|Elevation||72 m (236 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC±0 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (IST)|
|Eircode routing key|
|Telephone area code||+353(0)43|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Longford (Irish : An Longfort) is the county town of County Longford in Ireland. It has a population of 10,008 according to the 2016 census. It is the biggest town in the county and about one third of the county's population lives there. Longford lies at the meeting of Ireland's N4 and N5 National Primary Route roads, which means that traffic travelling between Dublin and County Mayo, or north County Roscommon passes around the town. Longford railway station, on the Dublin-Sligo line, is used heavily by commuters.
The town is built at a fording point on the banks of the River Camlin (from Irish : Camlinn, meaning 'crooked pool'), which is a tributary of the River Shannon. According to several sources, the name Longford is an Anglicization of the Irish Longphort , referring to a fortress or fortified house.
The area came under the sway of the local clan which controlled the south and middle of the County of Longford (historically called Anghaile or Annaly) and hence, the town was known as Longfort Uí Fhearghail (fort/stronghold of O'Farrell).
A Dominican priory was founded there in 1400. St. John's Church of Ireland (formerly known as Templemichael Parish Church) was built on the site of the priory in 1710.
Located to the south of Longford, in Keenagh, is the visitor centre of the Corlea Trackway. It houses a preserved 18-metre stretch of Iron Age bog road, which was built in c. 148 BC. There are also a number of portal dolmens located around Longford.
The town serves as the cathedral town of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise. St Mel's Cathedral, [ citation needed ]dedicated to Saint Mel, the founder of the diocese of Ardagh, was built between 1840 and 1856. It was designed by architect John Benjamin Keane, who also designed St Francis Xavier's Church on Gardiner Street in Dublin. St Mel's Cathedral features several stained glass windows by Harry Clarke studios. These include one of Clarke's earliest works, The consecration of St. Mel as Bishop of Longford, which was exhibited at the RDS Annual Art Industries Exhibition in 1910, where it received second prize. The cathedral was extensively damaged in a fire on Christmas Day 2009. It remained closed for five years after the fire, while it was the centre of one of the largest restoration projects undertaken in Europe. It reopened for services at midnight mass on Christmas Eve 2014 and has since become a tourist attraction. Two of the intricate stained-glass windows in the transepts of the cathedral, depicting St Anne and the Resurrection, have been restored.
Longford town has a 212-seat theatre called Backstage Theatre just outside of the town, and a four-screen multiplex cinema, with restaurants. The Irish Prison Service HQ, which is in the Lisamuck area of the town, has a sculpture by artist Remco de Fouw, which is one of the largest pieces of sculpture in Ireland.[ citation needed ]
In a 2003 Guardian article about Patrick McCabe, Longford's "features of distinction" are described as including "a hulking cathedral, a rash of fast-food joints, a grubby cinema and a shopping mall".
Longford's main industries are food production, sawmills, steelworking, generator retailing, cable making and the production of medical diagnostics. It is the major services centre for the county as well as the location of the Department of Social Welfare and the Irish Prison Service. The town is also a local commercial centre, with a number of retail outlets including multiples such as Tesco, and Argos, German discount retailers, Aldi and Lidl and Irish retail outlets such as Dunnes Stores and Penneys. A retail park, the N4 Axis Centre, opened in Longford in January 2006.
Longford town has a decentralized government department which employs approximately 300 people,[ citation needed ] and a further 130 are employed at the Irish Prison Service's headquarters in the town.[ citation needed ] Connolly Barracks once employed approximately 180 soldiers, many of whom were involved in UN peace-keeping duties, until the barracks closed in January 2009.
While construction was formerly a major local employer, following the post-2008 Irish economic downturn, there were job losses in the construction industry and an increase in unemployment in the region.[ citation needed ]
Longford town has a number of primary schools (for ages 4–12) and three secondary schools (for ages 12–19): two single-sex schools, St. Mel's College (a Catholic boys' school), [ citation needed ]and Scoil Mhuire (a Catholic girls' school run by the Sisters of Mercy), as well as a mixed school, (Templemichael College, formerly known as Longford Vocational School). Primary schools in Longford include a Gaelscoil and St. Joseph's. There is also an adult education centre in Longford.
St. Mel's College is the oldest of these schools, being founded in the 1860s by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois as a diocesan seminary to train students for the priesthood. While the school only briefly functioned as a seminary, it served for many years as a boarding school, while also admitting day students. The boarding school was discontinued after 2000 and the school is now only a day school, with the largest student enrolment in County Longford.[ citation needed ]
Longford is at the point of divergence of the N5 road to Castlebar/Westport/Ireland West Airport Knock and the N4 road which continues onwards to Sligo.
The N5 originally started in the town centre, causing occasional traffic congestion. The town's bypass opened on 3 August 2012.
The N4 Sligo road has a bypass around the town, which consists of single carriageway with hard shoulders and four roundabouts. It was opened on 2 June 1995.[ citation needed ]
Longford railway station (opened 8 November 1855) 91 kilometres (57 mi) from Sligo and 122 km (76 mi) from Dublin, it is served by Sligo-Dublin intercity services. Despite its distance from Dublin, there is a regular, well-utilised commuter service to Dublin with journeys to Dublin Connolly generally taking about an hour and three-quarters.is on the Dublin-Sligo line of the Irish railway network. About
The Royal Canal reopened in October 2010 after years of being derelict and overgrown. Navigation is now possible from Spencer Dock, in Dublin, to the Shannon, in Clondra.
There are a number of bus services to Dublin and other towns both outside and inside the county provided by both the state (Bus Éireann) and private bus companies (Kane's, Donnelly's and Farrelly's.) Third level colleges are also served by the private companies during the academic year.[ citation needed ]
Donnelly's Pioneer Bus Service, a local bus company based in Granard, operate a route from Longford to Granard via Ballinalee. There are three journeys each way daily (no Sunday service).
Whartons Travel, which is also a local bus service, operate a route from Longford railway station and Longford to Cavan via Drumlish, Arvagh and Crossdoney.As of 2014, this service is funded by the National Transport Authority.
Longford's main air transport centre is located south-east of the town, at Abbeyshrule. Abbeyshrule Aerodrome receives a regular influx of small general aviation aircraft, including the Cessna 182 and 150.[ citation needed ] The airport also has two flight training centres; one for general aviation fixed wing aircraft training (Aeroclub 2000) and one for microlight aircraft flight training (Ultraflight).[ citation needed ]
The Backstage Theatre and Centre for the Arts is a facility for arts and culture projects in the town and surrounding areas.It is funded by Longford County Council with support from the Arts Council. Backstage is a member of two arts touring networks: Nasc a nationwide network of seven venues and Nomad a north midlands based network.
The town has a number of sports clubs and facilities, including the Gaelic Athletic Association, rugby and tennis clubs, a League of Ireland soccer club, two indoor swimming pools, a gym and an 18-hole golf course. A swimming pool was opened in Longford in 2007.[ citation needed ]
The sport with most support in County Longford is Gaelic football.[ citation needed ] The headquarters of the Longford Gaelic Athletic Association is located in Pearse Park in Longford Town, with a ground capacity of around 11,000. The Longford Gaelic football team won a Leinster title at Senior level in 1968 and a National League title in 1966. The minor (under-18) Longford county team won the Leinster title in 2002 and 2010. The major boys' secondary school in Longford town, St. Mel's College, also has a tradition in secondary schools' football (known as Colleges A), winning 29 Leinster and 4 All-Ireland titles (in the Hogan Cup). The main local GAA club is Longford Slashers, based in Longford town, who have won more Longford Senior Football Championship titles (16) than any other team in the county,[ citation needed ] including a win in 2013.
Longford town itself has a strong tradition in soccer, the game being introduced in the late 19th century. The town was a military base garrison when Ireland was a part of the United Kingdom. Longford Town football club was founded in 1924 and was elected to the League of Ireland in 1984. In the 1950s and 60s, Longford was home to players such as Willie Browne (UCD and Bohemian FC; who won 3 full international Republic of Ireland caps and captained Bohemian FC for 3 consecutive seasons), Lal Donlon (Longford town and Arsenal), Mel 'Garrincha' Mulligan, John 'Hooky' O'Connor and Billy Clarke.[ citation needed ] The Longford Town football club ground is at City Calling Stadium, in the townland of Mullolagher, to the west of the town, on the Strokestown Road. Previously, the club was based in the north of Abbeycarton town. The Longford Town football club has twice won the FAI Cup, in 2003 and 2004, and has competed in the UEFA Cup as a result.[ citation needed ]
Longford has a parkland golf course.[ citation needed ]
Longford is represented in basketball by two clubs. Torpedo's were formed in 1973 and have competed in the Meath, Cavan, Mid-lands and National leagues. They now play in the Shannon Side League in Men's and North East League in Ladies'.[ citation needed ] Ladies and Men's teams play home games in Edgeworthstown. They hold an annual tournament at the end September start of October each season with 16 teams from all over Ireland and the UK entering.[ citation needed ] The second club which was a break away unit of the Torpedo's are Longford Falcons. The club has had a number of Leinster and national titles won at the junior level.[ citation needed ] The club is based at the Mall Sports Complex, in the east of the town.
Longford town also hosts a rugby club, Longford RFC, whose grounds are located at Demesne, in the north of the town, and who participate in the Leinster League.
Longford's largest sports complex/amenity, known locally as The Mall, contains a swimming pool, gym, both indoor and outdoor football and basketball grounds. There is also outdoor gym equipment around the complex.[ citation needed ]
Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).
|Climate data for Longford|
|Average high °C (°F)||8.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||2.0|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||78.8|
Kildare is a town in County Kildare, Ireland. As of 2016, its population was 8,634 making it the 7th largest town in County Kildare. The town lies on the R445, some 50 km (31 mi) west of Dublin – near enough for it to have become, despite being a regional centre in its own right, a commuter town for the capital. Although Kildare gives its name to the county, Naas is the county town.
Ballymahon on the River Inny is a town in the southern part of County Longford, Ireland. It is located at the junction of the N55 National secondary road and the R392 regional road.
Carrick-on-Shannon is the county town of County Leitrim in Ireland. It is the largest town in the county of Leitrim. A smaller part of the town lies in County Roscommon. The population of the town was 4,062 in 2016. It is situated on a strategic crossing point of the River Shannon. The Leitrim part of the town is in the civil parish of Kiltoghert which is in the ancient barony of Leitrim.
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Maynooth is a university town in north County Kildare, Ireland. It is home to Maynooth University and St Patrick's College, a Pontifical University and Ireland's sole Roman Catholic seminary. Maynooth is also the seat of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference and holds the headquarters of Ireland's largest development charity, Trócaire. Maynooth is located 24 kilometres west of central Dublin.
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Ardagh is a village in County Longford, Ireland. Ardagh is located towards the south of County Longford, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) southwest of Longford town, located off the N4 road. Originally a site of pre-Christian worship, Ardagh became a site of Christian settlement with the arrival of Saint Patrick sometime between 434 and 435. The bulk of the village was laid-out in the mid-19th century.
Arvagh, or Arva, is a village in County Cavan, Ireland, on the shores of Garty Lough and overlooked by Bruse Mountain. It is located on the junction of the R198 and R203 regional roads.
Mél of Ardagh, also written Mel or Moel, was a 5th-century saint in Ireland who was a nephew of Saint Patrick. He was the son of Conis and Patrick's sister, Darerca. Saint Darerca was known as the "mother of saints" because most of her children entered religious life, many were later recognized as saints, and several of her sons became bishops.
A longphort is a term used in Ireland for a Viking ship enclosure or shore fortress. Although these longphorts were used as bases for Viking raids, the term had additional meanings and these sites had multiple purposes. The reason it cannot be assumed that longphorts were solely for military purposes as that would assume that there were always large numbers of Vikings at these settlements, which is not true. These camps were fortified areas along rivers, usually at a tributary where both sides were protected such that the Vikings could port ships. The sites were easily defended, sheltered, and gave immediate access to the sea. These camps would be of great importance to the Vikings during their raids of Ireland, which included attacks on many churches and monasteries located on the coast. It can be assumed that the purpose of these sites was to ease travel and trade within the region. Longphorts were essential to the economic prosperity of the Vikings. For example, it is clear that the earliest settlements became major trading centers throughout Ireland. Archeological evidence shows that imports and exports included textiles, animal skins, amber, and glass from England. During this time, the Vikings were able to begin a period of extremely profitable trade. Overall, the longphort settlements were essential in establishing the presence of the Vikings in Ireland during the ninth and tenth centuries.
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The Cathedral Church of St Mel is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, located in the town of Longford in Ireland. Built between 1840 and 1856, with the belfry and portico as later additions, it has been considered the "flagship cathedral" of the Irish midlands region, Longford's "landmark building" and "one of the finest Catholic churches in Ireland". The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Mél, who came to Ireland with Saint Patrick and who was ordained bishop at Ardagh, County Longford.
Brian Kavanagh was a Gaelic football player for his native Longford and at club level for Kilmacud Crokes of Dublin.
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Longford stands on a fording point of the Camlin River though the town's name does not derive from its position on a ford, but comes from the Irish Longphort, meaning fortress or stronghold
Longford / Longphort, 'fortified house' [..] The early name for Longford was Longphort Uí Fhearghail ('stronghold of the man of valour', or 'O'Farrell's fortress')
The head of the family resided at the town of Longford, which was formerly known as Longphort Ui Fhearghail, or O'Farrell's fortress