Ahoghill

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Ahoghill main street
St Colmanell's Church of Ireland

Ahoghill or Ahohill[1][2] (/əˈhɒhɪl/ or /əˈhɒxɪl/; from Irish Achadh Eochaille, meaning "field of the yew forest")[3] is a large village and civil parish in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, four miles from Ballymena. It has a population of 3,055 people (according to the 2001 Census). It is within the Borough of Ballymena.

In early documents, Ahoghill is referred to as Magherahoghill meaning "the plain of the yew forest".

The Diamond forms the heart of the village. Most of the houses are two storey terraces or cottages. The old Church of Ireland graveyard just off The Diamond has many interesting memorials.

It is commonly referred to by the younger folk as "Chav-Land"

2001 Census[edit]

Ahoghill is classified as an Intermediate Settlement by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with a population of between 2,250 and 4,500 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 3,055 people living in Ahoghill. Of these:

  • 23.2% were aged under 16 and 14.8% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.9% of the population were male and 51.1% were female
  • 5.8% were from a Catholic background and 92.3% were from a Protestant background;
  • 2.4% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service

History[edit]

Religious Revival[edit]

Main article: Christian revival

The 1859 Revival which swept through Ulster has strong connections with Ahoghill. Thousands, of ordinary folk had their lives changed at this time. Especially notable is the reports of men and women weeping in the streets of Ahoghill such was the palpable moving of the Holy Spirit. On Monday 14 March 1859 a thanksgiving service took place in the new First Ahoghill Presbyterian Meetinghouse at which some of the converts from Connor spoke. It was estimated that 3,000 people attended and the commotion was such that the minister ordered the building to be emptied out of fear of the crowded gallery giving way. The crowd spent upwards of three hours in the Diamond in the rain continuing in prayer and praise. The gallery of First Ahoghill [1] still bears the effects of this event; it is visibly sunken to one side! Today Ahoghill has three Presbyterian churches, First Ahoghill on Straid Road, Brookside (www.brooksidepc.org)on Brook Street and Trinity on Church Street. There is also St Colmanell's Church of Ireland on Church Street and the Gospel Hall on Glenhugh Road.

The Troubles[edit]

Main article: The Troubles

On 19 April 1977 William Strathearn (39), a Catholic shop owner was shot and killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) while at his home in Ahoghill. The murder was carried out by Billy McCaughey who was a UVF member despite also being a former police officer.[4]

The village has seen frequent sectarian attacks, particularly in 2005 when several Catholic families left after attacks on their homes,[5][6][7] and is considered a staunchly loyalist area.

See also UDA South East Antrim Brigade.

Sport[edit]

  • Football - Ahoghill Rovers F.C
  • Football Coaching - Coaching4Christ, is based in Ahoghill and provides football coaching to schools, clubs and organisations all over Ireland.
  • Gaelic Games - St. Mary's GAC & CC / Clooney Gaels, Ahoghill (CLG Naomh Mhuire / Gaeil Chluana, Achadh Eochaille) Ahoghill GAA is a thriving rural GAA club based in Crosskeys Rd, Ahoghill - outside the village in the townland of Aughterclooney. They provide coaching and games in Camogie, Gaelic Football, and Hurling for the local Community.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minister pays visit to Belfast as fears rise over loyalist violence". Irish Independent. 11 September 2005.
  2. ^ Creggan Camogie Club
  3. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  4. ^ "Hatred in Harryville", Henry McDonald, Sunday Times, 9 February 1997
  5. ^ Guardian
  6. ^ BBC
  7. ^ UTV

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°52′N 6°22′W / 54.867°N 6.367°W / 54.867; -6.367