Cavan

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Cavan
An Cabhán
Town
Cathedral of Saints Patrick & Felim, Cavan
Cathedral of Saints Patrick & Felim, Cavan
Motto: Fortitudine et Prudentia
"courage and prudence"
Cavan is located in Ireland
Cavan
Cavan
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°59′28″N 7°21′36″W / 53.9910°N 7.3601°W / 53.9910; -7.3601Coordinates: 53°59′28″N 7°21′36″W / 53.9910°N 7.3601°W / 53.9910; -7.3601
Country Ireland
Province Ulster
County County Cavan
Elevation 113 m (371 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Urban 3,607
 • Rural 7,160
Irish Grid Reference H419041
Website www.cavanudc.ie

Cavan (/ˈkævən/; Irish: an Cabhán, meaning "the hollow") is the county town of County Cavan in Ireland. The town lies in Ulster, in the Republic of Ireland, near the border with Northern Ireland. The town is on the main road – the N3 road – linking Dublin (to the south) with Enniskillen, Ballyshannon and Donegal Town (to the north).

History[edit]

The O'Reilly clan (still a very common surname in the area) established a castle in the town in the late 13th century. A Franciscan friary was also established in the town around 1300, while the O'Reilly's built a new castle in the late fourteenth-century on Tullymongan Hill, overlooking the town centre. In the 15th century, the local ruler, Bearded Owen O'Reilly, set up a market which attracted merchants from Dublin and Drogheda. The term life of Reilly was credited to the O'Reilly clans due to their great wealth and power, some of which came from their market. They also allowed counterfeit English and Scottish coins to be minted in their territory at this time.[1] King James I granted the town a charter in 1610. This also entitled Cavan town to send two members to the Irish parliament. In February 1690 it was the site of an engagement between Williamite and Jacobite troops, in which much of the town was burned.[2] Later, during the 18th century, local administrative influence and power passed to the Maxwell family, descendants of The Rt. Rev. Dr. Robert Maxwell, Church of Ireland Bishop of Kilmore (1643–72), a family who later gained the peerage as Baron Farnham.

Farnham House, located at Farnham, a small rural district to the north-west of Cavan, is one of the largest country houses in the county. It was built for The 3rd Baron Farnham (later created, by the second creation, Earl of Farnham), head of the Maxwell dynasty, around 1780. The house was designed by James Wyatt. It was extended in 1810 to the design of Francis Johnston, a County Armagh-born, but Dublin-based, architect. It was recently sold by Diana, Lady Farnham (widow of The 12th Baron Farnham), to a local entrepreneur, and the house and estate has now been converted into a luxury hotel and leisure complex under the Radisson SAS international hotel group.

Developments in Cavan during the early 19th century saw the building of a new wide street that still bears the name Farnham Street. This was lined with comfortable town houses, public buildings (such as the courthouse which dates from 1825) and churches. From the mid 19th century, Cavan became an important rail junction for the Midland Great Western Railway (MGWR) and those of the Great Northern Railway (GNR). The Town Hall was built in just over a year, 1908–1909.

In 1938, work began on the Cathedral of Saints Patrick and Felim, the main church of the Catholic Diocese of Kilmore. Five kilometres (3 mi) south-west of Cavan Town, on the R198, is the Church of Ireland Kilmore Cathedral, which contains a Romanesque doorway dating from the 12th century, reputed originally to have come from Trinity Abbey, located a short distance away upon Trinity Island in Lough Oughter. Most of the neo-Gothic Kilmore Cathedral was built in the late nineteenth-century. A short distance from Kilmore Cathedral is the See House, a late Georgian style house constructed in the 1830s. This house, designed by William Farrell, was formerly the official residence (or 'Bishop's Palace') of the Church of Ireland Bishops of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh.

On 23 February 1943, a fire at St Joseph's Orphanage in the town claimed the lives of 35 children and an elderly woman. A Public enquiry found no culpability on the part of the nuns who ran the orphanage, but the circumstances surrounding the high death toll in the fire remain controversial to this day.[3] The secretary of the Commission of Enquiry, Brian O'Nolan, is better known to posterity as the writer Flann O'Brien. He certainly felt that the Commission had not found the truth.

The former Cavan Town RIC. Barracks was demolished in 1968. Its successor stood on the corner of Farnham Street (also known as Casement Street) and Abbey Street. The current Garda Station is further along Farnham Street, just across from the Courthouse.

Cavan Town Hall[edit]

The interesting Town Hall was designed by William Scott, the well known Dublin architect, for the then Cavan Urban District Council.[4] The hall was constructed between November 1908 and late 1909, with it being officially opened on Wednesday, 19 January 1910.[5] The building was officially opened by Mrs. Henrietta Smith (who also laid the foundation stone), wife of Cllr. Louis C.P. Smith, the Chairman of Cavan Urban District Council at that time. The relatively small and unostentatious Town Hall, located on Townhall Street, is built of sandstone from a quarry at Latt, on the northern edge of Cavan Town, while the original slates came from near Carrick-on-Suir in County Tipperary.[4] The building appears to be designed and built in a version of the Arts and Crafts style of architecture. It underwent significant redecoration and refurbishment in the 1980s, under the direction of Cavan architect Philip Cullivan. Each March, since 1946, the Town Hall has played host to the Cavan International Drama Festival, a competition which has always drawn the finest in amateur drama. It remains the headquarters of Cavan Town Council but, given the proposed abolition of many town councils by the Irish Government, its future is somewhat uncertain.

Transport[edit]

Road[edit]

There are about 30,000 people living within a 16 km radius of the town, so infrastructure is very important. Although a more accurate perspective taken from the 2011 national census puts the urban population at 3,607 persons, an 8.3% population decrease on earlier census results. With the rural Cavan population at 7,160 persons an increase of 47.2% since the 2006 census was undertaken. The town is located on the junction of two national routes, the N3 to Dublin and N55 to Athlone. The National Development Plan provides for a major upgrading of the route with a M3 motorway from Kells to Dublin (completed and officially opened on 4 June 2010) and type 2 dual carriageway from Whitegate on the Meath border to Cavan, which will also eventually bypass Virginia. The N3 and N55 eastern bypass around Cavan town was fully completed in March 2006, eliminating the need for heavy traffic to enter the congested town.

Railway[edit]

View of Cavan Catholic Cathedral (spire on the right) and the Church of Ireland Parish Church (spire on the left)
Cavan town centre
Cavan Town Hall
Cavan Courthouse

Cavan once had two separate railway stations, linking the Great Northern Railway (GNR) and Midland Great Western Railway, then an end junction of the Belfast-Cavan route linking Clones with a branch line to Crossdoney and Killeshandra. With the Cavan-Dublin route, via the Inny Junction and Mullingar lines. A branch of the Cavan-Leitrim Railway was also indirectly linked to Cavan town via Belturbet (the C&L terminus) and Ballyhaise on the GNR line. When the Government of Northern Ireland closed the section of the Belfast line from Portadown to Glaslough in 1957, it was found to be uneconomical to keep running the rump section from Monaghan to Cavan. All these lines (including the Cavan-Leitrim Railway) were closed by 1960. The (GNR) Virginia Road Station, from 1863 to 1958 serviced the Drogheda and Navan extension route to Kells and Oldcastle. Cooperation between the Cavan and Westmeath county council's are striving to integrate this into the national and regional development plan. Cavan railway station opened on 8 July 1856, closed for passenger services on 14 October 1957, and finally closed altogether on 1 January 1960.[6]

Bus[edit]

Cavan's bus station is owned by Bus Éireann and is located on Farnham Street (also known as Casement Street). It is a single-storey accessible building with a ticket office, waiting room, public 'phone, restaurant and toilets. The station is served by the Donegal TownEnniskillenDublin AirportBusáras Expressway route 30 which generally operates every two hours in each direction. Route 165 operates less frequently to Athlone and Belfast. The station is the terminus of several local routes the most popular of which is the 109 to Dublin, which operates hourly each way. Other local routes are the 111 to Ballinagh, Granard, Castlepollard and Athboy, the 162 to Monaghan via Cloverhill and Clones, the 166 to Dundalk, the 175 to Monaghan via Cootehill and the Tuesdays-only 465 to Carrigallen.

Leydons Coaches operate route 930 to Enniskillen via Belturbet, Ballyconnell, Bawnboy and Swanlinbar.[7]

Whartons Travel operate a route to Longford railway station via Crossdoney, Arvagh, Drumlish and Longford.[8]

In accordance with the National Development Plan, development in County Cavan is on course to meet a programme deadline of 2020 for embracing road and telecommunication infrastructures. These will permit a better integration with the neighbouring Dublin and Midlands Gateways, also, the Monaghan, Sligo, and Ulster hubs, and thus allowing the promotion of business and tourism within the region.

Education[edit]

Vocational Education in County Cavan is coordinated by the County Cavan Education ansd Training Board, formerly County Cavan Vocational Educational Committee,[9] while voluntary secondary schools are coordinated by the Department of Education and Science. Cavan town has four second level schools: Saint Patrick's College,[10] Loreto College,[11] Breifne College, and the oldest, Cavan's Royal School, founded in the early Seventeenth century.[12] The town is served by a third level college, Cavan Institute (formerly Cavan College of Further Studies), which has been located in Cavan since 1985 and is the largest provider of FETAC courses in the northeast region.

County Heritage Plan 2006–2011[edit]

The guiding principle as stated by Cavan County Council: "The unique and diverse heritage of County Cavan is conserved, sustained and, above all, cherished and celebrated by the people of the County". The example of Cavan's uniqueness can be best defined by its location in the heart of Irelands lakeland's, a region so diverse that its potential has yet to be determined in a viable Biodiversity Action Plan. The Wildlife and Wetlands environment of County Cavan's loughs is nationally and internationally recognised and offers substantial and unique opportunities for Sustainable tourism development. Lough Oughter and Killykeen located just a few kilometres from Cavan town already has the core infrastructure for further durable and Ecotourism development.

Twinning[edit]

Cavan has been twinned with the following places:

All-Ireland Fleadh[edit]

In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Cavan Town hosted the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.[13] The 2010 Fleadh was held from the 16th to 22 August. The Fleadh is the premier annual Irish traditional music, song and dance festival and series of competitions, which is run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ). Fleadh 2010 was the 50th annual Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, and the first to be carbon neutral. That year it returned to Cavan for the first time since 1954.[14] Up to 250,000 visitors attend the annual Fleadhann, and about 10,000 musicians compete. It is also estimated that the annual All-Ireland Fleadh generates €20-€25 million for the local economy of its host town.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parker, Kieran (1992). "The Ui Raghallaigh Lordship of East BReifne c.1250-.c. 1450". Brefne. 8 2: 415. 
  2. ^ Parker, Ciaran (9 February 2007). "The Battle of Cavan, 1690". Cavan Echo. 
  3. ^ Parker, Ciaran (23 February 2007). "Cavan's darkest day". Cavan Echo. 
  4. ^ a b Parker, Dr. Ciarán, 'Cavan Urban District Council – A Brief Look Back' in Scott, Dr. Brendan (Ed.), Cavan Town, 1610–2010: A Brief History. Cavan Town Council, Cavan, 2012.
  5. ^ Parker, Ciaran (12 January 2007). "Cavan's Town Hall Ball". Cavan Echo. 
  6. ^ "Cavan station". Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 16 September 2007. 
  7. ^ Leydons Coaches. Leydons Coaches (11 February 2013). Retrieved on 23 July 2013.
  8. ^ Cavan to Longford Bus – Longford to Cavan Bus. Whartons Travel. Retrieved on 23 July 2013.
  9. ^ Cavan Vocational Educational Committee
  10. ^ Saint Patrick's College, Cavan
  11. ^ Loreto College Cavan
  12. ^ Royal School Cavan
  13. ^ Hogan, Sinead (14 September 2011). "Cavan hat-trick as Fleadh 2012 is secured". The Anglo-Celt. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  14. ^ Fleadh Cheoil 2010
  15. ^ Fleadh Cheoil na nEireann 2010 Cavan Talk Tourism, 14 September 2009

Further reading[edit]

  • Scott, Brendan (Editor), Cavan Town, 1610–2010: A Brief History. Cavan Town Council, Cavan Town, 2012.

External links[edit]