Áth an Chóiste
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Coachford (Irish: Áth an Chóiste) is a village in County Cork, Ireland. It is located on the north side of the River Lee. Coachford owes its name to once being a crossing point over a stream for horse-drawn coaches, and this stream continues to flow beneath the village to the present day. The Lee was flooded for a hydroelectric power plant and farmland including many houses were flooded by the newly formed lake. Coachford is located around a crossroads where the R618 and R619 regional roads intersect. Mallow is 20 miles (32 km) north of the village, Macroom is 9 miles (14 km) west, Cork City is 15 miles (24 km) east and Bandon is 20 miles (32 km) south.
Coachford does not feature on the 1811 Grand Jury Map of Cork, but is mentioned in the Freeman's Journal, dated 10 January 1822, and the area and its environs were known as "Magourney". The Village developed rapidly during the Famine (when it was a centre of relief within the mid Cork area) and subsequently. By 1888, the Cork & Muskerry Light Railway had a terminus at Coachford, adding to local business, accessibility and vibrancy. By the end of the nineteenth century, Coachford possessed a renowned Creamery, complimenting its agricultural hinterland.
By the 1950s, a Vocational School was present, known today as Coachford College (sometimes referred to as Coachford Community College). The 2011-15 Aghabullogue-Coachford-Rylane Community Council commissioned URS consultants to draw up a Village Design Statement (VDS) for the three villages in 2012. The VDS are used to empower local communities throughout the island of Ireland to become involved in shaping their local environments. In preparation for the VDS local schools, organisations, businesses and the wider community were invited to complete questionnaires and to take part in open workshops in each village. The Community Council, in partnership with Consultants URS, West Cork Development Partnership, and other various project Partners, then worked on drawing up plans over many months. As a result of the VDS for Coachford a blueprint has been set out for a community. the village and environs, intended to last well into the future.
Close to Coachford is Mullinhassig Waterfall. It is about 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Coachford just off the Macroom Road. Close to the schools is a medieval church surrounded by a cemetery of centuries old graves. Just about 1-mile (1.6 km) south of Coachford on the road to Bandon is Rooves Bridge, constructed over the River Lee in the 1950s to replace the old bridge which was submerged due to the building of the hydroelectric dam at Inniscarra about 6 miles (9.7 km) down river. Rooves Bridge is the longest bridge spanning the River Lee.
Noted local deaths during 20th-century Irish wars
Mrs. Mary Lindsay, Leemount House, Coachford, an elderly widow, was shot by the IRA (along with her driver, James Clarke), on 9 March 1921, as a loyalist, who had, intentionally or otherwise, cost the lives of six IRA volunteers at Dripsey some time earlier (see , , ). She and her driver were shot dead after the British authorities refused to commute the executions of the volunteers. A character ("Lady Fitzhugh") based on Mrs. Lindsay was played by actress Dame Sybil Thorndike in the 1959 film, Shake Hands with the Devil, which starred James Cagney, Don Murray and Michael Redgrave.
Near Rooves Bridge is a monument to Captain Tadhg Kennefick of the Irish Republican Army, who was killed during the Irish Civil War by the Free State Army. On his way home to his mother's funeral, he was stopped at a checkpoint where Free State soldiers tied him to the back of a truck near a hamlet called Peake and dragged him a distance of four miles (6 km) to the bridge where he was shot by soldiers and his body dumped in a ditch. Local people who witnessed this recovered his body. A monument now stands on the site where his body was recovered.
The village is the home of Aghabullogue GAA, best known for capturing Cork's first hurling All-Ireland title in 1890 when they defeated Castlebridge, Wexford in the final. Other sporting clubs in the area are Coachford soccer club whose home ground is at The Glebe, [clarification needed] and two local horse and dog hunts. Olive Loughnane, who won a silver medal in the women's 20 km walk in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in August 2009, is a resident of Coachford.
The local drama group, Coachford Players, is an amateur drama group, established in 1987, which performs a full length play each year. Mary Lynch of Coachford exhibits her work on a regular basis in Coachford, Macroom, and environs.
The village and its environs are served by Coachford National School and Coachford Community College. The College has a catchment area spread towards Macroom and Ballincollig, Bandon and Kanturk, taking a large rural area near Cork City. There are roughly 600 students. An extension was completed in 2002 and provides the college with a sports hall.
Coachford was formerly connected by railway to Cork City with a narrow gauge railway, opened in 1888 by the Cork and Muskerry Light Railway. The line was closed in 1934 by the GSR. Coachford railway station opened on 19 March 1888, but finally closed on 31 December 1934.
- "Áth an Chóiste". Placenames Database of Ireland. Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
- Coachford College website; accessed 6 March 2014.
- Aghabullogue GAA website; accessed 5 March 2014.
- "Coachford station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 17 September 2007.