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Clanvaraghan

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Clanvaraghan
  • Irish: Cluain Bhearcháin
  • Clanvaraghan
Clanvaraghan is located in County Down
Clanvaraghan
Location within County Down
Population186 (2001 Census)
District
County
CountryNorthern Ireland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBT31
Dialling code028
EU ParliamentNorthern Ireland
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
UK
Northern Ireland
Down
54°18′07″N 5°55′41″W / 54.301933°N 5.9280003°W / 54.301933; -5.9280003Coordinates: 54°18′07″N 5°55′41″W / 54.301933°N 5.9280003°W / 54.301933; -5.9280003

Clanvaraghan[edit | edit source]

Clanvaraghan is a small village in County Down, in the north-east of Northern Ireland close to the Irish Sea. Clanvaraghan is located approximately 3 miles north of the town of Castlewellan. The village has a population of 186 residents while the number of people living within this rural townland is much greater.

Places of interest[edit | edit source]

Slieve Croob (from Irish Sliabh Crúibe, meaning 'mountain of the hoof')[1] is a mountain with a height of 534 metres (1,752 ft)[2] in the middle of County Down, Northern Ireland. It is the heart of a mountainous area known as the Dromara Hills, north of the Mourne Mountains. It is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is the source of the River Lagan. There is a small road to the summit, where there is an ancient burial cairn and several transmitter stations with radio masts. It has wide views over all of County Down and further afield. The Dromara Hills also includes Slievenisky, Cratlieve, Slievegarran and Slievenaboley.

Slieve Croob may have been the mountain named Brí Erigi or Brí Airige in medieval writings.[3] The cairn on its summit is believed to be the remains of an ancient burial mound, possibly of a passage tomb like the one on Slieve Gullion.[4] In the 19th century it was recorded to be 77 yards (70 m) around and 18 yards (16 m) in "conical height", with forty-two "pillar stones" or kerbstones around the edge.[5] The cairn would have had a well-defined shape when it was built, but over time it has slipped and been damaged by visitors. Irish folklore holds that it is bad luck to damage such cairns.[6][7] Some of its stones have been piled into smaller cairns on top of it,[4] which led to the summit being nicknamed 'The Twelve Cairns'.[3] Traditionally, people would gather on the summit at Lughnasadh where they would add a stone to one of the cairns. They would collect and eat bilberries and there would be folk music, dancing and games.[8]

St. Mary of the Angels is a Roman Catholic Church prominently located within the village of Clanvaraghan. Construction of the Church lasted from 1936-7, with the official consecration being carried out by Bishop Mageen on September 26th, 1937. This was not the first church located in Clanvaraghan with a previous T-shape building being located in what is now the old graveyard. This older church was constructed in 1825 and succeeded another structure also on this same sight which was built in 1785.

Sport[edit | edit source]

The GAA came early to the area and the newspaper "Sport" carried reports of games of Gaelic football between Clanvaraghan Harps and Belfast teams as far back as 1891-92. Clanvaraghan was again fielding teams in the 1917-1918 period.

The first football club officially registered as Drumnaquoile was formed in 1924 and they brought the parish its only Senior Football Championship title in 1929. Emigration took its toll and the club folded in 1934. It was re-formed in 1958 and had modest success, winning promotion to Senior "B" League in 1972.

In 1939 a hurling club was formed in Clanvaraghan which took the Junior Championship in 1941 but disbanded in 1945.

In 1964 a football club was formed in Drumaroad which was competing in Intermediate League by 1972.

On 20 October 1977, the Drumaroad and Drumnaquoile clubs agreed in principle to wind up and to join forces as St John's GAC, Drumnaquoile. The new club first met on 27 November 1977 with a committee comprising President Fr Gerry Park PP, Chairman Dan Fitzpatrick, Vice-Chairman Brendan McEvoy, Secretary Patsy Flynn, Assistant Secretary James Burns, Treasurers Patsy Murray and Rupert Rogan and other members Gerry Burns, P.F. Mc Cann, Henry O' Hare, Mickey Laverty, Seamus Savage, Joe Lavery, Seamus Laverty and James Mc Cann.

In 1974 Drumanquoile hurling club was formed and reached the JFC Final in 1981 and 1984. In 1986 this club amalgamated with the football club under the St John's banner, camogie followed a similar pattern. By 1986 all Gaelic games in the parish, football, hurling, and camogie were administered by one club, St John's.

In 1984-85 the club organised a massive draw with £70,000 in prizes and set a deadline for a succession of other clubs and organisations to follow. With the proceeds, the club has developed its own pitch, Paire Naoimh Eoin, and a magnificent social club complex. Unfortunately, this complex was destroyed in an arson attack in 2008, just days prior to St John's winning the Down Junior Football Championship for the first time.

St John's recently opened their second full-size pitch at Pairc Naomh Eoin and developed new and improved clubrooms to serve the community for years to come.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mills, A. D. (2003). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
  2. Slieve Croob at MountainViews.ie
  3. 3.0 3.1 Slieve Croob at Place Names NI.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Moore, Sam (2012). The Archaeology of Slieve Donard: a Cultural Biography of Ulster's Highest Mountain. Down County Museum. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-9567278-6-2.
  5. Philip Dixon Hardy. The Northern Tourist; Or, Stranger's Guide to the North and North West of Ireland. Curry, 1830. p.70
  6. Sarah Champion & Gabriel Cooney. "Chapter 13: Naming the Places, Naming the Stones". Archaeology and Folklore. Routledge, 2005. p.193
  7. Doherty, Gillian. The Irish Ordnance Survey: History, Culture, and Memory. Four Courts Press, 2004. p.89
  8. Moore, Sam (2012). The Archaeology of Slieve Donard: a Cultural Biography of Ulster's Highest Mountain. Down County Museum. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-9567278-6-2.


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