Carlingford Community Newsletter August 2018 Edition


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

CCTA – Carlingford & Cooley Tourism Assoc.
CLHT – Carlingford Lough Heritage Trust
CRA – Carlingford Residents Association
CTT – Carlingford Tidy Towns
CCD – Carlingford Community Development (The Foy Centre)


Carlingford Community Forum News

As reported in the July issue, work is continuing on ‘ A Design for Carlingford’. Initial engagement with Louth County Council took place in Carlingford on Monday August 26th. This engagement will continue and we look forward to the completion of the study by November 2018.

Work continues also on the Town & Village Renewal Scheme. The Consultant has completed initial investigative work and is liaising with the Conservation Architect and Louth County Council. Hopefully groundwork will begin in the not too distant future.

The Forum will meet again in early September when we expect lots of feedback from participating organisations following the short Summer break.

Heritage News

Full house Sunday

As we go to press the fifth and final Sunday concert in our Summer Series is fully booked out with a waiting list for cancellations. That’s due to the star quality of Liam Ó Maonlaí of Hothouse Flowers fame, but it was already a highly successful series thanks to the hard work of Zoe Conway, John McIntyre and others.

First there was Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, pianist and vocalist from the legendary Bothy Band; then came Alex Petcu, an Irish musician of Romanian origin; dancer and concertina player Caitlín Nic Gabhann with husband Ciarán Mooney on the fiddle; and Uilleann piper Eoin Dillon, founder member of Kila. Zoe and John have made the witty dialogue between themselves, their guests and the audience almost as much an integral part of the experience as the sheer magic of their music.

Heritage Week

Local historian and railway enthusiast Brian Larkin gave a Heritage Week talk on “Greenore, The Railway Hub of the Cooley Peninsula” in the Station House.

Darcy McGee ‘Not Guilty’ of treason

The Thomas D’Arcy McGee International Forum was officially opened in the Heritage Centre by Canadian Ambassador Kevin Vickers. A key guest was General John de Chastelain, who was given a presentation by Minister of State for the Diaspora, Ciaran Cannon TD. The dramatic highlight was Anthony Russell’s new play, ‘The Trial of D’Arcy McGee before the Court of History’, in which the assassinated former prime minister of Canada was prosecuted for treason against Ireland by John Mitchel, no less. However, he was ably defended by Sir Gavan Duffy and was acquitted not only by the jury of his peers, but by virtually the whole audience, apart from two (unnamed) dissenters. It is of course the verdict of history that really counts.

Cooley Booleys

Many people probably think that the neat field patterns they can see from the hilltops of Cooley are part of an ancient landscape, but they are not. Most of the stone ditches and earthen banks were built within the last 250 years on the insistence of landlords. Before that, agriculture was mostly organised on an open-field system known as rundale where groups of families would share out good, bad and indifferent land in varying small plots for tillage, grazing and turf-digging, etc. In May, cattle were driven into the mountain grazing areas known as booleys, to prevent them trampling crops and to save lowland grass for the winter. The old and the very young went with

them, living in crude booley huts from May to August, herding the cows, milking them and churning butter. The remains of booley huts can be seen on both sides of the Táin Trail running up to the Goalyin and down into Glenmore, but the best examples are in Tullagh glen above Omeath. The booley sites are known locally as Mari’s, a word our Irish scholars have yet to trace. The picture shows Mari Sluaghan close to Clermontpass Bridge, where the Sloan family once minded their cows.

Carlingford & Cooley Tourism Association News


August traditionally sees the arrival of two major tourist related events, and this year was no exception. Running from 9th to the 13th August the Carlingford Oyster Festival and hot on its heels the D’Arcy McGee Summer School, now renamed the D’Arcy McGee International Forum which took place from 15th to 17th August.

The Oyster Festival has been running for more years than people can remember, while D’Arcy McGee is now in its 6th Year. What marks the difference this year is new administrative arrangements for both Festivals. Gerard Long has taken over the running of the Oyster Festival, which was previously organised by a CCTA Committee, while D’Arcy McGee’s previous Director, Tommy Fegan, stepped down last year and handed the baton over to James Kelly of the Ireland Canada University Foundation. By all accounts both functions were an outstanding success and the CCTA greatly appreciates the efforts of both to the promotion of Carlingford as a high-quality tourist destination.

With the Carlingford Oyster Festival retaining all the old favourites there were plenty of attractions for both visitors and local residents. The list of events is too long to mention every one, but suffice it to say that events took place on the Lough and Land, for young and old, for visitors to Carlingford and for local residents.

The number attending the Festival was a record, with the Loughs Agency recording over 4,000 into their exhibition as compared with 600 last year.

The Sports day for the children was great success with 350 medals and €1,000 worth of toys and prizes, sponsored by Carlingford Oyster Festival, as well as crisps and minerals for all the children, sponsored by Value Centre.


The highlight of the Oyster Festival is the crowning of the 2018 Oyster Pearl at a Gala event in the Four Seasons Hotel. The Oyster Pearl Competition had a record number of entrants this year, who were given many rigorous tasks to perform, so that the Judges could choose a winner.



Bronagh Quinn of Dundalk was adjudged to be the winner of the Oyster Pearl Competition and was crowned at the function in the Four Seasons Hotel in Carlingford on Sunday night.


The other big event in August is the D’Arcy McGee International Forum, which was held in the Carlingford Heritage Centre. The CCTA views this as a most important event which attracts visitors from all over Ireland and from abroad, particularly from Canada. Its importance cannot be overstated in widening the attraction of Carlingford for prestigious conferences and meetings from Corporate and Public bodies alike. It attracts many prominent people from the Academic world, as well as tourists and local residents interested in the history of Carlingford and its famous son, Thomas D’Arcy McGee.

The Forum saw many interesting papers and much thought-provoking discussion on the theme of

‘New Beginnings in Interesting Times’, while not forgetting the social aspect of the Forum with a

Banquet held in the Carlingford Sailing Club, a Reception at the Station House and a Play ‘The Trial of Thomas D’Arcy McGee’.




The CCTA wishes to extent its sincere thanks to all associated with the organisation of the Oyster Festival and the D’Arcy McGee Forum for all their good work in promoting Carlingford as a high- quality destination for visitors from home and abroad.


The Foy Centre

Oyster Pearl Guest Tea

The Oyster Pearls enjoyed a guest tea in the Foy Centre. Each Pearl had to host a table, which was then judged on presentation, creativity and hostess skills.

We had 15 tables with 150 people attending. There was a great atmosphere and a buzz about the centre.

The tables were judged by committee members Teresa McKevitt and Anne Dearey.

Bronagh Quinn was the winner.

Da Cooley Thriller

‘Da Cooley Thriller’ cycle race took place on Saturday 11th, August 2018

The Foy Centre was used as the registration and finish area. The race was again another big success and enjoyed by all who entered.

Tag Rugby Festival

The Tag Rugby Festival took place on Saturday 18th August.

8 Teams from North and South entered and had a fantastic day. A huge crowd attended the event and afterwards enjoyed a beautiful BBQ courtesy of Orchard Bakery.

DON’T FORGET – The Hypnotist is coming!

We’re currently getting organised for our big event this year on Saturday 15th September when we welcome back Michael McCoy, the Hypnotist to the stage.

This is a really fun evening to be had and one not to be missed.

Tickets are available from The Orchard Bakery or any Foy Centre Committee Member.

Please make a huge effort to come along as this is a great night out.

If there’s anything you would like to see happening in the centre or on the pitch please contact Debbie Hamilton on 083 8013777.

Carlingford Tidy Towns

The Oyster Pearls attending Carlingford Street Sports

And the winner is…

Carlingford Arms were the winners of the Tug O War competition.

The Oyster Festival in full swing.

Finn McCool was spotted in Cooley before making his way onto the Carlingford Ferry to cross over to a festival entitled ‘Wake the Giant’ at Warrenpoint held on 18-19th August.

The local store is under new ownership and we are pleased that they agreed to installing hanging baskets. Flowers growing in the hydrant down on castle pier is yet another delightfully creative touch to be found in our town (and prevents it becoming full of litter even though there is a litter bin just a few yards away!).

We would like to thank Pauric and Marguerita Flanagan for allowing CTT to fill the Flower Watering Machine from the well on their property throughout the hosepipe ban this summer. Having spent a significant amount on flowers to fill all the new containers around the town, it is imperative that they are looked after properly. We would also like to thank the early morning watering crew for all their efforts in keeping the flowers in tip-top condition.

CTT have taken delivery of three new, covered top, double sized litter bins to help address the long- standing litter problem in the town. We hope, by acquisition of more heritage style and larger capacity bins, that we will eventually eliminate the need for wheelie bins (which are unsightly, dirty and also difficult to empty).


Hundreds of runners took part in the Carlingford 5K run on Saturday 4th August – see video clip on our Facebook page.

Anyone for tennis?

New nets were installed at the tennis courts and the council also repainted the white lines in readiness for the Tennis Ireland competition. Following the competition, LCC removed the nets and posts but you can be assured that Tidy Towns will see that they are reinstated.

We have learnt that four AED’s (Automated External Defibrillators) have been mounted around the town for use in the event of a cardiac arrest. There were already two in the town, at the Kingfisher Restaurant and P J O’Hare’s (where one of their staff successfully resuscitated a customer two years ago). An excellent life-saving piece of equipment to be applauded.

CTT’s Joanne and Seamus took part in the Clanrye River clean up in Newry on Saturday 4th August alongside volunteers from Love Your Lough. Thirty-Seven bags of single use plastic were removed from the banks of the river.

Our efforts to keep the town spic and span continue. This month we tidied the flowerbeds either side of the marina entrance and installed lavender by the blue door on castle pier.

Despite our constant efforts, the Louth Litter League results were somewhat disappointing this year.

We were let down by 22 pieces of litter found in the Car Park and green area, 7 in Market Square, 3 on Castle Pier, 3 on the Greenore Approach road and 13 pieces of litter in Quay Lane.

In reality, for our tourist town this isn’t bad – as it is impossible to achieve a spotless state when the judges just happen to be visiting, but a mark of 2 out of 50 for Overall Appearance is rather harsh.

The Carlingford Annual Raft Race

The trophy and our apprehensive crew

This year your Tidy Towns group decided to enter the Carlingford Raft Race for the first time, to compete against last year’s winners Ghan House and teams from EscapeHQ, Carlingford Scenic Ferry, The Wildwood Café, Aerial Gymnastics, Carlingford Firefighters, Team PetSafe, and a team called Rafty McRaft Face!

Our Tidy Towns raft was constructed from 4 wheelie bins that had been retrieved from the sea earlier in the year plus much of the detritus that we are constantly finding during our beach cleaning sessions.

Most of the other rafts were also built from recycled materials so we were in good company.

The winners were the team from the Carlingford Scenic Ferry with their rather more aerodynamic raft made from animal feed containers.

A great deal of fun was had by all participants and watchers from the bank. CTT took advantage of the available technology and streamed the event live. The resultant video is now available to see on our Facebook page.

Find us on

If you run a local community group and would like to advertise your past or future events in this newsletter, please contact the undersigned.

Thank you for supporting your community

If you have any ideas or comments please Email them to

and I will ensure they are brought to the attention of the appropriate committee.

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