Carrickmacross, County Monaghan

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Carrickmacross, often written as Carrickmacros, is a town located in County Monaghan in Ireland. It derives its name from the Irish phrase Carraig Mhachaire Rois, which literally means ‘rock of the wooded plain’. Having a population of just 5066 in the 2006 census, it is a market-town that attributes its thriving market to the castle built by the Earl of Essex in the first half of the 17th century. However, in 1866, the town suffered substantially due to the Great Famine and saw huge loss residents owing to emigration.

At the site of the castle now stands The Convent of St. Louis Nuns; the nuns are credited with giving the art of lace-making a new lease of life in this town. This town is well known for the tradition of lacemaking that is prevalent in the city and kept alive by the Carrickmacross Lace Co-operative. The lace that the craftspersons create is preferred by celebrities as well as royalty, including Queen Victoria and Princess Diana. It can be bought at the Gallery Centre located within the town, where demonstrations of the crafting process are also given upon request.

This town is the proud recipient of the highly prestigious European Entente Floral Silver Medal Award, which it won for having the best horticultural display in the international arena. Apart from being endowed with enchanting floral beauty, it is also well known for having various places that can capture a tourist’s imagination. One of the most important places located in this town is the Roman Catholic Church that was built in 1866. Apart from having religious importance, this church is also relevant for tourists as it houses ten beautiful stained-glass windows that were painted by Harry Clarke, the well known artist in 1925.

Tourists who are enamoured with history and heritage will certainly be interested in visiting the Magheross Church, which is situated on the outskirts of the town. Music-lovers turn up at he grave of Patrick Byrne, who was the last prominent advocate of the Gaelic Harp and holds the enviable position of being the first traditional musician of Ireland to be photographed. Tourists are also known to visit places like the Courthouse and the Poor Law Union Workhouse, which has now been restored.

This town is located only an hour away from major Irish cities of Dublin and Belfast, from where travellers take commute to see the activities of the Carrickmacross Emmets, the local Gaelic football and hurling club. This town also has a dedicated Scout Club and a Cycling Club, both of which are well known for promoting competitive spirit and sportsmanship. Apart from these, aerobics, basketball and athletics are highly popular at the local leisure clubs.

It has an infrastructure that can support a multitude of tourists with utmost ease, which is why it is heavily visited by numerous people throughout the year. Carrickmacross has been twinned with the city of Carhaix, Brittany, Ireland since 1993, which makes it one of the cities having a sister town in Ireland.

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All Imagery Courtesy of Panoramio

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About the author

Originally from Scotland, Colin now resides near the beautiful seaside town of Portstewart on the Causeway Coastal Route. By day he works in IT and by day off he spends much of his time travelling around the Island with his young family, writing about his experiences for many sites both locally and nationally.