Drogheda

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Drogheda
Droichead Átha
Town
Drogheda from the South
Drogheda from the South
Flag of Drogheda
Flag
Coat of arms of Drogheda
Coat of arms
Motto: Deus praesidium, mercatura decus  (Latin)
"God our strength, merchandise our glory"
Drogheda is located in Ireland
Drogheda
Drogheda
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°42′50″N 6°21′01″W / 53.713889°N 6.350278°W / 53.713889; -6.350278Coordinates: 53°42′50″N 6°21′01″W / 53.713889°N 6.350278°W / 53.713889; -6.350278
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County County Louth & County Meath
Municipal district Drogheda Borough District
Dáil Éireann Louth
EU Parliament Midlands–North-West
Founded 911AD
First Charter 1194AD
Highest elevation 23 m (75 ft)
Lowest elevation 1 m (3 ft)
Population [1] 38,578
 • Rank 6th
Demonym Droghedean, Boynesider
Time zone WET (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (UTC+1)
Irish Grid Reference O088754
Dialing code +353 41
Website www.drogheda.ie

Drogheda (/ˈdrɒhədə/; /ˈdrɔːdə/; Irish: Droichead Átha, meaning "bridge of the ford" Latin: Pontana Civitas) is a town located in the north east of Ireland. Siting on both banks of the River Boyne the town straddles both County Louth and County Meath but is predominantly situated in County Louth. It is the largest town[1][2] and sixth most populous area overall in Ireland with a population of 38,578 recorded from the 2011 Census.

The history of the Drogheda area predates written records, during Roman times the area was a trading centre[3] known as Inver Colpa.[4][5][6] The first notices of a settlement at Drogheda came when the Viking Danes established a trading centre there in 911AD.[7] In the 12th century, after the Norman invasion, Drogheda was divided into two separate towns on opposing side of the River Boyne, Drogheda-in-Meath on the south bank received its town charter in 1194AD and Drogheda-in-Uriel on the northern bank received its town charter in 1229AD. Although they immediately bordered one another, the two towns were in different church dioceses, had separate corporations, taxes, tariffs and landing charges. It wasn't until 1412AD that a new Charter was granted, unifying the two towns and thus becoming a county in its own right know as the "County of the Town of Drogheda".[8][9]

Drogheda has played a significant role in Irish history; key events include the visit of King John in 1210, the Black Death in 1348, the holding of Parliament at various times over the years 1441 – 1493, the effects of the Plague in 1479, the passing of Poynings Law in 1494, the swearing of allegiance to the Crown by the defeated Ulster Chiefs at the Dominican Friary in 1603, the failed Siege of Drogheda in 1641, the attack by Oliver Cromwell in 1649, and the Battle of the Boyne outside Drogheda in 1690. In the Twentieth Century Drogheda played its role in the momentous events which shaped the modern nation including the 1916 Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War during the years 1919 – 1923 which saw the shelling of Millmount Fort by Irish Free State forces.

Today Drogheda stands at the centre of the densely populated South Louth/East Meath region, which has a population of approximately 70,000 people.[10] The Electoral (Amendment) Act 2009 merged areas of East Meath with Louth for Dáil Éireann elections which allowed the town of Drogheda and its hinterland areas to form a single constituency.[11] As of 2014, Drogheda forms part of the Drogheda Borough District for local government purposes, a subsidiary of Louth County Council. There is a strong City Status campaign for the town headed by the Drogheda City Status Group.

Location and Function[edit]

Drogheda is situated in the east of Ireland approximately 47 km (29 mi.) north of Dublin, 35 km (22 mi.) south of Dundalk, 122 km (76 mi.) south of Belfast and 28 km (17 mi.) east of Navan. The town centre clusters around the narrow river Boyne Basin and is confined on both north and south sides by sharp hills. Drogheda’s central area is punctuated by a number of notable church spires and buildings which when combined with local topography, give a unique sense of place to the town. Drogheda is the largest town in Ireland[1] and acts as the major industrial, service and commercial centre for South County Louth, East and North County Meath. Drogheda’s Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital acts as the acute medical provider for the entire North East Region whilst Drogheda Port acts as a major import and export centre fore much of the Eastern Irish Seaboard. The town forms the natural eastern gateway to the Boyne Valley, an area well endowed with a wide range of natural and built resources and a rich heritage including archaeological monuments of international significance including the world heritage, UNESCO designated, Bru na Boinne site. The Boyne Valley forms the southernmost extremity of County Louth and marks the border with County Meath to the south on which Drogheda stands.

Toponymy[edit]

Drogheda, in the Irish structure of the word, Droichead Átha translates as "the bridge of the ford" which signifies the ford on the River Boyne at which St. Mary's bridge stands today. Drogheda has been accordingly, by the historians of the early centuries, rendered in Latin "Pons Vadi" and "Pontana Civitas" while, in English, it was more vernacularly styled "Droghdogh" which dates from 1441, "Drokeda", "Droghade", "Drougheda", "Drodath", "Drodag", "Droheda", "Drocheda", "Drohed" and sometimes "Treoid" and "Tredagh". This variety of pronunciations and spellings is due to the fact that there were no directories or dictionaries to consult at the time so words were usually spelled phonetically, this made the accent of the individual writer was an influencing factor.[12]

By 1671 there was still an evident struggle with the Anglicisation of Droichead Átha with Saint Oliver Plunkett using the spelling "Dreat" in a letter to Rome in that year. It is uncertain when the definitive spelling became Drogheda.[13]

History[edit]

Town beginnings[edit]

The earliest evidence for man in Drogheda comes from the gravel quarries at Mell, located within the west of the town, where a Palaeolithic flint flake circa 100,000 BC was discovered in 1968. This flake may not have originated in the area however and was most likely transported with the gravels in which it was found from somewhere in the Irish basin. It is the earliest known artifact found in Ireland.[15]

Settlement activity is evident in the Drogheda vicinity during the early Bronze Age. Over 150 ceramic urns have been found in the past century at the Hill of Rath, including Encrusted Urns, Cordoned Urns, Pygmy cups and Food Vessels suggesting the burial site was in use from 1800 BC to 140BC. five bronze flat axeheads of Early Bronze Age date have been found. During the Late Bronze Age little is known of settlement in the area, but stray finds of this period have been discovered including a bronze socketed axehead (NMI: E92:384), a bronze sword dating to c.700BC, and a piece of gold ring money. These finds are sufficient to show that the area in the vicinity of Drogheda was occupied during the Bronze Age and that the site itself was frequented.[16][17]

The first maps showing the Drogheda area are of the River Boyne and date back to 150AD when the it was called Bovinda on a map drawn by Egyptian cartographer Ptolemy. He claimed that he received his knowledge on these matters from “the merchants who frequented Ireland.” Even in the confined ancient world the area around the mouth of the River Boyne was well known as a trading centre.[18]

The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Irish: Annála Ríoghachta Éireann) or the Annals of the Four Masters (Annála na gCeithre Máistrí) are chronicles of medieval Irish history, within the Annals the first account of the Drogheda area comes in the form of Inbhear Colptha (Inver Copla) on the Meath side of the Boyne in 'The first year of Conaire Mor, son of Ederscel, in the sovereignty of Ireland. The Age of the World, 5160.[19]

It was in the reign of Conaire that the sea annually cast its produce ashore, at Inbhear Colptha (Inver Colpa). Great abundance of nuts were annually found upon the Boyne and the Buais during his time.

—- Four Masters, Annals of the Four Masters, 160 AD.[20]

The Danish raider Turgesius took Drogheda in 911AD and established a permanent settlement.[21]

Excavations in Drogheda have shown that during the Early Historic Period the area was wealthy with stray finds within the town, such as two penannular brooches, now in the British Museum.[22] A double spiral headed pin,7th-8th century in date and at least five bronze stick pins (10th – 12th century) have been found. Most of these objects were found during dredging of the River Boyne.

The Annals of the Four Masters first recorded Drogheda (Droichead-atha) in 'The Age of Christ, 1039.'[23]

An army was led by Donnchadh Mac Gillaphadraig and the Osraighi into Meath; and they burned as far as Cnoghbha and Droichead-atha.

—- Four Masters, Annals of the Four Masters, 1039 AD.[20]

View of Drogheda by Willem Van der Hagen, 1718.

The beginnings of Drogheda as a town commence in the last quarter of the 12th century and it is in the period that the townscape owes much of its form. The street pattern and boundaries were laid out and the town walls and churches were built. Documentary sources for the history of Drogheda begin to occur and in conjunction with the archaeological record aid the reconstruction of the town’s history and growth.[24]

By 1186 a defensive motte and bailey had been built at Millmount which overlooks the town from a bluff on the south bank of the River Boyne. The first town defenses which enclosed the settlements of Drogheda date to the 1190s. Archaeological discoveries of the 1970s show the original fortifications to consist of a ditch and an earthen bank with wooden palisades on top. Despite this, the defences were strong enough to repulse an attack in 1315-16 by Edward Bruse's Scottish army.[25]

Drogheda possesses one of the most extensive series of murage grants for any Irish town with at least 13 grants spanning the years between 1234 and 1424. The murage grants basically consisted of a licence to levy a toll upon goods coming into the town and the money thus gathered at the gates was used to construct and repair the town wall. The prosperity of medieval Drogheda can be seen in these town walls and fortifications built around the town between 1234 and 1334, enclosing an area of 113 acres, 33 acres on the south side and 80 acres on the north side. With a circumference of one and a half miles the walled city of Drogheda was twice the size of medieval walled Dublin.[26] The archaeological remains of medieval Drogheda are fairly extensive and include ruins of the Hospital of St. Mary D’Urso; the Tower of St. Magdalene on the site of the Dominican Friary; the Tholsel at the junction of West Street and Shop Street; the Barbican of St.Laurence at the east end of the same street; the Motte at Millmount and fragments of the town wall. Archaeological excavation has uncovered the remains of St. Catherine’s Gate at the Mall, a 12th-century stone building at the corner of Shop Street and Dyer Street, remains of a medieval river wall, a wooden quay side on the south of Dyer Street, a wooden revetment at the south end of Shop Street, burgage plots and stone-lined pits at John Street.

After the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169 King Henry II feared that lords like Strongbow would try to set up an independent kingdom. He decided that the best policy was to divide and conquer. At this time Drogheda was two separate towns on opposing side of the River Boyne. King Henry II conferred on Hugh De Lacy around 1172, the Lordship of Meath and the grant included the town of Drogheda-in-Meath on the south bank of the River Boyne which received its town charter from Richard the Lionheart in 1194AD. Under a similar grant Bertram de Verdun was given possession of Drogheda-in-Uriel (Louth) on the northern bank of the River Boyne, which received its town charter in 1229AD. The two towns were collectively knows in Latin as Drogheda ex Utraque Parte Aquce[27](Drogheda on both side of the water). Although they immediately bordered one another, separated by the River Boyne the two towns were in different church dioceses, had separate corporations, taxes, tariffs and landing charges. This last difference in particular was to lead to intense rivalry and even bloodshed as each town sought to undercut the other in order to gain a greater share of maritime trade.[25]

View of Drogheda from Millmount by Gabrielle Ricciardelli c. 1753.

Drogheda-in-Uriel (Louth) on the north bank of the river was "probably in existence before the end of the 12th century with St. Peter’s church being founded before 1186 on the north side, and with the principle street axis established before 1215".[28] The urban settlement on the south bank of the river is much smaller, probably due to restrictions placed on house construction by the high rising scarp. This afforded the south side of the river defensive advantages, the earliest archaeological feature is the Millmount Motte was also established here.

The quay in front of St.Saviour’s Church, immediately west of the bridge on the north side of the Boyne is first referred to in 1218. In 1306 the burgesses petitioned the King for permission to build a quay outside the precinct of the Franciscan Friary on the east side of the bridge. In 1340 the burgesses received a grant of quayage which was to be expended on repairing the quays and towers of the town wall.

On the north bank of the River Boyne near Shop Street in 1981, during investigations by David Sweetman the remains of what appeared to be part of an early thirteenth century quayside were discovered. A number of timbers were also salvaged from the quayside on the south side of the Boyne, once part of a front braced vertical waterfront, a type characteristic of North West Europe. Dendrochronological dating gave a 1200 AD date, providing evidence for the town’s earliest quayside.. This evidence proves that around the year 1200AD the Normans were actively engaged in constructing the town of Drogheda and its first bridge and quayside.[24][29]

The Patent Rolls record King Edward’s orders for two galleys to be built in Drogheda during the 13th century. Taxes imposed on ship building materials in a murage grant suggests that the industry was in operation on the south side in 1296, “large boards, masts, rigging ropes and canvas for ships were subject to tax”.[30] At the close of the 13th century the royal armies of Scotland, Wales and Gascony were supplied with wheat, oats, flour and victuals from Drogheda. Animals, corn, hides, wool and fish were also exported during the 13th – 15th centuries. Drogheda was the centre of a sizeable Irish trade also.[31] The murage grants indicate that oxen, horses, sheep, pigs, wheat, rye, barley, oats, butter, cheese, apples, salmon, eels and seafish were marketed in the town. Throughout the medieval period Drogheda was an important port, utilising its estuarine location to full potential. According to the customs returns of 1276-1333, it was the fourth largest port in Ireland, handling a greater trade than Dublin, Galway or Limerick. Cloth was manufactured in Dyer St, leather working, skinners and butchers are attested in the 13th – 14th centuries.[24]

View of Drogheda by Gabrielle Ricciardelli c. 1750 - 1755.

In 1412, Father Philip Bennet, a friar of the Dominican Friary who, in the aftermath of a particularly 'sanguinary engagement' between the citizens of Drogheda-in-Meath and Drogheda-in-Uriel, invited both sides to hear him preach. On the feast of Corpus Christi outside St. Peters Church he appealed to warring townsfolk to 'be united in the body of Christ' and encouraged them to instead petition the king for the unification of Drogheda. It is said that William Symcock, called out in the name of all 'We will' and it was then agreed to make a joint application to the King.[25][32]

A charter of Union was granted by Henry IV at Westminster on the 1st November which provided for the union of the towns of Drogheda on either side of the Boyne into a single town and county know as 'The County of the Town of Drogheda' to be governed by a mayor and two sheriffs chosen by the community. The reasons given for this constitutional change included 'the harm caused by existing arrangements to Drogheda’s trading forces, and the dissensions and debates that they had given rise to among its inhabitants.'[33] On 15 December 1412, Robert Ball came to Drogheda with the charter of union[34] and William Symcock was elected as the first mayor of a united Drogheda.[35] After the unification of the two towns, Drogheda was regarded along with Dublin, Waterford and Kilkenny as one of the four “Staple-Towns” of Ireland.[29]

Historical events[edit]

According to legend, St. Patrick in 443AD, walked to Drogheda, where he took a boat along the River Boyne to the village of Slane.[21]

The prince of Austrasia Dagobert landed in Drogheda in 673 A.D. and immediately went to Slane where he passed 18 years studying religion and science. He then returned to Austrasia to become King Dagobert II.

In 1180, at Lungangreen in Northern Drogheda, Norman John de Courcy battled O’Hanlon, Chief of Armagh. There was no clear winner and both sides retreated with heavy losses.[21]

In 1395, O'Neill and the other Ulster chiefs submitted to England’s Richard II in the Magdalene Monastery in Drogheda.[21]

Drogheda was arguably the most important walled town in the English Pale during the medieval period. It frequently hosted meetings of the Irish Parliament at various times over the years 1441 – 1493. In a spill-over from the War of the Roses, the Earl of Desmond and his two youngest sons (still children) were executed in Drogheda on Valentine's Day, 1468, on orders of the Earl of Worcester, the Lord Deputy of Ireland. It later came to light[36] that the Queen herself was implicated in the orders given.

In 1494 Parliament was moved to the Drogheda. Sir Edward Poynings, in his position as Lord Deputy of Ireland, as appointed by King Henry VII of England, called together an assembly of the parliament. Coming in the aftermath of the divisive Wars of the Roses, Poynings' intention was to make Ireland once again obedient to the English monarchy. Assembling the Parliament in 1495 Poynings' Law was passed which subordinated the Irish Parliament's legislative powers to the King and his English Council and declared that the Parliament of Ireland was thereafter to be placed under the authority of the Parliament of England. Poynings' Law was a major rallying point for groups seeking self-government for Ireland, particularly the Confederate Catholics in the 1640s. It was also a major grievance for Henry Grattan's Patriot Party in the late 18th century, who consistently sought a repeal of Poynings' Law. The Act remained in place until the Constitution of 1782 gave the Irish parliament legislative independence.

In 1588 when Red Hugh O’Donnell escaped from prison in Dublin Castle he fled with a friend to Drogheda. Fearing that he would be recognised he did not come directly through the town. He turned from the main road towards the banks of the Boyne. There he handsomely paid a fisherman to row both himself and his colleagues across the river. The fisherman then recrossed the river and brought their horses through the town to where they waited at the landing place.[29]

The town was besieged twice during the Irish Confederate Wars.

Cromwell's Forces commence their bombardment of Drogheda, 1649.

Drogheda in 1641 during the Irish Rebellion of 1641, a Catholic force under Phelim O'Neill laid siege to Drogheda. The rebels tried three assaults on the town. On the first occasion they simply tried to rush the walls. In their second attempt, a small party of 500 men broke into the town at night through dilapidated sections of the walls, with the aim of opening the gates for a storming party of 700 men outside. However, the initial incursion was repulsed in confused fighting and in the morning, the garrison opened the gates to rebels outside, only to take them prisoner once they entered the town. The rebels tried for a final time in March 1642, when a relief of the town was imminent, attacking the walls with scaling ladders, but were again repulsed. Shortly afterwards, the rebel siege was broken by English reinforcements from Dublin, under Colonel Moore. Colonel Moore was later created the Earl of Drogheda was created in the Peerage of Ireland in 1661.

On the 11th January 1642 during the Siege of Drogheda (1641) a pinnace, a frigate, a gabbard with two shallops and another vessel laden with biscuit, powder and ammunition arrived at the mouth of the River Boyne for the relief of the town. The entrance of the harbour was very narrow and at its mouth was a bar of sand, unpassable at low water. To close up the navigation completely O'Neill's forces sunk a ship in the channel but a strong west wind had a short time previously carried her out to sea. The besiegers had also stationed two vessels on each side and fixed an iron chain with a cable between them across the channel but the pinnace and shallops that brought the supplies overcame all the obstacles, passed the bar even at low tide and skimming over the chain arrived safely at the quay within the town walls.

The second and more widely known Siege of Drogheda took place on 3–11 September 1649 at the outset of the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. The town of Drogheda was held by the Confederate Ireland and Royalist when it was besieged and stormed by English Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell.

Oliver Cromwell arrived at Drogheda on 3 September and his siege guns, brought up by sea, arrived two days later. His total force was about 12,000 men and eleven heavy, 48-pounder, siege artillery pieces. On Monday 10 September Cromwell had a letter delivered to the governor, the English Royalist Sir Arthur Aston, which read:

A 19th century representation of the Massacre at Drogheda, 1649.

-

"Sir, having brought the army of the Parliament of England before this place, to reduce it to obedience, to the end that the effusion of blood may be prevented, I thought fit to summon you to deliver the same into my hands to their use. If this be refused, you will have no cause to blame me. I expect your answer and remain your servant."

—- O. Cromwell[37]

Arthur Aston, the Royalist commander in Drogheda, refused to surrender and at 5PM on 11 September, Cromwell ordered simultaneous assaults on the southern and eastern breaches in the walls of Drogheda. The volume of Parliamentarian forces streaming into the breaches, the Royalist resistance at the walls collapsed. The surviving defenders tried to flee across the River Boyne into the northern part of the town, while Arthur Aston and 250 others took refuge in Millmount Fort overlooking Drogheda's southern defenses. A drawbridge crossed the River Boyne that would have stopped the attackers reaching the northern part of the town, but the defenders had no time to pull it up behind them and the killing continued in the northern part of Drogheda. With up to 6,000 Parliamentary troops now inside the town, Drogheda had been taken.

Cromwell listed the dead as including "many inhabitants" of Drogheda in his report to Parliament. In his own words after the siege of Drogheda,

-

"When they submitted, their officers were knocked on the head, and every tenth man of the soldiers killed and the rest shipped to Barbados."

—- Letter from O. Cromwell to William Lenthall.[38]

Hugh Peter, an officer on Cromwell's council of war, gave the total loss of life as 3,552, of whom about 2,800 were soldiers, meaning that between 700–800 civilians were killed.[39] The week after the storming of Drogheda, the Royalist press in England claimed that 2,000 of the 3,000 dead were civilians-a theme that was taken up both in English Royalist and in Irish Catholic accounts. Irish clerical sources in the 1660s claimed that 4,000 civilians had died at Drogheda, denouncing the sack as "unparalleled savagery and treachery beyond any slaughterhouse"[40]

Battle of the Boyne by Jan Wyck c. 1693

The Battle of the Boyne was fought in on 1 July 1690 between two rival claimants of the English, Scottish, and Irish thrones – the Catholic James VII & II and the Protestant William III and II across the River Boyne some 6 km (3.7 mi) west of the town of Drogheda. The battle, won by William, was a turning point in James's unsuccessful attempt to regain the crown and ultimately helped ensure the continuation of Protestant ascendancy in Ireland. Drogheda held for James II under Lord Iveagh but surrendered the day after the battle of the Boyne.[21]

Main article: Battle of the Boyne

King William (III) of Orange, presented the then Corporation of Drogheda with a mace and sword of state shortly after his victory at the Battle of the Boyne, to replace the previous mace, which James II of England had melted down to enhance his depleted exchequer. They are two very fine objects, some of the most impressive of their sort in Ireland. The mace is one of the biggest in Ireland and also one of the finest. It is solid silver, weighs 108 ounces, and is five foot five inches long, mounted on the original wooden pole. It is constructed in eight parts which are laced onto a central shaft and secured at the base by a nut. It is decorated in repoussé and chasing on the shaft, with floral and foliate motifs. Around the head are a crowned rose, thistle, fleur-de-lis and harp, each of them between the letters WR and within the laurel wreaths linked by foliate female busts. Above, on the cap, is the royal arms of William III. The words Honi soit qui mal y pense meaning ‘shame on him who thinketh evil’, the motto of the English chivalrous Order of the Garter, are also engraved on the head. The sword is 3 foot 6 inches long, and the scabbard bears a decoration with the letters CR, meaning Carolus Rex, or King Charles I, suggesting that even if the sword was presented by William, the scabbard may have been reused from an earlier sword from the reign of Charles I. The Mace, sword and Scabbard are precious heirlooms of Drogheda, a reminder of the towns past, they are on show in The Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda.[41]

In 1790 Drogheda Harbour Commissioners was established, later renamed Drogheda Port Company.

In 1825 the Drogheda Steam Packet Company was formed in the town, providing shipping services to Liverpool.

In 1844 the Dublin and Drogheda Railway was completed.

Drogheda during the Famine years was the second largest port of departure for over one million people who were forced to emigrate. Some travelled only as far as Britain while others became known as ‘two boaters’ – travelling onwards from Britain to North America. In 1847 alone, some 70,000 people left Ireland through Drogheda Port, mainly bound for Liverpool on steam ships. Also in 1847 at the height of the Famine the fare to Liverpool rose from 2 shillings to 5 shillings, leaving many people stranded in Drogheda.[42]

Irish Free State Forces after the shelling of Millmount, 1922

In 1855 The Boyne Viaduct Designed by the Irish civil engineer Sir John MacNeill it was the seventh bridge of its kind in the world when built and considered one of the wonders of the age.[43]

In 1921 the preserved severed head of Saint Oliver Plunkett, who was executed in London in 1681, was put on display in St. Peter's Church, where it remains today. The church is located on West Street, which is the main street in the town.

In 1922, during the Irish Civil War, Millmount Fort was occupied by Anti-Treaty forces and on July 4, 1922, it became the target of shelling by the army of the Irish Free State. The Free State Forces under Michael Collins had been given extensive support by the British Army at the express wish of Winston Churchill who insisted that the Republican Forces be crushed. Using the same British Army 18 pounder artillery piece which had shelled the Republican H.Q. in the Four Courts in Dublin some days earlier the Free State Forces bombarded Millmount Fort for several hours before the Republican garrison retreated.

In September 1979 Pope John Paul II visited Killineer, Drogheda where he spoke to a crowd of over 300,000 pledging the people of Ireland particularly those involved in the troubles to turn to peace.

"I wish to speak to all men and women engaged in violence, I appeal to you, in language of passionate pleading. On my knees I beg you, to turn away from the path of violence and to return to the ways of peace."

Historical Landmarks[edit]

Year Name Image
1206 Hospital of St. Mary d’Urso (Old Abbey)[44] Drogheda StMary'sFriary.JPG
1224 The Magdalene Tower, Dominican Friary[45] Drogheda StMaryMagdaleneFriary.JPG
1280c Saint Laurence Gate Drogheda - St. Laurences Gate (5638818100).jpg
1280c Buttergate Butter Gate, Drogheda- 2014-07-08 15-17.jpg
1714 Richmond Barracks
1730 No. 72 West Street
1730 No. 106 West Street
1734 Barlow House[46][47] Barlow House, West Street, Drogheda- 2014-07-08 14-51.jpg
1734[48] Ballsgrove House
1740* Clarke House & Singleton House (Reconstruction) Clarke House, St. Laurence Street, Drogheda - geograph.org.uk - 1282866.jpg
1740 St. Peter's Place (The Alley's)[49]
1750 No. 70 West Street
1752 St. Peter's Church of Ireland [50] St- Peter's Church of Ireland, Drogheda- 2014-07-17 11-42.jpg
1755 St. Peter's Rectory
1760 No's. 20, 21, 23 & 24 St. Laurence Street[51]
1765 Mayoralty House[52]
1770[53] Tholsel[54] Tholsel, West street, Drogheda- 2014-07-08 14-50.jpg
1780 No. 86 West Street
1796[55] Corn Exchange (Borough District offices)
1796 Siena Convent
1807 St. Mary's Church of Ireland (Former)[56] St. Mary's Church of Ireland, Drogheda - geograph.org.uk - 594471.jpg
1807 St. Mary's Sunday School Entrance to St. Mary's churchyard, Drogheda - geograph.org.uk - 594480.jpg
1808 Governors House, Millmount Millmount, Drogheda - geograph.org.uk - 539717.jpg
1808 Millmount Martello Tower Cannon fire at Millmount, Drogheda - geograph.org.uk - 1079077.jpg
1811 Wesleyan Methodist Church (Former)
1816 St. John's Home, Peter's Hill[57]
1818 Former Gaol
1820 Donaghy's Mill
1827 Presbyterian Church[58]
1829 Franciscan Church (Currently The Highlanes Gallery)[59]
1830 West Gate Mill (Donaghys Mill)[60]
1830 Merchant's Quay[61]
1840 Ballsgrove Gate
1852 Drogheda Railway Station (McBride Station)[62] Drogheda railway station exterior.jpg
1860 No. 46 St. Laurence Street[63]
1865 Whitworth Hall[64]
1866 Augustinian Friary[65]
1867 St. Laurence Lodge, Scholars Townhouse. (Former Christian Brothers School)
1867 St. Peter's Glebe House[66]
1874 Cord Church and Burial Ground[67]
1875 Former Convent of Mercy[68]
1876 Bank of Ireland, Laurence Street[69]
1878 St. Mary Magdalene's Dominican Church[70]
1879 St. Mary's Sunday School[71]
1880 St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church[72] Drogheda - St. Peter's Church.jpg
1890 Clarks Bar
1892 St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church[73]
1896 No. 13 West Street (Former Firstactive Bank) [74]
1905 Former Carnegie Library[75]

Town arms[edit]

Drogheda coat of arms
Drogheda coat of arms today

The Drogheda coat of arms mounted on a blue shield, shows a crenelled St. Laurence's Gate, with battlements and loopholes, of two towers, surmounted by red pennants, tapering flags, with a lowered portcullis at the gate’s entrance gate signifying the security of the walled town.

On the right side of the gate, a ship appears to sail, Historically having St George’s white ensign displayed on the stern. This represents the trade which the town supported from earliest times. To the left of the gate is the three lions of England taken from the Royal Arms of England.

The Crest, on the wreath on top of the Arms is the unusual one of the Star and Crescent, taken from the arms of Richard The Lionheart's who presented Drogheda with its first charter in 1194AD. The star is an eight pointed star between the two ends of a crescent moon.[76] The Star and Crescent has become the symbol of Drogheda, with the majority of clubs and organisations hailing from the town, such the football club Drogheda United using it as their emblem.

The commerce and trade of Drogheda, and its premier importance, is exemplified in the town's motto Deus praesidium, mercatura decus translates as "God our strength, merchandise our glory".[77]

Vernacular narrative[edit]

A local narrative has it that the star and crescent were included in the town arms after Abdülmecid I Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (predecessor to the Republic of Turkey) sent three vessels laden with foodstuffs and financial aid to Drogheda during the Great Famine. Although it has been proven to have no connection to the Star and Crescent on the Drogheda coat of arms.

Both the Drogheda Argus and the Drogheda Conservative newspapers reported on 'foreign ships' that docked at the town of Drogheda from May 10–14, 1847. According to the Drogheda Independent, two of the ships arrived from the Ottoman Port of Thessalonica, which is now known as Salonika. The third ship arrived from the port of Stettin. The three ships brought wheat and Indian Corn for local merchants in the area. His generosity to the Irish people was reported in the in the London Times on Saturday, April 17, 1847, as well as in the Nation newspaper in Ireland. A letter found in Ottoman archives, written from the principle dignitaries of Ireland, explicitly thanks Sultan Abdülmecid I for his help during the famine.

A plaque in Drogheda unveiled in 1995 by Drogheda Mayor Alderman Godfrey and the then Turkish Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, Taner Baytok reads, “The Great Irish Famine of 1847 -- In remembrance and recognition of the generosity of the People of Turkey towards the People of Ireland.”[78] A film is being shot regarding the subject.[79]

Governance[edit]

Louth County Council[edit]

Main article: Louth County Council

Drogheda is a part of Louth County Council. Under the Local Government Reform Act 2014, County Louth is subdivided into municipal districts for which Drogheda is part of the Drogheda Borough District.

Drogheda Borough District[edit]

Drogheda Borough District members from the 2014 local elections
Local electoral area Name Party
Drogheda Imelda Munster Sinn Féin
Paul Bell Labour Party
Alan Cassidy Sinn Féin
Tommy Byrne Fianna Fáil
Kevin Callan Fine Gael
Oliver Tully Fine Gael
Frank Godfrey Independent
Richie Culhane Fine Gael
Pio Smith Labour Party
Kenneth Flood Sinn Féin

Drogheda Borough District (Irish: Ceantar Buirge Droichead Átha)is a second-level local government area in Ireland which came into being on 1 June 2014, ten days after the local elections.[80][81]

The district is associated with the borough of Drogheda which has been in existence since 1412AD and is termed 'Drogheda Borough District' respectively. The 'Drogheda Local Electoral Area' is an electoral area for local government purposes. The Drogheda Borough District corresponds to The Drogheda LEA.

Under the Local Government Reform Act 2014, the Local Electoral Area of Drogheda returns ten Councillors. Those elected in the LEA serves on Louth County Council, and simultaneously on the Borough District executive. The Borough District executive is headed by a Mayor. The current mayor is Kevin Callan (Fine Gael).[82]

Louth Dáil Éireann constituency[edit]

For elections to Dáil Éireann, Drogheda is represented by the five member Louth constituency which takes in the entire county of Louth and two electoral divisions in County Meath.

The Electoral (Amendment) Act 2009 merged the electoral divisions of St.Mary's (Part) and Julianstown (collectively know as East Meath) in County Meath with County Louth to form one Dáil Éireann constituency. The Report on Dáil and European Parliament Constituencies 2007 outlined "by extending the constituency southwards from, and in the environs of, Drogheda and taking in electoral divisions which have extensive linkages with the town. This will allow the inclusion of the town of Drogheda and hinterland areas in a single constituency."[83] This merger allowed the areas of the Greater Drogheda area in County Meath[10] and their combined population of 20,375 to be merged with Drogheda and County Louth. Following the 2011 general election, the constituency elected two TDs for the Fine Gael party (centre right), and one TD each for Fianna Fáil (centre to centre-right), the Labour Party (centre left) and Sinn Féin (left wing).

Transport Infrastructure[edit]

Road[edit]

The Drogheda bypass section of M1 approaching the Boyne Cable bridge.

The Drogheda Bypass is located 3 km west of the town and forms part of the M1 motorway(E1 Euro Route 1) (main DublinBelfast motorway). The Mary McAleese Boyne Valley Bridge know locally as the Boyne Cable Bridge carries traffic from the M1, across the River Boyne. It was opened on 9 June 2003 and is the second longest cable stayed bridge in Ireland.

The Belfast - Dublin Enterprise pulling into Drogheda station.

Rail[edit]

Drogheda railway station opened on 25 May 1844 which has since provided rail links to Dublin. Drogheda acquired further rail links to Navan in 1850 and Belfast in 1852. Passenger services between Drogheda and Navan were ended in 1958, however the line remains open for freight (Tara Mines/Platin Cement) traffic. In 1966 Drogheda station was renamed MacBride Station.[84]

Bus[edit]

Drogheda's bus station is located on the Donore Road and a comprises waiting area, information office and toilets. It replaces an earlier facility on the Bull Ring.

As well as a town service, route 173, several local routes radiate from Drogheda and a number of these have had their frequency increased in recent years. Local routes include: 100 (Newry/Dundalk via Dunleer), 100X (Dundalk-Dublin Airport-Dublin), 101 (Julianstown-Balbriggan-Dublin), 163 (Brú na Bóinne via Donore), 182/A (Monaghan via Ardee and Tullyallen), 189/A (Ashbourne via Duleek and Clogherhead/Grangebellew via Baltray & Termonfeckin), 190/A (Laytown via Mornington & Bettystown and Trim/Athboy via Slane & Navan).[85]

On Friday and Saturday nights there is also a Night bus service, route 101N operated by Bus Éireann (Dublin-Dublin Airport-Balbriggan-Drogheda) and return.

Matthews Coaches operate a Drogheda to Dublin route and an East Meath to Dublin route which both serve different areas of the town.[86]

Past Bus Éireann routes included the 184 to Garristown and 185 to Bellewstown but have since been discontinued.

Port[edit]

The coaster "Pelikan" moving downstream in the River Boyne, Drogheda, after discharging a part cargo at the quays..

The management of the port began a new era in 1997 when The Drogheda Harbour Commissioners was established in 1790 were dissolved after over 200 years and the port became a new commercial semi-state company, Drogheda Port Company.

Drogheda Port Company is a highly successful commercial state port which handles over 1 million tonnes of cargo annually in addition to over 700 vessel calls. The Port has a wide product base and a balance of trade at approximately 75% import and 25% export. A new deepwater terminal has been constructed at Tom Roes Point which will be capable of handling larger vessels than the inner port was capable of. Vessels carrying up to 5,000 tonnes of cargo and up to 120 metres in length will use the new facility. New short sea shipping routes have developed from the terminal particularly in unitised trade. As ships have been getting larger there has been a slow progression for the port seaward. Up to the 1800s ships were unloaded as far up the river as St Mary’s bridge. The main working quays gradually moved to the Ballast, Welshmans and Steampacket quays and now new berths are operating at Tom Roes Point Terminal.

Drogheda Port has always been an integral part of the town economy and played a major role in its outward looking nature. The industrial base of the town was established through the port and it will continue to be a vital element in the town’s future growth.[87]

Air[edit]

Drogheda is severed by Dublin International Airport which is located approximately 40 km, 25 minutes travelling time.

Bridges[edit]

Defined by its location as the last crossing point on the Boyne before it reaches the sea, Drogheda has eight bridges in its vicinity. From east to west they include,

The Boyne Viaduct

Boyne Viaduct[edit]

Main article: Boyne Viaduct

The Boyne Viaduct is a 30 m (98 ft) high railway bridge wwith a 250 feet span.[88] that crosses the River Boyne in Drogheda, carrying the main Dublin–Belfast railway line. Designed by the Irish civil engineer Sir John MacNeill. Completed in 1855, it was the seventh bridge of its kind in the world and considered one of the wonders of the age. Prior to its construction railway passengers had to make their way through the town, from the stations on either side of the river.

The De Lacy bridge.

During World War II, the viaduct was identified by the British as being of great strategic importance as part of the British plans for a counter-attack following a German invasion of Ireland, for which the British 1st Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment was to be moved into the State to defend the Drogheda viaduct under the joint military operation between Ireland and the United Kingdom.

De Lacy bridge[edit]

The De Lacy Bridge is the newst of Drogheda one of two pedestrian bridges in Drogheda. It is part of Scotch Hall phase one. It was named after Hugh De Lacy who founded the town in 1194AD.

The Boyne Cable Bridge is part of the Drogheda bypass and carries M1 traffic across the Boyne.

St. Mary's Bridge[edit]

St. Mary's Bridge is the main bridge to the centre of Drogheda, sitting just to the north of the Bullring. It was, for hundreds of years, the site of the 'only' bridge at Drogheda. It is at the meeting of the two major south side roads the N51 and the Marsh Road.

Haymarket Bridge[edit]

The Haymarket bridge serves as an access point to the town centre from the Donore Road, one of the main thoroughfares in the town carrying traffic from junction 9 of the M1 into the centre of Drogheda. It is flanked on the south side by two developments, the Waterfront development which contains a McDonald's restaurant, a petrol station and a 24 hour shop, The Haymarket development containing an Xtra-vision store and a health center. On the north side the bridge is flanked by the Haymarket car park and a block of apartments.

Vie of the Obelisk Bridge c.1890 - 1900

Saint Dominic's Bridge[edit]

The oldest bridge crossing the Boyne River within the town of Drogheda or indeed its vicinity; erected in the year 1863 by the great Thomas Grendon’s Foundry of Drogheda. The bridge, formerly called the Western Bridge, is constructed of iron with limestone piers and buttresses at either end; the engineer of the works was a Mr. John Neville. The bridge is now used by pedestrians only and is located 200 metres west of the Drogheda Bus Depot. It was renamed Dominic’s Bridge after the erection of St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, which was completed in 1878.

Bridge of Peace[edit]

The Bridge of Peace is a dual carriage bridge in Drogheda. It was built as a part of an inner by-pass of the town in the 1970s for which much of the historic south side of Drogheda was demolished. It carries the R132 through the town. The bridge is famous for the graffiti on its undersides. The words longest graffiti festival called "The Bridge Jam" takes place there every summer.

Boyne Cable Bridge[edit]

Main article: Boyne River Bridge

The Boyne River Bridge is Ireland’s longest cable-stayed bridge, located 3.1 kilometres west of Drogheda.

Obelisk Bridge[edit]

The Obelisk Bridge is of lattice iron, built by Grendon’s Foundry in Drogheda and placed in position in 1869. It superseded a wooden bridge which was built at the ford sometime after the Battle of the Boyne. Just north of this bridge is an ivy covered rock about 30 feet high from the water’s edge, on which an obelisk was raised in 1736, which gives the place its name.[89]

Retail[edit]

Scotch Hall Shopping Centre

Traditionally shopping took place in the central business district of the town centre. The main shopping streets being West Street, Shop Street, Peter Street, and Laurence Street. There are five shopping centres,

  • Scotch Hall Shopping Centre[90]
  • Laurence Town Centre[91]
  • Drogheda Town Shopping Centre[92]
  • Abbey shopping Centre
  • Boyne shopping Centre.

A number of retail parks have developed around Drogheda since the year 2000, mainly on the southern and western side of the town.

  • M1 Drogheda Retail Park, Waterunder, Drogheda, County Louth.[93]
  • Drogheda Retail Park, Donore Road, Drogheda, County Meath.

Media[edit]

Print[edit]

The local newspapers for Drogheda and district are,

Main article: Drogheda Independent

The Drogheda Independent has been in print since 1884 and serves the people Drogheda, East Meath and mid-Louth. The headquarters of The Drogheda Independent are on Shop Street

Drogheda Leader.
Main article: The Drogheda Leader

The Drogheda Leader,[94] has been in print since 1995 and is free of charge, it serves the people of Drogheda, East Meath and Mid-Louth with 70,000 readers each week. There is an online edition of the paper. The papers headquarters are on Laurence Street in Drogheda.

Radio[edit]

Main article: LMFM

The local radio station is LMFM, broadcasting on 95.8 FM. The headquarters of LMFM are on Marley's Lane on the south side of Drogheda.[95]

Online[edit]

Droghedalife.com is an On Line news and advertising service for Drogheda.[96]

Sport[edit]

Soccer[edit]

{Main|Drogheda United}

Drogheda United Crest

In December 2005 the town's soccer team, Drogheda United, won the FAI Cup for the first time. In 2006 Drogheda United won the Setanta Cup. In 2007, Drogheda United won the League of Ireland for the first time in the club's history. Drogheda United FC's brother team is Trabzonspor from Turkey. Both of two team's colours are claret red and blue. Drogheda United's home ground is United Park.

Rugby[edit]

Local team Boyne RFC was formed in 1997 from the amalgamation of Delvin RFC and Drogheda RFC. As of 2010, the Men's 1st XV team plays in the Leinster J1 1st division. Drogheda is also home to many rugby playing schools, including St.Mary's who are the under 14 Leinster rugby champions.

Karate[edit]

The Drogheda School of Karate was founded in February 1969 and has been providing continued services to the town & surrounding areas for over 40 years.

Water Polo[edit]

Drogheda Water Polo Club has been in existence since 1983. The clubs boasts male and female teams from U12 to senior level competing at provincial and national league level.

Scuba Diving[edit]

The Drogheda Sub Aqua Club is a local non-profit scuba diving club founded in 1974 and affiliated with Comhairle Fó-Thuinn (CFT) and Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS).

Basketball[edit]

The "Drogheda Bullets" are a basketball team based in the town.[97]

Cycling[edit]

Drogheda Wheelers was founded in 1985 when membership in two existing clubs St. Mary's and Na Boinne were getting small, so an amalgamation was the natural route to go. Drogheda Wheelers [mark 1] had been in existence in the forties and fifties but ceased to exist round about the late fifties. So with this amalgamation Drogheda Wheelers [mark 2] was born. The club has gone on to enjoy success at various levels since and on the promotion front is one of the hardest working clubs in the country.[98]

Drogheda Lightening Crest

Tennis[edit]

the Nearest Tennis club to Drogheda is the Laytown & Bettystown Lawn Tennis Club which is located on the Golf Links Road just outside Bettystown, in East Meath. Originally part of Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club the club was established over 100 years ago. All standards of tennis are played in the club and each year teams participate in the Dublin Lawn Tennis Association league matches. The club has a very good record of success in these leagues, amongst others. [99]

American Football[edit]

Drogheda Lightning is an Irish American Football team based in Drogheda. They play in the second tier of Ireland's American football league system. Founded in 2010, Drogheda Lightning competed in the IAFL DV8s Division (now defunct) in 2011 and 2012. Following the restructuring of the Irish American Football League structure ahead of the 2013 season, they now compete in the newly created IAFL-1 Division created in 2013.[100]

Local economy[edit]

The local economy of Drogheda, like that of many other towns in Ireland, is changing rapidly. The old industries based around linen and textiles, brewing, shipping and manufacturing have now disappeared or are in decline. In recent times, business has slowed because of the recession and Drogheda faces an increase in unemployment.

There are still a number of large employers in the town, including: Drogheda Port Company, the oldest indigenous employer since 1790

  • Glanbia, dairy products factory. (Glanbia Dairies, Drogheda was founded as Ryan Dairies (1957), becoming DDD (Drogheda & Dundalk Dairies) in 1959. Taken over by Avommore Dairies in 1986, which merged with Waterford to form Glanbia in 1997).
  • Premier RHI AG, or Premier Periclase, produces Seawater Magnesia products at its plant – 115 employees
  • Flogas, a national gas distributor
  • Natures Best, a fresh food processor
  • Hilton Foods, a meat processor
  • Boyne Valley Foods, a producer and distributor of olive oil, jams and honey
  • Irish Cement, Ireland's largest cement works at Platin.
  • International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF), a producer of perfumes and food fragrances (plant closed 2010)
  • Becton Dickinson (BD), a manufacturer of medical syringes and associated equipment
  • The d hotel, Hospitality

Recent additions to the local economy include:

  • IDA Business and Technology Park: a 25 hectares (62 acres) area with direct access onto the Dublin-Belfast motorway, developed and landscaped for the needs of both the IT, financial and internationally traded services sectors.
  • International Fund Services, a leading provider of fund accounting and administration services to the hedge fund industry globally, is to establish a hedge fund administration operation in Drogheda, Co. Louth, with the creation of up to 235 jobs.
  • Eight enterprise incubation units for high tech startup companies are provided in the Milmount complex.

The opening of the Drogheda bypass has led to the development of two large retail parks adjacent to the motorway, either side of the Boyne cable bridge. On the northside, is the M1 Retail Park and on the southside is the Drogheda Retail Park.

Unfortunately due to the recession and economic crash, a multitude of business and factories have closed down in Drogheda. As a result of this, Drogheda has a serious unemployment problem,[101] which has in turn led to a serious rise in social problems, including crime (organised, violent and petty),[102][103] poverty, lack of affordable housing, homelessness, and various substance abuse. As a result large parts of Drogheda have been designated RAPID areas, which means that areas have been identified by the Government as urban areas of concentrated disadvantage.

Culture[edit]

Festivals[edit]

Irish Maritime Festival is held annually in Drogheda during the month of June. A feast of maritime fun including full-scale pirate ships battling on the River Boyne, a coastal rowing race, show-stopping watersports, a Boyne swim, a Maritime Pavilion plus a host of cultural and family entertainment was accompanied by the arrival of five beautifully restored schooners to Drogheda port. Complete with fun fairs’ boat and canoe trips on the river, stunning water-sport displays, the real food village, boat-building workshops, a stand-up paddle boarding race, an urban beach, art and photography zones and a maritime history pavilion[104]

The Drogheda Arts Festival is a 6 day festival of theatre, music, spectacle, visual arts, dance, puppetry, comedy, literature and street performances. It is a multi – disciplinary programme of both national and international acts including artists from all around the world.The Festival takes place over the May Bank Holiday in Drogheda.[105]

The Drogheda Samba Festival began in 1994 as part of the Drogheda 800 celebrations and proved such a hit that it became an annual event. It has become the get-together for Irish samba groups who are joined by others from abroad for a 3-day party of Samba, Latin and African music and dance. There are pub and street gigs, workshops and concerts. Highlights are the 5-hour non stop samba session in the main street and the carnival parade and there is also a special Samba Mass. Bands from as far as Singapore and São Paulo and famous percussionists such as Dudu Tucci and Mestre Esteve have played and conducted workshops at the festival. The festival is run by a completely voluntary committee and is operated on a relatively small budget. Community bands are offered bed and breakfast in exchange for performances during the festival and usually pay their own transport costs.[106]

The Oldbridge County Fair is an annual fair that takes place during the May Bank Holiday weekend at the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre at Oldbridge.

Bridge Jam is the premiere event in Ireland’s graffiti Calender. The Bridge events began in the summer of 1994 with a small gathering of 6 visiting writers from the UK who painted together with their Irish counterparts to produce the first of many murals on the now famous Bridge of Peace site. The event has now been running solidly every summer for each of the following years.[107]

Theatre and performing arts[edit]

Drogheda is home to a number of theatres and performing art societies and companies which include,

The TLT is a purpose built, state of the art 900 seater theatre. Located in Drogheda, we stage a variety of performing arts and commercial events. We also have a school of music and rehearsal rooms to nurture the talents of our local upcoming artists.[108]

The Barbican Centre caters for small to medium scale shows, dance classes, meetings, rehearsals, workshops, business seminars, training days and conferences.[109]

The Droichead Arts Centre was originally founded in 1989 and has bases in the Municipal Centre on Stockwell Street and Barlow House on West Street which established itself as significant venue for theatre, live music, visual arts and community arts in Drogheda and the entire North East.[110]

The Calipo Theatre Company specialises in multi-media productions and has achieved considerable success in Ireland and abroad. It founded in 1994 in Drogheda by Darren and Colin Thornton, former members of Droichead Youth Theatre.[111]

The Droichead Youth Theatre Upstate Theatre Project is a performing arts organisation located in Drogheda. The organisation was founded in 1997, by Declan Mallon, also co-founder of Droichead Youth Theatre.[112]

The Little Duke Theatre Company (Drogheda School of Performing Arts[113]) in Duke Street, in the old Julian Blinds building.

The Drogheda Pantomime Society hold a pantomime in January/February of each year. These productions have been going for roughly 60 years. Many locations have been used for staging productions, most notably the Barbican Theatre.

Music[edit]

Contemporary music[edit]

Drogheda has also been the scene for some of the most important contemporary music events in Ireland. Louth Contemporary Music Society invited the US composer Terry Riley to perform in Drogheda in 2007. Arvo Pärt's first Irish commission and visit to the country was in Drogheda in February 2008. Michael Nyman performed in Drogheda in May 2008. John Tavener's Temenos festival was held in October 2008, and the Russian composer Alexander Knaifel was the focus of a portrait concert as part of the Drogheda Arts Festival on 1 May 2009.[114]

Drogheda composers[edit]

The composer and Aosdána member, Michael Holohan, has lived in Drogheda since 1983. His compositions have been performed and broadcast both at home and abroad. Career highlights in Drogheda include 'Cromwell' 1994 (RTECO), 'The Mass of Fire' 1995 (RTÉ live broadcast) and 'No Sanctuary' 1997 (in the Augustinian Church with Nobel Laureate and poet Seamus Heaney). Fields of Blue and White, a CD of his piano music was launched in the National Concert Hall in 2009 and the concert pianist, Therese Fahy, was the recording artist. A keen supporter of the arts, he is also a former chairman of the Droichead Arts Centre.

Live music[edit]

Drogheda has a thriving live music scene.[citation needed]

Brass bands[edit]

Drogheda has a number of brass bands and is home to the Drogheda Brass Band, National Brass Band Champions of Ireland 2007–12, and the Lourdes Brass Band.

Visual arts[edit]

October 2006 saw the opening of the town's first dedicated Municipal Art Gallery and visual arts centre, the Highlanes Gallery, housed in the former Franciscan Friary on St. Laurence Street. The Highlanes Gallery houses Drogheda's important municipal art collection, which dates from the 17th century, as well as visiting exhibitions in a venue which meets key international museum and gallery standards.[citation needed] Drogheda's most famous visual artist was the abstract expressionist painter Nano Reid (1900–1981).

Literature[edit]

Drogheda and its hinterland has always had a very strong literary tradition. Oisín McGann is an award-winning writer of children's literature. Angela Greene (deceased) was the first Drogheda poet to win The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 1988 for her collection Silence and the Blue Night. The poet Susan Connolly has been widely published and broadcast. She was awarded The Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry in 2001 for her life's work. The poet, writer and occasional broadcaster Marie MacSweeney has received the Francis MacManus Short Story Award for her short story "Dipping into the Darkness".

Screen appearances[edit]

  • Drogheda served as the stand-in location for many scenes in the 1984 film Cal. A drama set during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, it starred John Lynch and Helen Mirren. For her role in the film Mirren was voted Best Actress at both the 1984 Cannes Film Festival and the 1985 Evening Standard British Film Awards.
  • It served as the setting for the five-part drama series Love Is the Drug filmed and broadcast in 2004. It was directed by Drogheda local Darren Thornton.
  • In 2011 Feargal Quinn fronted RTÉ's Local Heroes campaign in Drogheda, which assembled a team of experts to kick-start the local economy. It aired as RTÉ 1's six-part television series, Local Heroes – A Town Fights Back.

Town twinning[edit]

ItalyBronte, Italy

People[edit]

Soccer players[edit]

Others[edit]

Freedom of Drogheda[edit]

This is a list of people who has been gifted with the Freedom of Drogheda,

  • Fr. Iggy O’Donovan (2013)
  • Sgt. Patrick J. Morrissey (2013)
  • Dr. T.K. Whitaker (1999)(31st Freeman of Drogheda)
  • President Mary Robinson (1993)
  • Cardinal Daly (1992)
  • President Dr Patrick J Hillary (1990)
  • Bishop Lennon (1980)
  • Cardinal O’Fiach (1980)
  • Pope John Paul II (1979)
  • Rev Mother Mary Martin (1966)
  • Charles Stewart Parnell (1884)
  • Eamon De Valera
  • Theobald Wolfe Tone(1790)[115]
  • James Napper Tandy. “Disenfranchised (1798) having landed off the coast of Ireland with the enemy”[116][117]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c http://www.airo.ie/news/census-2011-irish-towns-categorised-population-area-and-change
  2. ^ http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/census/documents/census2011vol1andprofile1/Profile1_Table_of_Contents,Foreward_and_Commentary.pdf, Page 6
  3. ^ http://www.droghedaport.ie/cms/publish/printer_21.shtml
  4. ^ THE FIGHT OF CASTLE KNOC, From Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts by Patrick Kennedy
  5. ^ https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1911_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica/Drogheda
  6. ^ Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. Page 390.
  7. ^ http://www.independent.ie/regionals/droghedaindependent/localnotes/viking-long-boat-displayed-locally-27164071.html
  8. ^ D'Alton, John 1844, The History of Drogheda
  9. ^ Johnston, L. C. (1826). History of Drogheda: from the earliest period to the present time. Drogheda. p. 37. 
  10. ^ a b http://www.droghedaboro.ie/droghedaboro/downloads/Drogheda%20Issues%20paper.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.constituency-commission.ie/docs%5Ccon2007.pdf
  12. ^ D'Alton, J. 1844 "The History of Drogheda".
  13. ^ Drogheda: It's place in Ireland's History.
  14. ^ See www.cso.ie/census and www.histpop.org for post 1821 figures, 1813 estimate from Mason's Statistical Survey. For a discussion on the accuracy of pre-famine census returns see J.J. Lee "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses", Irish Population, Economy and Society, eds. J.M. Goldstrom and L.A. Clarkson (1981) p.54, and also "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850" by Joel Mokyr and Cormac O Grada in The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Nov. 1984), pp. 473–488.
  15. ^ http://walkingireland.com/the-palaeolithic-old-stone-age/
  16. ^ Bradley, 1989
  17. ^ Topography and layout of medieval Drogheda, John Bradley, 1989.
  18. ^ http://www.droghedaport.ie/cms/publish/printer_21.shtml
  19. ^ Annals of the Four Masters. Page 91. http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100005A/
  20. ^ a b Masters, Annals of the Four Masters vol. ii, [1] from Irish:
  21. ^ a b c d e Northern Europe: International Dictionary of Historic Places, edited by Trudy Ring, Noelle Watson, Paul Schellinger
  22. ^ http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=89545&partId=1&searchText=celtic&images=true&people=&place=&from=ad&fromDate=&to=ad&toDate=&object=&subject=&matcult=&technique=&school=&material=&ethname=&ware=&escape=&bibliography=&citation=&museumno=&catalogueOnly=&view=&page=1
  23. ^ The Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters.http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100005B/
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