Carlingford Community Newsletter June 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 Newsletter June 2018 Edition

Carlingford Community Forum News

Applications have been invited for the Town & Village Renewal Scheme 2018. The closing date for receipt of proposals was Monday June 11th. The Forum has agreed to back an application for the repair of the wall of the Holy Trinity Cemetery. We look forward to a successful outcome.

The documentation relating to the 2017 T&V Renewal Scheme has been submitted to L.C.C. and all going well, the project will go to tender in the near future.

We await clarification of the Heritage Council funding in order to make a start on an Urban Realm Study for the town.

Carlingford is featured in a new publication by the Heritage Council entitled ‘ Heritage Led Regeneration’. It is one of five Irish towns featured and gives a comprehensive account of the development of Carlingford over the past thirty years. We hope to have copies available for distribution in the next few weeks.

Heritage News

Book Launch

‘Our Diligent Souls’ by Dundalk resident Emer G.M. Lawless: “… a poignant insider’s view of the modern Irish psyche.” Recital and signing at the Heritage Centre, 5th July, 7-9pm.

Summer Series

Our Summer series of concerts with Zoë Conway, John McIntyre and friends kicks off on 29th July with Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill

Upcoming Events

    1. th August – Thomas D’Arcy McGee International Forum (formerly Summer School) 25th August – All-Ireland Humanist Summer School

Heritage Week 18-26th August

We will mark the beginning of Heritage Week with bell-ringing in the Heritage Centre at noon on Saturday 18th August. The Station House will be up-lit and Newry Maritime Association will up- light the Haulbowline lighthouse.

      • On Tuesday 21st, archaeologist Eoin Halpin will lead a ‘Walk and Talk’ from the Heritage Centre on recent excavations at King John’s Castle (7.30pm).
      • Wednesday 22nd, Brian Larkin will talk about ‘Greenore, Railway, hub of the Cooley Peninsula’ in the Station House (7.30pm).
      • Thursday 23rd, Séamus Murphy will talk about interpreting the historic landscape of Carlingford and Cooley in the Courthouse (7.30pm)

Cooperation with DkIT

Last year the working group within the Trust known as the Carlingford Collective produced ‘Ages of Carlingford’ (, an introductory video snapshot of the history and heritage of the Carlingford Lough area. The Collective is now in talks with the

Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) on how we might collaborate to present our heritage through a range of media and forms of artistic expression.

Deserted village

We get regular enquiries at the Centre about the Deserted Village on South Commons, particularly about how old it is.

The Griffiths Valuation maps (circa 1858 for this area) show Edward Maguire holding two acres of land around the main house. Back down the lane, Bernard Flynn had about a quarter acre and Patrick Donnelly a similar plot around their respective houses, the walls of which can still be seen.

Interestingly, they were not renting from landlords: all the plots were freehold. These were the arable plots: the families probably really lived off the 450 acres of commonly held grazing that surrounded them. But aspects of the houses – signs of a wicker chimney breast and high threshold stones in the Maguire house – suggest they were built centuries earlier. And then there is the strange little structure built deep into a stone wall which is widely believed to be a sweat house. These sauna-style heat baths were used in medieval times but seem to have originated in the Bronze Age (let’s say 3000 years ago). They may have had ritual or religious significance, but their original purpose was to remove all human smells before the men went hunting, probably naked. In the field behind Maguire’s there is a strange structure marked on the maps as a Giant’s Grave. In fact, it is the remains of a classic passage grave which can be safely dated to 3500-3000 BC.

So, let’s just say the Deserted Village is pretty old.

Carlingford & Cooley Tourism Association News


Some readers of the Newsletter will be aware that the present incumbents of the Tourist Office are not renewing their lease, and that it is scheduled to close, in its present form, at the end of June 2018. While this development is regrettable, it nevertheless provides an opportunity to examine the options for promoting tourism in Carlingford and the wider Cooley peninsula. The closure of the Carlingford Tourist office is of particular interest to the CCTA and its Members, not only for the promotion of tourism, but also because of the substantial economic and employment benefits that visitors bring to Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula. The prominent position of the Tourist Office in the Station House, at the main entrance to the village, means that it is often the first port of call for visitors to Carlingford. In this location it provides valuable information to the many visitors to Carlingford and Cooley, on a wide range of issues, not only local information, but for the whole range of options open to visitors to County Louth.

The CCTA understands that a number of expressions of interest have been raised, relating to the continuing operation of the tourist office and it is the earnest hope of the CCTA that suitable arrangements will quickly be put in place to allow for the continuation of a tourist centre to provide a comprehensive and efficient offering, accommodating all business and community interests, for all visitors to the area.


The CCTA is currently examining its role in providing a service to its members and recognising its obligations to the wider Carlingford community. Under a new branding “MORE TO CARLINGFORD” the CCTA is examining the options for widening the offering that Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula can provide to visitors. In particular the CCTA is looking for opportunities to encourage more senior citizens and family groups to enjoy the many facilities that Carlingford, the Cooley Peninsula and Carlingford Lough have to offer, and to the extension of the traditional season, with emphasis on encouraging mid-week and low season visitors. To develop this new branding image the CCTA has circulated all members and business interests in the area with its proposals and is keeping the wider community interests informed through the Carlingford Community Forum.

Fishing for the 2018 Morgan’s Fine Fish CARLINGFORD OYSTER PEARL.

The famous Carlingford Oyster Festival has thrown the net out for the 2018 Morgan’s Fine Fish

Carlingford Oyster Pearl.

The famous festival which promises five fun filled days from Thursday 9th – Monday 13th August 2018 is looking forward to a packed programme of fun, delicious gastronomy and oyster pearl antics.

The well-known ‘lovely girl’ competition that crowned over 30 pearls in its day and made many a mammy cry with pride, is polishing up the crown ready for the 2018 pearl.

Participants should prepare for tasks like lunch on Carlingford Lough, tractor riding at Carlingford Oyster Farm, strutting their stuff on the catwalk, water activities (courtesy of the Carlingford Adventure Centre), dining out in Carlingford’s award-winning restaurants and whooping it up at the finale night at The Four Seasons Hotel Carlingford.

‘The 2017 Carlingford Oyster Pearl Competition was amazing. We had so much fun and laughed our way through most of it. We were treated so well and had a real sense of adding to the whole festival. I made so many new friends and actually in the end, winning was just the icing on the cake… although the €1000 prize was very nice.’ Mary–Rose McCarragher, Carlingford Oyster Pearl 2017

Inside information says that bling with matching wellies remains a compulsory accessory for the festival Wellie Hunt and hair dressing skills may or may not be handy at the Pearl Sheep Shearing display. This year brings a new challenge as the historical town wishes to showcase its pearls as medieval maidens. Standard criteria applies but most essential is a sense of fun. So, girls if you fancy 5 Days of fun in Carlingford, entries are now being accepted and closing date is 8th July.

This year’s competition is likely to be one to remember, so don’t miss it – enter now!

The winner will be crowned Morgan’s Fine Fish Carlingford Oyster Pearl 2018, Receiving €1000 in CASH, (Sponsored by Morgan’s Fine Fish), One year’s membership to The Four Seasons Leisure Centre, Carlingford, (Sponsored By The Four Seasons) and A Beautiful Unique Hand Crafted Pearl Necklace (Sponsored by Garrett Mallon, Carlingford Design House).

Last, but not least, the Thomas D’Arcy McGee International Conference takes place between 15th and 17th August. The theme of the Conference is “Exploring New Beginnings in Challenging Times”. The organisers promise that this year’s Conference (previously the D’Arcy McGee Summer School) promises something spectacular this year, with many visitors expected from Canada and from all parts of Ireland. The CCTA has actively participated on the organising committee and wishes the Conference every success and welcomes the many visitors to Carlingford, who are expected to attend. The CCTA encourages the local Carlingford and Cooley community to participate in the Conference by signing up for some of the many events and sessions which will be held in the Heritage Centre and other locations over the course of the Conference.



The Foy Centre

What’s happening in the Foy this summer?

Gymnastics Summer Camp

A Gymnastics camp will run from 10th July – 13th July from 10am – 2pm.

Clayotic Summer Camp

Clayotic summer camp will be held on 23rd – 27th July. This is a non- messy air-drying modeling clay.

Let your child’s imagination run free and get creative.

Irish Dance Festival

The annual Irish Dance Festival returns on Monday 30th July – Saturday 4th August. Children from all around the world attend this festival in Carlingford

and celebrate all aspects of Irish dance, Set dancing, Sean nÓs, Ceili dancing & more!

We’re delighted they use the Foy Centre as a venue for their workshop and end of festival concert. Look out for the dancers around the town – they sometimes take to the streets!

Da Cooley Thriller

Yes, its back, ‘Da Cooley Thriller’ is about to peddle off once more for the 11th time, on Saturday 11th, August 2018 at 10am. Set in the Cooley Mountains just outside Carlingford, Co. Louth the route, approx. 52km, and 18km (Short Thriller) will take riders on a complete traverse of the Cooley Mountains, taking in some of the Táin Trail and forest tracks to some roller coaster natural single trails once navigated by the bold Cuchulainn himself.

The Foy Centre will be used as the registration and finish area.

Tag Rugby Festival

A Tag Rugby Festival will be held on the Foy Centre pitch on Saturday 18th August. €100 entry per team. Contact if you want to register a team.

Back by popular Demand – The Ultimate Comedy Hypnotist

We’re currently getting organised for our big event this year on Saturday 15th September. 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. Put the date in your diary!

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

Well done to the Foy Centre volunteers. They made a good start on weeding the path around the football pitch. It was all done manually – no weedkiller is used here. They were helped by The Carlingford Knight Junior coaches, Tidy Towns and Carlingford Residents Association.

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

Thank you to local business women Claire Johnston and Eve Bourton who organised a raffle at their Fashion & Classical Music event and then donated the raffle takings to Carlingford Tidy Towns. The proceeds will go towards pole mounted hanging baskets coming soon to Market Square.

These lovely plants were stolen over the weekend of 26th-28th May. We reported the incident to the Gardai. Indignation was expressed by a lot of people on our Facebook page and we are very grateful to Deidre O’Neill for offering to have them replaced.

The past month has been an emotional time for CTT with feelings ranging from despair to elation. Fortunately, the various adversities we had to face have resulted in additional support in terms of donations and new volunteers joining our group. We hope this renewed motivation can be sustained as we continue our work to improve Carlingford for the whole community.

Enormous efforts have been made by all our volunteers as we work towards the annual judging of the National Tidy Towns competition which takes place, unannounced, during June. Although an undoubted peak in our activities, CTT will not be relaxing anytime soon. Our rolling 5-year plan has been updated and we will endeavour to bring all of the items on our list to fruition in the coming months. We also work tremendously hard to secure any funding that becomes available from award schemes etc. to enable us to purchase further items of benefit to the town.

Also, maintenance work continues…

Yet another bin has had to be put back up and another tired and graffitied bin refurbished.

We have installed ‘Mutt Mitts’ to try

and address the dog fouling problem

And the bin we salvaged from the council’s depot was repainted and has now been installed at the Dundalk St crossroads.

We found the lid that had been torn off the interpretive sign at the Wildlife Sanctuary and reinstated it.

A rusty vent pipe has been repainted and a fixing bracket attached, to support a new hanging basket, and other similar installations were made all around Market Square.

Seeing us struggling with ladders, we were very pleased when we were offered a teleporter to help us with the job!

The hanging baskets were installed a few days later and we hope you think they are a nice addition to Market Square.

Hanging baskets are back on display in Tholsel Street and also as you approach the town.

When we purchased the hanging baskets for Market Square, we also bought a new water bowser with a high reach pump attachment in order to keep all the additional plants watered in an efficient manner. Here is Pauric (above) testing out the new equipment.

Which is now in use by the early morning watering crew all over town.

The lettering has been refreshed on the stone at Tholsel Gate (erected in 1326, how amazing).

Thank you to volunteers Seamus and Michael who planted up the black boxes with begonias.

We are indebted to our grass contractor, Adam of PMR Groundcare, for his generosity in purchasing and erecting ten more hanging baskets which have been installed all around the green.

You will no doubt have noticed the annual extravaganza of bedding plants organised, paid for and planted up by CTT, which are now out on show in various parts of the town.

And we very much appreciate that businesses and individuals are doing their best to add to the overall effect.

Shop Owners on Tholsel Street have also been sprucing up and getting ready for the summer season.

Bradley’s are the latest to sport new hanging baskets outside their premises. These new additions have certainly spread renewed pride around the town.

Yet more new hanging baskets at the Oyster Catcher and Eblana, paid for by the owners of the premises and installed by CTT volunteers.

All of the Carlingford Businesses have been adding to the overall effect of a town in bloom with their wonderful floral displays.

Work has commenced to brighten up the façade of ‘Jordan’s’ in Newry Street. Well done to Austin

and Seamus (and Romeo the dog).

CTT is delighted to have had this wall at the front of the tennis courts repaired on 8th June by Benny Carolan of Clos na Manach. The wall had been damaged by a runaway car on 24th February and had been something of an eyesore since then as the council had no resources available to deal with it during that time.

Once the wall had been rebuilt, we set to, refilled with soil and planted up a set of new box plants and repairs are all completed now!

We were also aware of another damaged wall at the Ghan end of the green and were reviewing our options for its repair, bearing in mind we had the facings for the Welcome Signs also requiring stonework at this time. So, we were delighted when the council men came to attend to it on 20th June.

Job complete – Many Thanks to Sean and his team from L. C. C.

Thanks to Hanlon Transport, on 20th June we were able to get the Welcome Sign bases filled first with a layer of manure, courtesy of the Equestrian Centre, and then a deep layer of top soil, courtesy of Maeve Harold. We will be planting up each of the beds with perennial plants in the centre, so that they will remain there all year round, plus bedding plants around the edges to provide seasonal colour.

The rock to build the facings arrived on Saturday 23rd June and the first one was almost complete three days later.

Even the Bottle Bank has been updated at our request and another brown bin added.

Meanwhile our volunteers have also been out in the evenings, sweeping the pathways and kerbs and generally eliminating weeds. A magnificent amount of work was completed out on the Grove Road on 19th June creating so much detritus that we had to request the council to come and collect it.

Our volunteers have been out almost every weekday evening since then, sweeping the streets and picking up mounds of cigarette butts, which the town had been criticised for in last year’s Tidy Towns adjudication.

And all the while our various campaigns against waste and pollution continue…

June 5th was World Environment Day and also Coca-Cola Clean Coasts week. We celebrated in the traditional style of a Beach Clean extending from The Carlingford Oyster Company to The Harbour. Our volunteers did a little rock climbing to clean inside of the harbour wall. Thank you to Love Your Lough who brought along their troops, as did Xocean and the Carlingford Oyster Company in addition to our local CTT volunteers. Lush gave Love your Lough some Zero Waste toiletries for our beach cleaners. However thanks to our regular beach cleaning sessions, there was much less waste to collect than in previous years – only 15 small bags.

On 15th June the children from St Oliver’s completed a litter pick all over town.

Well done to Glenmore AC, who embraced Zero Waste by borrowing our beakers for their race on 9th June.

On 17th June, Blackrock Tidy Towns borrowed our reusable cups for their Breakfast Morning in aid

of their under 14’s GFC.

Well done to the Slieve Gullion runners who collected our cups for use in their race to be held on 1st July.

All in all, there have been some magnificent achievements by Carlingford Tidy Towns and its growing group of volunteers this month. We very much appreciate that the local businesses and resident’s groups have truly got behind us and are supporting us more than ever. A huge Thank You to everyone who has contributed to Carlingford looking its very best.

We are also pleased to report that the tennis courts are soon to be refurbished as Tennis Ireland are planning to hold a competition in Carlingford from 7th to 10th August and have been liaising with the Council to obtain new nets and have the lines on the courts re-marked.

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Carlingford Residents Association

What great work has been achieved by Abbey Court residents tidying and planting their flower beds.

Residents of St Oliver’s Park have been engaged on a project to improve their estate using some paint we had left over from another project. Pictured here Philip and Gerry.

The residents of Clos na Manach have also been very busy in the last month, keeping up the extremely high standards of their estate.

We would also like to acknowledge the great efforts made by Harbour Cottages residents this year to improve their estate in readiness for the Tidy Towns competition.

Well done everyone!

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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