, [56] after Larne.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Draperstown is a village in the Sperrin Mountains in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is situated in the civil parish of Ballinascreen and is part of Mid-Ulster district. It is also part of the Church of Ireland parish of Ballynascreen and the Catholic parish of Ballinascreen, and within the former barony of Loughinsholin.

Ahoghill Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Ahoghill is a large village and civil parish in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, four miles from Ballymena. It is located in the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area. It had a population of 3,417 people at the 2011 Census.

Newtownabbey Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Newtownabbey is a large settlement north of Belfast in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Sometimes considered to be a suburb of Belfast, it is separated from the rest of the city by Cavehill and Fortwilliam golf course. At the 2011 Census, Metropolitan Newtownabbey Settlement had a population of 65,646, making it the third largest settlement in Northern Ireland. It is part of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Ballymena a town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Ballymena is a town in County Antrim, and the eighth largest in Northern Ireland. It is part of the Borough of Mid and East Antrim. It had a population of 29,551 people at the 2011 Census.

Larne Lough

Larne Lough is a sea lough or inlet in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The lough lies between Islandmagee and the mainland. At its mouth is the town of Larne. It is designated as an area of special scientific interest, a special protection area, and a Ramsar site to protect the wetland environment, particularly due to the presence of certain bird species and shellfish.

Magheramorne

Magheramorne is a hamlet in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is about 5 miles south of Larne on the shores of Larne Lough. It had a population of 75 people in the 2001 Census. Following the reform of Northern Ireland's local government system on 1 April 2015, Magheramorne lies within the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area.

Glenarm Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Glenarm is a village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It lies on the North Channel coast north of the town of Larne and the village of Ballygalley, and south of the village of Carnlough. It is situated in the civil parish of Tickmacrevan and the historic barony of Glenarm Lower. It is part of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and had a population of 568 people in the 2011 Census. Glenarm takes its name from the glen in which it lies, the southernmost of the nine Glens of Antrim.

Glynn village and civil parish

Glynn is a small village and civil parish in the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area of County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It lies a short distance south of Larne, on the shore of Larne Lough. Glynn had a population of 2,027 people in the 2011 Census.

Ballycraigy Housing Estate

Ballycraigy is a townland in the Civil Parish of Carnmoney in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is located near the Sandyknowes Junction where the A8 motorway spur diverges from the M2 motorway. The neighbouring townlands are Kingsbog, Ballyearl and Ballyhenry to the east, Ballyrobert, Carnanee and Craigarogan to the west and Ballyvesey to the south. To the north it is bordered by the Belfast to Derry railway line. The townlands is the site of the Ballycraigy Housing Estate in Antrim, south of Greystone and about ten miles (16 km) north of Belfast.

Whiteabbey townland in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Whiteabbey is a townland in Newtownabbey, north of Belfast in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Ballycarry Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Ballycarry is a village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is midway between Larne and Carrickfergus, overlooking Islandmagee, and is part of the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 981.

Kilrea Human settlement in Northern Ireland

Kilrea is a village, townland and civil parish in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It gets its name from the ancient church that was located near to where the current Church of Ireland is located on Church Street looking over the town. It is near the River Bann, which marks the boundary between County Londonderry and County Antrim. In the 2011 Census it had a population of 2,724 people. It is situated within Causeway Coast and Glens district.

Dál nAraidi

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Jack McKee

Jack McKee was a Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) politician in Larne, Northern Ireland.

This is a timeline of actions by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), an Ulster loyalist paramilitary group since 1966. It includes actions carried out by the Red Hand Commando (RHC), a group integrated into the UVF shortly after their formation in 1972. It also includes attacks claimed by the Protestant Action Force (PAF), a covername used by the UVF. Most of these actions took place during the conflict known as "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Lower Place in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Belfast Lower is a barony in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. To its east lies the east-Antrim coast and Belfast Lough, and it is bordered by four other baronies: Belfast Upper to the south, Carrickfergus to the east, Antrim Upper to the west; Glenarm Upper to the north. The Forth and Milewater rivers both flow through Belfast Lower, with Larne harbour also situated in the barony.

Crumlin Road road in Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Crumlin Road is a main road in north-west Belfast, Northern Ireland. The road runs from north of Belfast City Centre for about four miles to the outskirts of the city. It also forms part of the longer A52 road which leads out of Belfast to the town of Crumlin. The lower section of the road houses a number of historic buildings, including the city's former law courts and prison, whilst the road encompasses several large housing areas, including Ardoyne, Ballysillan and Ligoniel(from Irish: Lag an Aoil, meaning hollow of the lime)..

The Antrim Road is a major arterial route and area of housing and commerce that runs from inner city north Belfast to Dunadry, passing through Newtownabbey and Templepatrick. It forms part of the A6 road, a traffic route which links Belfast to Derry. It passes through the New Lodge, Newington and Glengormley areas of Northern Ireland amongst others.

Ramble Inn attack

The Ramble Inn attack was a mass shooting at a rural pub on 2 July 1976 near Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is believed to have been carried out by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary organisation. Six civilians were killed in the attack—five Protestants and one Catholic—and three others were wounded.

References

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Further reading