Armoy, County Antrim

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"Armoy" redirects here. For other uses, see Armoy (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 55°08′N 6°20′W / 55.13°N 6.33°W / 55.13; -6.33

Irish: Oirthear Maí
St Patrick's church, Armoy - - 1259234.jpg
St Patrick's Church and the round tower
Armoy is located in Northern Ireland
 Armoy shown within Northern Ireland
Population 414 (2001 Census)
Irish grid reference D067328
    - Belfast 49 mi (79 km)  
District Moyle
County County Antrim
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BT53
Dialling code 028, +44 28
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament North Antrim
NI Assembly North Antrim
List of places
Northern Ireland

Armoy (from Irish: Oirthear Maí)[1] is a small village and civil parish in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is 9 km southwest of Ballycastle and 13 km northeast of Ballymoney. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 414 people. The village is on the River Bush between two of the nine Glens of Antrim; Glenshesk and Glentaisie. The Armoy area also includes half of Knocklayd mountain.

It is one of the bigger villages in the Moyle area and has two primary school, shops, post office and other community facilities. The village was dominated by public sector housing for many years, but in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a new housing development was built. Many more have been built since then.

The River Bush once flowed directly north to the sea at Ballycastle, however, after the last glacial event in Northern Ireland deposited the Armoy Moraine (on which the church and round tower sit) the river was deflected to the west and it now reaches the sea through Bushmills and Portballantrae.

The Troubles[edit]

On 15 April 1978 RUC officer John Moore was killed by an IRA booby trap bomb attached to his car.[2]

Places of interest[edit]

  • A picturesque Presbyterian Church sits on the edge of the village. The church’s striking spire, with a Viking ship weathervane on top, has been described as ’a miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower’.
Armoy Presbyterian Church
  • There are the remains of an Irish round tower on the edge of the village. An early monastery was founded about AD 460 by Saint Olcán, a disciple of Saint Patrick. The only trace of an early monastery is the stump of the round tower, which stands in the grounds of St Patrick's Parish Church. The tower is about 11 m high and has three storeys. At one time, Armoy was the main religious settlement in the Irish part of the kingdom of Dál Riata.

Community development[edit]

The commercial and community life of the village has been greatly enhanced by a community regeneration project at the junction of Main Street and Drones Road. The Tilley Molloy Project, implemented under the International Fund for Ireland’s Community Regeneration and Improvement Special Programme (CRISP), was undertaken by Armoy Community Development Association and completed in 2000. This redevelopment of a key derelict site at the entrance to the village provided four shop units, four apartments, community care facilities and public toilets. The physical environment of the village has been further enhanced by a new Riverside Park developed by the District Council, and an environmental improvement scheme on Main Street carried out as part of the CRISP project.


Armoy railway station opened on 18 October 1880 and was shut on 3 July 1950.[3] It was on the Ballycastle Railway, a narrow gauge railway which ran for 17 miles linking Ballycastle to Ballymoney, on the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway (BNCR), later Northern Counties Committee (NCC), main line to Derry.[4]


  • John Armoy Knox, journalist, was born on 10 August 1851 at Armoy, the son of Thomas and Jane McBride Knox. His father and his uncle owned the Armoy Flax and Grain Mills. He emigrated to the United States in 1871 and settled in Austin, Texas working as a journalist, before editing newspapers in New York and Atlanta. He was also a playwright and author. He died suddenly in New York on 18 December 1906.
  • Olcan McFetridge was a famous County Antrim hurler. He received an all-star award in 1989 and won a Sports Council Merit and Sunday Life Award in August 2005.
  • Joey Dunlop OBE was a resident of Armoy and was a member of The Armoy Armada. He was a world champion motorcyclist.
  • Steve & Charlie McCooke, Legendary cross country runners and Olympians.

One of Co Antrim's most renowned sportsmen - and a former Olympic athlete - has died at the age of 90. Hundreds of mourners, including sports officials from all over Ireland, gathered at 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church to say their farewells to Stephen Hunter McCooke, who with his brother Charlie captured virtually every track and field record in Ireland.

Armoy man Stephen trained in his spare time while working on a farm and went on to compete in the 1948 Olympic Games in London. He was also a leading light of East Antrim Harriers cycling club.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Armoy station". Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  4. ^ Baker, Michael HC (1999). Irish Narrow Gauge Railways. A View from the Past. Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 0-7110-2680-7. 

External links[edit]