Darkley shown within Northern Ireland
|Irish grid reference|
|– Belfast||51 miles|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
|UK Parliament||Newry and Armagh|
|NI Assembly||Newry and Armagh|
Darkley (from Irish: Dearclaigh, meaning "place of caves/hollows") is a small village and townland near Keady in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 282 people.
Darkley is first mentioned on the Maps of the Escheated Counties (1609) which were drawn up at the beginning of the Plantation of Ulster. It was part of an ancient precinct called Toaghy (Tuath Uí Eachaidh), a narrow strip of land that stretched from Darkley to Killyleagh.
The first schools in the Darkley were hedge schools. Later, schools were founded in the townlands that surround Darkley such as Aughnagurgan & Corkley and Tullyglush. The first school in Darkley was built in 1856 by William Kirk M.P. and opened its doors in 1857. The first principal was Master James Young, who had previously taught at Berry Street National School in Belfast. In 1932, a piece of land was donated by Mr. James E. Calvert for the purpose of building a new school. The other school had fallen into disrepair and had been condemned. On the 30th May 1932, the new school opened in Moss Row. The principal was Master William Clarke.
For statistical purposes Darkley is to be found in Small Area N00000365 which is part of the Carrigatuke Ward for local government. The Small Area includes the settlement of Darkley as well as its immediate hinterlandNI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).
On Census Day (27 March 2011), in Small Area N00000365, there were 255 people living in 86 households, giving an average household size of 2.97.
- 28.24% were aged under 16 years and 10.20% were aged 65 and over;
- 49.02% of the usually resident population were male and 50.98% were female; and
- 31 years was the average (median) age of the population.
- 100.00% were from white (including Irish Traveller) ethnic groups;
- 77.25% belong to or were brought up in the Catholic religion and 21.57% belong to or were brought up in a 'Protestant and Other Christian (including Christian related)' religion; and
- 24.71% indicated that they had a British national identity, 58.43% had an Irish national identity and 25.10% had a Northern Irish national identity. Respondents could indicate more than one national identity
Of the population aged 3 years old and over:
- 20.25% had some knowledge of Irish;
- 3.31% had some knowledge of Ulster-Scots; and
- 0.41% did not have English as their first language.
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