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Carlingford Community Newsletter April 2021



This newsletter is jointly produced by the bodies representing the Carlingford Community, namely:

Carlingford Lough Heritage Trust CLHT

Carlingford & Cooley Tourism Assoc. CCTA

Carlingford Traders Association CTA

Carlingford Tidy Towns CTT

Carlingford Community Development CCD (The Foy Centre)

Carlingford Residents Association CRA

Carlingford Community Forum News

Carlingford Community Forum held its first virtual meeting on Tuesday April 27th.

The meeting was very well attended with all of the Forum community groups represented. ‘Opening up’ was of course top of the agenda, from the Foy Centre to the Traders Association, from the Residents Association to Tidy Towns.

Forum representation to Louth County Council is needed regarding town services and cleaning, particularly at the weekends now that the first results of a return to business are being realised. The enforcement of bye-laws dealing with alcohol consumption in public spaces and illegal camping on the piers needs to be followed up.

Despite the many issues the mood was one of optimism with a spirit of cooperation and the willingness to collaborate very much in evidence.

Also on the agenda was the website. Groups who hadn’t previously been represented on the site look forward to wider community input. The site will as it traditionally did, represent Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula. Carlingford Traders Association is using part of its marketing budget to revamp and populate this community website. The development of the Tourism Hub at the Station House is underway and we look forward to its opening when Covid Protocols permit.

Community groups were again represented, together with the many tourism providers at the launch on Wednesday morning the 22nd of April of Fáilte Ireland’s Mini Master Plan for Carlingford. This is only the start of a process which has the potential to deliver sustainable tourism to Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula.

Carlingford Community Development (The Foy Centre)

Carlingford Knights will resume training on Saturday 1st May for all age groups

It has been a long few months and it will be great to get out again on Saturday morning, with Covid restrictions in place. Groups will be split into pods, and rugby will be all non-contact. This is a great way for new players to get involved as we will be focussing on games and balls skills. With kids having been away so long the emphasis will be on fun!!  The pitch has been fertilized, spiked and cut. We’re looking forward to getting back in action.

Carlingford Lough Heritage Trust

We’ve lots to report this month: A Tourism Hub and a Business Hub opening in Station House; waving ‘Goodbye’ to the Thomas D’Arcy Magee exhibition but ‘welcome back’ to the Summer School; more online talks on a Monday evening; a fresh lick of paint at Station House and in Strand Lane; and starting back up with our town and castle tours, as well as a new graveyard tour!

Carlingford Tourism Hub

Carlingford Lough Heritage Trust will host a tourism facility, the ‘Tourism Hub’, soon to open in the Station House, to support the reopening of Carlingford, Omeath and the Cooley Peninsula following Covid lockdown.


The Tourism Hub will provide:

1.  An information point for visitors or potential visitors to the Cooley Peninsula providing   details on tourism providers, activities and services available (with a dedicated phone line and high-speed broadband);

2. A meeting point for guided tours to the surrounding area and to Carlingford Castle.

3.   A display of crafts and products available locally with contact details;

4.   A business desk for ‘Meet & Greet’ when required by local providers;

5.   Advertising board. – As well as a super-bright led digital advertising screen.

Market research is also be carried out, with a view to gathering data relevant to us as

a tourist destination.

If you are interested in supporting this initiative and require further information or to register your business please contact 0429373650 or email

Station House waves goodbye to the Thomas D’Arcy McGee exhibition.

As many of us know, Thomas D’Arcy McGee (1825-1868), a son of Carlingford was one of the Founding Fathers of Canada and he is honoured here in Carlingford by the statue and garden opposite the tennis courts and a permanent exhibition in Station House. However, it’s time now to share the latter with the rest of the country and so off it goes to its first port of call at the Epic in Dublin. It took a while to dismantle everything but with many hands making light work, the space is now ready to welcome a total facelift as it is turned into a Business Hub for remote workers. More shortly. First some photos below:

Photo 1: Tommy Fegan takes down one of the interpretation Photo 2: Hands up! Anthony Russell caught emptying a display boards. cabinet.

However, what will be remaining here in a continued celebration of our famous citizen is the Thomas D’Arcy McGee Summer School. Last year the Brexit-themed summer school had to be abandoned due to Covid 19, but now as we enter the 10th year of the summer school we’re all set to bring it online with a wide-encompassing theme of The Colours of his Legacy – taking in issues ranging from Black Lives Matter, gender and sexuality, to the green and orange themes ever pertinent given our border location, and more. More information in the next newsletter.

Meanwhile back to the Hub!

Station House Remote Hub due to open summer 2021.

As well as the Tourism Hub, which has been developed for local service providers, we have also developed a new service for those in the community tired of commuting or working alone from their kitchen tables. In the Station House Business Hub, you can enjoy a pleasant open plan environment with comfortable workspace, reliable highspeed Broadband and the opportunity to meet others. Remote hub working is proving popular in small towns throughout the country as people recognise the value of having a work space near but separate to where they live. Meanwhile, urban-based companies have recognised that allowing people to work closer to where they live leads to happier employees.

The Hub will suit:

  • Commuters who want an office base to reduce commuting
  • People who want an office outside the home
  • Freelancers /small businesses looking for office space

We offer

  • High speed Broadband
  • A dedicated desk space socially distanced
  • A business address
  • A communal space for coffee/chat
  • Printing facility

Plus, The Heritage Centre as a venue for large meetings/training/ workshop and exhibition events.

Interested? Or do you know others who may be? For further information and to discuss options, call

Tel 042 9373454 or email

Station House and Strand Lane gets a sprucing up

It’s that time of year – time to spring clean, and our caretaker Gerry has been duly busy painting Station House and Strand Lane. Looking good for the coming season!

(not just Gerry, the buildings too 😊)

Carlingford Heritage Centre Spring Talks Series

We have been overwhelmed by the response to our talks so far this month and a big thank you to everyone who has tuned in on Zoom. There was a great attendance for ‘Mapping of the Táin’ by Paul Gosling on April 19th, and also for ‘Greenore and the Railway’ by Brian Larkin on April 26th. If you missed either of these, we have a recording available at

Also, we have some more speakers lined up before everyone abandons Zoom for summer evenings and the outdoors!

  • Monday 3rd May @7.30 pm Séamus Murphy takes us for a final virtual ramble to prepare for ‘actual’ hiking with his popular “100 things to see in the Cooley Mountains.”
  • Monday 10th May @7.30 pm we offer the Curator’s Choice when Brian Walsh of the County Museum will take us on a tour of some of his favourite objects in the collections and tell us why he finds them so interesting.

Castle, Town and graveyard tours

Talking about the outdoors, thanks to the easing of Covid 19 restrictions, we’ll be able to get going with our tours again. So much history, heritage and lore on our own back door. We’re in the process of developing a new tour based on the great stories of the lives behind some of the headstones in Holy Trinity cemetery. All tour times to be confirmed on our website, social media notices and the good old-fashioned way – posted on the Heritage Centre gates!

Music Events

To add a musical note (excuse the pun), here’s something to look forward to down

the line

The itinerary for the Autumn concerts is as follows:

19th September Andy Irvine

26th September Steve Cooney & Dermot Byrne

3rd October Zoe Conway & John McIntyre

10th October Manning Sisters (pictured)

17th October Aris Nadirian, Roísin Toal Bradley &

Brian Connor

24th October The Sands Family

Tales from local Heritage


In my Zoom talks on the Great Famine around Slieve Gullion and the Cooley Mountains I told people to look out for grass-covered lazy beds, or potato ridges as the archaeologists called them, or priddy rigs as we knew them around here. Feedback suggests a lot of people had no idea what I was talking about. Crops have been grown on wide, raised beds since the Neolithic farmers began planting in Ireland 6000 or so years ago: turf-covered ridges in the Cooleys may be thousands of years old. Most of the broad ridges we see on the hillsides date from the Famine era, but the technique is still in use. Whoever coined the term lazy bed had a sense of humour, but it is an economical way of growing spuds in a green field with minimal soil preparation.

First, set out a string line as a guide and spread some manure along it: well-rotted horse dung is recommended by people who really know their excrement, but any sort, or homemade compost, will do. Then drop your seed potatoes on the manure the width of your boot inside the string line and about one and a half boot-lengths apart. Now comes the exciting bit. Cut a sod about a foot square outside the string and fold it across the string. No need to dig too deep, just the top sod – which we call the scraw – will do. Repeat along the line, then use the shaft of your spade – from top rivet to cob – to measure where the second line should be and repeat the process from the other side. Now square off the ends of the bed and throw excess sods into the centre, which should also be filled up to a depth of a few inches with soil from the side trenches.

You may not achieve the professional finish of the two ladies in the Glens of Antrim in the 1890s, but the spuds won’t mind. When they sprout through the soil and grow a few inches high, start ‘earthing up’, which means gently shovelling loose earth from the side trenches between the potato plants all through the summer to keep down grass and weeds.

Now you won’t be able to do this at all if you have one of those short Mickey Mouse spades with a square head. You need a traditional long Irish spade – also known as a Lurgan spade – tall enough that the cob – the little cross-bar at the top – fits snugly under your oxter. If like me you are wrestling with a stony mountainside, invest in the other implement shown in the photo, a mattock. It is a light, flat-bladed pick often known in these parts as a stubber because it was used for stubbing or rooting out whins.

Thirty years ago I planted spuds like this in my garden in the southern suburbs of Stockholm. All the neighbours with their neat drills came to look and to predict that the spuds would never grow like that. They grew all right.

Submitted by Séamus Murphy,Vice Chairperson.

Last words from us for this month – thank you!

Before we sign off for this month, we’d just like to say thank you to everyone who has attended the online talks, to those who engage with us on social media (@carlingfordheritagecentre, #carlingfordheritage), and to our members and volunteers, with a special thank you to those who have just come on board recently (and we’re always looking for more!).

Have a great month.

“This project is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Pobal through the Community Services Programme”.

Carlingford Tidy Towns

Litter, Waste and Bins

We have found the bins can’t cope with the volume of waste generated by Takeaway food. We have appealed to Louth County Council and to The Carlingford Traders to help find a solution.

Currently the bins are not emptied at weekends by the Council and on a sunny day they are all full in one day.

LESS IS MORE We would appeal to providers of takeaway food to Minimise packaging-use the bare minimum to reduce waste generated. Large cardboard boxes and excessive packaging is taking up a lot of capacity in the bins. Simply minimising packaging may help reduce waste and litter. If at all possible to avoid polystyrene as this is a danger to birds and marine mammals.

Mobile food outlets should provide suitable litter bins for their customers, and clean up any litter resulting from their sales, within a 100metre radius.

We think it’s great how many businesses already use compostable packaging and those who prevent it totally by accepting reusable coffee cups and providing a discount on your coffee. Don’t forget your cup! Centra Carlingford, Liberty Café and The Orchard Bakery will accept your reusable cup in Carlingford

If you are out in town Please enjoy yourself but take your litter home and Leave no Trace


Grass cutting

Our group have purchased this week a ride on lawnmower. We are using this to cut The Village Green, Omeath rd. picnic area, The grassed area at Carlingford Harbour and the small grass areas in and around the Fairgreen Carpark. Our group had previously employed a contractor to do this work but are delighted to have taken this step towards being more sustainable.


We have worked this week on tidying the pots on the promenade and on Ghan rd. We have added fresh compost and have planted up plug plants in a polytunnel to bring these on to enhance the pots and beds later in the season. We have Snapdragons, Nasturtium’s, Diascas and Bacopa growing. We also added Lupins, Aquilegia and fresh compost to the flower bed on the Village Green. We go out now most Tuesdays and Wednesdays mornings maybe! to maintain and add planting to the existing flowerbeds. If you would like to help telephone 0429373686.


We have put an application in again this year under Clár for benches and picnic tables for the Green spaces in Carlingford.


We received 100 trees from Easy Treesie and 20 from Mile Cráinn na hÉireann.

Most of these have now been planted for National Tree Week. We would like to thank all who helped to plant. We do have a small number of Oak and Birch saplings left. If you have a suitable site to plant a small pocket forest in a large garden in Carlingford please get in touch. Tel 0429373686



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