Newry (/ËnjÊÉri/; from Irish: An IÃºraigh) is a city in Northern Ireland, 34 miles (55Â km) from Belfast and 67 miles (108Â km) from Dublin. It had a population of 29,946 in 2011.
Newry was founded in 1144 alongside a Cistercian monastery, although there are references to earlier settlements in the area. It is one of Ireland's oldest towns.
Newry is at the entry to the "Gap of the North", close to the border with the Republic of Ireland. It grew as a market town and a garrison and became a port in 1742 when it was linked to Lough Neagh by the first summit-level canal in Ireland. In 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee celebrations, Newry was granted city status along with Lisburn.
The name Newry derives from an anglicisation of An IÃºraigh, an oblique form of An IÃºrach, which means "the grove of yew trees".
The modern Irish name for Newry is An tIÃºr (pronouncedÂ [ÉnÌ Ê² tÊ²uËÉ¾Ë ]), which means "the yew tree". An tIÃºr is an abbreviation of IÃºr Cinn TrÃ¡, which itself means "yew tree at the head of the strand". This relates to an apocryphal story that Saint Patrick planted a yew tree there in the 5th century.
The Irish name Cathair an IÃºir (City of Newry) appears on some bilingual welcome signs.
There is strong evidence of continual human habitation in the area from early times, where it is seen during the Bronze Age that Newry had a factory type community who were producing in abundance very detailed jewellery for garments, three of these Newry Clasps can be found in the Ulster Museum, and a massive arm clasp from this same period was also found in Newry. In recent times the survey for the new bypass revealed a number of standing stones on a central area down the O Meath road, these like many other finds, like that of ancient cave at the top of the Dublin Road area, have seemingly been noted and forgotten about, it is estimated that as many as 130 ancient sites were discovered at the top of the Camlough road, all were noted, and left to be destroyed by the New road, standing stones were seen on at least one of these sites, stand no more. In 820, the Danes made one of their earliest irruptions at Newryabbey, from whence they proceeded to Armagh, taking it by storm, and plundering and desolating the country around. It was the first time since its foundation that the venerable city was in the hands of sacrilegious foreigners.
In A.D 835, according to O Halloarn's history of Ireland, the Danes again made a sudden incursion into Newry, ( A large body of Danes landed at Inbher-Chin-Tra-gha, or Newry), and committed, dreadful cruelties there. Then, they attacked Armagh, and set fire to the churches and university, plundering them of all their plate and riches and plundered all in his way setting fire to them, putting at the same time to the sword, above a thousand people, clergy and laity were slaughtered. Todd James Henthorn tells us more in his 1867 Volume, (Chronicles and memories of England and Ireland in the Middle Ages) where he tells us the abbey was attacked in 824. The small medieval town was enlarged in 1144 by Saint Malachi, with the rebuilding of Saint Patrick's older foundation. The Vikings attacked the Abbey many time, slaughtering its occupants. The town was granted its first charter between 1153 and 1160 by High King of Ireland Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn.
In 1162 the monastery was attacked and burned to some degree, by Irish clans. There is no evidence as to how much of the abbey was burned in this attack, however, it was not completely destroyed. De Courcy's lordship ensured a safe spell for the abbey after he had built several castles in and around Newry, it was a typical Norman affair with a Motte and Bailey. The landing stage itself was situated in Killmorey street, from these early times it was the main pier and port of the town. It stayed as such until the construction of the new canal took place. The abbey was later converted to a collegiate church in 1543, before being surrendered to the crown in 1548. The abbey is seen to be giving its earnings to the crown almost 200 years before this date. It is described as being one of the richest and largest in Ireland.
In 1543 an English mercenary, Nicholas Bagenal, fled to Ireland after murdering a man in Leek, in Yorkshire, apparently with the aid of his two brothers. After some time in the employ of the O Neill he reached a high status, was granted a pardon, and became Marshal of the army. During his early years in the Louth area he lived at Carlingford, the state papers tell us that he set about restoring the Castle there, and also the Leicester castle at Newry, and the Bagenal Castle at Green castle, which later became the family home. Lord Bingham is seen sending Oriel labourers to Newry in 1546,at which time Bagenal is seen restoring the castle of Newry which was first built by John De Courcy in 1198(See Lewis 1815). Not long after this the Marshall 1550 is seen securing a 21-year lease on the Newry property which was confiscated from the Cistercians, during the reformation.
Harris (1735) recorded the site of the Great Catholic Church which was built by the Cistercians as being at the top of Hyde Market; he stated that some of the remains of this church were still standing. Bradshaw in 1820 wrote that the bell tower staircase of the church needed gunpowder to demolish it in 1800 because of its immense strength. The same words are now used in ref to the same building being a supposed Castle. no Castle ever sat on this church site, until one suddenly appeared in 1996. The birth of which has turned the towns history on its head, along with this Castle came the redefining of Newrys ancient and modern history. If it is to be believed then De Courcy must have built his Motte and Bailey after knocking down the great Cistercian church, unless of course he built it on top of it, both ideas are so far fetched and unbelievable. It could only happen in Newry.
Many of the old walls of the Abbey are still standing round the abbey fields. The nearby convent was also part of the Abbey,and is seen mentioned in the Bagenal patent. A small medieval church can be found in its grounds. It is an ancient place. The abbey site is mentioned in the rent rolls of 1575, said to consist of a 'church, a steeple, a cemetery, a chapter-house, dormitory and hall, two orchards and one garden, containing one acre, within the precincts of the college.
At the period of the Battle of the Boyne, the duke of Berwick set fire to the parts of the town which he had restructured to defend it, see Berwicks Journal, Schomberg sent troops in during the early hours of the mornings when seeing the flames, they successfully extinguished them. While it is believed that King Billy may have stayed at a Newry Castle,the story is a far fetched one, king Billy took a portable wooden bed room with him on this campaign,which he called his coach, (see The Impartial History by Rev Story) the King refused to sleep in Castles or houses, preferring to be amongst his men.
One of the main Castles of Newry at this date was an ancient abbey building, which stood at Mill Street corner, it stood in the North end of the abbey complex, its remains were finally demolished in 1965. The other abbey buildings were once used by Bagenal (30 odd years), as pig sties and stables according to the O Neill web site, these buildings lay neglected when King Billy passed through the town, for over 100 years they were nothing more than great massive stores or sheds in the back ground and not considered as part of the town. Evidence shows nothing of any English buildings of that period, however claims have been made in contemporary documents in regard to buildings supposedly being erected by the Needhams in the mid-1700s in Killmorey Street (Customs House, Bridewell) earlier documents prove that these were converted abbey buildings. However many fine English Georgian period houses can be seen in the town.
By 1881 the population of Newry had reached 15,590. Newry Urban District Council was unusual in that during the period from the 1920s to the 1960s it was one of only a handful of councils in Northern Ireland which had a majority of Councillors from the Catholic/Nationalist community. (The others were Strabane UDC and a handful of rural district councils.) The reason according to Michael Farrell was that this community formed such a large majority in the town, around 80% of the population, that it was impossible to gerrymander. Also an oddity was that for a time it was controlled by the Irish Labour Party, after the left wing of the Northern Ireland Labour Party defected to them in the 1940s.
Newry saw several violent incidents during the conflict known as the Troubles. These went on into the late 1990s and even in 2010 â" such as bomb scares and car bombs.
See also: The Troubles in Killeen, for information on incidents at the border and customs post at Newry on the border with the Republic of Ireland and close to Newry. In 2003, the hilltop watch towers were taken down. The Army withdrew from the area on 25 June 2007 when they closed their final base at Bessbrook. As there are no garrisons in the area the Army has had no official presence in Newry or South Armagh since the end of Operation Banner.
Newry lies in the most south-eastern part of both Ulster and Northern Ireland. About half of the city (the west) lies in County Armagh and the other half (the east) in County Down. The Clanrye River, which runs through the city, forms the historic border between County Armagh and County Down.
The city sits in a valley, between the Mourne Mountains to the east and the Ring of Gullion to the south-west, both of which are designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Cooley Mountains lie to the south east. The Clanrye River runs through the centre of town, parallel to the canal. The city also lies at the northernmost end of Carlingford Lough, where the canal enters the sea at Victoria Locks.
Newry is within the civil parishes of Newry and Middle Killeavy. The parishes have long been divided into townlands, the names of which mainly come from the Irish language. The following is a list of townlands in Newry's urban area, alongside their likely etymologies:
Although officially a city, Newry is classified as a large town by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 18,000 and 75,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001), there were 27,433 people living in Newry. Of these:
- 26.2% were aged under 16 years and 16.0% were aged 60 and over
- 48.5% of the population were male and 51.6% were female;
- 89.6% were from a Roman Catholic background and 9.4% were from a Protestant background.
- 5.5% of people aged 16â"74 were unemployed.
- 99% of people are European.
As with the rest of Ireland, Newry has a temperate climate, with a narrow range of temperatures, regular windy conditions, and rainfall throughout the year.
Newry has a reputation as one of the best provincial shopping-towns in Northern Ireland, with the Buttercrane Centre and The Quays attracting large numbers of shoppers from as far away as Cork.
In 2006 Newry topped the league of house prices increases across the whole United Kingdom over the last decade, as prices in the city had increased by 371% since 1996. The city itself has become markedly more prosperous in recent years. Unemployment has reduced from over 26% in 1991 to scarcely 2% in 2008.
Since the inception of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, shoppers from the Republic of Ireland have increasingly been crossing the border to Newry to buy cheaper goods due to the difference in currency. This owes to a combination of factors: the harsh budget in the Republic of Ireland in October 2008; the growing strength of the euro against the pound sterling and VAT reductions in the United Kingdom, compared with increases in the Republic of Ireland. This remarkable increase in cross-border trade has become so widespread that it has lent its name to a general phenomenon known as the Newry effect. In December 2008, The New York Times described Newry as "the hottest shopping spot within the European Union's open borders, a place where consumers armed with euros enjoy a currency discount averaging 30 percent or more".
However the increased flow of trade has led to resultant tailbacks, sometimes several kilometres long, on approach roads from the south. This has created huge traffic and parking problems in Newry and the surrounding area. It has also become a political issue, with some politicians in the Republic of Ireland claiming that such cross-border shopping is "unpatriotic".
- The Newry Canal opened in 1742. It is the oldest Canal in Ireland or Britain and when functioning as an inland transport waterway, it ran for 18 miles to Lough Neagh. In 1777, Newry was ranked the fourth largest port in Ireland. Some surviving 18th and 19th century warehouses still line the canal, and now many houses, shops and restaurants.
- In 1885 an electric tramway was opened between Newry and Bessbrook.
- MacNeill's Egyptian Arch is a railway bridge located near Newry. It was selected for the design of the British One Pound coin to represent Northern Ireland for 2006.
- Newry is served by an Ulsterbus bus station, located in the city centre. The bus station is situation along The Mall, suspended over the Clanrye River. Services in Newry include local, regional and cross-border transport with a free shuttle bus service to the local train station and services to local schools around Newry and Mourne.
- Newry railway station, just off the Camlough road, offers cross border services on the Dublin-Belfast line as well as some regional services around areas of County Armagh and Country Down. Transport to other places generally requires a change in either Belfast or Dublin. Planning permission for the construction of a new station to the east of the current station, was granted in May 2006 and the new station opened on 7 September 2009 by Northern Ireland Railways.
- Newry is on the main M1/A1 route from Dublin to Belfast. Originally the route passed through the town centre, but in the 60s was bypassed by the Abbey Link. This remained the sole relief road until 1996 when it was superseded by a single carriageway bypass round the western side of the town. By 2008 the road on either side of the town had been upgraded to motorway/high quality dual carriageway standard (southwards from Cloghogue) and low quality dual carriageway (northwards from Beechill). In July 2010 a new high quality dual carriageway with motorway characteristics was opened to bridege the gap, thus connecting Dublin with Belfast by motorway/dual carriageway for the first time. The opening of this section of Road meant that motorists could travel from Clogh in Co. Antrim to Midleton, Co. Cork by dual carriageway/motorway. Part of this older bypass is still in use between the Camlough Road (A25) and the Belfast Road (A1). Newry suffers from very heavy traffic with shoppers coming from across the border. Newry is connected with Warrenpoint by a lower quality dual carriageway, some seven miles to the south.
The headquarters of Newry and Mourne District Council are based in Newry. The area has a majority nationalist population, leading to a council dominated by Sinn FÃ©in and the Social Democratic and Labour Party, but there are three Ulster Unionist and one Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillors. Former UUP member Henry Reilly was re-elected in 2011 as a UKIP candidate. Newry and Mourne District Council was scheduled to be merged with the adjoining Down District Council in 2011 as part of the reorganisation of local government in Northern Ireland but these plans were shelved.
As a result of the 2011 Northern Ireland Council elections the council area for Newry Town is as follows:
Saint Patrick's Church was built in 1578 on the instructions of Nicholas Bagenal, who was granted the monastery lands by Edward VI, and is considered to be the first Protestant church in Ireland.
The Cathedral of SS. Patrick and Colman on Hill Street was built in 1829 at a cost of Â£8,000. The structure, which consists of local granite, was designed and built by Thomas Duff, arguably Newry's greatest architect to date. Incidentally, Thomas Duff also was the architect for the Cathedral in Dundalk, a town just over the border in County Louth, and it is said that he mixed up the plans for both cathedrals and sent Dundalk Cathedral to the builders in Newry, and Newry Cathedral to the builders in Dundalk.
The Town Hall is notable for being built over the River Clanrye which is the historic boundary between the counties of Armagh and Down.
The city also boasts a museum, an arts centre and, in recent years, has seen a number of art galleries being opened.
The impressive Craigmore Viaduct lies just north of the city on the Northern Ireland Railways Belfast-Dublin mainline. The bridge was designed by Sir John MacNeill with construction beginning in 1849. The bridge was formally opened in 1852. The viaduct consists of eighteen arches the highest being 126Â feet, the highest viaduct in Ireland. It is around a quarter of a mile long and was constructed from local granite. The Enterprise Train link from Belfast to Dublin crosses the bridge. Every week, The Newry Reporter newspaper highlights a historic building in Newry and the surrounding area, giving a brief outline of its history.
- Daisy Hill Hospital
- Cathedral of Saints Patrick and Colman, Hill Street (1825â"29)
- The Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Catherine, Dominic Street (1875)
- St. Brigid's, Derrybeg (1970)
- St. Mary's, Chapel Street (1789) (formerly Newry Cathedral)
- Church of the Sacred Heart, Cloghogue (1916)
- Church of the Assumption, Drumalane (1954)
- St. Patrick's Church of Ireland (1578). Perhaps the first Protestant church ever built in Ireland. It was destroyed by fire and rebuilt.
- St. Mary's Church of Ireland (1819)
- First Presbyterian Church, Sandys Street
- Downshire Road Presbyterian Church
- Methodist Church, Sandy's Street
- Newry Baptist Church
- First Presbyterian Church (Non-Subscribing), John Mitchel Place
- Riverside Reformed Presbyterian Church, Basin Walk
- The Salvation Army, Trevor Hill
- Metropolitan Church, Edward Street
- Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, Belfast Road
- Joseph Barcroft, respiratory physiologist, (1872â"1947)
- W. J. Barre (1830â"1867), architect who designed the Ulster Hall in Belfast in the late 1850s.
- Sir Trevor Corry (1724â"1780) British diplomat and Baron of Poland, born in Newry
- Daybreak host Christine Bleakley was born in Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry in 1979.
- Thomas Duff, Architect, (1792â"1848) was born in Newry. Duff is renowned for having designed the Cathedral of St. Patrick and St. Colman in the town.
- John Dunlop, prominent Presbyterian churchman, was born in Newry in 1939.
- Julia Glover, an 18th and 19th century stage actress was born in the town.
- Frank Hall, broadcaster / satirist, RTE
- SeÃ¡n Hillen, artist, was born and grew up in Newry, and made a large body of photomontage artworks related to the 'troubles', many of which are based on his own photographs taken in and around Newry. They include a series satirically titled "LondoNewry, a Mythical Town.."
- Sir William Hill Irvine GCMG (6 July 1858 â" 20 August 1943), the 21st Premier of Victoria was born in Newry.
- Pat Jennings, a former goalkeeper and most capped player for Northern Ireland, was born in the town and played for Newry Town F.C.
- Valene Kane, actress born in Newry best known for playing Rose Stagg in the BBC series The Fall.
- Michael Legge â" actor, best known for his recurring role in the Channel 4 series Shameless and for his part in the film Angela's Ashes. He was born in Newry and attended St. Colman's Abbey Primary School and St Colman's College.
- Actor siblings John and Susan Lynch, were both born in Newry.
- Tom Kelly, Irish News Columnist; Media Commentator. Awarded OBE in 2006, Contribution to Greater Newry Award 2008 and Hon. Doctorate from University of Ulster 2012.
- Alfred Ludlam (1810 â" 8 November 1877) A leading New Zealand politician and philanthropist
- John Magee, Roman Catholic Bishop of Cloyne and former private secretary to three popes, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II.
- Willie Maley (25 April 1868 â" 2 April 1958), the first manager of Celtic was born in Newry.
- John Martin (8 September 1812 â" 29 March 1875) an Irish nationalist was born in Newry.
- Ryan McGivern, defender capped for Northern Ireland.
- Peter McParland, a former soccer player, who scored for Northern Ireland in 1958 FIFA World Cup, was born in Newry.
- John Mitchel, a 19th-century Irish patriot who inspired the Young Ireland Movement, is buried in the Old Meeting House cemetery in the town.
- Tomm Moore, twice Oscar nominated filmmaker was born in Newry before moving to Kilkenny at an early age.
- Actor Gerard Murphy was born in Newry, and was a prominent member of the Newpoint Players theatre group.
- PÃ¡draig Ã" Cuinn (1898 â" August 1974), prominent leader in the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence was born in Newry and later served as a general practitioner in Newry.
- Gaelic footballer, SeÃ¡n O'Neill, regarded as one of the outstanding forwards in the game, was born in Newry.
- David O'Reilly aka Rigsy, a broadcaster with the BBC and popular DJ, was born in Newry on 6 December 1978 and lived in the city until he was ten.
- Ronan Rafferty (13 January 1964), golfer, was born in Newry.
- Charles Russell, Baron Russell of Killowen, (1832â"1900), Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, was born in Newry on 10 November 1832.
- Matthew Russell, SJ â" Irish Jesuit, poet and editor, was born in Newry in 1834. He established the Irish Monthly in 1873 and served as editor for nearly forty years. He also wrote many volumes of verse, and corresponded with the English Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.
- Daniel Fox, poet, playwright and actor widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, of which the authorship of some is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
- Conall Brady, poet, playwright and actor widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, of which the authorship of some is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright
- The 4 of Us â" rock band from Newry
- Luv Bug, pop group who represented Ireland at the 1986 Eurovision Song Contest also originated from Newry
Association football (soccer)
Until 2012, Newry City F.C. played at the Showgrounds before being liquidated. A phoenix club named Newry City AFC was formed to play in amateur leagues in 2013
The local amateur league, the Carnbane League was established in 1968. As of 2011 the teams competing in these leagues at senior level are:
- Newry Celtic
- Rockview United
- Bessbrook United
- Windmill Stars
- Ballybot United
- Finn Harps
- Killeavey United
- Cleary Celtic
- Killowen Celtic
- Kilkeel Athletic
- Damolly United
- Crieve Rovers
- Whitecross AFC
- North End Strollers
- Midway United
- Millburn United
- Ashgrove Rovers
- Rostrevor Rovers
- Villa Rovers
- Clanrye Athletic
- Newry Juventus
- Cartwheel United
Gaelic Athletic Association
The Down GAA team has its home ground at PÃ¡irc Esler in the city. Local clubs are Newry Bosco GFC, Newry Shamrocks GAC, John Mitchel GFC and Ballyholland GFC, all in Down GAA, and Thomas Davis GFC, Corrinshego and Killeavy St Moninna's GAC, both in Armagh GAA.
Newry RFC (also known as Newry Rugby Club, Newry RFU or Newry) is an Irish amateur rugby union club, founded in 1925. The club is a member of the Irish Rugby Football Union's Ulster branch. The club currently fields three senior teams and several junior teams ranging from under-12 to under-18 and a women's team for the first time in 2010â"2011 season. The club's home ground is known as Telford Park. The team currently has two playing fields located at this ground along with the clubhouse on the outskirts of Newry.
Newry Olympic HC is a field hockey team located at the north of the city. The men's first XI currently play in the ONE1918 Senior 1 league.
- Ballyholland Primary School
- Bunscoil an IÃºir
- Cloughoge Primary School
- Killean Primary School
- Mullaglass Primary School
- St Clare's Convent Primary School
- St. Colman's Abbey Christian Brothers' Primary School
- St Colman's Primary School, Saval
- St Joseph's Convent Primary School
- St Malachy's Primary School
- St. Patrick's Primary School, Newry|St Patrick's Primary School
- Windsor Hill Primary School
- St Ronan's Primary School
- Abbey Christian Brothers Grammar School
- Newry High School
- Our Lady's Grammar School
- Sacred Heart Grammar School
- St Colman's College
- St. John's Primary School
- St Joseph's Boys' High School
- St. Mary's High School
- St. Paul's High School, Bessbrook
- Southern Regional College
- Newry Times
- Destination Newry and Mourne
- Newry at DMOZ
- Newry and Mourne District Council
- ActivNewry.com â" Newry's business, events, and community directory
- Newry City.com
- Newry.ie â" All things Newry with Events, Photograph Archive from the 80's and latest News
- Newry Memoirs